Clear Cable service

Review: St. Louis area Internet providers (Charter Cable, AT&T DSL, Clear Wireless)

For the past eight years, I've been bouncing back and forth from one ISP to another, trying to find one that actually feels worth the load of money I pay for it.

I've used a variety of services from both of the main St. Louis area providers (AT&T and Charter Communications), and am testing Clear wireless (a new game in town, but one that's been around in Chicago and other larger cities for a year or more). I've paid anywhere from $15/month to $90/month (for Internet service alone—I've never participated in the 'Charter Bundle, ' 'Uverse' or any voice/data/video bundles).

I'm going to go through the reasons why I've tried all the different services, and what I've liked—and hated—about each. As a prelude, I am still not pleased with the performance I've received from any of the providers (at least, not for what I'm paying/have paid!).

AT&T 'High Speed' DSL

I've tried AT&T's DSL service in three different parts of St. Louis: North county, the Central West End, and Shrewsbury. In all three areas, I've encountered the same problem—an unreliable connection.

I've been through many support calls, and in all cases, when a technician is sent out, he says the line signal is perfect. Go figure. I've used a few different modems, some rather expensive, and they've all exhibited these problems.

The unreliable connection is inconvenient, but the slow speeds are the worst part of the equation. You'd expect that, if you can purchase Uverse and get 24 Mbps, why is there no option for regular DSL at that speed... or Uverse with only Internet service? I'd be willing to pay for it, so that's not the issue... I just want raw speed.

So, I've always been limited to 6 Mbps down, and 1-2 Mbps up, which is acceptable, but can feel pretty slow sometimes. When the connection is live, the speed is always pretty stable, which is a plus.

AT&T's customer support is worse than abysmal, and getting an actual human on the phone or online is a bit of a challenge. When canceling my account (both times), I had a lot better support, and they were all but falling over themselves with flattery.

Charter Communications High Speed Internet

I've tried Charter Internet both in the Central West End and in Shrewsbury, and my experiences have varied quite dramatically. The first time I tried Charter, I cancelled after about three months, because no matter how many cables I tried, no matter how much I babied the modem, the connection would never remain stable—this was inside a large apartment complex.

The second time was/has been much improved, but is leaving a rather bad taste in my mouth. I'm getting 10 Mbps reliably (I used to be on the 20 Mbps plan, until they jacked the price up double what I was originally paying), and the connection only seems to drop out once every month.

I have two huge problems, though, with Charter:

  1. Their customer support—with the exception of support via Twitter (more on that in a sec)—is abysmal... and it's even more challenging to talk to a knowledgable person at Charter than it is at AT&T.
  2. Any time my connection is flaky or drops, they want to send a technician... and not today, but maybe a week or so from today. What the heck? I was paying for their most expensive Internet plan, and they wanted me to have a full 25% of a month without service? No thanks.
MS-Audio Service 12ft speaker extension cable/wire/cord for select Sony Home Theater system with 4.2mm pin-pitch round terminals
Speakers (MS-Audio Service)
  • Plug and play! No cutting or splicing wire! If speaker cables or subwoofer cable come with your system are too short, these are the cables you need.
  • Work with Sony home theater systems which have 4.2mm pin-pitch round speaker terminals, such as BDV/BDV-E2100 E3100 E4100 E61 HT-SS380 BDV-E580 T58 T79 N790W N890W...
  • Cable length: 12ft; 18AWG clear speaker wire. you get what you see in 2nd picture.
  • Warning: Does not work with old Sony home theater system with 4.2mm pin-pitch horizontal terminals or 6.2mm pin-pitch terminals. Please check last picture for compatible...
Two-wire surveillance kit with Kevlar cable, quick disconnect clear acoustic tube with earbud and Knowles Surface MEMS mic for Harris Radio P7100/7130/7150/7170/7200, P5100/5130
Photography (Waveband Communications)
  • Two-wire surveillance kit with Kevlar cable, quick disconnect clear acoustic tube with earbud and Knowles Surface MEMS mic for Harris Radio P7100/7130/7150/7170/7200...
  • Professional Grade 2 Wire Surveillance Kit
  • Military Style Surveillance Kit
  • Secret Service Style Surveillance Kit
  • Surveillance Kit For Discreet Communications
Caxico Caxico 5-Feet USB 2.0 Type A Male M to Male Type A Extension Cable Cord Clear Blue
Personal Computer (Caxico)
  • New and portable USB data cable
  • Top quality, extra durable, Clear Blue, with Magnetring
  • 5 Feet lenghth USB data cable. Standard double USB2.0 interface
  • Usually, you will get it actually in 9~19 days, If you are in the USA and the item is NOT Fulfilled by Amazon. the item will be sent to you by USPS with shipping...
  • About us (Caxico), Professional factory of cable, welcome to our store for more choices with best price. What we pursue is your satisfication of our service, not...
MS-Audio Service 4.2mm Home Theater Speaker Wire Connectors(plugs) for select Sony Samsung YAMAHA Pioneer etc. Receiver; 6 PCs, 6 inch/each; color coded
Speakers (MS-Audio Service)
  • Made for select Sony, samsung, Yamaha, Denon,Pioneer, Sharp and Toshiba home theater systems which have 4.2mm pin-pitch speaker terminals. Check last two pictures...
  • Work with Sony systems such as DAV/HCD-HDX265 HDX275 HDX285 HDX501W HDZ235 HDZ273 DZ170 DZ175, BDV/HBD E370 E570 E580 E780W T57 T58 T79 N790W E2100 E3100, HT-SS360...
  • Work with Samsung system such as HT-BD1250 C550 C5500 D5300 D550 E5400 E550 E5500W EM54C F4500 F5500W H4500 H5500W H6500W J4100 J4500 J5500W Z310 Z420 etc.
  • Included: 6 piece 4.2mm custom built speaker connectors (plugs/Jacks) with 6 (inch) high quality CLEAR speaker wire ( you get what you see in 2nd picture); Color...
  • Warning: Many systems require different size connectors. Please check pictures for compatibility. Please measure center to center spacing between the two pins and...
Tristar ClearTV X-72 HDTV Digital Indoor Antenna
CE (Tristar)
  • Enjoy uncompressed HD signal that s better than what your satellite or cable service can provide in your local area.
  • Easy to set up- just plug it in!
  • No contracts, no monthly fees.
  • No unexpected price hikes!
  • Enjoy hundreds of the top-rated network shows, sporting events, sitcoms, local news & weather, kids programming, and more in your local area.
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