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I most recently switched ISPs ...

Displaying poll results.
Never -- still on my first one
  2491 votes / 10%
More than 10 years ago
  3324 votes / 13%
5-10 years ago
  5047 votes / 20%
3-5 years ago
  3560 votes / 14%
1-3 years ago
  4790 votes / 19%
Within the last year
  3504 votes / 14%
Within the last month
  973 votes / 4%
Have never had an ISP
  472 votes / 1%
24161 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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I most recently switched ISPs ...

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  • I last changed ISPs a few years ago when my last ISP tried to pull a fast one, changing their terms and conditions to introduce traffic shaping (DPI) instead of buying bandwidth. But it was not just any kind of shaping, they wnated to throttle certain traffic based on time of day, so you could not do work when YOU wanted, but when THEY wanted. They even had the nerve to prioritise their VoIP service over Skype and other such services.

    Lucky there was a clause that you can leave penalty free if the ISP change

    • by Mitreya (579078)

      I last changed ISPs a few years ago when my last ISP tried to pull a fast one, changing their terms and conditions

      How many ISPs do you have available??
      Where I lived we had... Comcast. You might have DSL alternative, but that would require having a landline, which we didn't.
      Now I live in an apartment building that has a building-wide ISP that also supplies cable TV (whatever they are called). And, again, no landline telephone built in. So if I don't like them (and I don't - they block ports and oversell!), how exactly do I switch?

      The question should start with "If you had access to more than one ISP, ..."

      • Now I live in an apartment building that has a building-wide ISP that also supplies cable TV (whatever they are called). And, again, no landline telephone built in. So if I don't like them (and I don't - they block ports and oversell!), how exactly do I switch?

        4G router, pretty much all mobile carriers sell them, some of which are on an 'unlimted,' 'pay-as-you-go' setup (T-Mobile comes to mind, I think at last check it was ~$50 for the device after rebates and about half that per month for the connection).

        Alternate, Hacker-style solution: Yagi mast pointed at the nearest McDonald's/Starbucks/other place w/ free wifi.

        Uber-hacker solution: Several yagi masts, each pointed at a different free wifi provider, aggregated into a load balancer.

        • One assumes 4G is everywhere. It isn't.

          • One assumes 4G is everywhere. It isn't.

            Fair enough, but 3G coverage is fairly ubiquitous.

            There's also the option of satellite internet - the worst possible option out there, especially considering the cost-to-benefit ratio, but hey, it is still technically an option.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      I last changed ISPs a few years ago when my last ISP tried to pull a fast one, changing their terms and conditions to introduce traffic shaping (DPI) instead of buying bandwidth.

      Sounds familiar, actually that sounds like most Canadian ISP's. The real problem was until recently(the last 3-4 years) there was no real option. Now that there's other ISP's being allowed onto the incumbent networks, it's changed. The second I could dump rogers for Teksavvy I did, I'm quite happy.

      Rogers wants: $46.95 for 28/1 w/80GB/mo + $7.50/mo modem rental (Or buy your own from a selection of 1-2 modems)
      Teksavvy wants $46.95 for 28/1 w/300GB/mo though you buy or bring your own modem.

      Other ISP's do th

  • Move Often? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This poll is almost meaningless without knowing how often people move.

    I've moved four times within the past year (college student), but I've been at my current location for 1.5 months, so within the last year.

    • This poll is almost meaningless without knowing how often people move.

      Indeed. I've moved twice in the last 30 years, and those were the only occasions I changed ISP (dial-up -> cable -> fiber). On cable, the link was supposed to be 2Mbps but I had 3Mbps for the first couple of years because they did not configure the DOCSIS. On fiber, I initially had 10/2 Mbps which changed to 20/2 Mbps and then 100/100 Mbps, without any price increase. Actually, the price dropped on going to 100/100 because they discontinued the IPTV service.

    • Re:Move Often? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kittenman (971447) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @03:48PM (#40731643)

      This poll is almost meaningless without knowing how often people move.

      I've moved four times within the past year (college student), but I've been at my current location for 1.5 months, so within the last year.

      Friend, you didn't read the riders at the top of this page. It's a slashdot poll - they're all meaningless.

    • by Mitreya (579078)

      This poll is almost meaningless without knowing how often people move.

