dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
    ISP Rolodex Intro Local ISPs Members U-Verse FiOS FiOS Soon
spc

spacer




how-to block ads



ACS Alaska page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating Unavailable
More reviews are required before ratings can be averaged

Reviews:
bullet 24 reviews (5 good) (11 bad)
bullet Submit a review by email click here
bullet login for new review notification feature

Review by jrlawso See Profile

  • Location: Anchorage,Anchorage,AK
  • Cost Contract price not specified. (month by month)





member for 5 years, 6 visits, last login: 330 days ago
updated 330 days ago

Comments:

jmdolphin

@mycingular.net

lied to

offered me a roku to join. 4 months later no roku. some days there is no getting on internet. to slow.






Review by SoLongACS See Profile

  • Location: Anchorage,Anchorage,AK
  • Cost: $90 per month
Good "Hmm... can't think of anything"
Bad "Limited e-mail space, slow Internet connection, slow to modernize"
Overall "This company is stuck in the Stone Age, technologically-speaking"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

Geez, where do I start? Ok, I’ll start at the beginning.

I bought my house in 1990 and of course, the first thing I did was to get phone and Internet service. So I went to the primary telecom in Anchorage, which at the time was the Anchorage Telephone Utility (ATU). I got their basic plain-old-telephone service (POTS – a wired connection) and their 14.4Kb dial-up Internet service, and an e-mail account with 10MB of storage space. That doesn’t sound very impressive, but remember that was back in 1990, so it was pretty much the standard at the time.

ATU was eventually purchased and taken over by Alaska Communications System (ACS), and my phone, Internet, and e-mail service naturally went along for the ride. As we know, technology marches steadily forward, and eventually (somewhere around 1998-2000 or so) ACS was able to offer 1MB DSL service to my house, so I ditched the slow dial-up modem and signed up for the DSL. But the only way to get the DSL was to bundle it with a bunch of useless (to me) phone services. Even with the DSL service though, I was still limited to 10MB of storage space for my e-mail account. So phone, 1MB Internet, and e-mail cost me $90/month.

Fast forward to today, end of 2013. What’s changed with ACS? Well, they now offer DSL speeds of 320K, 1M, 3M, 4M, 7M, and 10M. But of course, the only options available to me at my house are the 320K and 1M speeds, even though I’m right in the middle of urban Anchorage. Although I have the 1M DSL service, I have never actually gotten anything close to that speed. Now I know, the speeds advertised by service providers are really just maximum theoretical speeds, which in reality are virtually never achieved. But my actual speeds are typically only about 30% of the maximum, or around 300K. The best I’ve ever had was 490K - the worst, 90K. So sure, I don’t expect speeds of 900K from a 1M connection, but I sure as heck expect more than 300K.

So what about my e-mail service? Twenty-three years after getting my e-mail account with its 10MB of storage space, ACS still has done nothing to increase it. I’m still stuck at 10MB of storage. Geez, what is this, 1990, when hard drives cost something like $600 for a 300MB drive? I went down to ACS’s office to see if I could bump up my storage from 10MB to a still measly 100MB (so, an additional 90MB). I was pleased to hear them say, “Yes, we can get you another 90MB of space." Then they continued, "That’ll be an additional charge of $90 per month.” WHAT?!!! $90.00 PER MONTH, ON TOP OF MY EXISTING $90 PER MONTH PHONE/INTERNET BUNDLE?!! What kind of distorted reality does this company operate in? Hello? Earth to ACS – it’s 2013; you can buy a 1 TERABYTE hard drive for $90! Why do you think you’re doing me a favor by giving me the “option” of paying $90 PER MONTH for 90MB of hard drive space? ACS doesn’t have a clue.

Bottom line: ACS is a company stuck in the late 1980’s-early 1990’s. I have seen no technological progress from them for the past 23 years. You’d think that after several decades of collecting $90 per month for, in reality, a 300K Internet connection, that they’d be sitting on wads of cash and would upgrade their infrastructure. But no. They act like they’re the only game in town, with no competition. But guess what? There is competition – it’s called GCI. And I just cancelled everything I have with ACS and moved it to GCI (landline phone, 1GB of e-mail space, 15M Internet connection, same price as ACS). So good riddance, ACS!

member for 1 year, 4 visits, last login: 93 days ago
updated 1 year ago

Comments:
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

E-mail.

Email is not a mission critical services to ISPs. Many do not offer an more than a few megs unless they have partnered with Google. But if you require more storage space for your email why not look at the free providers?
SoLongACS

join:2013-10-29
USA
Reviews:
·ACS Alaska

Re: E-mail.

