Can you have 2 ISP's?


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    I got a FW HD in 1999: DSL from what was AT&T for $13.99/month for life. There was a price increase at some point in the past 21 years, maybe when AT&T dissolved. It’s now Fairpoint. I’ve been paying $15.99/month for a few years. Of course it’s slow. I don’t mind it but I have a regular Zoom meeting and it’s problematic for that. Sometimes I have to go to e.g. Panera to do things because my speed is too slow (3-7 mbps) but TBH it bothers the Zoom people not me.

    It looks like I can get Xfinity for $29.99/month for 2 years. Since that’s cable, could I keep the DSL? I would use Xfinity until the Zoom meetings end then go back to the DSL. I hate to give up my grandfathered rate and the fact that it’s for life.



  • I’d keep the cheap/slow DSL that meets 99% of your needs and Zoom via my 4G/5G phone and/or tether the phone’s wifi to my Fire tablet.


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    @my4mainecoons how slow is the DSL?

    Try speedtest.net


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    @dangeruss said in Can you have 2 ISP's?:

    @my4mainecoons how slow is the DSL?

    Try speedtest.net

    as I said in the OP, 3-7 mbps.


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    @sonofzeus said in Can you have 2 ISP's?:

    I’d keep the cheap/slow DSL that meets 99% of your needs and Zoom via my 4G/5G phone and/or tether the phone’s wifi to my Fire tablet.

    I don’t have a cell phone.



  • @my4mainecoons I thought you posted elsewhere that you’d activated a Tracfone or similar. How do you reap the benefits of Ibotta/Fetch/Dosh/other app only deals?


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    @my4mainecoons said in Can you have 2 ISP's?:

    @dangeruss said in Can you have 2 ISP's?:

    @my4mainecoons how slow is the DSL?

    Try speedtest.net

    as I said in the OP, 3-7 mbps.

    Well is it 3 or 7? DSL is not supposed to fluctuate. Can you do a speed test?


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    @dangeruss said in Can you have 2 ISP's?:

    @my4mainecoons said in Can you have 2 ISP's?:

    @dangeruss said in Can you have 2 ISP's?:

    @my4mainecoons how slow is the DSL?

    Try speedtest.net

    as I said in the OP, 3-7 mbps.

    Well is it 3 or 7? DSL is not supposed to fluctuate. Can you do a speed test?

    3 is download, 7 is upload. Sometimes its 4 for download. Sometimes its 6 for upload. It depends on the weather IMO. I’ve done speed tests several times. Sometimes when I’m downloading it will show me the speed and it seems to vary but maybe that’s buffering. Sometimes I have no signal at all. It just disappears for a few minutes.


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    @sonofzeus said in Can you have 2 ISP's?:

    @my4mainecoons I thought you posted elsewhere that you’d activated a Tracfone or similar. How do you reap the benefits of Ibotta/Fetch/Dosh/other app only deals?

    I use wifi on a smart phone to do iBotta. So I do have a phone but it doesn’t have cellular service. I don’t have anyone to talk to, lol. There are no cell towers over 2/3 of my hour long commute. I have a landline with DSL at home.



  • @my4mainecoons Your neck of the woods sounds beautiful…and scarily remote. How do you fend off the feral critters?



  • @my4mainecoons said in Can you have 2 ISP's?:

    I got a FW HD in 1999: DSL from what was AT&T for $13.99/month for life. There was a price increase at some point in the past 21 years, maybe when AT&T dissolved. It’s now Fairpoint. I’ve been paying $15.99/month for a few years. Of course it’s slow. I don’t mind it but I have a regular Zoom meeting and it’s problematic for that. Sometimes I have to go to e.g. Panera to do things because my speed is too slow (3-7 mbps) but TBH it bothers the Zoom people not me.

    It looks like I can get Xfinity for $29.99/month for 2 years. Since that’s cable, could I keep the DSL? I would use Xfinity until the Zoom meetings end then go back to the DSL. I hate to give up my grandfathered rate and the fact that it’s for life.

    Your basic premise is that Zoom meetings are going away. I have a strong belief that they are here to stay. Even if we don’t have a pandemic or major crisis, the pandemic accelerated what was happening already - less in-person meeting and more remote meeting activity.

    Be careful - AT&T discontinued new DSL connections a year ago, and will not make changes to existing plans, so if you want to keep your DSL, don’t make any changes to your account. Unless the matter is one of finances, I suggest that switching to a faster Internet service will give you access to other potentially beneficial products, like streaming video.

    To answer your original question, yes, you can have two ISPs as long as they both don’t want to use the same physical wire to connect to your house. You will have two different routers and networks inside your home and you ought to be able to switch back and forth between them with little effort.

    FWIW, depending on the Comcast speed, $30 per month is very reasonable for cable internet capability. If you have a financial hardship, Comcast has a $10 per month deal they don’t discuss openly.

    – Z –


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    @zerenia I won’t be involved in the project in 2 years so no more Zoom meetings for me.

    I wasn’t going to make any changes to my AT&T service. Its DSL. Comcast (Xfinity) is cable. From what I understand, the DSL uses my telephone landline and Comcast would use the cable that used to provide television service before I gave it up.

    I stream videos with my current service but I stream them to a Fire, not to my laptop. I suspect that my laptop would need more speed.

