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Cincinnati Bell page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

bullet 115 reviews (67 good) (26 bad)
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Review by (hidden by request)

  • Location: Middletown,Butler,OH
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "It works sometimes"
Bad "For $$ shouldn't have the problems it does"
Overall "Avoid them. Go Time Warner."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:

Avoid at all costs.

I will keep everything simple.

On the phone, despite my constant clarification that I know enough about
computers to know it's them and not me, I always get the run around, and
typically a person who doesn't even know what a traceroute is. That's the
customer service aspect. And there's no credibility, fault, and typically a
repairman will not show up for any reason, ever.

I have been off and on in through different households all my life.

Connectivity wise, it seems once a month there is always a different but
similar problem: small, intermittent disconnects. I also don't know for
sure, but I assume that the way game packets are handled is poor by Cincy
Bell (I am a gamer.) Bandwidth is also very controlled by Cincinnati Bell.

I have seen many different ISPs, and Cincinnati Bell's DSL is by far the
worst. At least Time Warner gives you a repairman, some bit of peace of
mind for where to place blame (since everyone knows DSL is a confusing mess
when it comes to who owns what part of the service, thanks LEC), and I
didn't really get disconnects, just hour long windows of what I assumed to
be maintenance once a month at 4 am- a small price to pay.

Final word: Avoid Cincinnati Bell. They have less to offer you than
competitors in all ways, shapes, and forms.

(review was emailed from domain gmail.com)
lodged 2.8 years ago


Review by HarpSupport See Profile

  • Location: South Lebanon,Warren,OH
  • Cost: $90 per month
  • Install: about 4 days
  • Telco party Cincinnati Bell
Good "Rock solid speed, reliability. Great value."
Bad "HD DVR leaves a lot to be desired, limited on-demand."
Overall "Much better than the alternatives"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:

Review / Story


We moved to Ohio because of a new job in the area, and we had very little time to find a new place. The apartment complex we live in partnered with Cincinnati Bell to provide Fioptics service exclusively - so we didn't have much choice.

Install was horrible - but it wasn't Cincinnati Bell's fault. This is a new apartment complex, and we are the first residents to live in this unit. When the building was constructed, they ran microduct from each unit to the pedestal outside. In theory, and installation would be sending the fiber optic cable through the microduct, hooking up the ONT, and being done. In practice - it didn't work out that way. Apparently when the building was constructed, some of the workers were less than careful with the microduct and it was damaged. The install technicians (all 4) indicated that this was common in these buildings. By the third appointment - with four trucks rolled - they were able to get me going.

Despite that, I couldn't be happier with the service. We have the 50/10 internet service and it is incredibly fast and has yet to have an outage. Ping times are better than cable, and I've seen little congestion. My only gripe is that I can't get a static IP on the 50/10 plan. I'm also not away of any usage cap - a big benefit in today's tiered service world.

We also have TV service and it, too, has been rock solid. CB provides a good channel lineup and the HD channels look great. The only downsides of the service are an extremely limited on-demand portfolio (we came from Comcast in Atlanta where on-demand was full of content), and a poor choice of software for the DVR set top box (again, we came from Comcast where you could schedule recordings online, which was an amazing feature).


Info based on experiences


I do want to convey some of what I've heard regarding the Fioptics service itself. If you're considering it, you need to find out two things.

First, are you qualified as a FTTH (fiber to the home) or FTTN (fiber to the node) Fioptics customer?

With FTTH you'll have the fiber optic cable run all the way to your home. They'll install an ONT (optical network terminal) to provide your service. The only copper connection will be the wiring in your home. You will be able to get the maximum internet plan (currently at 100/20), and your TV will be provided over standard coax cable. If you qualify for this service, you can't go wrong - it's the way it should be done everywhere.

With FTTN, you'll have fiber optic cable run to a DSLAM near your home, and the service will be delivered over old copper lines. They'll install a VDSL gateway and provide you with ZTE IP set-top-boxes. This is very similar to AT&T's U-verse. If you are close to the DSLAM, and the copper lines between your home and the DSLAM are in good shape, your service should be great. You will qualify for very high speeds (comparable to cable, much faster than DSL), and you will be able to get Fioptics IP TV. The problem, in my opinion, with this scenario, is that sh*t happens - and your service may get better or worse over time.

