I thought about this for a while. The last time I planned to switch, was a few years ago, at our previous home (condo), for some reason the AT&T technician could not find a port for the broadband, per my wife (I was likely working at the credit card company at the time). And the technician gave up. I vaguely recall the reason for the switch was to reduce the monthly bill. Internet providers usually gave a good introductory price for one year, before jacking up the prices. And in the case of Charter, they jack up prices almost every year. Once I called them, and said I wanted to switch, and then they lowered the price by $10 a month. Basically switching providers or phone calls are two ways I know to lower the broadband bill.
I didn’t think of switching during the move – partially due to the unpleasant experience I had with $T (AT&T, T is their stock ticker symbol). Partially because Charter/Spectrum gave a good intro price for a year for new customers (here new as a new address, or a new account). I recall it took me some effort to figure out which cable to plug into my cable modem (the broadband modern for Charter), set up the Wifi router, and my IP phone (iTalkBB, refer to this old blog post here, time flies. Probably time to cancel iTalkBB now.) and I didn’t bother to switch to AT&T until very recently. I did recall about 2 summers ago, we had a power outage, and Charter Internet came back as soon as the power is back (both the cable modem and wifi router needed electricity). But the communication lines were damaged especially the AT&T cables, if my memory is correct, and it seems today during my AT&T install, another outside technician needs to come to the outside terminal and do some work – likely a fallout from 2 years ago. Again back to the topic.
Recently I had some intermittent issues with the Charter/Spectrum internet so I decided to switch. The intermittent/reliability issue is both from my observation and from informal surveys among friends (thank you friends 🙂
I placed the installation order last week, and a technician came today. I did some surveys before today. So I pointed out the outside and inside cables. Installation took a few hours. The setup is relatively straightforward, I mean the embedded Wifi router. It’s done via an app called Smart Home Manager. The technician is friendly and helpful too. In addition to pointing out the app, as well as showing me how to get to it, he told me to switch off Charter shortly to avoid a new monthly bill.
I did a speed test just now, it seems Charter still has a faster download speed, but the upload speed is comparable. I will update this post as time goes on.
PS: I recall The Sound of dial-up Internet both in China and in the US. It’s a bit funny when I was applying for US graduate schools in the fall of 1996, I borrowed the email and computer access card from my friend in Fudan U. The professor in Rolla thought I was a graduate student in Fudan: which probably helped my application a bit as they are more prestigious than my graduate school 🙂 I still remember those days when I wrote emails on a terminal of a UNIX machine. Copy, paste, and save information or write information to a disk seems like a century ago, in today’s smartphone, and ubiquitous Internet world. Also, just came across this post back in 2014 when I had to do some magic or hack to make the iPad work with Wifi at home.
PS2: the monthly cost, was $80 per month for Charter, vs $50 a month for AT&T. AT&T has a slightly slower download speed, from the speed test. Also, some offers one may be able to use. Rakuten (eBates): I used it and I saw $112.50 cash in my account (this will cover the $99 installation cost, btw). Some Chase credit cards may offer cash back for AT&T fiber (I think they all broadband will likely work): I plan to use my Amazon Chase card as it has a $50 offer. Last but not least, I had a twitter poll for this.