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RCN CABLE page on DSLReports
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Review by ArrayList See Profile

  • Location: Brighton,Suffolk,MA
  • Cost: $49 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "Fast, no caps"
Bad "no IPv6, could use a faster upload"
Overall "Better than Comcast by a long shot"

My Other Reviews

I can't wait for the upload to get a bump.

Netflix works, no caps and a great promotional price.

member for 9.5 years, 2302 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 14 days ago


Review by jasstrom See Profile

  • Location: Washington,District Of Columbia,DC
  • Cost: $175 per month
Good "Reasonably good internet speeds."
Bad "Withdrew a retention bundle offered. Sloppy Installation. Poor web support."
Overall "Leaving with a bitter taste in my mouth. Look forward to better support elsewhere."

I have been with RCN for two years. From the point of installation, when I called supervisors to complain that the tech was installing the devices without the proper power supplies (a fire hazard when voltage, amperage and all aren't correct), to the TIVO quad rollout where the advertised Ipad software wasn't supported when I called in, I haven't been impressed by their support personnel's technical knowledge or understanding of customer concerns. The installer didn't understand Ethernet, and was only trained for the MOCA install. The phone rep didn't think it was a problem that the Ipad app was being advertised by RCN with limited functionality. I undid most of the installers work to improve my system.

RCN does a terrible job of listing support topics on their website. Try to find any substantial information on IMAP and or Ipv6, or anything else of substance on their website. Log into MyRCN and try to find any detailed information on your account, or change account settings. Any other ISP I've used has far better account GUIs than RCN. Try to find an online interface for their phone service.

Their speed was pretty good, and their programming was decent, but not enough to justify the price. So, I decided to switch ISP's. That is when 3 hours of retention discussions began. I agreed to a decent price for triple play bundle. Then I looked at their phone service, and realized that there was no online user interface. So, I cancelled the porting and called them back. I was given a nice price for a double play bundle.

An hour later my phone rang. Caller id said RCN. The caller hung up when I answered. 3 minutes later they called again. This time, another rep (who will go unnamed) informed me that they could not honor their offer, what I'd call a verbal contract, and withdrew the agreed bundle. I was shocked. RCN would rather offend a customer than honor an agreement. Well, offended I am, and a customer no longer. I will be switching to the Comcast X1 system shortly.

When I called back to discuss this with a supervisor (again unnamed), she was not going to budge, and claimed that she didn't see a note on my file from this a.m.'s discussion. She wanted to avoid that by going to my tripleplay bundle offer from the prior day. Funny how they tell you they record conversations for better service, but when it suits them, the note disappears.

Enough RCN and on to greener pastures. I have used many ISPs, and look forward to returning to Comcast.

member for 37 days, 0 visits, last login: 37 days ago
lodged 37 days ago


Review by steve1111 See Profile

  • Location: New York,New York,NY
  • Cost: $40 per month
Good "reliable cable internet"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

Cable at 50mbs.


It took two visits to install cable internet and two visits to install phone. For the first visit for each occasion, the technician arrived late and did not work.

Technical support seems to be in India. Most of the technical support provided has been good. But these are jobs for Americans which should not have been outsourced. Also sometimes I cannot understand people speaking English with Indian accents.

It is annoying that RCN tacked on a one dollar charge for paying online.


No fixed-term contract with penalties.

The sales staff gave me a good promotional package and, at the end of the year, Customer Support gave me another good package. The staff have been polite, friendly and professional. The phone service has always worked well and I remember only three internet outages.

I switched over to RCN from Verizon more than a year ago and I am so pleased I did so. I considered Verizon FIOS but thought that it was too expensive for my needs.

