What a menagerie out there!

Internet Service Providers are everywhere! What is the one thing they all have in common? They all have the customer over a barrel! Trying to sort through the myriad of advertising gimmicks, special offers and free extras you get if you order their service, proved to be an almost impossible task. I selected the three providers I did, because they are all available in the Lancaster area. Every one of them seems to want to get their hooks in you by offering a low introductory rate for the first 6 to 12 months, and then put the nail in the coffin, when the honeymoon is over! You may think I am being sarcastic, but I am not.

All three providers, Net Zero, ATT, and Time Warner Cable (TWC), offer several different pricing options, which are relative to their bandwidth. Most offered bundling services, which allow you to combine Internet, Television and Telephone Services into a one price package.

Net Zero has an accelerated dial up service for $15/month and came in the cheapest. The kicker is, you already have to have telephone service and long distant charges may apply. With basic land-line service at about $20/ month, that would make your cost over $35/month for a relatively slow service.

All three offer a basic service with bandwidths of 768/kbits. Again, Net Zero was the cheapest at $17.95/month. ATT came in at $25/month and TWC at $27.95/month for the same speed. ATT and Net Zero offer 3.0 Mbps plans at $38/month and $27.95/month respectively. I found that regardless which of the three providers you choose, you are going to pay about $45 a month for a 6-10 Mbps connection, with either DSL or cable. TWC offers a Turbo package, with bursts of speed from 35-50Mbps for $50/month.

After reading many comments, from the users of the three ISPs I chose, I concluded their customers either loved them or hated them. There was no middle ground. In closing, if you have just moved into the Lancaster area and need to choose an ISP from those listed above, I would use the old reliable eeny, meeny, miny, moe method.

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