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Internet in Chicago/Western Burbs I'm struggling to find any deals out there that work with my situation. I'm pretty happy with my Dish Network TV, and at $55/mo the price can't be beat. I was doing AT&T DSL at the promo rate (~19/mo.), but that expired and they weren't willing to re-negotiate. Have looked at Comcast and U-Verse, but both either require bundling for their promo rate or that you purchase a $100 gateway. Tried out Clear last time AT&T balked and like it, but their prices have gone up since then. Am I missing any other alternatives? I don't need phone or TV, so bundling to save is out the window. Don't need the fastest connection, just something for web browsing and something that does a 'decent' job with video streaming.
You can sign up for U-Verse Internet only, and depending on the "flavor" of U-Verse you subscribe to, you can purchase a modem, typically under the $100 cost, from a 3rd party source (such as eBay/craigslist, as long as it is an approved U-Verse modem for the flavor of U-Verse you will be receiving), and use that modem.
If you would be getting VDSL2 U-Verse, you would want a 2Wire 3600. If you would be getting ADSL2+ U-Verse, you would want a Motorola NVG510.
If you would be getting either BPON or Pair Bonded VDSL2 U-Verse, there would be no $100 modem purchase, as you rent the modem from AT&T in both of those situations (with a monthly rental fee).
When you receive the $100 purchased one from AT&T, take that new $100 modem to the UPS store & return it to AT&T (AT&T & UPS have a shipping agreement to return equipment), and AT&T will credit back your account the $100 modem fee upon their receipt of the return. Keep the tracking number information that UPS store provides though
Also, depending on promotions, the $100 modem fee can be waived, but you have to check both online promotions, and also sometimes a phone sales agent can waive the fee as well (but sometimes they cannot). It does not hurt to give 800.288.2020 (AT&T Sales) a call to find out...
reply to kjl1977
If you can live without internet for a few days (assuming you can't get connects/disconnects properly "synched") you can cancel ATT, switch to another provider without a contract (better yet, with a 30-day free trial) and then come back to ATT as a new customer after 30 days (or whatever their time frame is for you to become a new customer). Then you are entitled to their rather fabulous new customer promo rates all over again...
Stick with Dish for the TV; break out the Internet. In my experience, you can use use any old MOTO Surfboard SB 51XX cable modem for Comcast (get one cheap from eBay), and if you come into ATT as a new customer you can often get a free DSL modem as part of the promo, or (if old-style DSL, not U-verse ADSL2+) you can pick up a DSL modem from eBay.
reply to kjl1977
Take a look at Dry loop services. It does cost a bit more $59 flat rate per month, but no other charges for a solid internet connection.