Given the monthly cost and quality of the service and quality of the staff I have been more than satisfied with RCN.

amended November 2011. RCN have come up with a new bundle, $50 plus charges, that is $65. With the one dollar charge for paying online it is $66. Not pleased about RCN's rate increase in a Recession. But Verizon and Time Warner charge even more..

amended December 2011. Now that there is an uproar that Verizon has tacked on a two dollar charge for paying online, perhaps there will also be an uproar that RCN has a one dollar charge for paying online.

amended February 2012. RCN have upgraded Internet service to 25mb download. For Free! Hooray!

amended May 2012. It has been a long long time since I've needed to call for technical support. Time Warner had a promotion in the neighborhood and offered to knock a few dollars from the price. I decided to stay with RCN because RCN promised no rate increase, because the Internet and Phone service has been so completely reliable and because I have found the staff at RCN to be so nice and professional.

amended July 2012. RCN now provides tech support from Pennsylvania instead of India. A wise decision. They have such pleasant and competent tech support people and I feel more confident. Bravo. I've just bumped up their score for tech support to 100 percent.

amended December 2012. Phone and Internet service went down for a few days because of Hurricane Sandy. All is now well. RCN is doing a good job.

NYC December 1 2013 RCN has continued to provide good service.

NYC July 9 2014. Without notification or my consent RCN has discontinued my copper wire POTS phone and replaced it with Home Digital Phone. The phone was working well on Friday afternoon. On Saturday night I discovered that my RCN Phone service had stopped working. The error message said "There may be a receiver off the hook". Hook my foot! After some initial troubleshooting I called RCN support who told me they would send round a technician who was going to install a Home Digital Phone. I told the representative that I did not want a Home Digital Phone and that I wanted my copper-wire service to be restored. She told me that this was not possible. So I allowed the technician to visit. He took out the old modem and plugged in a new modem. WAN comes in, Ethernet and Phone come out. Phone piggybacks on Internet. Internet outage means phone outage. My confidence and trust in RCN have gone way down and I am considering my options. I do not consider my current bundle to be value for money and I am downgrading my rating for RCN.

NYC August 5 2014. Cancelling Phone from my Phone plus Internet bundle was as difficult as separating Siamese twins. It took a few calls to RCN but finally they agreed to let me keep my Internet at a fair price. Also I upgraded from 25 to 50mbps.

member for 4.9 years, 611 visits, last login: 4 days ago
updated 44 days ago




RCN sliding

I'm with you. I've been with RCN for about twelve years, but something has changed upstairs and cost cutting has affected service and price. First, the quote above for internet of $66 is way off in my experience. I started with bundled service - phone, tv, internet - for about $145 - $160, but when I reduced services to only internet my monthly charge became $104! That's for internet alone! I'm sure all cable companies are suffering in this way, since people are opting not to have a land line, and realize they can watch all their TV via the internet, but that price is still way too much.

My own personal gripe with RCN was that I am renting out my apartment for two years while I care for my mother, but RCN would not allow me to keep my email address in the meantime unless my tenant conitnued with the service, which they were not interested in. Customer service told me in the spring that they had a plan where I could keep my email address for $3.95/mo, but when I called to disconnect service and sign up for the continued email, I was told that was no longer available, and was in fact not even available when the agent told me it was. Customer service, and their training has slid recently. One thing I loved about RCN was that their service agents all spoke English as a first language. That is no longer true, and half of what the agent said to me I could not understand. My assumption (and this sounds horribly prejudiced on my part) is that they are paying less for agents, or are doing a poorer job of training and screening them.

RCN used to bend over backwards to make things right - if they could have made an allowance for me to keep my address - as they are currently to all those customers who have that option grandfathered in - then they would have kept me as a customer because I would have naturally resumed service for another twelve years or longer when I moved back in. Now, not having that email address any more, I am free to shop around which I will, especially since they screwed me with the mis-information and overcharged me for the last six months.



Re: RCN sliding

Update 7/20/14
Well, shut my mouth! RCN contacted me and corrected my complaint. It turns out I CAN keep my email address as first explained. A very nice agent took my call and while he said he had never performed this particular service, it took him about five minutes to perform. So now my only issue is with the agent and the supervisor who earlier this week gave me incorrect information and their apparent lack of training. Time for a memo at customer service!

