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RCN CABLE page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating Unavailable
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Reviews:
bullet 358 reviews (187 good) (83 bad)
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Review by itnetpro See Profile

  • Location: Darby,Delaware,PA
  • Cost: $99 per month
  • Install: about 14 days
Good "Low cost bundled services, Short hold times, 1st rate installation."
Bad "Packet loss can get high during peak hours, capped speeds."
Overall "Reliable service backed up with decent support but network is close to capacity."
Pre Sales information:
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Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I first started with broadband a few years ago when Bell Atlantic came to town. I found DSL to be a nightmare and I allowed it to last for two years. Around 6 months ago I dumped it for Comcast/@home service. Comcast/@home was always reliable with speeds around 3000 down 1000 up at all times. If it was not for the breakup of Comcast/@home I would have had no reason to change. Concerned about future Comcast service nightmares comming in January and the lure of saving 25% on Phone/Cable/Internet (Reslink Gold package) I decided that it was time for a change.

I called RCN the day they rolled out their service in my area (2 weeks ago). Hold time for a sales rep was less then 1 minute. I gave the Rep an anal exam and he passed with flying colors. He answered every question I had on all three services without a pause. I also found him to be very honest. He did not over sell. I was very happy that I was not required to sign a contract.

The Deal: Free install of all three bundled services no contracts, no downpayments and I can dump them anytime with no penalty.

The Cost: $119 per month - $20.02 per month until 12/31/02 = $99 before taxes per month!

That gets me unlimited internet with 4 mail boxes, Digital Cable with HBO/Cinamax, Phone service with 10 features (Including Caller ID, 3Way, Voice mail, unlimited local and regional calling)

They scheduled my install 14 days from my order. I gave them a pass since the sales rep appoligized for the delay. He said that since @home went belly up that they were jammed with new orders. Two installers arrived on time when promised. They were very thorough insisting that all the old Comcast wires had to be removed and replaced with new heavy gauge RCN approved wires. My previous installer from Comcast as well as Bell Atlantic DSL had cut corners. I was expecting the same from RCN but instead I was impressed with their prompt, professional, courteous service. They also took out the time to explain how the cable worked (I can still remember the mud that Bell Atlantic jack ass tracked throughout my home). It took two hours total to install everything.

I decided to do some testing. First I compared their cable channel set up against Comcast and found RCN to offer more of what I wanted including Tech Tv which I missed from my old DDS days. Hands down RCN won on their variety, sound and picture quality as well as the over all value. Next I decided to test out their phone system. It was easy to use. I did have a question about one of the features so I decided to give phone tech support a call. I was on hold for less then 3 minutes and the tech answered my question with ease. I was considering upgrading my package to add another feature that I wanted and she was very clear about how it would effect my cost and the package. She convinced me that it was better to keep what I had then upgrade my phone package and I am happy that I took her advice. Then I went to test my internet. The speed was real slow and I was showing 40% packet loss. I called RCN and spent less then 5 minutes on hold. The tech was not quite as friendly as the others I had spoken with but he was knowledgeable. I have vast experiance talking to all levels of tech support for many many companies and I can say without a doubt that this tech was decent. He did some test and determined that there was a power flux on my line. He then had me sit in front of my TV and go through a few channels (I guess they were channels that were close to the frq that the cable was on) to see if they were distorted. Sure enough out of 200+ channels I had two that were slightly distorted. Hell most of the time I had 15-20 that were distorted on Comcast and they had told me that it was normal. To have two stinking channels that were just slightly distorted was no big deal. The tech told me that they should be clear and that was not the norm. He said they needed to send someone out to check the lines inside the house but only the tv techs could submit a ticket for the wiring so he transfered me over. This time I spent less then 1 minute on hold and the tv guy came on. He listened to what the other tech told me and put me on hold for a mnute then put a ticket through for a house call. He said the best he could do was one week away for a visit. He mentioned that they were bogged down from all the new connects but without me asking he said that he would do what he could and try to get a tech out to me the next day since my service was so new. He said that he would give me a call back that night if he could put a ticket in for next day service. I never did get a call back but the connection got better after 24 hours. I still see around 5-10% packet loss but the data stream seems to always give around 1100-1300 down and 700-800 up so its really no big deal. I never had any time outs while watching BBC news or streaming video or music from half way around the world so I give them a pass on the packet loss. As far as the speed, it is much slower then Comcast/@home was but considering that Comcast will be switching everyone onto their own network in January I can live with it. From what I hear from the folks that were already switched from @home to Comcast they are dealing with nightmares and I doubt that Comcast will give the same solid performance that @home did for so long.

