• John K.

    There’s always RCN too. I have them for just internet and it’s great. I didn’t want to deal with Comcast or Verizon.

    • Mike

      Ditto. I’ve had RCN for 11 years and have no complaints.

    • E.

      There’s always RCN in certain parts of the city. They don’t have full coverage. To my chagrin.

    • textdoc

      I hear nothing but great things about RCN, but my impression has been that they’re not available in most of D.C.

      • Bruce

        Well, you’re about to hear something not great about RCN.

        I moved into an RCN building a month or two ago and recently received my first bill. It was about 50% higher than the price I was quoted. Some of that was because of taxes and fees, which I expected, but about half of it is for various “surcharges” that RCN refuses to waive. Things like a “sports broadcast fee,” which they won’t waive even when I told them to disconnect ESPN and all the other sports channels.

        In my view, there’s no difference between quoting $100 and then adding $25 in surcharges that your customers can’t avoid, and quoting $100 and charging $125. Either way, it’s at least bait and switch if not fraud.

        I’m currently looking to cut the cord. If that doesn’t work, I’ll reluctantly go back to Comcast. But I’m not inclined to stick with RCN after that nonsense.

    • Nathan

      RCN was fantastic when I lived in Maryland. Sadly, not available in my part of DC (Bloomingdale). I haven’t really had any complaints about Comcast though for internet-only. Its been reliable and they’re pretty good about giving me discounts every year when I call up.

  • I had cable + internet with Verizon and cancelled the cable portion (and was able to do it over their chat–didn’t have to talk to anyone AND they didn’t try to get me to keep cable like Comcast would have). I had RCN when I first moved to DC 10-ish years ago and they were pretty good.

    Direct TV is offering a web-only way to stream TV (DirecTV NOW I believe), so we’re going to do that once football season starts up again.

  • swy19

    So zero comments about Layer3, which was the only company referenced?

    Would like to hear more, as this is first I’m hearing, and I hate Comcast/RCN not in my area.

    Anyone has experience?


    I’d be interested in this information as well. We would love to cut the cord but not being able to watch local CSN CAPS hockey is making my partner lose interest.

    • Anon DC

      Sling has been rumored to be providing CSN for a while now. Not sure what the timeline is for that, but something to keep an eye on…

    • Chris

      Layer3 has CSN and CSN+

      Just no MASN / Nats

  • anonymous

    I’ve looked into Layer3. Pretty promising but they run off your broadband. So you still have to have FiOS or Comcast internet service. Buyer beware, watching TV with Layer3 will count towards your data cap (depending on provider).

  • John

    I believe Layer3 requires that you still have Comcast Internet; they’re a “private network” provider, only available on certain ISPs.

    We have RCN Internet + PlayStation Vue for streaming (doesn’t require a PlayStation, despite the name), and we love it.

    • Nathan

      Yeah looking at their site I didn’t see anything about internet, so presumably you’d need to get that from Comcast/Verizon. That seems like it would negate the savings.

      • JohnH

        Depends on the situation. I have 120 mpbs internet from Comcast for $60/month. Not sure how that hasn’t changed – I should be paying more. If you switch or threaten to switch, you should still save a significant amount (I was paying $140/month for both…now I’m paying $94/month). And I didn’t really lose any channels I watched…

    • anonymous

      that’s exactly what we do at home. We just got an AppleTV and use PlayStation Vue and Netflix mostly.
      Cut our cable bill in half.

  • MtP

    I got the spiel from Layer3 at last year’s auto show. As others have said, you still need Comcast/RCN/Verizon for internet, and then cable runs over that. I priced it out, and it seemed like with the necessary increased data, it would actually be quite a bit more than using one of the three other companies alone.

  • JohnH

    If you want out on cable, look at Playstation Vue (no you don’t need a Playstation…can use Fire, roku, etc.). It’s pretty cheap and you get most of the normal cable stations AND sports stations. You can get a pretty good “cable package” for $34.99/month.
    You can also DVR.

    • northeazy

      OMG. All the channels I want for $29.99. Never even heard or would have considered something from PlayStation. They should change their name to Affordable Cable option. Way better than the highly marketed SlingTV. I am going to sign up. Thank you!

      • titojackson

        Well don’t worry, CONcast will keep raising your bill for only Internet until it makes sure that you’re not saving anything at all :/

  • Pay TV Veteran

    The service is pretty similar to what Playstation Vue, Dish’s SlingTV and DirectTV Now is doing — they are skinnier bundles than traditional cable TV subscriptions that require some sort of backhaul (ie — your internet connection) to work. Funnily enough, when you add up all the costs you get pretty close to a similar bundle on Comcast or FIOS because you are buying the same goods from the same wholesalers with the same pricing structures.

    I will note that layer3’s leadership is a very, very interesting team of cable veterans who I would bet on to make a very, very good product. Where I’ve heard their difference between the other services I’ve mentioned is that layer3 gives you the box and channel guide and DVR that is pretty slickly integrated rather than living as a 3rd party app on apple TV / roku / playstation / your smart TV / your android powered toaster oven.

    • JohnH

      There is not a single package Comcast offers for internet + cable that is cheaper than me having ala cartel internet + same channels I want on Vue that is the same price – even in the first 12 month bargains!

  • w3rt

    Lol, “botique” Level3. Level 3 is one of the few internet Backbone providers. I wouldn’t call them botique just because you’ve never heard of them.

    • Sheik Yerbouti

      Reading comprehension – Level 3 is not the same as Layer3.

  • Ihavenocomment

    I have Layer3 and have had it since Comcast went up $40 for TV service in one month and I’m on the hill so no choice of Fios yet. But I love Layer3 and yes you must have a broadband provider to have Layer3 basically IPtv. But when you turn on your tv it looks like you have a traditional cable service with all your local and paid channels. You should try it since there are no contracts and it cheaper than Comcast!!!

  • Ross

    FWIW, Layer3 TV is owned by the same firm that owns RCN. And if you can get their broadband service, there are no caps to worry about. The product looks very interesting indeed, but if you’re a Nats or O’s fan, be aware that they don’t carry MASN/MASN2 at all. That’s a deal breaker for me. They do however carry CSN/CSN+ for the Caps and Wiz.

  • Tracy C

    I know someone that has Layer 3 and loves it. You have to have internet in your house to get it. I know it doesn’t work if you have Verizon internet. The picture quality is amazing.

    • Chris

      I have Verizon and just got Layer3, no problems.

  • northeazy

    How is $80/month cheaper than Comcast? That’s what I was paying with Comcast before I cut the cable two years ago. What am I missing?

  • Robert B

    Late to the discussion here, I know, but I have Layer3 and I absolutely hate it… Been on the verge of cancelling for a while now, but haven’t out of laziness.

    First off, it runs through the internet, so when your Comcast connection is acting up, your DVR will not record — this is especially annoying when you’re out of the house and you don’t know that you need to reset your modem, etc.

    Second, the user interface is HORRIBLE — tons of glitches, inefficiencies and it’s very slow to respond. For instance, when I fast forward a recorded show and then hit play, it jumps about 5 minutes ahead all at once before playing, and I have to hit rewind. This annoyance is compounded by the fact that the play/rewind/fast forward commands have a SERIOUS delay. I was told by Layer3 that it had to do with my Internet connection. Nope. I even upgraded my Comcast connection and I get a consistent 200megabit connection — no change.

    All this for basically the same or a little more than my previous Comcast bill — oh, and I don’t have HBO anymore.

    The customer service is 100% top notch, though — they’re very quick to respond via email. There’s never any wait time on the phone, and the reps are great… But none of this really matters if the product sucks, right?

    Comcast is the worst, I know, but don’t be tempted to ditch them like I did in favor of this… Maybe wait a couple years until they get the kinks worked out…


Subscribe to our mailing list