Yes, of course I know I could use gmail or another free e-mail provider. The real issue for me was that I had the same e-mail address for 23 years, and I wanted to keep it. Going to another e-mail provider would require me to get a different e-mail address. And yes, I know that I could forward mail from my 23-year old e-mail address to a free e-mail provider, but that's just a messy solution. So yeah, I know e-mail is an ancillary service with ISPs, but geez, you'd think that in today's environment, they'd be able to provide more than 10MB of space.

In the end, I dumped ACS entirely (phone and Internet) and signed up with their competitor, GCI. And yes, I did have to get a new e-mail address, but the difference was minor - went from ___@alaska.net to ___@gci.net. It was a hard bullet to bite, but I'm glad I switched because GCI's services are light-years ahead of ACS's (example: my 15Mb cable modem from GCI gives me consistent speeds of 15.2 Mb - that's something like 35-40 times faster than what I could ever get from ACS!).

Review by Anarch_Angel See Profile

  • Location: Kasilof,Kenai Peninsula,AK
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "It exists, has mostly consistent speeds"
Bad "Expensive, terrible customer support, regular service outages, unreliable routing"
Overall "You're probably going to be stuck with them if you live in AK"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I have had this service for a few years now. I'm not happy with it.

First and foremost, there's the price. I'm paying for their 320/240kbps DSL package at $50/mo. Combined with the exorbitant phone line fees that they charge just to have a landline that I don't use for anything other than internet anymore, the monthly cost is over $70/mo just to have a slow internet connection. ACS plugs their DSL as a "bundle", where in addition to the actual internet connection, you're given a crapload of useless features that have no relevance in this day and age, including a couple of email addresses, a few minutes of monthly long distance calls, and custom ringers. Oh, what a steal. It's like this entire half of the company isn't aware that cellphones exist yet. You CANNOT negotiate with the company to drop those features and get a better price; either you buy the bundle, or you get no internet. Anywhere else, you could get a 3Mbps connection for less. It's 2013, and I'm paying over a dozen times the market value for a connection that was substandard ten years ago.

Customer support is unreliable at best. They're only available during regular business hours, so heaven help you if you have a problem over the weekend. When it is available, expect it to be slow and unhelpful. Their reps know less about connection routing than your average college freshman, and I honestly can't remember the last time I spoke to a support rep that spoke English as a first language. They're only going to be of assistance to you if you don't know how to unplug your modem and plug it back in again.

Connection reliability is... suitable. ACS has been notorious for bad routing for years, especially with overselling space on their PPPoE servers. While not as pronounced as it once was, don't be surprised if your connection drops occasionally. It doesn't help that it seems to have trouble with several different brands of router. Even these days the only type of connection that's less reliable is satellite. Then, there's the service outages. Expect them on a regular basis with no prior notification of any kind, especially in cases of moderately inclement weather. With what they charge, one would think that they could maintain their infrastructure to be more resilient against 2mph winds.

So why even bother? Well, the same reason anyone puts up with any other pathetic services in Alaska: it's all you get. ACS has next to zero competition aside from GCI cable in some jurisdictions (none of which I personally live in), and even that option is not economically preferable. They own pretty much all communications infrastructure in the state of Alaska and they know it, so they can get away with providing whatever dismal service they decide to peddle to everyone for whatever price they please. If you want better internet, move to another state.

member for 1.2 years, 4 visits, last login: 1.1 years ago
updated 1.2 years ago

Comments:
Rob_
Premium
join:2008-07-16
Mary Esther, FL
kudos:1

If I lived up there

I'd be enjoying nature, getting away, escaping during the summer. Internet would be a moot point.

Have you decided on maybe switching to Sprint? They have unlimited data and 4G is growing, so is LTE. We currently get 3G down here.

Really sorry about your experience, take it up with the city, contact the FTC, they are on our side.

-Rob
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·MegaPath

Re: If I lived up there

VZW has LTE up there in AK- a brand new network.

But what do you expect for Internet in a state that is so remote for the most part. I would be happy to have DSL let alone a landline with cell towers being even more scarce than affordable Internet. Watch NatGEO and AK State Troopers. Half the time their own cell phones don't even work- let alone a 2-way radio system.
sparky007

join:2011-08-25
Avondale, AZ

How about??

Looks like you can go with these people..

»www.gci.com/packages#locationPicker
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: How about??

GCI does not provide services to the OP's city.