With the money I am saving and the awesome value from their Gold Link package It would take a lot for me to ever go back to Verizon or even consider letting a Comcast sales person talk to me again.

One last note. There is nothing like watching the installers cut the Verizon and Comcast lines comming into my home. At last we have real competiton in my neighborhood and dont have to depend on these two over priced underwelming lazy options for our local Cable, Internet and Phone. When I spoke to Comcast about disconnecting my Cable/Internet they did not even try to keep me. They offered me nothing except for an arrogant response from the customer service lady saying and I quote "You will be back". Well they were right when I switched to the Dish but this time I hope they are wrong.

John...

member for 12.7 years, 263 visits, last login: 2.5 years ago
lodged 12.5 years ago

Comments:

Review by rsp1 See Profile

  • Location: New York,New York,NY
  • Cost: $125 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "Consistently fast speeds, reliability"
Bad "customer service"
Overall "Overall positive experience"
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I purchased the RCN cable service as part of a cable/telephone/internet package. It was installed promply and I have experienced consistently fast connections and strong reliability (it doens't hurt that I'm about 2 blocks for their main access point in lower manhattan, however).

While their customer service leaves you on hold for an hour, it is available 24-7 and while not the most knowledgable people, they try (unlike my experience with other providers).

I've since setup a router with a wireless network in my house and they helped me with a few points. (one point - they will only assign 1 IP per household, thus you cannot simply use a hub)

member for 12.5 years, 3 visits, last login: 12.2 years ago
lodged 12.5 years ago

Comments:

Review by Callanan See Profile

  • Location: Carmel,Putnam,NY
  • Cost: $39 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "Fast, reliable, and the tech support is both knowledgable and friendly"
Bad "when cable is down, thereb is no dial up replacement (they used to offer this)"
Overall "Beats DSL hands down, and since it runs through your NIC, installation is dummy proof"
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I have had RCN for about 3 years now. I was the first to get the 2 way in my area, and while it was good when they started, it even better now.

RCN's Tech Support is easlily the best I have ever dealt with. The phone support guys\gals are knowledable, and seem to be techies, not just propted readers.

Best in the business!!

Frank

member for 12.5 years, 3 visits, last login: 10.6 years ago
lodged 12.5 years ago

Comments:






Review by tcdrake4 See Profile

  • Location: Chicago,Cook,IL
  • Cost: $45 per month
  • Install: about 2 days
Good "Ordered it on Monday installed on Wednesday"
Bad "None yet"
Overall "Fairly inexpensive and getting good speed."
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Fast install, fast speed, good price.

I tried to get Earthlink DSL, they said I could not get it becuase I have RCN for local telephone and they only work with Ameritech. So that sucked. I did not want to go with Cable becuase I didn't want to share bandwidth. Sucked it up and went with Cable anyways, so far it is great. Don't see any slow downs anytime I am on it.

The price: They have a special on right now $49.95 for install, then $22.02 for first three months. After that it is $45.95 / month. No contract.

Install did not go too smooth. 4 techs showed up on time. 3 out of the 4 were learning what to do, so that slowed things down a little. I didn't care about that. What did cause the major slow down was they left before the modem synched upand said that if it didn't within an hour call tech support. So of course it didn't synch. Gave tech support a call and had the guys back out to fix it in a half hour. They tested the cable to make sure it had a good signal, it did. Then they called their tech support to make sure the modem was Provisioned, it was not. So they provisioned it remotely. It took about 30 sec. for it to synch then.

So if it doesn't synch, make sure it is provisioned.

It took about 4 hours total from start to finish. Could have been a half hour if the modem was provisioned.

____________________________________________________________________
Here are a couple of speed tests for a little more info.

2001-11-05 15:43:14 Speed test (wc) 1089/1380 kbps
2001-11-05 15:41:44 Speed test (wc) 1284/1305 kbps

____________________________________________________________________

Update on my speed.
2001-11-16 00:51:03 Speed test (wc) 758/251 kbps
2001-11-16 00:38:06 Speed test (wc) 774/245 kbps
2001-11-16 00:30:59 Speed test (wc) 793/245 kbps

Seems to be slowing down, still good speeds to me but wish I had the speeds I started out at! If it slows down anymore I'll give RCN a call and see what is going on.



member for 13.4 years, 340 visits, last login: 10.8 years ago
updated 12.6 years ago

Comments:

Review by citydog1 See Profile

  • Location: Chicago,Cook,IL
  • Cost: $45 per month
  • Install: about 4 days
Good "Fast Install and No term commitment"
Bad "The service is way oversubscribed....slow throughput and high packet loss."
Overall "You're better off waiting longer to get DSL installed"
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I recntly moved from one end of Lakeview to the other in Chicago. At my old apartment I had DSL from COVAD. While the installation was brutal, my speeds were excellent (1300K/300K) and the connection never wavered in over a year. When I moved I decided to order a cable modem through RCN. I had already chosen them for Cable TV and I wouldn't have to wait 2 months to get DSL. I ordered on Friday and had the Tech install it the following Tuesday. The tech was on time and within the two hour installation time that they promised. The equipment was a beatup looking Nortel Cable modem. It isn't pretty to look at but it works. They next day I hooked up my PC's and firewall and almost immediately had problems. My speeds in the evenings range anywhere form 100 Kbps to 14 Kbps on download and around 60 Kbps for upload. My peak speed was only 450 Kbps at odd hours of the morning and middle of the day. I also expereince high packet loss during peak times, as much as 20%. I called RCN, and they sent a tech out within two days and again he was ontime. After an hour of checking signal strengths, configuratoins, etc and everything coming back good; they said a lot of people have the service in my area. So this is as good as it gets. I am glad there is no minimum term as I ordered DSL today. They have great cable TV, just as an ISP they suck!

member for 12.6 years, 5 visits, last login: 12.6 years ago
lodged 12.6 years ago

Comments:

Review by hdiffly See Profile

  • Location: New York,New York,NY
  • Cost: $118 per month
Good "They used to have some good points, but they are the absolute worst currently"
Bad "The worst customer experience I have ever put up with."
Overall "They do not know what the heck they are doing."
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(ratings well below consensus)

** USER UPDATE ** ** USER UPDATE **

OK people, I had Roadrunner installed this morning.... and what an incredible difference! I never had speeds like this with RCN. Just ran the linkLINE speedtest on this site (the one in LA), and was given the message.. "At least 39 times faster than a 56K modem." With RCN, I averaged about 7 times faster than a 56K modem.

IF ANY OF YOU HAVE RCN IN NEW YORK... GO OUT AND GET ROAD RUNNER!

I have been with RCN for 2 years. The service was very good until they started to upgrade the service by going from Hybrid Modems to 3com Modems. And those of us who were the loyal customers from the beginning, are left with an old network using very outdated equiptment. My connections are so poor lately that I find myself dialing up with my 56K modem just to have a reliable connection. Tech support is aware and explains my problem away as growing pains, and tell me that I must wait an unspecified amount of time for them to upgrade the network I am on.

I am so very upset with RCN.

member for 13.5 years, 441 visits, last login: 223 days ago
lodged 12.7 years ago

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Review by philchung See Profile

  • Location: New York,New York,NY
  • Cost: $118 per month (month by month)
  • Install: about 10 days
Good "value for the money"
Bad "inept installation coordination"
Overall "as long as you don't have to deal with them, the product is great"
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I am about 15 min away from the World Trade Center and my phone was knocked out because of that. I decided to switch to rcn since their phone service was still up. I got the Resilink gold package that has phone/cable/cable modem. They installed phone in two days and cable/cable modem in ten days. Initially, they setup my phone on the wrong plan and took a few calls to get it right. They missed their cable appt twice and I was credited $20 per missed visit. As long as you understand what you want them to do, and follow up on them, you get a pretty good service for what you pay. Seems if I ever need support, I need to contact the internet dept since no one in the phone and cable tech support can answer my questions. I was waiting for time warner cable to get dtv and cable modems in my area forever and every time I called, they repeated it would arrive in a month or so... for the past year and a half! Now I finally got broadband, more cable channels than I did with time warner analog in manhattan and much cheaper int'l long distance rates for phone than verizon.

My cable into the apt gets split twice before I can get it to my cable modem. The cable guy was very knowledgeable with cable and splitters, but I needed to muck around setting the gateway and dns settings since they were not set by dhcp for some reason. On avg, I get around 1300/700 behind my router on Win98 which I thought was not great, but decent speed considering the splitters.

member for 12.8 years, 607 visits, last login: 9.6 years ago
lodged 12.7 years ago

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Review by kelsy13 See Profile

  • Location: Sharon Hill,Delaware,PA
  • Cost: $123 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "reliable, great tech support, available 24/7, always willing to help"
Bad "Couldn't fix my dying computer."
Overall "excellent service and support, very friendly and customer oriented"
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I had Bellatlantic DSL which was fine. Verizon bought them out and I watched the customer service go down hill. I hated the service and started looking around for another ISP. RCN was just starting out in my area. I decided that their ratings overall were far better then any of the other ISPs in my area.

I had a sales rep come to my home and explain their entire set up to us. We set up a date for installation of cable, phone & internet. The installers ( there was 6 because of the steel and concrete construction of my house ) arrived on time and were great. They had me up and running long before the other cable company could.