Review by ike3 See Profile

  • Location: Whitehall,Lehigh,PA
  • Cost: $40 per month
Good "Good speed for price"
Bad "No discount for customer-owned modems..."
Overall "Way better than what I came from..."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

October 2012 update:
Came back to RCN for broadband in October 2012 after suffering for two years with Service Electric (still have CableTV with SECTV because they still support analog tuners but internet upload speeds there were so horrible that I had to swap my Vonage service for Verizon Wireless @ Home service]).

Glad I came back to RCN for internet. For less money, I more than doubled my download speeds and tripled my upload speeds (though we still use the Verizon phone service...).

Have yet to have any issues.

Sep 2010 update:
Switched all services to Service Electric Cable TV & Communications (SECTV) after they finished their high-speed build-out...

Aug 2008 update:
Getting quite angry about price and value... HD channels are starting to come in a bit faster now (naturally, noting I really want to watch--where's SciFi channel?!?).

Power/CI plan is now a whopping $182 after tax with two HD-DVRs. Breakdown of charges:

- Mach-7: $37 ($40 less $3 for customer owned modem)

- Limited Cable: $15
- Expanded Cable: $35.04 (up $3.04)
- New Digital Vision: $29.95 (up from $16.05)
- PowerDigital: $10
- HD-DVRs: $17.95 each (up from $12.95 each)
- HD-Tier: $7.95
- Taxes: $10.62 (up from $8.43)

Time to make another call... last time I called about the HD-Tier they basically said the HD-DVR savings was a wash... now, it is an extra $8 for nothing...

Might need to price modem-only and check out DirecTv...

Jan 2008 update:
Getting a bit concerned with price and value... HD channels are coming slowly (TNT and Nat Geo added recently), but lag behind local competition (and very far behind Dish and DirecTV).

Power/CI plan is $153 after tax with two HD-DVRs. Breakdown of charges:

- Mach-7: $37 ($40 less $3 for customer owned modem)

- Limited Cable: $15
- Expanded Cable: $32
- New Digital Vision: $16.05
- PowerDigital: $10
- HD-DVRs: $12.95 each
- HD-Tier: $7.95
- Taxes: $8.43

Recent posting in RCN forum indicate "HD Tier" should now be free, but an email to RCN indicates current plan can't have that.

Jan 2005 Update:
Cable Modem: Sevice has been awesome. Seven megabit right now, reliably (own my own Motorola SB5100--couldn't get above 5 with the Toshiba they loaned out).

TV: Took forever to get an HD-DVR from them (actually, wasn't until they came out of BK did it become available to me--must have been a pending credit issue with Motoroloa...). They are still behind the other local cable co. in regards to HD channel selections (still don't have UPN, TNT or Bravo after a year of "yea, we'll have them soon").

Phone: Since they provide a nice detailed "here's how much each part of your package is costing you" bill, I saw that for unlimited regional calling and 8-features, I was paying nealry $40/mo. Well, didn't take a rocket scientist to know that with 7-megabit (10 in a few weeks!), Vonage for $25/mo is a deal... Once RCN accepts my Local Number Portability (LNP) request to transfer my phone number to Vonage, I won't have the ResiLink package (dropping to Power CI)... That being said, it has been 6-weeks and a dozen calls now for something that should take no more than three weeks and zero calls (next call is to the state PUC to register a complaint....). This is may major complaint of late (that and their prices are going above the competition's, tempting me to leave completely)...

BTW--it took a notice to the PUC to get RCN's butt in gear. Been using Vonage ever since...

Origial review:

Bidirectional Cable (max 1.5m/700k [1.1m/500k actual])
$110/mo (no contract, no setup fees, part of TV, Phone, Internet package--est. $40/mo based on other service's fees)
Toshiba 2500 bi-directional cable modem w/USB and 10-Base-T
Dynamic IP address

Order taken by a "sales guy" for the complete package (details below). Internet, phone and cable were installed the same day by one technician. Took the guy about 5-hours to get everything setup, including running new R6 coax cable throughout the house and mount a "master" box outside.

They ran out of time to complete the update of my Outlook accounts to use RCN's SMTP server for outbound email for my non-RCN accounts (my wife had to leave and they got booted). Only took a moment to do that my self.

