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 Cable, OneLink Communications, 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 that is the fastest speed this particular company has for my house.
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 people are on the Internet, my Internet got really slow, and I’m talking REALLY slow! While DSL, which is what I have now, is slower than in previous cable service but it is consistent, which I like because I want the Saints in 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 than this things the truth is that you can actually get faster Internet speeds in your phone than you can in your house, although they are improving a little bit by slowly expanding their fiber optic network.
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 more days, which means that your cable Internet will also be out of service until the cable company restore 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.
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 dense populated areas.
Good points: Their Internet speed is consistent which means that he will not get noticeably slower during peak times. 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.
OneLink Communications (cable):
OneLink is the biggest cable Internet service provider in Puerto Rico (for now as they are in the process of being bought by Liberty Cablevision), but they serve mainly
the San Juan metropolitan area. They offer speeds up to 6 Mbps and they limits your data download to 40 GB and you have to pay an extra fee for every additional 10 GB. They actually just got bought by Liberty Cablevision, but it will not become official until the end of 2012.
Good points: Customer service is actually pretty decent, they also have decent English speaking people. You don’t have to jump through loops and very extensive
automated service in order to talk to a person and they are fairly quick at resolving your problems, although I have had some problems that were never sold by them it seems I have been the only one in my circle of friends who have had a problem with them.
Bad points: I don’t know what they are thinking, limiting the Internet download to 40 GB! The worst thing is that you can not check online how much have you used, so you have to call during business hours to check your current usage. If you are someone who likes to watch Netflix movies or episodes on Hulu, then you may want to keep and eye on your current usage. Also, for some reason your Internet can potentially significantly during peak usage times, don’t be surprised if your Internet goes down from 4 Mbps to 0.1 or 0.2 Mbps during peak usage times which is normally in the evening hours. However, within my circle of friends I have been the only one that have had such a significant impact in the speed during peak usage times.
Liberty Cablevision (cable):
Liberty Cablevision is the main cable Internet service provider across Eastern Puerto Rico, the area surrounding the San Juan metropolitan area but not including the
actual metropolitan area and as far west as North Central Puerto Rico. However that will change very soon since they just acquired OneLink Communications. There was a press release regarding the merger and at least on paper it looks like they want to improve the quality and speed of the Internet in Puerto Rico. As of now they claim to have speeds of up to 30 Mbps with unlimited data download, and they want to include the San Juan metropolitan area with those speeds.
Good points: Although I have never used Liberty’s Internet service, they seem to have at least on paper some of the best plans simply because they have some of the fastest speeds, unlimited data downloads, and access to ESPN3. People that I know that use Liberty Cablevision seem to be 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.
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 fast from there to my Internet at home, which was a nice surprise since everybody thinks that the San Juan Metropolitan area has or should have the latest in technology. If
they in fact can get 20 and 50 Mbps to one’s home, now that’s just awesome!
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 find an 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!