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CT Communications page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating Unavailable
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Reviews:
bullet 2 reviews (1 good) (1 bad)
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Review by tdb See Profile

  • Location: Concord,Cabarrus,NC
  • Cost: $29 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 14 days
Good "Nice people work there"
Bad "Unacceptably slow speeds, even for the few who can get fiber optic"
Overall "Not doing enough to keep up with the times."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

My wife and I decided to switch to dsl from cable after buying our first house in Concord, NC. CT Communications is the local phone company, and has been for the past 100 years or so (it used to be called simply, "Concord Telephone"). They were offering a discount on their dsl service with purchased with local phone service, and my wife and I were getting fed up with RoadRunner, so we decided to switch. The offer we took is here:

»www.ctc.net/Residential/Connecti···asp?id=1

We opted for the eSonic xtreme 10Mbps down, 1Mbps up since it was twice the speed of our fastest cable modem service. I also do a great deal of uploading and downloading in the background, and the cable connection always lagged because of it. I also liked that they apparently do not have any restrictions on running public servers for their broadband accounts. (see AUP here: »www.ctc.net/ABOUT_CTC/internet.asp ) They let you do pretty much anything you want with your connection, be it commercial or non-commercial. The only thing that they do not want you doing is sharing your connection with others. (Sorry, no free wifi hotspots or half-sies with the neighbors). The only downside I have found is the lack of details about the service on their website, and an AUP that should be rewritten. But then again, this is just the local phone company and not SBC/Verizon/AT&T. I doubt they have more than 5,000 to 10,000 dsl customers.

Order to installation was two weeks, as that was their first available appointment time. My wife told me the installer came promptly at 10 a.m. and set the service up with no problems. He was nice and friendly, and offered to change the web browser's homepage to myctc.net instead of AOL. (I had him install the dsl on a Windows laptop since few people know how to set up a Linux server.) It turns out having the Windows box available was not necessary, as there is no additional software needed to set the service up. We were given a Zhone 6211 ADSL2+ modem, which is included in the monthly rate. (CT Communications does not allow anything other than their own hardware on the system.) There is no other software needed to use the service. No login, no PPoE setup, nothing but an Ethernet card. (I did not know this before the installation, and expected to have to muck around with login/passwords, network settings, etc... just to change the modem over to a new computer. It turns out you just plug it in to the new computer and it works, just like a cable modem.) The Zhone modem's internal diagnostics and settings page are also accessible and have not been locked out by ctc.net .

All of the documentation to set up pop/smtp mail access, along with Usenet, is available online at »ctc.custhelp.com/ . Usenet service is through Giganews, so the retention and completeness should be fine.

I ran a few speed tests so far, and I have been able to pretty much get the advertised speeds. Here is one that got the best results:

»/im/33307322/4844.png

That specific test server has consistently given me those speeds. The other servers showed speeds from around half the advertised rate to most of the advertised rate, but that is probably due to congestion at the test server and not ctc.net . I have consistently hit 9.3 Mbps down on ctc.net's own internal speed test. (Which is fine with me, since they can only guarantee speeds within their own network.) Reliability so far has been fine, but we have only had it for four days. It has managed to stay up longer than our old RoadRunner service did, though.

As of right now, I am quite happy with my new dsl service from ctc.net. You can't beat the price and bandwidth. The rate does go up after a year, so I will probably have to see what I will do when it is over. But for now, I am quite happy. The service has been reliable for the past four days that we have had it, and everything seems to be working great.

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Update

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It has been about six months since we got the service, and everything is still running great. No downtime and still getting pretty close to the advertised speeds. Windstream has since bought out CTC, and so far it looks like they have left the internet side alone. Customer service told me they would still honor the service tier and speed we are paying for at least through the end of the 12 month agreement. I don't think that Windstream will drop the speeds for CTC customers since the infrastructure is there to support it. It sounds like CTC customer support is getting moved to Matthews, NC, which is just south of here. I have read the horror stories in the Windstream forums about tech support getting outsourced to India (Wipro). I'm not looking forward to that, though. I don't think it will be an issue though since I have had no problems with the service at all.

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Update 2

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Finally gave up on CT Communications, which had since become Windstream. CT had built out an impressive fiber optic network in Concord and parts of Kannapolis, and was even doing trials for FTTH with television service included. Unfortunately everything came to a screeching halt once Windstream bought them. I tried for years to get FTTH service at my old house, but Windstream would not do it. I waited patiently for VDSL or ADSL2 to bring a speed boost, but was constantly told it was not available yet. I met a line tech out in the field one day who told me that all the equipment was in place for not only VDSL ADSL2, but that Windstream simply was not turning it on. He even told me that there was fiber hung throughout most of the city, but Windstream just would not take the final step and offer it. I was excited to learn that my new house was in one of the few neighborhoods where Windstream offered FTTH for both phone and internet. After talking to numerous people in both the Windstream local office and elsewhere, I was never able to get a straight answer about it. I finally found another field tech who was one street over from my house doing an install. He confirmed that all the service in my neighborhood was indeed fiber optic. Unfortunately though, Windstream still only offers the 12 down, 1 up plan for fiber customers. I finally just gave up and switched back to TWC just so that I could get decent speeds. Everyone at Windstream was very friendly, and as helpful as they could have been. But in the end, the fact that they appear to have no interest in using their fiber optic network made me leave. I will return as soon as they come to their senses and start offering the 100 down / 100 up speeds all that fiber can support.

member for 12.5 years, 1243 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 1.2 years ago

Comments:

Review by keanem See Profile

  • Location: Concord,Cabarrus,NC
  • Cost: $29 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 6 days
Good "No service throttling! You get what you pay for 24x7!"
Bad "None"
Overall "Fantastic value -- 10Mbps down for 29.99/month."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

Unlike having ADSL through bellsouth, CT Communications (ctc.net) really gives you the speed you sign up to get. These folks are great!

member for 12 years, 97 visits, last login: 1 year ago
lodged 7.3 years ago

Comments: