Review by kba4
Good "new DOCSIS 3 tech allows a lot more speed"
- Location: Canton,Stark,OH
- Cost: $60 per month
- Install: about 5 days
Bad "it took a year of ATT's dominance for TW to get into shape"
Overall "ATT has 24/3 with 250GB cap, TW has 30 (and 50)/5 with no cap"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
*****update 3/01/2013 *****
still working for TWC, see below
*****update 6/03/2012 *****
just a quick note: as of 7/2011 I work in Tier III Tech. Support at TWC. I do not want this fact to make my review appear biased in any way. I see first-hand the strengths and weaknesses of the TW Internet product, and it is not fair for me to submit a review of any kind at this time. My opinion of the service is much the same as below, but in the interest of objectivity, I will not update further.
I just want to add that overall the TW connection is a LOT more responsive than ATT's. One would think that with similar speeds the two services would be similar in usage. But last night I was watching movies and TV on my Netflix (on Windows Media Center) and it was just a little bit slower than tuning on a digital cable box. I had gotten used to the much slower response time with ATT, all but assuming it must be Netflix. But the difference is night and day. It's obvious that ATT throttles *certain* traffic, to make their own services seem like a better choice. This kind of thing will bury ATT and that's really too bad because if it weren't for the caps a lot of users would stay.
I do also want to say that if you're able to choose between ATT and TW, keep the following in mind: ATT uses a single line to deliver video/voice/data just like TW but TW delivers their wideband product to a Residential-Gateway device very much like ATT's in addition to CATV channels on an entirely different set of frequencies and phone on yet another... and there's likely still room for more, especially with technology like SDV and DOCSIS-3 appearing. ATT is milking last-mile copper and penalizing their own customers for using it as sold. If choices are TW and ATT, take my advice and go with TW.
as I stated in the final update to my U-Verse review, I have switched back to TW. ATT has data caps in place as of 5/2 and it makes absolutely no financial sense to stay with them, even at a lower speed tier. But I got the 24/3 service to use it as per its name of 'max-turbo', and expected to leave it running 24/7 for any purpose someone on my network wished to use it for. ah well...
anyway I'm now on TW again and it's great so far. I got a new Motorola SBG6580 D3 modem/gateway which has built-in b/g/n wireless and a gigabit router. I have the entry-level D3 "Extreme" tier which is 30/5Mbps and typically get at least 30Mbps down and 4-4.5Mbps up. I had to set up a DMZ so as to pass the connection to another router on my LAN and the modem takes some getting used to as far as config goes, but once it's all running the way you want, you really don't have to go back.
Overall, I'm very happy so far with TW. They've finally shaped up and have started rolling out D3... ATT had the top spot for a while here but for whatever reasoning they have they've decided to give their highest-tier users every reason to leave. 24/3 was great but 30/5 is even better, most especially once the 250GB usage mark is passed.
update on 05/21/2010...
I've decided to drop TW's internet service in favor of ATT U-Verse. I have the Max-Turbo service, which runs at 24Mbps down, 3Mbps up. I regularly get 22-24Mbps down, and 2-2.9Mbps up. I'm quite happy with ATT over TW. TW is either unwilling or unable to provide me with fast(er) service, and what's worse is no one I talked to in the ten or so phone calls had any idea when faster service would become available. To me that just says they simply don't care. Oh well I now have internet from ATT and phone/video from TW. I'd switch it all over but TW's video signal is conventional vs ATT's IP-TV service; meaning I can't simply hook the signal into my ATSC tuner and watch TV, I'd need an ATT box on every set.
update on 04/21/2010...
I've been here almost a full year now. I decided to drop TW's video service when my bill shot from ~$120 to close to $150; the promotion had expired right when I moved in... I had a DVR, HD service, HBO's, and almost every digital channel available for around $120 too! Turns out I don't watch much TV at all, I discovered this when I only had the locals to choose from. See, being in an apt. complex, the first tech 'forgot' to trap the signal, and a second had installed either an older one or the wrong one and I was still getting the very basic channels via clear-QAM(256) on my HTPC's tuner card. Yesterday someone else in the building had TW installed and this tech apparently 'fixed' the trap issue on my line and that's when I lost everything but Internet and Phone. So I called TW to complain about not getting my free channels and was quoted a price of $17 over my current bill plus a $10 trap removal fee. LOL right. That's when I called ATT and scheduled an install for U-Verse; I had a triple-play pack of U100 TV, Elite Internet and 250m Phone for $122/mo after the first 6mos @ $90, and no installation fee fixed up and was happy. This morning I called TW back to finalize my last couple months' service with them and to downgrade services so as to afford the $10 disconnect fee that would result when I switched to ATT. The lady in 'Retentions' (can't believe it's come to this- an entire dept. to handle unhappy customers...) told me she'd give me the very basic video service and keep my phone and Internet at their current levels for around $120/mo after taxes; and she'd 'waive' the trap-removal fee to do it too. So Friday I'll have my services back where they should be and hopefully I'll get a few more QAM channels than I had with that trap. Now I gotta call ATT and cancel my install appt. with them... something tells me that sometime this year I'll be calling ATT again to schedule an install- again...
keep in mind that the number of dollars for the services I have may be the same but TW's rates have increased and so has everything else in the past year so it's actually probably a good deal all things considered...
update on 09/07/2009...