-Second, if you are a FTTH customer, are you on the Motorola or Cisco/Scientific Atlanta plant?

Apparently, when CB started rolling FTTH Fioptics service, they were using Cisco/Scientific Atlanta equipment. At some point they switch to a Motorola based system - and have both systems operating today. With the Cisco/SA service, you get symmetrical internet speeds, but suffer with the truly awful Cisco/SA TV set-top-boxes. With the Motorola service, you get asymmetrical internet speeds, but get the much improved (but still not all that great) Motorola TV set-top-boxes. You don't really get a choice, and both are still much better than any alternative - but there can be confusion if you get to digging online, as some people will talk about Cisco/SA equipment, and some will talk about Motorola equipment.


Final Thoughts


CB's decision to follow in AT&T's footsteps to install FTTN is understandable, but disappointing. Using the same Fioptics brand, while having both FTTH and FTTN networks, is confusing to the customer (look at the CB support forums). I would also assume that long-term, it's more expensive (cost of rolling FTTN, then cost of re-rolling FTTH in the future). Despite this, I believe offering FTTN is better than nothing, and believe they will provide a quality service.

Having been lucky enough to qualify for true FTTH, I think fiber-to-the-home is the best option for delivering today and tomorrow's services. It's fast, reliable, and relatively future-proof. I appreciate that Cincinnati Bell has been forward thinking, and I hope to see them continue to improve an already fantastic service.


Please feel free to contact me if I need to correct any gross errors. At the time I wrote this review, this information was correct to the best of my knowledge. I do not work for Cincinnati Bell, and do not represent them in any way.

member for 4.2 years, 335 visits, last login: 355 days ago
updated 3 years ago


Review by ldbest See Profile

  • Location: Lebanon,Warren,OH
  • Cost: $50 per month
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "Down speeds are fine"
Bad "Up speeds have never been as advertised, even at this trial 20x2"
Overall "They don't give you what you pay for"

Options? There aren't many ... Time Warner wire or ADSL are out of the question for the speeds we need. We're on a trial for "Premium" home users which costs $10 a month more than basic FiOptics service, but have yet to attain the minimum bandwidth up we need of 1.5Mbps despite being promised 2.0 and getting the newest best company provided modem.

Why the ISPs around here can't give equal down/up speeds is something I cannot understand ... they manage it in other countries, and even other parts of the USA, but can't seem to do it here in Ohio with this grope (not a typo) of providers.

I hate being cheated, and I've felt cheated ever since Cincinnati Bell bought out the Lebanon Fiber Optics system.

member for 11.2 years, 59 visits, last login: 1.4 years ago
lodged 3.1 years ago


Review by baransick See Profile

  • Location: Cincinnati,Hamilton,OH
  • Cost: $45 per month
  • Telco party Cincinnati Bell
Good "Okay, I have had it since first available"
Bad "Speed is going down, down and down"
Overall "looking for alternative"

Supposed to have 3mbs, only getting .8 used to get 1.5 mbs.
Over the years I have had to replace the modem as it slowed down. This may be the case now but it will take 45 minutes on the phone with a tech person who knows less about DSL and PC than me, (and I am not in the tech business).

Would like to find an alternative.

member for 12.1 years, 156 visits, last login: 3.5 years ago
lodged 3.5 years ago


Review by thomasdietri See Profile

  • Location: Cincinnati,Hamilton,OH
  • Cost: $39 per month (12 month contract)
  • Telco party Cincinnati Bell
Good "They offered a wireless router free, free install, cheap, 20Mbps down, 5Mbps up"
Bad "Connection seems to hiccup occassionally. Had service out today. Hopefully fixed."
Overall "FiOptics is the best deal in town."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:

This review is for the new Cincinnati Bell FiOptics offering. It is fiber to the home which can carry phone, data, and television. I have the phone and data plan. Previously I had the Cincinnati Bell DSL product, which is reviewed below.

