What internet providers are there in the Chicago Area?
Water, heat, electricity, and possibly air conditioning are the utilities everyone thinks of—but what about TV and cable? These ‘new utilities’ are typically available through a variety of different hookups in the same buildings but they differ greatly in terms of speed, service, price, and extras. Talk to your building manager about the options and the prices, and be careful to avoid potential scams.
The big three in Chicago are RCN, and more commonly Comcast and AT & T (and a few smaller startups that are much less common).
RCN uses cables, fiber optic cables, and boasts some of the fastest speeds in Chicago—up to75 Mbps. However the typical package is $80 per month with digital TV and 25 Mbps internet for the first year, then up to $90 for year 2 and $100 for year three. An extra ten dollars will give you another 25 Mbps.
Comcast on the other hand offers only 12 or 15 Mbps. You can get TV, Internet, and Voicemail together for a hundred dollars a month, although the price begins jumping after that in much the same way as RCN. Leaving out the TV will give you 12 Mbps as well as voicemail for $50 (and free long distance).
AT & T is by far the most likely to allow you to split things up and avoid paying for any parts or pieces of a plan that you don’t like. But unlike the other two the service for internet runs on DSL which is slower and less reliable. Check your location for what speeds and prices are available, between 3 Mbps and 25 Mbps. Also be prepared for shorter introductory prices (6 months to a year) that scale up rapidly following. Plan on $30 per month for a workable setup
And note that there may also be installation fees up front and that on certain days (like when it rains) the city population may be online together, slowing down service speeds incrementally especially if you are trying to download large files or watch streaming video.