      Yes, that, and the poll is also skewed without excluding people who have access to exactly one ISP. In the last 10 years, I've had no landline (thus excluding DSL option), and so there was exactly one internet provider choice. It changed when I moved, but I would certainly switch ISP more often if there were alternatives to choose from.

    • by jgtg32a (1173373)
      Agreed I moved within the last year, and while technically I do have a new provider it is really only because my old provider wasn't available.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      This poll is almost meaningless without knowing how often people move.

      Actually I feel that data is rather meaningless anyway because it has nothing to do with whether you wanted to switch ISPs or not. I've changed provider... 1... 2.. 3...4...5...6...7 times I think over the last 10+ years but I never changed ISPs just to change ISP. In the same place your options tend to be rather limited, maybe with fiber roll-out you can experience one important change but mostly it's just same old.

    • by Bigbutt (65939)

      I've moved fairly often (7 times in the past 17 years I think) but I haven't changed providers. It's always been Comcast whether it's in Northern Virginia or Colorado. Just different locations for the bill. I still have the same account name. The first ISP I had was PSINet in '95 I think. Then I switched to Comcast with the modem upload, cable download.


    • by dargaud (518470)
      People living in apartments move every 3 years on average, I don't know about people living in houses. Yeah, [citation needed].
    • by godrik (1287354)

      Actually, last time I changed ISP is 4 years ago. It corresponds to when I changed country.

  • Whenever they decide I've breached their "fair usage policy" for "unlimited" usage.

    • by danomac (1032160)

      In my case my last switch was because the major cable internet provider here decided to throttle everybody. Without warning (and I was not a heavy bandwidth user at the time) I noticed one of my legitimate linux ISO torrents had basically no throughput. I actually did a speed test (of course it said the full speed at the time) but even downloading the iso directly off the website was at least half the speed.

      After news came out on dslreports that they were throttling I left for the ADSL provider. Slower spee

  • by mossy the mole (1325127) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @01:55PM (#40731041)
    Got bought out and assimilated, Does that count as a change ?
    • by Matheus (586080)

      I'm on a different "kinda" side...

      I've had the same DSL wire running to my house from the same provider since I bought the house in 2002.

      That provider has changed names twice in that time both of which I believe were buy outs.

      I've upgraded my service once in that time. (1.5 sync -> 40/20) and when i did that I was forced to drop my third-party ISP and switch to using my Telco who've been providing me the line just not the service all along.

      So... I answered 3-5 because that's when I upgraded my line and s

      • I'm in the same situation, but I have had the same DSL line since 1998.

        I have a tiny local ISP (they started out as the local newspaper) connected through USWest^HQwest^CenturyLink.

        I recently had my data rate get realllly slow, and the ISP was at least able to point the finger successfully at CL. Unfortunately, while troubleshooting this, I was connected twice to a CenturyLink chat agent who was excellent at dodging responsibility and refusing to work on my problem. Twice I had to log off chat and get a
  • by muridae (966931) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @02:17PM (#40731169)

    Don't laugh, but AOL really was the first ISP to offer a local dial-up in our area. So, that's what we used. Then the local phone company started offering dial-up, so we switched to them. They got bought by someone who would get bought by Ntelos who would spun into Lumos, and in one form or another we've always had an internet connection through them. Sure, I used the T1 that my first college apartment split, but the Ntelos DSL line was still active at my parents. And once I moved to someplace where a T1 wasn't included in the rent, I was back to that same DSL. Still am with them.

    Why? Cause their terms of service were "Don't screw with our network, and we don't care what you do. We will respond to police investigations, but only if we have to. Attempt to screw with our network, and we will burn your computer." or something like that. All the other ISPs had rules about no servers (seriously, hosting a Action Quake game would get you banned) and odd things about "don't download music during peak hours."

  • Just a few weeks ago I upgraded my Cable plan with Comcast. Now I'm at 50 down, 15 up for $90 a month. It's nice having a cable company that supports DOCSIS 3.0

  • I moved to a place where I could only get Dial-up or Satellite for about 3 years. Aside from that I have had Comcast Cable internet since the 90's. 3.5 years ago I bought a house and was able to get Comcast again. I am no big fan of Comcast but their internet is the best available in my area.