Install went fine, but took longer than I had expected. They were on site for about 4 or 5 hours. They installed a new box in the basement where the phone lines enter, and would have run CAT5 to the router, but that cable was already in place. They removed the cover of my current jack and just connected a free floating box with Ethernet jack. Kind of sloppy, but it's under / behind my desk so not really a big deal.

Connection is FAST! One problem is that most sites cap my transfer at 1.5 or maybe 2Mbps (like downloading drivers or ISO's from a hardware manufacturer). Doing speed tests I can get 20Mbps down and 5Mbps up, but seem to experience hiccups. Tech support was here today and thinks he fixed it.

Overall this is the best value in town if you want high speed. Total package with unlimited phone, unlimited long distance, and unlimited data is about $63 per month.

They also offer the triple pack of phone, TV, and data for $89 per month with basic TV, or $99 per month with most HD TV channels.


I've had RoadRunner cable and now Cincinnati Bell ZoomTown DSL. This review is for their DSL product. I've worked in networking and IT for almost 20 years.

I switched from cable modem to DSL to save money, and it worked. Install and cutover was quick and easy. Switched from VoIP digital phone with cable to normal POTS line with Cinbell at same time, and switched to satellite for TV.

DSL modem was small, didn't produce much heat, required normal phone jack and had output jacks to Ethernet or USB. I used my own wireless router instead of theirs. Signal was always strong and reliable. Service was never needed other than when I called to switch over to fiber. In short, it was a great product at a great low price. I would definately reccommend Cincinnati Bell ZoomTown DSL to a friend.

I've never needed their tech support, and I don't use their email, so I cannot comment on those items.

Now, I have seen problems where some people have their DSL modem take a jolt from lightning during a storm, and that fries the Ethernet jack on their home PC. They must then use the USB connection or buy a new Ethernet card.

I've also seen problems for people on the edges of the DSL range (18,000 feet from the DSLAM). If you're too far then your signal drops repeatedly, your modem cannot establish a reliable connection, and your experience will be awful.

member for 10.1 years, 9 visits, last login: 3.7 years ago
updated 3.7 years ago


Review by pp1r See Profile

  • Location: Hamilton,Butler,OH
  • Cost: $60 per month
  • Telco party Cincinnati Bell
Good "Only DSL option in area"
Bad "Tech support reads from a script, they can not fix a problem, speed is terrible"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:

Prior to Nov 2010 things were OK. We had a few issues including the first modem needing replaced that took 2 weeks. Past 2 months has been a nightmare. Nothing on our end changed and the speed is now normally sub 1mb/s. They now advertise 5mb/s speed, but I never even get 3 anymore. When I first signed up in 2001 we got close to the 3mb/s speed all the time. Now it totally sucks.


Unless you enjoy talking to tech support in a different country that reads from a script and asks what modem you have every time you call. If you are lonely and need someone to talk to then sign up...you might make a friend in their call center!

member for 3.8 years, 30 visits, last login: 3.5 years ago
updated 3.8 years ago


Review by brywilharris See Profile

  • Location: Dayton,Montgomery,OH
  • Cost: $65 per month
  • Telco party Cincinnati Bell
Good "Easy setup..."
Bad "Terrible peak speeds"
Overall "Go somewhere else if you want to browse between 6PM to 2AM."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:

Service was quick to set up. Connection speeds have been so-so. Lately, I get terrible connection speeds ~100kbps during peak times. Customer support keeps telling me my connection is fine. I think I'm going to have to switch providers to get a decent connection.

member for 3.8 years, 1 visits, last login: 3.8 years ago
lodged 3.8 years ago


Review by titoyay222 See Profile

  • Location: Cincinnati,Hamilton,OH
  • Cost: $102 per month
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "Fiber Line, Low pings, Fast and VERY stable connection, No Internet gateway needed."
Bad "Price seems a little high for some packages but they are just rolling it out and finishing testing still."
Overall "Great service, way better signal quality and speeds than other providers around."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:

Cincinnati Bell has been rolling out Fiber to the home service to all of their footprint recently and we were just hooked up the other day. Subscribed to their TV and Internet package. Prices can be found at their web site www.cincinnatibell.com/fioptics . You can click on the "Internet" button and it shows the package tiers and their prices stand alone.