Review by paulgrinnell See Profile

  • Location: 99801-8522
  • Cost: $109 per month

I'm concerned ACS (»www.alaskacommunications.com/) uses a partner site when doing speed test in order to present higher results...

member for 1.6 years, 0 visits, last login: 1.6 years ago
lodged 1.6 years ago

Comments:






Review by jessinak See Profile

  • Location: Soldotna,Kenai Peninsula,AK
  • Business customer Business customer
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Bad "absolutely disgusted with their business customer service"
Connection reliability:

I just hung up the phone with ACS's manager Isaac. They are charging me to fix their equipment that didn't work correctly from the beginning. This whole process took over 2 YEARS. That was the worst example of customer service I have ever had. As their representative, he just threw away many thousands of dollars of advertising, internet, phone line, & future products. As well as, the negative customer testimonial concerning my experience with ACS. It is very disappointing that this company does not have a better representative and b2b practices.

member for 1.8 years, 0 visits, last login: 1.8 years ago
lodged 1.8 years ago

Comments:

Review by nitejazz3 See Profile

  • Location: Sitka,Sitka,AK
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Tech support good during week, nonexistent on weekends"
Bad "connectivity and speed are terrible"
Overall "Expensive, and not very reliable in this community."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I have 4MB DSL (fastest available in Sitka). Speed has been dwindling over the past few weeks and now is comparable to a moderate speed dialup. Cable is dismal here and even more expensive than ACS Alaska DSL.

If I had a choice I would get another service. Nothing else is available here.

member for 8.6 years, 34 visits, last login: 101 days ago
updated 2.1 years ago

Comments:






Review by allemania See Profile

  • Location: Kenai,Kenai Peninsula,AK
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Honestly nothing at this point."
Bad "SUPER SLOW internet speed; less than half the internet speed that we are paying for/subscribing to."
Overall "They are charging us for a service/speed that they cannot and will not provide."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

We live in Nikiski Alaska and we subscribe to ACS internet for 1 mbps speed which is the fastest they would offer us. However, we rarely ever get that speed or anything near it for that matter. I run internet speed tests throughout various times of the day and evening, and we consistently have speeds as low as 130 kbps, especially during the evening peak hours. We subscribe to Netflix, but we can't stream anything from them anymore as our internet speeds are barely above dial-up levels. I spoke with an ACS tech last week who was totally unsympathetic to our situation and those of my neighbors. He admitted that the internet equipment in our area is outdated and was never meant to supply the number of households and the internet speeds that we are paying for! He said that there was nothing they could do about it right now, and that we would have to wait at least a year before we saw any improvement. I said that ACS shouldn't charge us for 1 mbps speeds if they couldn't provide it, and that I felt we should be allowed to pay for slower speeds instead. He said I could ask customer service if they would lower our cost, but if they did then they would also lower our internet speed from 1 mbps (which we rarely ever get) to 330 kbps! He also cautioned me not to give up our internet service as we wait for them to update the equipment, because he said if we did give up our port, they would give it to someone else and we would never get our internet service back. My husband and I feel like we are being held hostage by ACS---having to pay for service and speeds that they admittedly cannot/will not provide for us. What can we do? Do we have any options available to us, anyone who can help us?

member for 2.2 years, 0 visits, last login: 2.2 years ago
lodged 2.2 years ago

Comments:

AngryDSL

@acsalaska.net

Extremely Disappointed in ACS

I also live in Nikiski. Moved in here about 8 years ago. Hooked up the DSL, and all was good with only minor intermittent hiccups in packet loss or bandwidth at peak times. Then in went the gradeschool internet down the road...instant peak time 20-40% packet loss and .2 to .4 download speeds. After literally having to fight with them on the phone about this being there issue, they reduced my payment by 20$ a month. So now I'm paying 80$ a month for a 14.4k dial up connection essentially (dial up is more stable by far, but ACS cant install a second line here). As of three days ago, the bottom has dropped out of the bucket. Minimum of 45 seconds to load one standard sized webpage. Bandwidth, Ping, and Jitter won't even register on any tests...now heres the kicker. At least 15 of my neighbors are all experiencing the same issues, have all made the same calls to ACS demanding a fix, and have all recieved the same story; its on our end. Oh, so my brand new internal phone lines I had installed must be faulty. Maybe, just maybe it has to do with the overloaded COPPER phone box by the Stop and Go Cafe (not that one of your internal techs released that information or anything). ACS Tech's quote, "we have crammed as much copper into that box as is possible...its a known bottleneck". Wonderful Alaska service...just wonderful! If you live in Nikiski or Northern Kenai, forget DSL, or Wireless internet (it uses the same overloaded substations as the DSL internet).

Review by AKLife247 See Profile

  • Location: Nikiski,Kenai Peninsula,AK
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "ACS Alaska offers DSL with unlimited downloads"
Bad "ACS Alaska does not care about their"
Overall "For a lot of Alaska residents, they are the only option. ACS Alaska knows and abuses this fact."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I have used ACS Alaska as my POTS provider for over 15 years. I jumped on their DSL service as soon as it was available in my area. This was over ten years ago and they were offering 320k D/L for ~ $30 per month. A few years later I managed to upgrade to 640k d/l for ~$44 per month. Fast forwarding to fall of 2010, ACS had finally managed to make 1 meg d/l available in my area. I jumped on this upgrade and thought life was grand. A few months go by and I begin to notice intermittent but substantial latency and bandwidth reductions during normal peak usage times (after work until late evening).

I called ACS Tech and was told everything was fine on their end; it must be my DSL modem. After two modem replacements...with no help in the problem, I was told that it must be my router because, you know - it's old. Instead of rushing out and buying a new one, I researched all I could on network latency and DSL. After I compiled days of trace route data, I started in with Tech support, continuously requesting my issues to be taken to the 'next level' since each person I talked with seemed to know very little about trace route data. After days of this, I was finally told that the top Tech Support Manager would call me.

After a week of waiting and a couple or reminder, I finally got on the phone with him and was promptly told that ACS Alaska simply could not offer me a stable low-latency service at the "high" bandwidth that I had. The options offered were a reduction to 320k d/l or to "live with it". The Manager admitted that "work needed to be done in the area to remedy the issue, but that work is not going to happen for AT LEAST 9 months".

So here we are - in a small Alaska town, using a local Alaskan company, and realizing they don't care one bit about customer satisfaction, only about shareholder profits. ACS Alaska is focused SOLELY on expanding and profiting from their wireless market. They have no desire to upgrade their wired network but will be happy to charge you exceptionally high monthly rates for decade-old technology. In case you don't believe my comments regarding their focus, I recommend that you read the ACS yearly shareholder reports for 2009 and 2010, which are freely available on the web. If you are in a small town, welcome to my boat!

TL:DR version - For those interested in DSL, I recommend you look elsewhere first. Use ACS Alaska only as a last resort and prepare for regular battles with their Tech support.

Their sales pitch about ACS vs the Cable Company quoted from their website: "Alaska Communications High-Speed Internet always gives you your own dedicated line-that means consistently high-speed Internet every time." This is total and utter BS. My bandwidth is being reduced due to other local users. ACS has admitted this is the case, are obviously aware of the issue, and have done nothing to resolve it.

member for 3.6 years, 3 visits, last login: 3.5 years ago
updated 3.6 years ago

Comments:

Review by dirtfarmer See Profile

  • Location: Anchorage,Anchorage,AK
  • Cost: $69 per month
Good "Tech support has always been quick and efficient."
Bad "Tested speeds have consistantly been slower than advertised"
Overall "Except for the slow speed it's OK."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

Speed package is 1M/320kbs. The order install was DYI and was really no trouble. The contract is part of bundled services, including local phone. We are using a Nortel network box and have for several years without a problem.

member for 13.3 years, 119 visits, last login: 2.6 years ago
lodged 3.8 years ago

Comments:






Review by goshrx See Profile

  • Location: Anchorage,Anchorage,AK
  • Cost: $89 per month
Good "Excellent customer service"
Bad "Could be even faster I suppose"
Overall "Very good value"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I was one of the first dozen or so GCI cable modem customers when those came out. Speeds were great, but their customer service was always horrible, whether it was for internet, or cable tv. But they were, I think, the only game in town for broadband. After about 6 months (when my neighbors had all signed up as well), I noticed that the good speeds I originally enjoyed were now a fraction of that. Every night, after folks came home from work, the net got slower and slower and slower. That's because with GCI, you share the bandwidth with your neighbors. When I moved out of that apartment and bought a home in 2004, we switched to ACS for phone and internet, and I've never looked back. In fact, I've had the same dsl modem since then (grey Nortel box, I don't know if that's still what they use but I'm guessing not). Original speedtests show that I'm getting about 600kbps down and 240 kbps up, for $49/month bundled with phone (total bill is around $81/month). I think that's an excellent deal, and it hasn't changed since 2004. Big fan of ACS here, but I do wish, like everyone else, that speeds were faster to allow for high def streaming.

Update Nov 2010: Just upgraded to ACS 3mbps package. Voila! Much faster now! Streaming on Netflix/xbox is NOT a problem. Sweetness! $89/month including landline phone with bells/whistles and 100min out of state.



Attachments:
Click for full size
Click for full size


member for 4.6 years, 5 visits, last login: 4 years ago
updated 4 years ago

Comments: