Internet service options that are not TWC?

cable modemFrustrated, Andy asks via Twitter:

So @alloveralbany as I watch my Hulu stutter and stop, I wonder if you all know how to escape TWCs Internet hegemony... :)

For a while there, it looked like Verizon FiOS might provide some competition. But the roll out of the fiber service beyond a few spots in this area seems to have slowed to a halt.

Any ideas for Andy?


Verizon FiOS's internet service is much faster and more reliable than Time Warner's. That said, their pricing pretty much forces you to also have TV service. Verizon charges $99 for internet/TV, but (annoyingly) it's ~$75 for just internet. TW is ~$40 for just internet. Very frustrating for cable cutters who want a decent connection.

But if you can get FiOS and want TV (and landline, if that's still a thing), dump TW in a heartbeat and don't look back. FiOS is faster, has fewer (essentially no) connection drops, and the DVR is much, much nicer.

We just dropped TWC in favor of Verizon DSL and the Roku player, and it is a million times faster. I have never had a problem with Netflix or anything else buffering even when the husband is playing intense video games online at the same time, which was impossible with Road Runner. So from over $120 a month for Road Runner and cable to $27 a month with a small up front investment. Also their customer service has been awesome.

Sounds like Andy may have some issues either with his cable modem or noise on his line. Assuming he hasn't already, Andy should call TWC, and have them check his line over the phone for any signal noise. If that doesn't work, swap your cable modem box (if you're on WiFi, make sure the router is working properly AND that no one is bogarting your signal!). Finally, have TWC send a tech out to physically inspect your line and the connection to your home. If you live in an apartment building with lots of tenants (especially young, bandwidth sucking users) you may be a bit SOL. If that is the case, and you have roomies, consider upgrading to the next tier of Roadrunner service and splitting the charges with your roomies.

Finally, to answer the real question, Andy's options are: 1) TWC, 2) Verizon DSL, 3) Verizon or AT&T 4G hotspot. I'm not sure if there are any "over-builders" in the area (companies that buy wholesale data capacity and resell it under their own brand).

As I understand, Time Warner basically has an exclusive deal with the city of Troy right now, so we are basically screwed over here. They have 0 incentive to provide better service. The deal is up for renegotiation, hoping that the city counsel and new mayor don't screw us over, again.

Not being able to watch Hulu is one thing but this situation is especially bad for local tech companies.

I hear they have the Internet on computers now.

What about Wink? Anyone tried it? Andy seems to be in Albany and I see it in my network list all over the place.

Not to be too much of a FiOS fanboy, but I switched over from TWC a few months back and everything about it is better. I can stream Netflix via wireless through my blu-ray player and it is HD quality stream with no stutters 99% of the time. With TWC I often struggled to get streams to even launch.

If/when FiOS comes to your area - jump onboard and enjoy the flow.

Until then, definitely call TWC and have a tech check out your signal and all cabling/connections from the the street box to your router. I had similar issues a few years back when I was on RoadRunner, and turned out the cable running underground to house had degraded from the elements. After the new outside cable run was complete, service improved quite a bit.

I tried to get Wink but they never got back to me. Also, they have very limited areas where you can get it. Like only in certain neighborhoods of Albany kind of limited.


The City of Troy has never had any exclusive operating arrangement with TWC. Verizon FiOS engineering has not yet started to set up their infrastructure in the city, and they only begin the process as a response to high customer demand.

If online requests for service in certain areas are frequent, the FiOS marketing department will notify their technicians. My advice is to express your interest in FiOS and encourage your neighbors to do the same, as the demand will eventually cause a call to action.

I've been using Wink for about a year and I really love it. There was a minor problems getting it set up initially, but their tech guy came to the house and got it working. I'm pretty close to one of their access points and there have been zero problems since then. I had dumped satellite TV around the same time in favor of a Roku and never regretted it. And I haven't done business with TWC in about eight years (their customer service was horrific when I needed to transfer service into my name after the death of a family member).

I have been with TWC since they first provided cable internet in the capital district. Maybe I've been exceptionally lucky but my service has NEVER been a problem (knocking frantically on my wooden desk). I run as many as 5 or 6 concurrent devices in my home, sometimes with as many as 2 or 3 streaming video (Netflix, Hulu, Youtube; but no online game playing however) and I have practically never seen even a hint of degraded service. In fact, when they offered the higher speed a couple of years ago I tried it and because I could detect no difference I asked them to the turn it off. In addition their service (mostly for tv cable service issues) has been faultless and fast.

Not trying to be an advertisement for the corporate monster, just saying my personal experience with them, spanning almost 20 years, has been exceptional. FiOS looks good too but is not offered in my neighborhood but I would wonder about Verizon service compared to TWC before I would switch.

I know that DSL is supposed to be slower than Cable. But i dropped TWC for DirecTV and Verizon DSL.

I was actually able to call Verizon and request that they test the line to see if I could handle faster service, and they wound up upping me from 7 Mbps to 10 Mbps...

Well, I seemed to have forgotten a lesson I've learned time and time again at work. Make sure your own house is in order, before blaming others. On the up side, my internets is much faster now!

I did some relatively extensive testing, and found out it was my router that was slowing down my connection. SERIOUSLY SLOWING IT DOWN. like, 4Mbit/.25Mbit -> 13-19Mbit/.96Mbit ... Really significant differences. I guess my vmware appliance router was slowing things down, massively. Time to shut down the behemoth.

On the up side, I can save power, and get "faster" interwebs. on the down side, I feel like an idiot. A huge idiot. I also found out how helpful hulu is. :)

I live in an area of the Capital region which is without "wired" internet service, while frustratingly close to civilization. Time Warner does not service my area, and Verizon told me that I'm too close to the end of the line (?) to get quality DSL. The only option I found was to get a 4G hotspot. Pros? FAST connection (faster than TWC), Hotspot includes Wifi. Cons? Intermittent "drops" (no streaming for me), and 5GB of bandwidth per month for $50. $10 per GB after that.

We're really unhappy with our Verizon DSL. It's super slow on the computer (especially when trying to watch shows online), and when we try to watch stuff with our Roku box on our tv it reloads a lot. This increases when it's windy or rainy out. So frustrating. I'm hoping FiOS is available in our area some time soon so we can switch.

When I lived in the middle of Pine Hills (ie, not a rural area in the slightest) I was unable to get Verizon DSL. I was told the wiring was of too poor a quality to support it. It runs over the old copper phone lines which are often in a state of disrepair.

Basically you are stuck with TWC if you can't get FiOS. Your third option is mobile broadband if you leave near a 4G tower. It's more expensive but at least you can take it with you if you travel.

Your problem may be with Hulu+?

We stream Netflix without a problem, but Hulu+ is always freezing and causing our Roku box to reboot. Its much worse during prime time.

I have verizon DSL, $22/mo.
It's not speedy, but so long as I'm not using any other bandwith, it streams most video faster than it plays. Youtube is a bit slow and evens out to about 50-50, but the Daily Show and Hulu stream just fine.

Live in Schoharie County. Small private Middleburg Telephone Co. has areas locked up. I'm one. Trying to get rid of TWC. Can anybody please help me to locate a cable provider (broadband) for this area? Have to be boadband as I want to use Basic Talk too for 9.99 a month. I just don't know where to look for an internet provider Please help if you can.

I looked into switching from TWC to FiOS, but FiOS is not available east of the Hudson. As an RPI alum, I know their internet service is FAST... so who services the campus and how I can get access to the same provider?

We live in Albany. No FIOS in our neighborhood (or anywhere else in the city of Albany so far as I know). DSL or TWC are the only options which make sense for now (wireless 4G hotspot is too expensive for a family). I used to think (hope) that eventually Verizon would wire the city for FIOS. Their website has an option that where you can asked to be notified by Verizon "when" FIOS becomes available in one's neighborhood. It doesn't appear that will be happening anytime soon. And by "soon" I mean in the next 10 to 20 years.

For folks in Troy, try Massive Mesh as your ISP. It's cheaper than Time Warner and it is a local business, to boot. It's working well for me. It might for you.

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