Straw poll: Rate your broadband ISP

fiber-straw-poll-sshotThe City of Northfield’s fiber consultant has finished surveying residents on their current use of cable, phone, and internet services (PDF of the questions asked). (See our podcast with City IT director Melissa Reeder back in Nov.) Melissa told me yesterday that she expects the consultant to report back to the City Council in late March. In the meantime, here’s a small straw poll on the level of satisfaction with area broadband ISPs. Then discuss!


  1. Anthony Pierre said:

    speaking of wastes of money… seriously what is the consultant going to tell them that they don’t already know.

    February 11, 2009
  2. Jerry Bilek said:

    I’ve had problems with qwest and charter. qwest is down right annoying in their lack of action and the constant phone calls, mailings, and personal visits to try to win back my business. Had they spent half the effort to keep me happy when I was a customer as they have to win me back I might still be using them.

    St. Olaf is great, I recommend their service for businesses.

    February 11, 2009
  3. I use Northfield WiFi. They’ve been great by me. Less downtime than my old Qwest DSL (back in the cities), better bandwidth, decent prices. That’s extended to unusual custom services (related to my telecommuting needs). So count me as a happy customer. To put it in perspective, I am less unhappy with them than I have been with basically any internet service I’ve previously had. (I have to say, IPHouse was very competitive, but the underlying Qwest DSL was never as good.)

    February 11, 2009
  4. Leonard Witt said:

    Someone in Northfield better start reading the HR1: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 — RIGHT NOW

    See Sec 201:

    Title II – Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies

    Broadband Technology
    Opportunities Program

    For an amount for `Broadband
    Technology Opportunities Program’,
    $7,000,000,000, to remain available
    until September 30, 2010: Provided,
    That of the funds provided under this
    heading, $6,650,000,000 shall be
    expended pursuant to section 201 of
    this Act, of which: not less than
    $200,000,000 shall be available for
    competitive grants for expanding
    public computer center capacity,
    including at community colleges and
    public libraries; not less than
    $250,000,000 shall be available for
    competitive grants for innovative
    programs to encourage sustainable
    adoption of broadband service;

    Here is more:

    Sec. 201. The Assistant Secretary of
    Commerce for Communications and
    Information (Assistant Secretary), in
    consultation with the Federal
    Communications Commission (Commission)
    (and, with respect to rural areas, the
    Secretary of Agriculture), shall
    establish a national broadband service
    development and expansion program in
    conjunction with the technology
    opportunities program, which shall be
    referred to the Broadband Technology
    Opportunities Program. The Assistant
    Secretary shall ensure that the
    program complements and enhances and
    does not conflict with other Federal
    broadband initiatives and programs.

    February 12, 2009
  5. Sarah Moore said:

    Living in the country I now have Northfield Wifi, and I am a very VERY satisfied customer. Previously we had satellite internet, paying a ridiculous monthy rate, and it was down more than it was up.

    February 12, 2009
  6. John S. Thomas said:

    Pity me, for thine hath Charter.

    February 12, 2009
  7. Griff Wigley said:

    I have Charter, too, John. And they just announced today that they’re filing for Chapter 11

    My speed at home is decent but I get dropped at least once/day and have to ‘power cycle’ the modem/router combo box.

    February 12, 2009
  8. John S. Thomas said:

    So is that why the prices are going up again?

    I wanted to be one of the early adopters for Northfield WiFi, but when they came out to do the site survey, there were two very large pine trees in the line of site between my house and the dorm tower at St. Olaf.

    Has anyone heard if they got the secondaries up on the water tower south of town yet? I will have to give them a call.

    What shocks me about the providers is that bandwidth is actually getting cheaper, and the rates being charged by providers is getting more expensive.

    One would figure that for the price you are paying, you could get some redundancy, failover, and close to 24/7 uptime.

    Charter is NO WHERE near that, and not even close to their advertised speeds.

    Charter came out and ran new cable all the way from the main box in the rear yard, installed a new D-marc, and ran new cable all the way to the modem. I have 10MB/1MB service, and most of the time I am in the high 9’s, but you can sure see the latency during peak periods. It is really difficult to carry on a video conference or live meeting, and get dropped in the middle of it.

    To go back to your fluff post regarding working and living in Northfield… I would love to. Give me some stable bandwidth, and telecommuting will be an option. With the infrastructure I have now, telecommuting can only be done on a case by case basis.

    I would love a “work center” with some support facilities, conference room, and bandwidth. I would love to go to “work” there, pay a daily rate, and “work virtually” rather than make the commute to St. Paul.

    I have the work laptop, I have cellular connectivity, and all the tools, but there are some work activities that I do that take tremendous bandwidth, such as video conferencing and Voice over IP.

    I am at the point where I have to deal with what I have, or go to business level connectivity, which would be cost prohibitive for only telecommuting 1-2 days per week.

    I am all for a city-wide, high bandwidth solution. Where do I sign up? 😎

    P.S. Please forgive the typing. I am writing this on the laptop as we are doing 70 MPH down highway 52 coming home from St. Paul. No I am not driving the vanpool, and yes, the Sprint Merlin S720 EDVO Cellular card gives me a solid connection all the way from St. Paul to Northfield with no drops. (SPRINT, YOU FOLKS ROCK!)

    February 12, 2009
  9. Griff Wigley said:

    I’ve closed the broadband ISP straw poll. Just shy of 50 responded. Here are two images that show the results.


    Who is your broadband ISP?


    Rate your broadband ISP

    February 21, 2009
  10. Christine Kallman said:

    Hi, Just looking at your straw poll for ISP. Is it possible to link satisfaction report with the specific provider? Just wondering how other people have felt about Jaguar (our provider, who I have a love/hate relationship with) and others. Thanks.

    June 22, 2009

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