Anyone with internet service recommendations in Grand Rapids, MI?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mkrishnan, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I'm moving to Grand Rapids, MI at the end of June. I'm looking for high-speed internet service for my apartment, particularly services that require neither having a landline phone account nor a cable television account.

    It looks like AT&T has DSL packages without a phone line for $40-50/mo (in three steps, 1.5-6mbps). Comcast also looks like it has packages in the $60+ range.

    I'm looking for the relatively cheapest service that would be fully capable of doing the following:

    - Streaming video from the NBC, ABC, Fox, etc websites (full episodes, e.g. Lost, House, Heroes)

    - Downloading non-streamed video from iTunes (movies and episodes)

    - Possibly doing streaming Netflix as well

    So I would be concerned about bandwidth primarily for the first one (I think 3mbps DSL is good enough for this, though?) and overall also any kind of total monthly data cap if such exists -- I'm not torrenting or anything like that, but if I switch to downloading TV off iTunes, that would probably come out to several gigs per month.

    Any suggestions or feedback about services in W Michigan?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #2
    Perhaps www.dslreports.com would have some info?

    I have been only living in area with FIOS lately.
     
  3. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    Yes, FIOS was one I checked into already (not available). There's something called Cavalier which seems to be another DSL service -- it doesn't seem to be available without a phone line, but it seems relatively economical (on price par with the AT&T w/o phone plans), so it might be an option. I've never heard of it, though, so I'd be curious about local feedback... particularly from anyone who lives in West Michigan.

    EDIT: It seems that I can opt out of the long distance aspect of the Cavalier thing (I really don't want the phone number at all, though) and have it cost $40... it might be an option, particularly if there's no requirement that I actually have a phone plugged into a jack in the house. Their promised speed is faster than AT&T and they also give out a free DSL modem.
     
  4. rand() macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan
    #4
    Hey, there! Kinda digging up an older thread, but I thought I'd weigh in since I stumbled on it.

    I live just outside of what you'd call downtown Grand Rapids. I've had both Comcast and at&t at my current residence.

    I'm currently with at&t, but this is primarily a price issue. I've got their 1.5Mbps for $29/mo., which you really can't beat for price/performance, I don't think. I watched about 3 hours of Hulu (using the desktop app) last night, on the medium quality setting. It stuttered a few times during commercials, but it never stuttered in-program. I also use Netflix Streaming via my blu-ray player, and that works well also, although the first bit of buffering takes about a minute, and I always get the low-quality end of the spectrum. Acceptable quality though, on my older SDTV.

    If I could, I'd get the 3Mbps package - it's only 10 bucks more, and I think (as you do) it would solve any remaining stutter issues on streaming. I'm slightly out-of-range of the repeater to get the faster package.

    On the Comcast side, I had their basic cable + internet, which I got rid of simply on price. The service itself was fantastic - very fast (8.0+Mbps) and you'd definitely not have *any* streaming issues there. I got rid of them only because I don't watch TV as such, and the price simply felt outrageous (after my 1 year contract expired, it jumped to ~$90 / month).

    I'd say depending on your price range you really can't go wrong with either provider, although neither has great customer service. The actual delivered service is solid with both, though. And if you're looking at streaming HD quality content, I'd definitely lean more to the Cable rather than DSL. You'll be happier with cable internet in the long run if the streaming quality is a dealbreaker for you.

    Also, if you're a Mobile Me person, Back to my Mac seemed to work better on Comcast. That's probably because of the better upload speed on Cable vs. DSL.
     
  5. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    Thanks for the feedback! I decided to go with AT&T DSL also. I, like you, am going for the cheaper package on price (this is the $35 one, which I think is the same as you but I don't qualify apparently for whatever discount you have :p ). I'll see. I can always upgrade. Alternatively I might just end up using more downloaded TV (like iTunes) and less streaming TV. I figure that if I literally bought a season for a TV show on iTunes every month and perhaps even a movie as well, which is more TV than I watch, it would still cost less than cable + cable internet.

    (P.S. I'll be living just off Michigan a few blocks East of Michigan and College :) ).
     

Share This Page