We were able to sign up on Friday when the line went live but we had it all setup on the following Monday. Install time took a couple hours. Ran fiber line from the pole to the house inside our basement to the ONT. There a COX cable went out to our cable terminal box and just replaced the TWC main line that was connected before. From the ONT, an Ethernet cable was just ran out. I was able to use the network cable to hook up to my own router setup. I have yet to contact their support for anything. So I'm unable to rate it currently.

I ordered the 30/10Mbps package and I'm able to download from my SFTP with 10 files at a time using a solid 30Mbps. I didn't notice any hiccups and the connection seemed way solid compared to our previous RR line. I'm almost tempted to order their 50/20 package but it runs $99.00 per month currently.

These were done around 3-4PM EST.


San Jose, CA


Anchorage, AK


member for 9.5 years, 1449 visits, last login: 48 days ago
updated 3.9 years ago


Review by Catfishy See Profile

  • Location: Springfield,Clark,OH
  • Cost: $49 per month
  • Telco party Cincinnati Bell
Good "None"
Bad "under 1mb download speed on a 5mb dsl line, connection drops all the time, even the home phone has gone done several times."
Overall "VERY BAD DSL speeds, tech support has no idea how to fix it."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:

Tried to save a few $$ and switched to Cincinnati Bell dsl and home phone. Pre install was great. Everything coordinated and on time.

Install day: Everything worked great.. Line is set at 5056kbps/768kbps and my speed tests were very much in range, both the wired desktop and the wireless laptop.

Next day until now: DSL speeds actually work from 5am-9:30am, then download speeds drop down to under 1MB and never come back. Numerous calls to tech support and even live service techs coming out to the house and absolutely nothing has been fixed.

I've had this ZoomTown service for about a week now, and I've been on the phone and/or had a tech come out every freaking day!! It is unreal. I remember having dial up years ago and never had the connection problems that I've had with this company.

We are considered "extended territory" for Cincinnati Bell and there is no way (in my personal opinion) that they should be trying to sell services in this area as there is no local office and obviously, they do not have the technology in place for reliable service.

One of the techs even ran a new line dedicated to DSL in an effort to resolve this problem with ZERO results. The tech even brought in his own laptop to test the connection because the office people were blaming all this on my computers. He tested at the exact same speeds.

To add insult to injury, when I called to cancel this service, Cincinnati Bell wanted me to drive 20 miles to turn in the modem (like that is going to happen). I had to allow them to schedule another tech to come out, just to pick up their equipment.

Another side note, when I called and spoke with a Supervisor about all my problems with download speeds, she flat out told me that the dsl speeds are "768kbps, UP TO 5MB" and that I was "in range" for the service they offer!! WHAT A JOKE.

When your line is capable, as mine is, to receive 5MB download, there is no reason not to be testing at 4-4.7MB download on a hard wired connection.

All I can say is that if anyone is considering ZoomTown dsl, good luck to you. I will never call this company for anything ever again.

member for 3.9 years, 41 visits, last login: 288 days ago
lodged 3.9 years ago


Review by Burlingky200 See Profile

  • Location: Burlington,Boone,KY
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Bad "trying to get dsl but getting the run around"

Well me and my family live off the beaten path, we have been using Cricket broadband but they have recently took away are unlimited bandwidth use and we are trying to get dsl from Cincinnati bell. They have tested are lines sense there is over 12 houses back on my road that would like to have dsl, they say we can get it but they also said there has to be anuff of a interest in to switch out the modem at the start of my road and. I would like to know how many people have to send in a request for the new modem on the phone pole for the company to actually change it because if 12 houses is not anuff there is more on are road that we can get and it is stupid that they just dont go and issue us a new modem that they should have just had installed in the first place. i would like to know if there is any service reps that could help me with this matter and help us get the new modem

member for 4.1 years, 6 visits, last login: 3.9 years ago
lodged 4.1 years ago