Best Broadband Home Internet in San Diego County

It’s taken almost 20 years, but some competition has finally come to home internet service in San Diego County.   Within the last year, wireless home internet has begun being offered by wireless providers T-Mobile and Verizon at substantially lower prices than the entrenched cable companies.  Granted, their speeds are slower, but more than sufficient for most households to browse, watch streaming content and do most Net-based transactions.   This new competition has led to a noticeable reduction in home internet service charges, so thank you T-Mobile and Verizon.  Finally, San Diego consumers can expect to pay $50 per month, or less, for home internet service.   There are two problems though:

  1.  The wireless home internet speeds and reliability aren’t great.   We’ve struggled with T-Mobile Home Internet for the better part of a year and the speeds tend to be in the 50mbps range, but with very large speed swings and, on occasion, no service at all because of congestion on the T-Mobile cellular network.
  2.  Verizon’s home internet service is available in very limited areas throughout San Diego.

The New Internet Service Providers

But let focus on the good news.  Home Internet service prices are lower.  For most homeowners who need Internet for video streaming, music and web browsing,  50-100 mbps speed is more than adequate.   Both Verizon and T-Mobile are offering wireless home internet service for about $50 per month.

Race Communications is a California-based internet provider that offers fiber-based home internet service.  It is offering 25 mbps service for $25 per month and a higher 1 gigabit speed for $60 per month.   The glitch is that you have to be located near the company’s fiber network.

The Incumbent Internet Service Providers

The “old-guard” home internet duopolopolists are Spectrum and AT&T north of Interstate 8 and Cox and AT&T south of the interstate.   Because of the new competition, these cable/fiber providers have reduced their prices through one or two year promotional prices.   Currently, Spectrum is offering a 2-year $29 per month promotion for 100 mbps — a rate substantially less than the new wireless competition.

Cox Cable and AT&T are also offering home internet promotions, for new customers only.  They vary, but you can expect to see prices in the same range as that offered by Spectrum.  Their networks are fairly stable and reliable.  The speeds should not vary like those offered by the wireless companies.   But once the promotional prices end, they will raise the prices by as much as 100%.

Our Recommendation

Depending upon how important signal reliability is to you, we recommend you try out the wireless providers and see what kind of speed and signal strength you get.   They do not require contracts, so if you aren’t satisfied, you might attempt to secure the promotional prices from the “old guard” wire-based service companies for about 2 years and then, once they try to jack up the price, try the wireless companies again.   By that time, Verizon will have built up its home internet coverage and both wireless companies will have likely reduced their prices.


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