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BAY AREA BUSINESS PHONE SYSTEMS BLOG

Leading Internet Providers in the San Francisco Bay Area

Posted by Randy Kremlacek on Mar 6, 2015 10:10:00 AM

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Bay Area Internet Providers - Where Do You Start?

San Francisco Internet Options for BusinessWhen it comes to San Francisco Bay Area Internet providers, there is a seemingly endless stream of carriers to consider. To help you make the most informed decision for your business, this blog post will outline and identify the major providers of business Internet services in the Bay Area. Further, I've categorized the leading Internet service vendors by the type of circuits that they provide and their ability to support VoIP. 

Before we dive in, it's important for you to know that TeleDynamic has decades of experience with Internet carriers and this is how we are able to provide this “inside information". As a carrier agent, we provide professional consultation on the best choices for your specific business needs - not a cookie cutter solution. Engage with us and we'd be happy to gather quotes of reliable, leading providers and provide you a meaningful comparison. Before you ask, yes, this comes at no charge to you.

Internet Providers for the San Francisco Bay Area

Let's start by exploring the technical choices that you have in the Bay Area for your Internet service, while noting the individual pros and cons of each option.

Ethernet over Fiber

The leading providers are AT&T, Level 3/TW Telecom (recently merged), and Zayo.

The Pros of Fiber

  • Superior reliability with strong Service Level Agreements (SLA)
  • Scalable to 10GB
  • Excellent for VoIP

The Cons of Fiber

  • Unless the building is currently “lit” with a fiber connection to the carrier, it can take from 90 to 180 days to install.  AT&T’s lead times are the worst and they frequently don’t deliver within the promised timeframe

Ethernet over Copper (EoC)

The leading providers are TelePacific, Sonic.Net, and XO Communications

The Pros of EoC

  • Many carriers provide the same Service Level Agreements as they do for fiber
  • 45 days or less for installation
  • Recommended for VoIP

The Cons of EoC

  • Maximum capacity is currently 100MB.
  • Does not work past 12,000 to 16,000 feet from the location the EoC equipment is located
  • While many carriers provide good SLA’s, the reliability of EoC is less than fiber, as EoC uses multiple pairs of copper wire, any one of them subject to failure

Cable

The only provider in the San Francisco Bay Area is Comcast, which maintains two divisions - Business and Enterprise. Comcast Business delivers asymmetric (download speed is faster than upload speed) service on the same cable as they deliver their video service. Comcast Enterprise is an entirely different operation and they sell fiber Internet connections.

The Pros of Comcast Business

  • Inexpensive
  • Very fast download speeds

The Cons of Comcast Business

  • Asymmetric service, with upload speeds one-fifth the speed of download speeds
  • No Service Level Agreement (SLA) so it’s a “best efforts” product
  • Not the best choice for VoIP
  • Comcast is known to claim that a given address can be served and will take the order, only later to tell the customer that they cannot complete the order. Most times they will ask the customer to foot the bill for extending service to the customer’s building

 The Pros of Comcast Enterprise

  • New network
  • Layer 2 (could be a pro or con)
  • Excellent pricing

The Pros of Comcast Enterprise

  • New to the market
  • Layer 2 (could be a pro or con)
  • Spotty Coverage

Ethernet over Fixed Wireless  

The leading providers Ethernet over Fixed Wireless are TelePacific and WiLine

The Pros of Wireless

  • The service can be installed in two weeks or even less
  • Can be inexpensive

The Cons of Wireless

  • Customer must have line of site to a wireless antenna
  • Service can be negatively impacted by weather
  • Poor choice for VoIP 

San Francisco Internet Carrier Review & Ratings

Here’s how we rank the Bay Area's top Internet carriers. We’ve based our ratings on our experiences, as well as the experiences of the larger agent community. Is our system perfect and scientifically quantified?  No, but it is based on the real world in the San Francisco Bay Area. 


AT&T

They are the U.S. largest last mile fiber provider with the most fiber-lit buildings. Their strengths are in the 100MB range where they are competitively priced. 
ATT_Logo_-_Bay_Area_Internet

Coverage Area:  Wide

Price: C - D

Network Quality: A

Delivery: C - F

Customer Service: D


Comcast Business
Comcast Business provides the cheapest “best efforts” asymmetric Internet access in the Bay Area. They are aggressively adding new coverage.Comcast_Business_-_Bay_Area_Internet

Coverage Area:  B-

Price: A

Network Quality: C

Delivery: B-F

Customer Service: D


Comcast Enterprise
Comcast Enterprise is actively building out their fiber network but will only build if there is a guaranteed return on investment. Time will tell how they do in expanding; however, for customers that are using them for their fiber to the Internet product, they have been very happy. They have good coverage in the East Bay (i.e. Pleasanton, San Ramon, Danville, etc.) Comcast_-_Bay_Area_Internet

Coverage Area:  C-

Price: A

Network Quality: A

Delivery:  C

Customer Service:  D


Level 3/Time Warner Telecom
This recently merged organization is located in most data centers and actively growing their enterprise building coverage. Both companies have a high-quality network.Level_3_-_Bay_Area_Internet

Coverage Area:  B-

Price: A (on-net) D (off-net)

Network Quality: A

Delivery:  A

Customer Service:  Too early to tell

 

Sonic.Net
Sonic has the best Ethernet over Copper offering in California. They are building their own fiber network in the North Bay and will expand into the Bay Area and Sacramento over the next two years.

Coverage Area:  CSonic.Net_-_Bay_Area_Internet

Price: A

Network Quality: A

Delivery:  A

Customer Service:  A

 

TelePacific
California’s largest competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) with a large coverage area for Ethernet over Copper service in California. They will soon be providing 200MB access over copper and fixed wireless. For fiber, they resell AT&T, Verizon, or Comcast.

Coverage Area:  ATelePacific_-_Bay_Area_Internet

Price: B

Network Quality: B

Delivery:  C

Customer Service: C


WiLine
WiLine has a very dense on-net building penetration around the Bay area. They can get service delivered in less than seven days if needed. They are not aggressively priced in the 1GB and above range.

Coverage Area:  AScreenShot2015-03-05at2.39.28PM

Price: B

Network Quality:  B-C

Delivery: Not enough experience to rate

Customer Service:  C 


XO Communications
XO is not investing in additional Ethernet over Copper or fiber coverage at this time. They are aggressively priced in the areas they offer service. They are known to have a high-quality network backbone.

Coverage Area:  CXO_Communications_-_Bay_Area_Internet

Price: C

Network Quality: A

Delivery: D

Customer Service: C


Zayo (formerly Abovenet)
Zayo is similar to Level 3, in that they are in most datacenters and they are actively growing their fiber network into enterprise buildings. 

Coverage Area:  CZayo_-_Bay_Area_Internet

Price: A

Network Quality: Not enough experience to rate

Delivery: Not enough experience to rate

Customer Service:  Not enough experience to rate

 

Certainly a lot of information to consider! If you're feeling overwhelmed, don't stress - we're here to help! As an agent for all of these Internet carriers, we can help you make the best decision for your unique needs. Simply contact us and let's start working through the options.

 

 

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San Francisco Bay Area Internet Providers Guide

About the Author

Randy Kremlacek

President | Head Chef

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Randy Kremlacek is CEO and Head Chef of TeleDynamic Communications, a Digium Select Partner and four time Digium Pinnacle Award winner. TeleDynamic Communication, Inc. provides premise-based PBX, Virtual PBX, and SIP Trunking services.  READ MORE

 

 

Randy Kremlacek 

Topics: Internet Circuits