    Their stated rate of ~$65/month is high, but if you call about every 6 months and tell them you want to get rid of the TV bundle part, they will give you a break, usually between $40-$55/month (for TV&Int). I ha
  • by Tim Ward (514198) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @02:44PM (#40731317) Homepage

    I have changed the one that provides my connectivity a couple of times, most recently when, when cable came to the area (I've still got a dial-up account which in theory is a back-up but in practice I never use). Of course I have used several others for connectivity temporarily, particularly when travelling with a bag full of phone connector adapters.

    I have changed the one that provides email and hosting twice, once when it became naff to use CompuServe and once when I wanted more bandwidth than the then current hosting company was happy to supply at a reasonable price.

    I use other internet service providers to provide other internet services, and change them as necessary, as the world changes around me.

    • Yeah, this was my question too.

      For our home internet access, our last change was roughly 10 years ago when cable internet finally became available in our area. Goodbye dialup! But for my (non day job) website, I've been through three providers in the last ten years.

    • by antdude (79039)

      Ditto for me. I also have EarthLink's $9.95 dial-up account (10 hours per month maximum; it has GigaNews!) as a backup in case my cable modem goes down for emergencies. I rarely use it too.

  • by neurocutie (677249) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @04:03PM (#40731705)
    When there is a virtual monopoly in local broadband, there is nothing to change to...

    Time Warner Roadrunner is just about it here, other than slow and expensive wireless. Not even FIOS here. I guess there is some DSL that isn't all that attractive...

  • by Tastecicles (1153671) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @04:21PM (#40731777)

    which is why I ditched the wire and went for the only viable option - cellular on Three. £15/mo and I get five hours of calls, 3,000 texts and limitless data. Truly limitless.

    By limitless, I mean: when I first switched, I didn't know what they meant by it. After a couple months, I had to call tech support from one of their shops, because everyone in my area suddenly lost service and fell back to roaming on the Orange network (which their PAYG data plan doesn't work on). They asked me if I was a data user, to which I half-jokingly replied yes, several Gigabytes a day. I realised my slip and asked them if that was OK with them, to which they responded, "You paid for the plan - when we say all you can eat data, we mean it."

    Colour me gobsmacked. Turns out that several weeks of continuous saturation had burned their cell and they had to replace the whole shebang. To get around the problem of saturation burn, they simply installed a more powerful box. Within a day of my call.

    Tellin' ya, this thing is faster and more stable than what I was getting on Virgin. For *one fifth the cost*.

    I will never, EVER go back to Virgin.

    • by buglista (1967502)
      OTOH, I've very happy with them. Reliably 20Mb/s down, and 2Mb/s up, soon to be doubled, with minimal downtime. I think it depends on the local area you're in, as they are basically an amalgamation of many, many different cable companies.
    • by tomtomtom (580791)

      I agree that Virgin Media are expensive. I was rather reluctant when I last moved house to use them but I couldn't get Sky TV so my only (realistic) option for premium TV was Virgin Media. They work out significantly more expensive than Sky+BT+O2 did in my old place by something like £25/month for a similar package. To be honest though, that's the only thing I really have a serious complaint with them over.

      Reliability is OK - not great but reasonable for a consumer-level contract (my experience is on

  • by mk1004 (2488060) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @04:39PM (#40731843)
    They forgot one: You can switch ISPs?
    • I would think for a majority of the US at least, you only have one broadband option if any at all. There is a fierce anti-competitive lobby in place that restricts anyone from competing with the massive telecoms.
  • I initially started with Pacific Bell Internet (PBI), a unit of Pacific Telephone. I erroneously thought that a highly-regarded telecommunications company would have excellent service. I was quite wrong! Generally, when PBI's servers or network had problems, their service representatives would blame my PC setup, even after I explained that I was a software test engineer with 25+ years of experience. The final straw was when PBI's DNS tables became corrupted, denying me access to a number of Web sites.

  • I AM an ISP, you insensitive clod!

  • by ElementOfDestruction (2024308) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @05:11PM (#40732001) []

    Useful utility! Enter an address, seems more thorough than DSLReports and other sources.
  • Everyone complains about their ISP, but I've had Cox Communications for my ISP (without their cable TV package, at no extra cost or hassle) for over a decade. In that time, the price has gone up by fewer than five dollars. But every year at basically the same cost to me, they make it a little bit faster (I think it's about 15 Mbps now) and they increase the over-all usage limits (which I have never come remotely close to, despite working over a VPN during the day, and downloading lots and lots of media over
    • by Skater (41976)
      My experience with Cox in Northern Virginia (Alexandria area for me) was also very good. I moved, though, and now have a choice between Comcast and Verizon FiOS. I use FiOS and I've been pretty happy with them. They're more reliable than the electrical service at my house, which is an interesting situation.
      • by Rotag_FU (2039670)

