Residents of Jacksonville, Florida's largest city, have access to cable, DSL and 4G wireless Internet. Comcast cable Internet offers the fastest download and upload speeds in the city, although the higher tiers of AT&T;'s U-verse service, available in limited areas, rival Comcast's performance. A third leading Internet service provider in the sprawling city of 821,000 people is Clearwire.
Comcast Cable Internet
Comcast dominates the local market for Internet service, taking advantage of its comprehensive cable network in the city. Comcast's Internet service plans, as of the time of publication, begin with the "Economy" level, which offers downloads up to 1.5 Mbps and uploads up to 384 Kbps. Users can establish up to seven email accounts, each with 10 GB of storage. On the other end of the speed spectrum is the Extreme 105 plan, with download speeds up to 105 Mbps and uploads at up to 10 Mbps. The Performance plan yields downloads at up to 15 Mbps and uploads up to 3 Mbps. All users can download free security software to protect against viruses and spyware. PCMag.com rated Comcast as the South's second-fastest ISP.
AT&T; DSL Internet
AT&T;, formerly known in the region as BellSouth, offers digital subscriber line, or DSL, high-speed Internet. Its DSL Lite plan offers downloads of up to 768 Kbps and uploads of up to 128 Kbps. This plan is suitable for downloading small files, email and Web surfing, according to AT&T.; The company's DSL Xtreme 6.0 plan provides download speeds of up to 6 Mbps and uploads of up to 512 Kbps. Users of this plan can expect to be able to stream video, do online gaming and run a home network, AT&T; says. AT&T; DSL customers can establish up to 11 email accounts, accommodating up to 500 MB per mailbox. AT&T; is expanding its U-verse service in the city. This very high bit-rate form of DSL includes plans with download speeds ranging from 3 Mbps to 24 Mbps, and uploads ranging up to 3 Mbps for the highest tier of service. AT&T; ranked seventh in PCMag.com's ISP speed ratings.
Clearwire Wireless Internet
Clearwire, based in Kirkland, Washington, offers wireless Internet to home users in the city, using 4G, the fourth-generation cellular wireless network standard. Home users purchase or lease a modem from the company, using it to connect to Clearwire's network. Clearwire does not specify download speed limits, and says users of its 4G Home Basic plan can expect uploads of 500 Kbps, compared to 1 Mbps for the company's top-tier offering.
Keep in mind that Internet speeds vary by location, even within a single city. If you're interested in telephone or television service, consider any discounts that ISPs offer for choosing to "bundle" services. Customers of Comcast or AT&T; U-verse, for example, enjoy a discount if they choose to receive television and telephone service from the provider in addition to Internet access. You may also save money in the long run by buying your own modem, rather than paying a monthly lease fee for one. Be sure to check first with the ISP for compatible models.
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