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February 27, 2011 7:27 PM   Subscribe

What’s the cheapest internet package in Portland, Oregon? (Can I go cheaper than Comcast's $47-a-month Xfinity?)

Hi! I am currently paying approximately $47 a month for internet service through Comcast here in Portland. The bill breaks down to $39.95 a month for the service, and $7 a month to lease the modem (which sits between the coaxial cable coming into the house and my wireless router).

I'm not sure what "name" the speed I have is called, but I max out at around 200KB/s down, and 100KB/s up. Take from that what you will.

So, other than dialup, is there a cheaper home-internet alternative?
(please, let's avoid any suggestions outside the home—going to wifi coffee shops, etc)

Oh, and I don't need anything else like a land line or cable TV, I'm only interested in the possibility of a price lower that $47.

Thanks in advance for any tips!
posted by blueberry to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It depends on exactly where in Portland you are, but most likely, your alternatives are Qwest DSL and Clear wireless. The general consensus is:
- Qwest DSL is slower than Comcast cable
- Clear is too unreliable to be worth using

Either one is likely to be cheaper than Comcast... take a look at their sites and see what kind of deal they'll offer you.
posted by xil at 8:03 PM on February 27, 2011

Try this site
posted by buggzzee23 at 8:11 PM on February 27, 2011

Response by poster: It depends on exactly where in Portland you are...

I'm in N.E. Portland, kinda near the Hollywood theater.
posted by blueberry at 8:49 PM on February 27, 2011

I've been really happy with Clear thus far, I live around NE 28th and Broadway.
posted by alpinist at 8:52 PM on February 27, 2011

You can purchase your own cable modem for around $50 easily (I picked up a Linksys refurb for $20) and save $7 a month.
posted by wongcorgi at 9:13 PM on February 27, 2011

A quick check of what Qwest offers in the neighborhood put DSL at 3Mbps, not good.

Clear works if you are in a good location. The secret advice that no Clear representative will want to tell you is that you can sign up for Clear, take it home, set it up, and test it out for 7 days. If you decide you don't want it, take it back and get out of the contract.

Clear has antennas at roughly NE 47th and I-84, NE 33rd and Broadway (pretty sure it's on top of Gordon's Fireplace Store). There's a sizeable dead spot just a few blocks north of the Hollywood District, US Grant Pl and north.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:26 PM on February 27, 2011

DSL service in Portland has been destroyed by Qwest's "Fiber Optic" SDSL service. The old service agreements stated that Qwest had to let competitors use their copper, but it didn't say anything about the fiber they laid and now there are only a few DSL providers left and their range is dwindling. In several parts of Portland the only semi-stable service option is Comcast. Clear works well enough as long as the weather cooperates and their tower contracts don't get messed with.

It sucks, but the only non-dial-up options are Comcast and Clear. Sprint WiMax using their hotspot uses Clear's network and might be a little cheaper as the hotspot removes the requirement of using a router to share your connection to multiple computers.
posted by tmt at 12:38 AM on February 28, 2011

wongcorgi is right- to save money, don't rent the modem. Look on Craigslist. (I also live about a mile away and have a modem I'll sell you at the going rate.)

I've used SpiritOne DSL. They use Qwest lines, but sometimes it comes out cheaper than going to Qwest and their customer service is good.

Currently, I tether my 3G phone for internet. It keeps me from blowing much time watching video online. : )
posted by momus_window at 8:45 AM on February 28, 2011

Seconding momus_window on SpiritOne regarding service.

In essence, you pay Qwest a monthly fee for the local loop, and SpiritOne for internet service. It looks like you would save about $6/mo and get 1.5Mb/896Kb speeds. I've been a loyal SpiritOne customer from dialup days and I love their support.

SpiritOne pricing
posted by drfu at 2:22 PM on March 5, 2011

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