OK, in the 3 months with CATV that I've been here, I've had 3 different (very different) bills. Apparently, I had some promotional price from last year that no one ever informed me of and it has now run out. The first bill which included various non-recurring fees (move/transfer: $14.95, A/O New Installation - Extra Trip: $69.90) was over $300, and I paid it even after all the problems I've experienced so far with the transfer. Turns out I should have just cancelled the old service and purchased a new account... anyway last month's bill was $121.20, about where I expected it to be; this month it's $143.85 (RR is now $39.95 instead of $20, and the 'digital value service' has gone up to $29.16 from $26.10... the bill is way too high for what I need. I called to complain and ended up disconnecting TV service to save almost $40. According to the CSR my new bill will be about $104 with taxes. The way I see it, I'll just use RR Turbo to watch online shows and the many resources available online for news and entertainment (I'm not condoning anything illegal here, he-he-he) and build an HTPC for my living room and use Windows 7's MCE and an HD Tuner to watch anything important; otherwise I have movies and music here at home and can't justify an additional $40 for the 9-10 channels I watch while having to flip through the other 250 or so.
So I have Road Runner for $39.95 or whatever and Turbo for $9.95 more, and Digital Phone for another $39.95 or so. The internet is revolutionizing the way we'll watch TV and Movies just as it did with Music. So long as TW doesn't go forward with their bill-by-the-byte scam, I recommend everyone do what I've done and save some money in the process.
update on 07/30/2009...
back in June I moved from Akron to Canton, still in the neo.rr.com region. With the move I lost my digital phone phone-number and to this day the various departments at TW are still fixing the billing issue described next. The service(s) are still as reliable as before.
The service had been in my mother's name forever when I called and informed TW that I would be moving soon. They said that's fine, just that the two of us had to go to a local office and sign an Account Transfer form. It has taken over two months to get the billing straightened out, and I'm still exchanging e-mails with the support dept. ...
update on 01/24/2009...
I'm just updating my review as suggested by the dslr system. I have to say that RR has been almost 100% reliable over the past 203 days, and year or so before that. I do think that having Digital Phone gives one priority status on the network, even though the RR and Phone services are on different networks, the modem still has to jump through the TW network to go anywhere. Plus, I have the 'Turbo' service, which provides 30Mbps (no kidding!) for a few seconds when capacity is available, but almost always keeps the DL speeds over 15Mbps even during peak hours. My speeds rarely go below the advertised 15/768 levels. Well, 768 isn't entirely accurate actually, as the modem shows the config to be DL 15376384 bits/sec while allowing an UL of exactly 768000 bits/sec. See, DL has overhead figured in while UL is capped lower when overhead is figured, hence the best UL I've ever seen was around 750Kbps. Still better than the 384 from just a few years back. Here's hoping for another smooth year.
original review follows...
not a whole lot has changed, it's just time to update my review...
I'm writing a brand new review this time, because I feel TW has really come around and improved things, at least for the time being.
I've had RR service since it debuted in 1996. Since then I've seen it go from a multi-megabit-per-second DL and near 1Mbps (maybe more) UL, to a service just barely faster than the fastest DSL (defined as 1.5Mbps/256Kbps at the time) during peak hours, to what it is today: a pretty good value. Today my service runs at 15Mbps down, 768Kbps up, and costs $9.95 more per month than standard service. In the NEO.RR division, there are now 3 official levels to choose from: 768/128Kbps, 7Mbps/512Kbps, and 15Mbps/768Kbps. Also, if you complain enough, I understand that TW has a 96Kbps 'dataline' service available if you subscribe to digital phone.
And that's the other part of the review. I'd had Digital Phone service in the past, which was hot-wired by the tech into the house's phone jacks- the service didn't work very well with the old wiring in this 1940's house so I had to cancel it. I recently had it installed again, only this time just for one room (the phone is connected to the modem directly) for the time being. I figure one of two things could happen, assuming I continue to use TW for phone service that is. Either I'll add cordless handsets to the current line, or I'll use the second line on the modem and run CAT-3 to the rooms I want to service.
When I called to ask about pricing and available discounts on services, I started by saying I would be cancelling a few services to better afford my bill. The CSR adjusted some prices for me and today my bill is actually a little cheaper but lists more services. I originally had Digital Cable, HBO/od, HD service, a secondary box with remote, and RR with the +$9.95 turbo-charged service; this was about $130/mo total. Today I have all this, plus Digital Phone and the bill is still about $130 (and rates have risen over the past year too)- weird but no complaints.
I am quite happy with the quality of service (pun intended) given to my VoIP modem's access. I have had zero downtime since the new modem was installed. The internal web-interface on the modem has a page which confirms service level and it shows 15Mbps down, 768Kbps up. Depending on various other factors, I can hit nearly 2MBps download at times during typical HTTP usage, and am able to max out the 15Mbps (same number) in bit-torrent all day long. Too bad one of my favorite trackers was taken down last year though ;( Anyway the point is I'm finally getting what I pay for, and in fact I'm paying less while also getting phone service so it feels even better. I only wish I could get a deal on phone/RR without having to bundle cable too, I could probably save some $30-50/mo this way. I guess TW has to pad their 'video subscriber' count somehow though- the cable boxes in my house are rarely on unless recording something to DVR which is quite rare compared to the use that the cable modem gets for phone/net-access all day long.
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updated 1.6 years ago