There are several Internet service providers in Puerto Rico. Depending on where you live is the company that you will have to use for cable Internet, DSL however is offered by the same company throughout the island. If you’re considering cable Internet then you will be choosing between Liberty Cablevision and Choice Cable. If you are looking for DSL then the company that offers it is Claro, which is also the phone company formerly known as Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC).
There are also some smaller companies that offer mainly wireless Internet, but I am not very familiar with them so I will not mention them here, however, there are a few things that they all have in common so I will mention them here and then I’ll go a little bit more in depth regarding each individual company.
Just so you know right off the bat, Internet in Puerto Rico is slower and much more expensive than what you probably have/had in the states, no real reason, it’s just the way it is, especially around the San Juan metropolitan area.
I know it is much slower than what we had in the states six years ago. We had cable Internet at a speed of 12 Mbps and we paid roughly $40, now for the same price here in Puerto Rico, we get a little bit less than 3 Mbps! And it wasn’t until late 2013 that 3 Mbps was the fastest speed for my house; now the fastest speed for my house is 30 Mbps for DSL, and up to 60 Mbps for cable.
I have had both cable Internet and DSL, and my experience was that cable Internet, at least in my house, was slightly faster but very inconsistent, which means that at times when many people are on the Internet, my Internet got really slow, and I’m talking REALLY slow! While DSL, which is what I have now, has a slower max speed than cable, but it is consistent, which I like because I want the same speed whether it is 2 AM on a Sunday morning or a 6 PM on a Wednesday evening.
I’m not exactly sure why the Internet in Puerto Rico is that much slower and so expensive, but the truth is that you probably can get faster Internet speeds in your phone than you can in your house (like in my case), although they are improving a little bit by slowly expanding their fiber optic network, but you will pay more for that.
Another thing to mention is that if by chance we are affected by a tropical storm or hurricane, we will lose power for a few days, and cable for even more days, which means that your cable Internet will also be out of service until the cable company restores it, even if your electricity is already restored. However, those who have DSL will likely see Internet service restored as soon as the electricity gets restored, so a lot of people have one of those big computer battery backups, but also connect their DSL router in it.
Claro is the main DSL Internet service provider Puerto Rico. They claim to have up to 50 Mbps speeds and they also pride themselves to have unlimited download data. They cover pretty much the entire island, as they use the phone lines for the Internet in just about every house has a phone “land-line”. This company may actually be the only choice for Internet for those who live in the interior and other mountainous areas since the cable companies mostly serve the coastal municipalities and the more densely populated areas.
Good points: Their Internet speed is consistent which means that he will not get noticeably slower during peak usage times (normally in the evenings). They also have access to ESPN3 which is something that I really like and I’m sure a lot of people out there too. Since you get unlimited download data you can stream video watch Netflix movies, or watch ESPN3 without having to worry if you will surpass the download data limit.
Bad points: Customer service is about as bad as it can get. If you call customer service you have to go through I don’t know how many options to be able to talk to an actual person. They simply do not give you the option of talking to someone unless it is for sales, so maybe you can pretend that you were going to buy something talk to someone, and then have them redirect you customer service because otherwise you simply will not find a way to talk to a person. Not only that, their technicians don’t work on the weekends, so if your Internet is out on a Saturday, don’t expect your Internet back that day. Also, good luck finding someone who speaks English.
Liberty Cablevision – Formerly OneLink in the San Juan Area (cable):
Liberty Cablevision is now the main cable Internet service provider across the San Juan metropolitan area and also eastern and north central Puerto Rico. Currently they are offering internet packages with speeds up to 60 Mbps. If you had OneLink, you are now with Liberty and the data cap of 40 Gigs that OneLink had is no longer in effect. Liberty Cablevision, as of now, has unlimited data download. You have to be careful though, some of their more affordable “triple pack” plans only have Spanish TV channels.
Good points: Although I have never used Liberty’s Internet service (I did have OneLink though), they seem to have, at least on paper, some of the best plans simply because they have the fastest speeds, unlimited data downloads, and access to ESPN3. People that I know that use Liberty Cablevision seem to be generally happy with the service and the reliability.
Bad points: Like I mentioned above, I have personally not used their Internet service. However, given the fact that it is cable Internet, it is susceptible to decreased speeds
during peak usage times, which means that you will likely get the advertised speeds only at times that almost no one is using the Internet. Adding to that, friends of mine who do have Liberty have told me that the internet does get really slow during peak times. Also, a friend of mine did tell me that he tried to access ESPN3 but he couldn’t, for some reason Liberty Cablevision was not in the list of allowed internet service providers to use ESPN3.
Choice cable (cable):
Choice cable offers Internet to Southern, Western, and Northwestern Puerto Rico. They claim to have three Internet speeds 12 Mbps, 20 Mbps, and 50 Mbps.
Their prices seem to be fairly reasonable compared to those of the other cable companies. I saw an ad for $30 a month for the 12 Mbps package, which is not bad compared to other companies that charge $45 for 4 Mbps. However, I have heard only bad reports from its customer support, which although not good, it’s not surprising,unfortunately.
Good points: I used Choice Internet for a few days when I went on a trip to Northwestern Puerto Rico, I was happy to see that it was faster than my Internet at home, which proves that the San Juan metro area does not always get the latest technology first. I was told by a friend though that he was extremely happy to not have to deal with Choice anymore because of what he described as “lazy” customer service.
Bad points: When I used Choice Internet, I was happy to see that it was fast, but I was also not very happy to see how much it slowed down. I expected it to slow down
during peak usage hours since, after all, it is cable, but from 12 Mbps to around 1 Mbps was a bit of a shock. In addition, as soon as I saw how fast it could go, I tried ESPN3 but I was disappointed to see that there is no access to ESPN3, at least not when I used it back in February 2012. One more thing, I couldn’t a “Choice Cable” English website. =( So there you have it! If you have any questions or comments regarding the Internet service providers in Puerto Rico, please let me know! I hope this general guide helps!