        I live in SW Virginia and I can say that in general the opposite is true regarding Cox. Here Cox does not face any real competition. We do have Verizon but they stopped their FIOS expansion plans just before expanding here so the only Cox competition is Verizon DSL. I've lived in various locations across the country and Cox is ridiculously expensive here. A friend is moving here from Chicago and felt the need to double check with me regarding pricing since he could not believe how much more expensive it

  • Better download and upload speeds, and if you can believe it, worse service.
  • Last time I actually switched was to escape from a small, local company bought out by a big nasty company., in Ottawa, as hands down the best ISP I have ever dealt with. Great service, top-notch support staff, and decent prices.

    Sadly they sold out to Primus Canada, a company that has without question the worst service of any telecom in Canada. I mean, not just bad, but endlessly and horribly bad; the kind of bad that seems really intentional; the kind of bad that seems designed to say "Do you r
    • I switched to when my previous provider, went under. They offer 6Mb/800kb DSL with 300GB/month for $34.99 (note: usage between 2:00am and 8:00am does not count towards your monthly cap). You can also get a static ip address in order to run a server. They are linux friendly and have great tech support. They offer DSL and Cable at various speeds and monthly caps (including unlimited). They also have dry loop services for DSL over the phone lines even though there is no phone service
  • "Within the last month" technically, but only because I was out of their coverage area for a while. They're competent, ethical, reliable, and reasonably priced. I've been a loyal customer for >15 years and I'm sticking with them as long as they keep it up.

    Disclaimer: Nothing to disclaim. I'm just a happy customer.

  • Ironically, I changed ISP last year because of my television provider. They sent me a letter saying they were going to drop BBC2 from their offering. As I am a huge fan of the BBC, I decided to look around for alternatives and ended up with a glass fibre provider replacing both my cable TV and ADSL internet connection. The new bandwidth is nice (100 mbps symmetrical up/down), but I'm especially happy my BBC is still there.

  • I am my own ISP
  • I live just a few km outside of the capital in a region that was built only ca 5 years ago and as it is the only missing cable connection is the landline (got gas, electricity and all other utilities). So my only options for network were limited when I moved here 2 years ago so I took WiMax connection that had been here by the previous owners giving me on average 1 Mbit/s down with max possible 6 Mbit/s. Having come from DSL lines and having 10G fiber in the office it was really bad to live on 1Mb.

    Then this

  • I currently have 2 isp's one for home & one mobile one for when stuck on the train. The latter I change a couple of months ago but the home one I've been using for almost 4 years now.

    As there's fttc cabinets out I the street now I'm now waiting for those to come online & then switch that one.

  • I only switched ISP when I moved because my old ISP had used up their allocation of DSL ports at the exchange my new house is on. I could have waited some indeterminate amount of time for them to get a new allocation of ports, but given I work from home regularly, that wasn't an option.

    And, having looked in to it, I think that's just what the person at O2 *thought* was wrong; having looked in to it more closely myself, none of the ISPs (except C&W, who don't count) have LLU on our exchange, which I sus

  • After cable, i went for DSL because, at the time (around 2002) that was just more reliable. Then the soap started. Within 1 1/2 year, this relative small provider was bought by another, and again, and again, untill i ended at tiscali - a large one that had aten all smaller fish. So my contract stayed the same, but the name of the dsl provider kept changing and occasionally i got another new and free modem.

    While i didn't complain, after all i had an affordable connection at decent speeds, the last one in the

  • There are options?
    • by EzInKy (115248)

      In a lot of places yes, there actually are. Usually those options come at a price though. In my area the cost is pretty much related to speed. Those that advertise the fastest connections here have the most strigent restrictions against running servers. All things being equal those offering the most freedom would be the logical consumer choice but, being as how the most restrictive companies are winning, consumers are not very logical.

