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Survey reveals favorite ISPs around the United States. None of them is Comcast.

The heart of any wireless network is its Internet connection, since sharing Web access among multiple computers is one of its most (if not the most) important tasks. While its best known for conducting user surveys among car buyers, J.
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Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor on

The heart of any wireless network is its Internet connection, since sharing Web access among multiple computers is one of its most (if not the most) important tasks. While its best known for conducting user surveys among car buyers, J.D. Power also measures user satisfaction with broadband ISPs around the country. And Comcast may not want to take a look at the results.

Since ISPs are often regional cable or phone companies, J.D. Power divides the country into four sections for its poll: East, North Central, South, and West. Companies are then rated (on a one-to-five scale) on billing, cost, customer service, offerings and promotions, performance and reliability, and overall satisfaction. In the East, Cablevision was the winner, with Earthlink close behind. In the North Central, WOW! posted straight fives across the board, with Cox, Earthlink, and Insight also polling well.

In the South, Insight continued to do well, as did Verizon, but RoadRunner topped them both. Out West, Cox earned straight fives, with Earthlink again doing well. While ISPs in multiple zones tended to vary a bit from region to region in their scoring, Comcast consistently finished toward the bottom, receiving mostly two-out-of-five scores. The cable giant has been fighting its reputation for below-average customer service, while also causing controversy with its attempts to reign in the bandwidth being used over its network for peer-to-peer file-sharing traffic.

J.D. Power's study also found a slight shift toward DSL and away from cable broadband since last year, with 41 percent of respondents using a cable broadband ISP (down from 43 percent), while 30 percent are using DSL (up from 28 percent). Yes, that leaves a sizable minority of people still relying on dial-up access. The survey also found dial-up users preferred Earthlink's service compared to competitors like AT&T Yahoo and MSN.

You can find the full results here. Do you agree with the findings? What do you think about your ISP? Let us know in our Talkback section.

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