Package Details: Resilink Gold ($110/mo)
- Bidirectional cable internet (one dynamice IP address, 4 POP email accounts, 10 MB personal webspace)
- Full Basic TV plus 1-digial converter with 15 HBO/Cinimax channels and 45 digital music channels
- Phone (one line, unlimited local and regional calling [610, 484, 215, 267, 302], "Ultra Feature Package" [voicemail, deluxe caller id, deluxe call-waiting caller id, call waiting, call forwarding, 3-way calling, unlimited *69 & *66], 9¢/min anytime long distance)

So far, so good. Took a bit to get my Linksys router working with the Toshiba cable modem, but after some tweaking (aka--turning off the modem for an hour), all was fine.

member for 13.9 years, 314 visits, last login: 43 days ago
updated 77 days ago


Review by cdr1000 See Profile

  • Location: Forest Hills,Queens,NY
  • Cost: $79 per month
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "Price"
Bad "They need A LOT of pressure when you ask them to fix your service"
Overall "We would like them to stay in business"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

Nothing changed at RCN... since 2001

Poor quality technical support, poor quality billing, poor quality customer retention policies.

Download speed is only 16-17 Mbps on a 50 Mbps connection.

member for 10.5 years, 1862 visits, last login: 25 days ago
updated 91 days ago


Review by HarryTorres See Profile

  • Location: Allentown,Lehigh,PA
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

I currently have 75/15 service from RCN, with a Cisco DPC3010 modem.

member for 12.8 years, 1730 visits, last login: 1 days ago
updated 110 days ago


Review by rky_81 See Profile

  • Location: USA
  • Cost: $130 per month
  • Install: about 10 days
Good "Cheaper the rivals. TIVO is awesome."
Bad "Not as many features as bigger competitors"
Overall "So far very satisfied with their service. "
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I switched from Verizon to RCN. Was not satisfied with Verizon, especially when they increased their prices of set top boxes within 3 months of signing a 2 year contract. When I called the customer service about the increase I was told that I cannot cancel my service without a penalty even though they increased the price. So I waited 1.5 years and cancelled the moment my contract has ended. I don't mind paying a little more as long as the companies are transparent about it. I really don't want to go to Comcast, but luckily my area has RCN too. I thought I will give it a try.

Installation took some time, a little more than expected. Got the TIVO package and I can't believe that I have been paying $28 / month for junk boxes from Verizon. It's been 15 days and so far no issues with internet and TV. At this point, I have nothing to complain about. Got the 50/10 internet package and so far got consistent speeds in the 40 -50 mbps range over wifi. I am getting very good netflix streaming which was awful with verizon.

My only disappointment is they don't have as many options as Verizon or comcast.

member for 147 days, 15 visits, last login: 108 days ago
lodged 147 days ago


Review by timmay_lars See Profile

  • Location: West Roxbury,Suffolk,MA
  • Cost: $107 per month (36 month contract)
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "Unlimited usage, static IP service."
Bad "pushed to bundle phone and/or cable, price goes up each year."
Overall "good value for price, may unbundle phone as I have already dropped cable TV."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I have the 25/2 Mb service bundled with phone services ($95) and static IP address service ($20) plus tax.

member for 10.8 years, 77 visits, last login: 1 days ago
lodged 172 days ago


Review by srr2 See Profile

  • Location: Bethlehem,Northampton,PA
  • Cost: $200 per month
Good "Cable modem, TV and VOIP Phone in one package, Good performance"
Bad "Customer (dis)Service, Tech (non)Support, thin HD lineup"
Overall "Very reliable, uncapped Internet,"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

Update, Feb 2014

No significant changes to report. Now have 75Mbit/15Mbit service which has proven to be very reliable. RCN's service is generally reliable, with one notable exception: major power outages. The days of always-on POTS are gone. RCN's VOIP is no more or less reliable than its other services, which means that when the head-end backup batteries are drained, everything goes. That takes about 10 hours. (T-Mo's cell service here isn't any better -- it drops out in around the same time frame, leaving us with nothing.)

