Nat TaylorObservations & more

East Boston Internet Options

Published on Jan 05, 2019

Comcast is East Boston’s only broadband internet provider, which usually involves lots of promotional rates, fees and sales calls. This page is about how to just get internet for $50 per month by:

  1. Buying your own modem and router
  2. Choosing 15mbps Internet (Performance Starter)
  3. Self-installing

Verizon FiOS, RCN, Google Fiber, Verizon 5G and other broadband internet providers are currently unavailable, though they may come at some point (and you can check availability on their websites.)

There are some less practical options including ViaSat satellite internet, Starry 5G internet, Netblazr and Verizon DSL, but those aren’t discussed here.

Economically, your mileage may vary. I paid $60 for my modem and router, which compares with $13 per month for Comcast’s “Gateway” (modem router combo device) rental, so I broke even after about 5 months.
Also, sometimes, the promotional rates are quite good, so if you are eligible for one (e.g. you just moved in) it can be worth it.

However, now I pay exactly $50 per month, and don’t have to hassle with promotional rates, fees or haggling with sales people.

Buying Your Own Modem and Router

Use Google to get specifics, but here’s what I have:

  1. Modem: ARRIS SURFboard SB6141
  2. Router: ASUS RT-AC68U

This is sufficient, assuming you’ll just be streaming, gaming, browsing, etc in a small home or apartment. I picked these up for $20 and $40 respectively.

Modem and router prices vary wildly, but in general you need to pay more speed, which you should only do if you need the speed. As a benchmark, an HD stream is about 5mbps, so ask yourself “How often will I be using more than 2 streams simultaneously?” (or similar networking like large file transfers or uploading camera footage) and opt for better components only if you need more speed.

Choosing 15mbps Internet (Performance Starter)

Performance Starter with speeds up to 15mbps is available for $50 monthly, without any promotion pricing or additional fees. Follow this link. (Note: You need a clean cookie to see Comcast offers, so use Chrome “Guest Windows”, Chrome Incognito, Firefox private, clear your cookies or similar.)

I needed to downgrade from Performance Internet (60mbps) and the fellow on the phone refused to do it, but the online chat representative was able to do it within about two minutes.

Self-installing

Comcast says you can just follow the self-install steps and eventually activate at http://xfinity.com/activate but I had to call support at 1-877-680-7173  in order to get them add my modem.

That’s it. $50 per month. No more frustrations every year or two when your price increases by about 50% as the promotional rate expires and no frustration of calling and haggling.

Other Notes

Comcast Internet Prices

SpeedMonthly Cost
15mbps$50
60mbps$75
150mbps$90
250mbps$95
400mbps$100
1000mbps$104

Comcast Fees and Rentals

See more at https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/most-common-taxes-fees-surcharges-on-your-bill

FeeMonthly Cost
Gateway (Router & Modem) $13.00
Service with TV Box$2.68
DVR Service $12.68
HD Technology Fee$9.95
DVR Service$10.00
AnyRoom DVR Service $10.00
Regional Sports Fee$8.25
Broadcast TV Fee$10.00
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