Thursday, 22 Feb 2024

RCN broadband: a complete review

RCN broadband: a complete review

Promo offerings from Astound by RCN are among the most competitively priced in the industry. A winning combination, or at least an enticing one, is what you get with Astound by RCN and no commitments, termination fees, or data caps.


First-year costs are reduced.

There will be no data limits.

Contracts are not required.


Availability is restricted to metropolitan regions.

The second year of service brings a significant price hike.

Distracting charges for equipment

How does this work?

Astonished by the substantial increase in RCN’s monthly prices after the first year. It’s a giant leap, but it’s not exactly what we call “trap pricing.” For one thing, Astound by RCN doesn’t lock you into a long-term contract, so if you run into a price increase, you have the option of either abandoning your service or negotiating with your provider.

Let’s take a closer look at RCN-powered Astound Broadband.

Access to the RCN’s online services

Although RCN has been in operation since its inception in 1993, Astound Broadband, the provider of services under the Grande Communications and Wave Broadband regional brand names, owns the company. RCN provides high-speed internet access to the home in six distinct U.S. metro areas. 

Pricing and options for RCN’s internet service.

RCN’s six markets don’t have the same programs and prices. You can see the plans offered by RCN below that are available in its Philadelphia service area, which is a good place to start if you’re looking for an internet service provider.

How does RCN’s pricing stack up against those of its competitors?

For your first year of promotional pricing, you can expect to pay an average of 8 cents per megabit per second across all RCN markets and plans.

That’s a good thing to know. After your first year of service, the price goes up significantly. RCN’s standard rate, which takes effect after 12 months, has an average price of 57 cents per Mbps, compared to 8 cents per Mbps for the introductory offer. However, even while it’s not the most we’ve seen among cable ISPs—we’re looking at you, Cox (80 cents per Mbps)—it’s one of the starkest discrepancies between the promotional cost and the normal pricing we’ve seen.

In advance of the promotion’s end, RCN clients are notified of their new monthly fee. These details appear on their bill the month before the promotion ends.

There is no contract with RCN, so when you approach the end of your promotional period and see what terms RCN gives, or if there are any other ISPs in your region, you may do some research and see what they have to offer. Customers in Washington, DC, and Chicago, IL, can choose Verizon Fios or Xfinity, respectively. In each scenario, make sure to complete your research. If you have no other choice than Verizon’s DSL service, RCN will still be less expensive. However, users considering switching to Xfinity should be aware that to get the cheapest rates, they must sign a term contract, which is not required for RCN subscribers.

Fees for using the RCN internet service

There is a $10 activation fee for all RCN Internet packages, although the leasing fee for modems varies from city to city. RCN’s highest modem rate is $16 a month in Chicago, while in Washington, you’ll pay $12 to $13 per month for your modem, depending on which market you’re in. Customers in Philadelphia will pay $5 a month for their modem, while those in New York who want gigabit service will spend $10 a month, which is still less than many other service providers charge.

It is possible to avoid paying a monthly rental fee.

The RCN network will allow you to utilize your modem and router if they’re compatible. RCN allows you to use your modem and router to avoid paying the costs of RCN’s modem and router. There are many ways to get around RCN’s add-on options, but this may be the most straightforward.

RCN has more alternatives, but it may also have higher fees.

As an alternative to paying for the equipment, RCN offers numerous optional extras that will help you improve your home networking hardware, but they will also increase your payment.

A conventional Wi-Fi router is usually included in most plans. However, RCN offers the option of adding improved Wi-Fi for an additional fee. The Eero Pro 6 mesh router, which my CNET colleague Ry Crist gave excellent ratings when he put it through its paces late in 2020, provides this service for the Boston, New York, and Philadelphia markets. To lease it, RCN will charge you $10 a month, with the first month complimentary. However, customers in Chicago, the Lehigh Valley, and Washington, DC will pay the same rental fee for the lower-rated Eero 6.

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