They installed the Toshiba PCX1100 modem. My speed and reliablity of service have been wonderful.

I have called the tech support many times for help and they have always done their best to help me find/fix the problem. I have only had one time when their server being down in the past year.



member for 13.7 years, 36 visits, last login: 12.2 years ago
lodged 12.8 years ago

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Review by bkhorn See Profile

  • Location: Easton,Northampton,PA
  • Cost: $29 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "Always on"
Bad "1st line tech support could be better"
Overall "Better than DSL"
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I had Verizon DSL before moving here and getting RCN Cable, Internet & Phone. I had problems at first thanks to some not-to-bright installers. Once I got the field tech out things got fixed. Then the Toshiba PCX1100 modem decides to act up. This modem is very picky. It can't handle line noise and looses sync. I was able to get them to replace it with a 3COM Sharkfin and have been on-line 24x7 since. Over all I am very pleased with RCN Cable Internet. I really like the fact that there dynamic IP lease is 30 days or more. All most like having a Static IP.

member for 14.3 years, 2964 visits, last login: 2.7 years ago
lodged 12.8 years ago

Comments:

Review by maxic2 See Profile

  • Location: Framingham,Middlesex,MA
  • Cost: $123 per month
  • Install: about 9 days
Good "Reliable, relatively cheap"
Bad "Overly restrictive network configuration"
Overall "Good for an average user, bad choice if you like to be in control"
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(ratings match consensus)

My first encounter with RCN was July 20ish, when I called them to request a setup for the house I was closing on 8/8/01. I was going to move in approximately three-four days later, so I asked them to set me up on 8/11. They said they couldn't accept my request while the previous owners still had their service connected, and they also told me that as soon as they got the disconnection request, they would give me a call and have my request taken care of.

On 8/9, not hearing back from RCN, I called their customer service again, and after spending ~30 minutes on the phone, I was told that it was too late to have the installation done the same week, so my installation date was tentatively set for 8/17/01 (a week later than I hoped for and I felt was justified considering the date of my original call) with the promise that one of their supervisors would call me to reschedule for an earlier date. As I suspected, no one ever called me, so I was stuck for a week without Internet access (which I need, since I'm basically on a 24/7 call schedule, and I must have access to my company's servers no matter where I am), and without a working phone line at home (Cable TV I can live without, until the next season of The Sopranos).

This ordeal ended well, with a nice guy appearing on the doorstep on time; he ran around the house, and within one hour I was all set. The next thing was to find out what I got (BTW, $123 is the "Gold" package - digital cable with multiple premium channels, cable Internet, and a full-featured phone line). So, here's the breakdown of features:

1. Speed - consistent 1.1Mbps downstream and 400Kbps upstream - no Guinness Book of Records here, but still pretty decent.

2. traceroutes give good numbers, mostly staying within 100ms for major backbones.

3. NNTP carries the really useful stuff, with the retention a little over 24 hours - you can get what you need if you're quick.

These are the good things, now for the bad stuff:

4. RCN (at least here in Eastern Mass) fell victim to the Code Red scare, so no port 80 inbound. If you want to run a web server that doesn't fit into the 10MB of free web space RCN provides - have you credit card ready to pay for hosting.

5. As if filtering 80 inbound is not enough, port 80 outbound goes through transparent proxies (again, that may be specific for Eastern Mass). Go to a web site whose access_log you can see, get a couple of pages from there and check the corresponding entries. You won't see your system's IP address. Instead, you will see RCN's cache servers doing the request for you. Do you feel comfortable knowing that all your browsing goes through a proxy no matter what you specify in your IE? I don't.

Also, today my wife complained that she couldn't use her university's proxy server to access Internet article databases (a small explanation for non-research people: scientific journals are indexed by multiple databases that charge users for access; universities pay and have access enabled for them based on IP address - if you want to use such database, you either do it from a desktop on campus, or go through a university proxy server). I knew immediately that the problem was with RCN: the university's proxy is listening on port 80, so all requests were intercepted by RCN, and my wife's browser settings were simply ignored. I called RCN, and after 45 minutes (yes, that's forty five minutes) of waiting, I spent another 30 minutes talking to a clueless guy who was lucky to be in Springfield, Mass, where the transparent proxying is not used, so he was getting a result completely different from what I had. After I walked him through their network setup ("customer support" as in "supported by customers"), he finally went to talk to a specialist and got back to me with "Sir, please ask the university to enable a different port on their proxy server."

My answer to this? I'm going to teach my wife to use VPN.

member for 12.9 years, 6 visits, last login: 11.1 years ago
lodged 12.9 years ago

Comments: