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uclamathguy

join:2004-07-19
93012/90024

2 edits

Mountain View: AT&T vs Sonic.net Fusion vs vs Comcast?

I will be moving to Downtown Mountain View (near Castro St) from Santa Monica and need Internet service. I am used to Verizon and Time Warner, so need some advice.

At my place in Santa Monica, I get about 20-22Mbps via Time Warner Cable and would like to keep a similar level of service, with perhaps a higher upstream (perhaps more than 1Mbps but not an absolute requirement) since I run a personal SSH server. I also prefer a service with no caps!

The landlord indicated that he has heard that Comcast is much faster than AT&T (he said we don't have "the fast one" AT&T, I take it he means fiber), but apparently my address qualifies for UVerse. Does that mean Fiber Optic? That would obviously be faster than Comcast no?

Assuming I cannot get Fiber Optic since I am in an apartment building, the two main providers I have been considering are

- Sonic.net Fusion (up to 20Mbps in theory, at 4700 feet from AT&T CO)
- Comcast 50Mbps package (I know this varies wildly since it is cable)

I have heard terrible things about AT&T and Comcast, but great things about Sonic.net but not sure if I would be majorly shorting myself in speed.

Anyone live in this Downtown area that can give some advice? Which is better?



JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA

congrats on landing that job at google

Comcast business class 22/5 would be a great option if its available to you, but if you must go residential, their 50/10 tier is quite good (and not at all widely variable, since 2005 or so) - currently comcast isn't enforcing caps on residential, and there are no caps on business class.

I used to be a Sonic.net customer - they are (or were, 4 years ago) quite good. In the bay area you can often only get DSL tiers from them that match the DSL tiers AT&T provides. If you can get fusion from them, it could work.

--
My place : »www.schettino.us



leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
reply to uclamathguy

Similar level will be tough with just a single Sonic Fusion line especially when you turn on Annex M for increased upstream bandwidth. However there is also the option of two line bonded Fusion and then you should have no problem in getting both your upload and download speed requirements met (given your distance estimate).

The Mountain View CO is just one block off Castro Street so hopefully you get a nice short (and therefore fast) connection.
--
Got some spare cpu cycles ? Join Team Helix or Team Starfire!



Boricua
Premium
join:2002-01-26
Sacramuerto
reply to JohnInSJ

said by JohnInSJ:

Comcast business class 22/5 would be a great option if its available to you, but if you must go residential, their 50/10 tier is quite good (and not at all widely variable, since 2005 or so) - currently comcast isn't enforcing caps on residential, and there are no caps on business class.

I think you mean, residential DOES cap while non-res (business) do NOT cap.
--
Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian. Robert Orben


JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA

said by Boricua:

I think you mean, residential DOES cap while non-res (business) do NOT cap.

I said business has no cap. Currently residential caps on comcast are NOT enforced, and comcast is "considering" tiered caps, or no caps, or who knows what. But right now, there are no caps on residential either. Probably trying to see where the 1% cutoff is these days (vs whenever they decided on 250GB)
--
My place : »www.schettino.us


Boricua
Premium
join:2002-01-26
Sacramuerto

Looks like they did away with caps. It them long enough. Now they trying usage-based tiers just like the data plans of Verizon Wireless and AT&T Wireless .
--
Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian. Robert Orben



JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA

said by Boricua:

Looks like they did away with caps. It them long enough. Now they trying usage-based tiers just like the data plans of Verizon Wireless and AT&T Wireless .

Well, not yet... but they are thinking about it.
--
My place : »www.schettino.us

bigboy

join:2000-12-04
Palo Alto, CA
reply to uclamathguy

Even though I can get blazing speeds with Comcast where I am in Palo Alto, I'm sticking with sonic.net on principal (which, I agree, is a bit silly). But they have no caps and did not join the ridiculous 6 strike plan. Comcast residential has both.

Besides, this is Northern California, where being a locavore includes consuming data with a local ISP



mvToSj

@sonic.net

That's what we've done in the past few years, but now we're moving to a new location in central San Jose, where we'll be over 12000ft from the CO. Our down rate is likely to drop from a modest but acceptable 6mbps to below 3, and I'm not sure I'll be able to justify it any longer.



NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:11
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC
reply to uclamathguy

said by uclamathguy:

The landlord indicated that he has heard that Comcast is much faster than AT&T (he said we don't have "the fast one" AT&T, I take it he means fiber), but apparently my address qualifies for UVerse. Does that mean Fiber Optic? That would obviously be faster than Comcast no?

Well, no. U-verse in Mt. View is most likely FTTN; but if you are connected to the CO (required for Sonic.net "Fusion"), at 4,700 feet you likely would get IPDSL ADSL2+ U-verse from AT&T. They may offer bonded U-verse; but at that distance, AT&T U-verse and Sonic.net "Fusion" will have similar speed. AT&T ADSL2+ IPDSL is not ATM, while Sonic.net Fusion is; but AT&T will likely cap you to their 12 Mbps tier, while Sonic.net allows the modem/DSLAM to run as fast as the loop conditions allow, so the speeds should be a wash.

If AT&T had FTTH in Mt. View, it would be capped at 18/1.5. Only recently has AT&T started allowing 24/3 in some FTTH markets. So even with FTTH, AT&T U-verse is not faster than Comcast.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

bigboy

join:2000-12-04
Palo Alto, CA
reply to uclamathguy

One more thing to consider is that if you need TV, sonic.net has a deal with DirecTV to save $5 on sonic.net and $5 on DTV (total $10) per month if you have both.



Veloslave
Geek For God
Premium
join:2003-07-11
Martinez, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast
·PHONE POWER
reply to uclamathguy

I used Sonic for many years... they are the est ISP hands down ANYWHERE!

That being said.... I have moved out of the area I could get Sonic in and had to go to Comcast business (Static ip's and no caps are a MUST for me) and as much as I hate to say it...

Comcast business is a whole other beast that the comcrap consumer product we have all come to hate. Tech support is SUPER easy to get on the line with, their tier one is like anyone else's tier three. If your service is down they guarantee support/truck/whatever it is going to take to get it done within 24 hours and... the speeds are excellent. I have never heard a word about any P2P I have running FWIW.

It is still a company you want to hate... but, the business branch makes it hard to do.

If you can get Sonic and the products are equal... no question, go Sonic. If you are "stuck" with Comcast Business... no worries, they will get it done.
--
Mom was right.... I NEED fiber!



Veloslave
Geek For God
Premium
join:2003-07-11
Martinez, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast
·PHONE POWER
reply to bigboy

said by bigboy:

Even though I can get blazing speeds with Comcast where I am in Palo Alto, I'm sticking with sonic.net on principal (which, I agree, is a bit silly)....

Absolutely NOT silly!

Dane and Co. run the best, most loyal to the customer ISP in the business... they haven't been a DSLR Gold ISP for all this time for nothing. I sure wish I had your choice.
--
Mom was right.... I NEED fiber!