As long as there's power, RCN's stuff works. I don't monitor uptime, but it's very very good. In the last year, I don't think anything has been down for longer than an hour or so, and that was due, IIRC, to a cable-cut. I get the speed I pay for 24/7. I consider myself lucky however, because that's not the norm in other areas of the Lehigh Valley.

Another big plus is that there are no caps that I'm aware of. But then, my usage is probably more or less typical. Running full speed downloads all day might get you a letter -- I don't know.

HD TV channel selection is still a little weak, with some very curious selections. For instance, they don't offer H2 in HD, but they have "Blaze" which has to be one of the worst pieces of dreck in all of TVLand. Etc. TV quality is still good. I don't seem to see the compression artifacts that others have complained about. I see no meaningful difference between RCN's signal and an OTA signal from a local source.

Phone works without issue for voice, fax, and my house alarm.

Mercifully, I haven't had to call CS for quite a while, so I don't have any new information on that. The problems with noisy billing seem to have gone away.

Update, Dec 2010

After finally finding and fixing two bad connectors on the underground drop to the house, RCN's service has proven to be very reliable. There are no more phone dropouts, no Internet dropouts, and only slight very infrequent pixellation on a few digital TV channels. This is still true a year after originally posted.

Mach 20 mostly does what it claims, though there are times when network congestion obviously slows things down, but that's mainly at prime time when I tend not to use it heavily anyway. My heaviest use is at times I always get full speeds in both directions. I'd like to have faster upstream than the 2500KByte/sec upstream that comes with the Mach20 service, though this appears fairly typical for other competent providers. This area is still DOCSIS 1.1 only, so speed offerings are limited.. The modem is an Arris TM502G telephony modem. It has been 100% reliable (exclusive of exterior cabling problems) and runs very cool. I subscribe only to a dynamic IP, but it appears that as long as the NIC MAC address doesn't change, neither does the dynamic IP. Network latencies are normally quite low, at least to the UBR -- on the order of a few msec.

I have three SDTV and one HD connection, including some premium services. These are also reliable. RCN provides Motorola DCT700 for SDTV and a variety of HD boxes. I have a DCX3200 which provides adequate functionality for most applications. The DCT700's weaknesses include not having a component video output, and no options to set audio mode. There's only one guide which can not be customized at all. You therefore have to sift through many unwanted and/or unsubscribed channels to find the ones you're looking for. It's still better than no guide, but not by much. There are a few timers you can set, including those for a single event, daily events, or M-F events. They're pretty easy to use and seem reliable. RCN provides a few different models of remotes. Depending on your use, they may or may not be adequate or even useful. They're all plagued by use of inferior membrane switches and tend to wear out the popular buttons very quickly. So far, RCN has been willing to swap them out over the counter at no charge.

I recently upgraded to HDTV on one system. The switchover was extremely easy. All you have to do is walk into the customer service center with your old converter and ask for an HD one. Everything else was automatic. The counter personnel were very fast, accurate, and efficient. It was about the most painless transaction I've ever had with RCN.

The DCX3200 (along with a number of others in the Motorola family) offers a nice extra feature - remotable IR remote control input. You have to buy an IR sensor, but all that's necessary is plugging it in. You can then hide the big ugly converter box out of view, as long as you make sure that it gets adequate ventilation because it's a power hog.

RCN's HD maxes out at 1080i. With a good source, it looks fine, so I assume that they're not performing satellite-level compression on what they deliver. Retransmitted local channels are very good, with practically no compression artifacts.

There are two important deficiencies to RCN's service: Tech support and Billing. Tech support is almost always offshore. They're uniformly impossible to understand on the phone, and utterly incompetent when it comes to solving problems more complex than "The cable box power supply is unplugged". When something goes wrong, you can pretty much count on having to make multiple calls and then being put through endless irrelevant hoops before getting to the real issue at hand.

They also offer a variety of VOD. There's the usual list of PPV movies, premium channel re-runs, and some free stuff. The program material is fine, but navigating the VOD service is just horrible. "Clumsy" and "Slow" only BEGINS to capture the experience. When a program is finished, you have to start over from the beginning. Navigating the tree structure of the menu system is just awful. Painful. SLOW, with a million button pushes. They ought to look to Netflix for ideas on how to deliver VOD programming. The other thing they should have is a real-time listing of VOD content on their web site. As it is, if you think you might want to watch something, you have to endure the full pain of the horrible menu system just to see what's available. Then there are the things that *appear* to be available to you, but actually *aren't* which you find out only when it's too late. Too bad, Bunkie, it's back to the TOP of the Pain-Menu for you for guessing wrong!

Billing..... what a nightmare. I'm not kidding -- I dread opening the bill every month, wondering what they've cooked up now. For the last year, the price they're charging has changed EVERY month. I was getting so frustrated with it that there were some pretty hostile phone calls to Billing. Most of the time, the problem was fixable, but then, when the next bill comes you find out that the CSR didn't do what s/he said s/he was going to do. This is ENDEMIC. They are absolutely unaccountable for what they say, and apparently will tell you anything to get you off the phone. Then, to add insult to injury, after one particularly egregious screwup, this letter comes from some guy who claims to be the "general manager". The letter is on RCN letterhead, but it has NO CONTACT INFORMATION and NO DATE on it. It promises that "since you're a good valuable customer, your pricing will not change for the foreseeable future." Well, apparently this guy, whoever he is, lives on some other planet because, as usual, the VERY NEXT BILL had a new, much higher price on it. These people make dealing with this company a nightmare.

If RCN would get their act together on pricing and support, they'd actually be pretty good and I'd be pleased to give them my business and a higher rating here.

One last gripe I have with RCN is their apparent inability to control the volume level of locally inserted commercials. Some of them are just ridiculous, with -- I'm not kidding -- volume at least 10dB higher than the program content, It's especially bad with those from local car dealers, it seems. While the primary responsibility for this unprofessional behavior probably lies more with the amateurish fools that run the local ad companies (that would be you, Viamedia), ultimately RCN has to take responsibility for what goes out over their system. Maybe they'll get serious about getting this under control when the new FCC rules on this subject go into effect.

Otherwise, would I recommend RCN to my neighbors at this time? Maybe. I can tolerate the support deficiencies and price because there's no viable alternative right now. VZ DSL has gone down the drain here and Service Electric still hasn't upgraded this area to two-way, however as of late 2010 they are in the process, so it will be very interesting to see what they have to offer in the way of competition.

member for 12.7 years, 1918 visits, last login: 23 days ago
updated 208 days ago


Review by emusselman See Profile

  • Location: Chicago,Cook,IL
  • Cost: $112 per month
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "Fast, reliable internet speeds. Price is considerably better than Comcast, and speeds are much faster than Uverse."
Bad "Customer service requires you to jump through hoops if you run into internet issues."
Overall "RCN is a great alternative to Comcast or other cable providers, and is worth the switch."

I have a bundle that includes a Tivo quad tuner, whole-home bundle. The main unit records 4 shows at once, and the add-on units act as separate tuners that can play and control the main DVR. Internet is 50 Mbps download and 6 Mbps upload.

Order and installation process was painless.

We own DOCSIS 3 modem, otherwise the rental fee is $5 per month. By purchasing one, it paid for itself in the first year.

Service has mostly been very reliable and good. We ran into trouble with slow internet during peak evening hours after 8 months of normal service, which required several calls to Customer Service and two technician visits. Ultimately the problem was with RCN's network, which was corrected once it was identified. My only complaint is that we had to jump through several frustrating hoops with tech service visits before the real issue was finally discovered. However, once the issue was resolved we are were back to full speed and were offered a generous credit for the time we experienced problems.

With all this in mind, I would recommend RCN over other cable companies hands down.

member for 293 days, 16 visits, last login: 244 days ago
lodged 250 days ago




Good to know!

Hmm, good to know, I'll keep them in mind for when Comcast screws up!