    The thing about the Comcast is that the price is only guaranteed for 2 years. After that you lose the promotional rate. That’s why I was going to use Comcast/Xfinity for 2 years, then drop it and go back to AT&T. IDK if after a few years one is a new customer again for promotional offers. There are other internet service providers so I could also drop Comcast for a different provider’s new customer offer.


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    @sonofzeus said in Can you have 2 ISP's?:

    @my4mainecoons Your neck of the woods sounds beautiful…and scarily remote. How do you fend off the feral critters?

    This fall I arrived home late at night. I pressed the garage door opener from inside my car and watched a skunk scurry into the garage. I couldn’t get into the house without going near the garage so I just sat in my car and waited. Eventually it left. The state has a bird feeder law. Bird feeders have to be taken down by April 1. Its illegal to feed the bears and a bird feeder is considered feeding the bears.



  • @my4mainecoons Is this in rural New England?


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    @my4mainecoons said in Can you have 2 ISP's?:

    @dangeruss said in Can you have 2 ISP's?:

    @my4mainecoons said in Can you have 2 ISP's?:

    @dangeruss said in Can you have 2 ISP's?:

    @my4mainecoons how slow is the DSL?

    Try speedtest.net

    as I said in the OP, 3-7 mbps.

    Well is it 3 or 7? DSL is not supposed to fluctuate. Can you do a speed test?

    3 is download, 7 is upload. Sometimes its 4 for download. Sometimes its 6 for upload. It depends on the weather IMO. I’ve done speed tests several times. Sometimes when I’m downloading it will show me the speed and it seems to vary but maybe that’s buffering. Sometimes I have no signal at all. It just disappears for a few minutes.

    I have had DSL for a long time, but what I do I know is if the speed is different for download vs upload, the upload speed is the one that would be slower.

    Are you doing there tests wireless or wired? Improper wireless set up can have a huge effect in your speed. Can you try comparing wireless vs wired and see if there’s a big discrepancy. Also how fast is the DSL supposed to be compared to what you’re getting?


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    @dangeruss You’re right. I have the numbers reversed. Upload speed is slower. I’ve done the tests wirelessly. By wired do you mean plug the laptop into the router with a CAT5?

    ETA: I’ve had the same wireless set up for the 21 years I’ve had the DSL. At one point in my home I had wireless for internet and a separate wired network that had no internet access. They were set up for me and managed by a network admin. I still have the server but dismantled that network. I’m pretty confident the wireless set up is ok. The router is an old TrendNet with max 54 mbps but that’s not the limiting factor, the signal is much less than 54 mbps.


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    @my4mainecoons said in Can you have 2 ISP's?:

    @dangeruss You’re right. I have the numbers reversed. Upload speed is slower. I’ve done the tests wirelessly. By wired do you mean plug the laptop into the router with a CAT5?

    Yes



  • @my4mainecoons Looks like you have options. From where I stand, you would be paying an extra $16 per month for a service you would not use just to have the ability to use that service. You could buy a 3rd year of Comcast for that extra $16 per month over two years.

    ISPs have a retention department. About 30 days before your contract is up you call customer service and tell them that you have a competing offer that is better than what your rate is going to increase to, but if they continue your contract at the current price, you will stay. If you are polite and friendly, they will typically keep your rate steady. BUT, you have to make the same phone call every year unless you can convince them to keep the rate steady for multiple years.

    – Z –


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    @zerenia the Comcast offer is only for 2 years. I presumed that the rate would rise after that.

    Have you had your ISP for more than a few years? Has the rate stayed the same or does it rise? How often does it rise? I know a lot of people have bundles but even with bundled services, does anyone have a guaranteed price for life?



  • @my4mainecoons I do what I suggested you do - every year I threaten to leave and they keep my deal intact. You have to have a bonafide competitive deal, which is not hard to get quoted. One year, about 10 years ago, Comcast declined to honor my deal, so I went ahead and switched to AT&T. When I called Comcast back to discontinue, then they wanted to give me a great deal, but I told them it was too late and they needed to educate the agent I spoke with previously as they could have easily kept me as a customer.

    I get Comcast through my HOA for the past five years, but I have add-ons so I still call but the new threat is to drop the add-ons (voice, extra channels, extra TV sets in the house). They try to raise the rates every year. I’ve never heard of a guaranteed-for-life rate except for AT&T DSL a long time ago - but you know about that one!

    – Z –


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    @zerenia the problem with threatening to leave is that they don’t care. There’s no competition. When I cut the cable TV cord Comcast didn’t try to entice me to stay. I’d read about such things on FW but no love for me. AFAIK Comcast’s only competition here is Dish.



  • @my4mainecoons Then you’re out of options. Go with your original plan - buy the $30 per month, keep the $16 per month, then drop the $30 when you no longer need it.

    – Z –


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    It looks like Comcast has a pay as you go plan for $45 a month. You can turn it off and on as you need.


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    Does anyone know anything about Fidium Fiber? It shows 50 Mbps for $35/mo. including equipment, e.g. modem. Xfinity has 300Mbps for $29.99/mo but equipment is additional and in the T&C it looks like one has to have a mobile line to get that price. Xfinity charges $55/mo for just internet and 50 Mbps.


 

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