Tyler M, September 3rd, 2010

Company NewsTech

Internet Service Providers in San Francisco

I can’t believe how difficult it is to find a good Internet Service Provider in San Francisco. In the year 2010, it’s nigh impossible to get a good (20Mbs) symmetrical connection (fiber connection or business broadband connection, generally speaking) for less than $800 per month. We’ve looked at them all (or feel like we have) and the thing is that there are certainly said services offered in the greater Bay Area region. The problem is that they’re not available in downtown San Francisco. Furthermore, it appears that not even Silicon Valley has got a lot of good, cheap options, as most providers list various locations in the East Bay and North Bay with nary a mention of anything on the Peninsula. Are we really so isolated over here? Isn’t the country’s biggest market for the highest of high speed Internet connections right here in San Francisco and Silicon Valley?.

AT&T’s Uverse isn’t available. Verizon’s FiOS isn’t available. Neither of them will run a new connection into our building (there are only 30 tenants in our little skyscraper, that’s not enough?). Comcast doesn’t provide a fiber or symmetrical line (although their upload speeds at our old office aren’t half bad). Then there’s a littany of small ISPs that will basically run the fiber to you for a reasonable price… that is, if you’re in one of several locations in the city that somehow DON’T include the middle of the Financial District, right on Market Street. These little guys include Sonic.net, Covad, the highly regarded Monkey Brains and Speakeasy.net, all of which have much better reviews on Yelp than the big telecoms companies and it’s reassuring to be dealing with a smaller, more customer-focused, local company. But they’re all really expensive to bring a line into a skyscraper. A 50Mbs line can run you up to $5000 per month. A little 3Mbs line is coming in around $500/month. It’s just not right when you look at what’s available for residential consumers.

So the search continues! We are still waiting to hear back from a couple of these guys, but I’m not holding my breath. Does anyone know anything better? Wireless options? Definitely not satellite…