  • Had Verizon FIOS before, Comcast XFINITY now. When I moved I had to switch because FIOS isn't available where I live now. Can't say I've had any serious problems with either service. I've had a couple of hour-long outages with Comcast that may have been their issue or mine (don't know which). Speed with both has been fine.
  • I went from Charter in Long Beach, CA to Time Warner in Costa Mesa, CA. I really miss Charter. They were a fantastic company to deal with. I was paying for 10Mb and regularly got 20-25Mb. The connection was stable. The customer service people were always really easy to deal with. The few times I called up to downgrade my service, they ended up putting me on 12 month "promotional" deals that ended up being better than what I was getting in the first place. They even left my torrent traffic alone.


  • by DarthVain (724186) on Monday July 23, 2012 @09:22AM (#40736161)

    I live in Canada. Unless you live in Megacityopolis there is no choice. There are two choices maybe, and they both amount to the same thing.

  • I AM my ISP!
  • Do we really have a choice?
  • If you are thinking about switching you might want to read this [] (latest report from the FCC broadband assessment project "ask sam"). Lots of pretty graphs and numbers.
  • (In the UK) They're one of the BT DSL and fiber resellers, they're a little pricey, but completely awesome.

    There's no filtering or traffic shaping of any kind, no restrictions on running servers, and they offer web-based constant quality monitoring -- by-the-minute graphs of bandwidth usage, latency and packet loss on the line. Ring them up and you're immediately speaking to a technically competent person in the UK, no answering machines, no outsourced support.

    I'm on the FTTC service (VDSL). I get 76Mbps

  • Wasn't really a conscious choice. I moved in with my girlfriend (now wife) without noticing and inherited her ISP in the process.
  • 25 years ago, I paid AOL their $3/ per hour for 14.4 dialup. When I started to work online, I was getting too many dropped connections from that service - but it was my primary account. So for another $20/month, I signed up for ATT-Worldnet with 40-ish hours a month free. If AOL failed, then I just switched providers, and didn't miss a day of online work.
    About 20 years ago, Comcast came to my neighborhood (and yeah.. they ripped me off, but I won. another story) - they offered a bundle including @H

  • I tried to switch from cable to DSL, but I am too far from the DSLAM and they could not get me a consistently usable connection. I tried to switch to WiMAX but although the provider advertises service in my area and their website says my house is in range, when I tried to subscribe they said my area was not covered. So for the past 8 years I have been stuck with Time Warner.

  • I'd probably have stuck with the ISP from the old town but their territory didn't extend out.

    Prior to that I'd been with the same ISP that'd been borged twice; it started out as a single-town mom&pop and ultimately became part of Earthlink.

  • Choices here are Comcast for Cable, Verzion FTTH, or any DSL provider (all through Verizon DSL).

    In my present house I started with Verizon DSL to provide basic internet connection for a security camera while I did work. This was about 4 months, they required no contract.

    Then I switched to Verizon FIOS + TV and phone (25/25 internet). After about year plus I decided to ditch TV and phone. They wanted $55+/mo for their lowest advertised speed tier by itself, while Comcast offered a comparable tier for $29.

  • by tlambert (566799) on Monday July 23, 2012 @06:34PM (#40743511)

    I had an account with a nice little ISP, and Earthlink bought them. Then I switch to Primnet, and Earthlink bought them. Than I switched to Mindspring, and Earthlink bought them.

    Personally, I do not want to do this to another poor ISP, so I will sit where I am now, with a 2 after my less preferred user name variant, and spare the rest of you. I hope you appreciate my sacrifice.

  • They finally ran fiber in my neighborhood. Best I could get before was about 5Mbps with Uverse. SureWest started offering 24Mbps for the same price. No brainer, but the SureWest cable boxes SUCK. The channels are far more limited, use an insane numbering system with no rhyme or reason to how HD and SD are numbered, is missing features (like next movie play times), and is buggy as hell.

    I'm thinking about unbundling with a different provider for cable and keeping SureWest internet.

  • by Tom (822)

    Home connection? More than 10 years ago.
    Mobile? A few years ago and I'm about to switch again.

    Could be an interesting poll to find out how many ISPs people have. My guess is that a lot of people would have at least two.

  • I used to be with XS4ALL which was founded in 1993 as an offshoot of the hackers club Hack-Tic as they are (one of) the best.
    However, while sympathetic the price difference became such that I switched to Tele-2 about 3 years ago. Got a Wii as welcome present too lol.

  • Held on to RCN as long as we could, to fight the man, but eventually caved to Verizon for the phone etc bundle
  • I could get Verizon DSL, satellite, 3g, or dial-up. As a gamer who plays online at times, it's a really easy choice.

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