I'm now on Sonic.net bonded ADSL2+, a change from the Comcast Business I had when I posted earlier in this thread. I moved to another place in San Francisco and even though I could have stuck with Comcast Business, I just really didn't like supporting them anymore. I've very seldom had to deal with their support, the few times I did it wasn't great, but it was more about just disliking Comcast as a company.
The other factor was that in my new place I finally had the option of using a different ISP that could offer theoretically equivalent speeds. At my old place Comcast was pretty much the only option above 6mbit, whereas here I have 2 other possibilities with significant bandwidth - Sonic.net's "Fusion" broadband
and Monkeybrains wireless
I only found out about Monkeybrains after I moved and had already setup my connection with Sonic. But it does sound intriguing - up to 20mbit/s *symmetric* through local long distance wireless. Unfortunately after talking with them a bit it sounded like the actual *amount* of data I transfer would be a potential issue at the low price they're offering to residential customers ($35/mo paid quarterly for up to 20mbit symmetric!). Even going up to $100/mo it was still questionable that they would want me as a customer, heh.
Fortunately Sonic's deal is fairly good too, and surprisingly they actually *reduced* their prices after I got service. They're also month-to-month, so aside the cost of equipment ($99 up front), if you opt out of install services, you're only out of pocket for the months of service you actually get, no contract. I can cancel any time. Comcast Business wanted a *3 year* agreement! Granted if you move to a location where Comcast *can't* provide service they'll let you out of the agreement without penalty, but still.
So what I get with Sonic is 2 phone lines with unlimited long distance (being live phone lines though they do tack on about $15/mo total for phone-related taxes and fees, unfortunately), and each line gives a theoretical 20mbit download, 2.5mbit upload speed. In practice it's more like 30mbit download between the two of them, and about 1.5mbit upload. There's a mode called "Annex-M" that trades some download bandwidth for upload and I currently have that enabled, giving me about 22mbit down and 3mbit up, which is pretty nice overall. That's pretty much what Comcast was offering on paper, though they routinely delivered more than that. But Sonic is a bit cheaper ($80/mo before taxes and fees) and, as I said, no contract, plus they're a *way* better company and local (their main office is about an hour away from here, my home town in fact).
The one problem I've had with the service is the combination mode, router, wireless device that they provide. It's the only one available for bonded ADSL2+ (from Comtrend) and it works ok as a modem, maybe even a router, but when you add large wireless use on top of it (e.g. if you're using it as the main router and there are multiple wireless clients trying to copy files between each other *and* do large web downloads at the same time), then it seems to overheat and crap out. Fortunately Sonic was nice enough to help me bridge to another wireless router I have with Tomato firmware on it, and now everything is working smoothly. I think just taking some of the load off the Comtrend helped it cope with its heat/CPU/memory load. I wish there were a non-combination device available to support this service, just a "dumb" modem, but apparently that's not where the money is now because nobody seems to make one.
So overall I'm pretty happy with broadband in San Francisco, between the 3 places I've lived here all over the city, but I must say many neighborhoods are still without reasonable competition to Comcast due to the limitations of POTS-based connections. Verizon is not our phone provider here and so FOIS is not an option unfortunately. It sounds amazing though, I'd love to have that available (though I don't like Verizon as a company either). Comcast admittedly does a decent job with bandwidth, and if you're savvy to the consumer line limitations and don't care about service bundling (e.g. TV, phone), then you can get an unlimited connection for a fairly palatable monthly sum. It's the long contracts on the business side that put you off, but for what they give you it's a tough call - after all, you're not likely to want slower bandwidth in a year or two, are you? And if you know that other systems aren't likely to compete in the area any time soon (which is sadly true), it's not such a bad gamble, unless you run low on funds and find yourself unable to justify the monthly fee in which case canceling still incurs a hefty penalty. Yeah, I don't like Comcast, despite their fast connections.
Ultimately I'm quite happy to be able to get good bandwidth at a reasonable price from a company like Sonic.net that I like and respect. That's a rarity these days, regardless of how much bandwidth you have. I'd love a little more upload bandwidth though...