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What's the Best Broadband ISP?

July 24, 2007 12:00 PM ET

No. 6: Comcast

What can you say about Comcast's cable broadband service, other than that it's the big loser? It was at the bottom or near the bottom in most categories and rated near the top in none. Particularly damaging was its rock-bottom rating for value, below all other ISPs. Only 8% of customers gave it an excellent rating in that category, while 12% rated it very poor. In fact, it was the only broadband ISP that was rated very poor more often than excellent for value by its customers.

Overall Satisfaction
Overall Satisfaction  Excellent: 27%
 Good: 41%
 Average: 23%
 Poor: 6%
 Very poor: 2%
 Not applicable/
no opinion: 0%

Connection Reliability
Excellent   41%
Good   37%
Average   14%
Poor   6%
Very poor   2%
Not applicable/no opinion   0%

Download Speed
Excellent   41%
Good   39%
Average   13%
Poor   6%
Very poor   1%
Not applicable/no opinion   0%

Upload Speed
Excellent   23%
Good   34%
Average   26%
Poor   12%
Very poor   4%
Not applicable/no opinion   2%

Customer Service
Excellent   14%
Good   26%
Average   31%
Poor   10%
Very poor   13%
Not applicable/no opinion   6%

Technical Support
Excellent   15%
Good   24%
Average   30%
Poor   12%
Very poor   11%
Not applicable/no opinion   8%

E-mail Services
Excellent   16%
Good   35%
Average   25%
Poor   4%
Very poor   2%
Not applicable/no opinion   18%

Value (Price vs. Performance)
Excellent   8%
Good   21%
Average   37%
Poor   22%
Very poor   12%
Not applicable/no opinion   0%

As you might expect, customer comments about the service were mostly negative. Said one: "Really expensive. Poor customer service." Another chimed in, "The bigger they got, the less the tech support knows -- I called to ask a question and their support didn't know how to find an IP address!"

Quite a few people wrote to say that they came to Comcast not by choice, but because their previous broadband ISP was taken over by Comcast, or they have no other broadband alternative where they live. As part of a complex deal in which Time Warner and Comcast gained customers from the bankrupt Adelphia, some existing Time Warner customers were switched to Comcast, and some Comcast customers were switched to Time Warner.

Several Adelphia and Time Warner customers were especially unhappy with the changeover. Said one: "Since they took over from Adelphia, downloads and page loading [are] considerably slower. E-mail connections take at least two attempts to get into the server." Another added, "Recent changeover from Time Warner to Comcast has been a nightmare. Now we are getting a $10 per month increase to $49 for slower service than with Time Warner."

What's the Best Broadband ISP?

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