I've decided to stop renting a cable modem and to buy an Ethernet DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem. I'm looking for reliability and connection stability and cool running. Is there a model you feel you can recommend? Any extensive credible reviews of 4 or more brands?
Can you recommend one that combines an Ethernet DOCSIS 2.0 modem with a router?
There are a few that you can find in the retail "new" market that don't make the list, but you won't find them at any of the big-box chain stores. Ma and Pa local stores *should* also know better than to stock modems that don't work with all the local providers. You'll find the new ones that aren't on the list mostly at online stores, and some regional chain stores that have electronics buyers that don't know what they're doing. eBay and the other auction sites are also sources of new and used modems that aren't on the list.
The 5100 and 5101 use a Broadcom chipset, while the 5120 uses a Texas Instruments chipset. Some folks have an opinion that one is better than the other, but the difference isn't significant. There are probably just as significant differences between production runs of the same model numbers than there are between the different chipsets. Both are excellent choices.
New Comcast customers should be able to find the modems with rebates that cover the whole cost of the modem. (Current Comcast customers should be able to find smaller rebates.)
In some markets, starting on or shortly after October 1, Radio Shack will be offering a deal where if you sign-up for Comcast High Speed Internet as a new customer (one who hasn't had the service for at least 60 days) you'll get the same introductory rate that you could get by calling Comcast directly, but instead of three months, you get the promotional rate for six months. They're tossing in rebates to make the modem free (they have either SB5100's or SB5120), a mail-in coupon for a free mp3 player, and two $50 "cable cash" certificates that you can use to pay your Comcast bill. This is only in limited markets. Your area may have a different deal, and (of course) this won't be available in areas where Comcast isn't a provider.
Have you a suggestion for a strategy to cut down my current $60/mo cable bill without subscribing to Comcast Video? I'm in an SBC area, and I was wondering what kind of deal I might be able to negotiate with Comcast if I threaten to go to DSL.
Most companies providing monthly services have (had?) a "save desk" with reps who are authorized to give you deals as good as, or sometimes even better than the introductory deals flying around. However, AOL just got in big trouble for their save desk practices, with people claiming that it was too difficult to cancel. How that has impacted the way companies, including Comcast, operate their save desk is unclear at this time.
Also, you don't automatically get to the save desk by *threatening* to quit. If the rep thinks it's an empty threat, they won't transfer you. But if you flat-out ask to cancel, they might decide that you aren't open to reasoning, and they'll immediately cancel your account. If you try to be direct, and tell them that you're looking at a better deal unless they can match it, you might not say the right thing, and the agent will simply say that their prices aren't negotiable because they're not authorized to negotiate. Asking for a supervisor may not help because their supervisor may not be able to negotiate either, and you'll be going down a path that doesn't lead to the save desk.
If you're not willing to risk actually cancelling, my advice would be to not try. You need to be willing to accept that the consequence of not getting a better deal isn't just walking away in the same position you're in today. The consequence may be walking away with your account cancelled.
Being intimately informed of any and all plans and offers, including the cometition is always your best bet. I didn't understand all that Warren rambled on about, but any company at any time, either wants to keep you or doesn't. Simply asking to speak to retention, or asking the agent if there is anyone you can talk to about staying with them, or seeing if there are any offers that make changing to someone else less attractive, have always gotten me some info to work with. Even if you have to go to dial up for a brief period to requalify for a deal, is always an option. Maybe Earthlink is available over your providers' system? It is equally helpful to be aware of all video/cable TV deals as well. Sometimes there are low barebones cable service that qualifies you for a discount on the internet. Of course if you have few options if you do leave them, in your market, it has seemed to me they are highly less likely to accomodate you. My few cents.
Thanks for the suggestions. In my area, which is about 17,000 ft. from the DSLAM, the choice is dialup from Earthlink, SBC DSL, Yahoo DSL via SBC, Comcast cable, or satellite. In other words, there aren't any real broadband alternatives to Comcast. How the government justifies letting Comcast not carry Earthlink while it grants Comcast a monopoly on cable right-of-way is a mystery to me.
If you live in the US, your local government cannot grant Comcast a monopoly to put cable in the right-of-way. They can allow Comcast to have exclusive use of the cable that Comcast puts in the right-of-way, but they cannot give Comcast exclusive access to the right-of-way. If another cable company comes along, and can meet the same requirements that Comcast did, the local government would be required to grant the franchise.
You'd probably be surprised at how many competing telecommunications companies have separate cables running in the right-of-way. In some cities, their downtown area streets are pock-marked by patches from all the cuts made by companies installing various cables (usually fiber-optic, but sometimes various copper-based cables).
There are many densely populated areas where there are two cable TV companies, each with their own cables, of course. When enough demand exists for more than one company to exist, it happens. The problem is that the cable TV business has competition already from the satellite companies who can provide the same TV service without laying cable.
As for residential Internet service, the prices consumers are willing to pay make it unprofitable for even a single company to cable-up an entire city for just Internet service. They have to be able to offer cable TV and/or phone service as the primary reason for the cable to exist, so if there isn't enough consumer demand to support a profitable cable TV service or local phone provider, no one is going to be interested in installing the cable.
If the consumer demand in your area isn't great enough to support another cable TV company to the point that they can afford the initial infrastructure costs, then the question becomes, do you want them to use tax dollars to build another cable network in order to provide additional competition to Comcast? In most cities, the answer is no, because Comcast already faces enough competition from the satellite companies. In some cities, they've built or are building data networks, but it's difficult to get public opinion behind spending tax dollars to do so when other government provided services, such as schools, police, and road maintenance, are suffering.
But the point remains that while Comcast may have exclusive use of the cable they own that was laid in the public right-of-way, they do *not* have exclusive rights to lay cable in that public right-of-way, and no local government has the authority to grant exclusive use of the public right-of-way to any cable company.
Could you give us some insight as to the cat-fights concerning who controls "the last mile," viz., the cable run from the toadstool on the corner to your house? That was laid by a single entity, and there are precious few homes that have either multiple POTS lines from several telephone companies or multiple cable lines from competing cable companies entering the home to provide competitive service.
I have enough problems with Comcast trying to sell me everything and Verizon trying to do the same. < grin / sigh >