One of the most popular blog posts I’ve written is “Who is the Best Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Lawrence, KS?”. That post is seven years old, so I thought I’d revisit it. Not much has changed.
The market in Lawrence, like most of the country, is a duopoly. We have internet service through a cable company and a phone company.
Primary Options: Midco, AT&T, Wicked
The two main players in town are Midco (formerly Wow, Knology, and Sunflower) along with AT&T. Wicked Broadband (formerly Lawrence Freenet) is another player in this market.
Since I wrote that in 2012, the most significant change besides the names is the speeds; both AT&T and Midco can provide Gigabit Internet (like what Google offers in Kansas City). This option isn’t available everywhere in town though, you’ll have to contact the providers to see if service is available where you are.
Midco versus AT&T Uverse
Midco continues to have the highest amount of coverage in town. It works pretty much everywhere. AT&T and Wicked are distance-dependent. Wicked’s primary business is large installations like fraternity houses, apartment complexes, and businesses. It’s always a good idea to see if you can get service from them as a third option.
Midco no longer has local support. It’s based in the US though and is usually excellent. AT&T outsources support overseas. Our clients continue to have problems with inadequate support from AT&T.
I’ve switched to Midco at home primarily due to pricing and speed. Midco was able to give me faster speeds at a lower price.
New Option: Cellular Service
Back in 2012, we were on 3G/4g networks. Now, most of Lawrence has LTE service on mobile networks from the big players like AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon. Depending on your phone and location you can get up to 125 down and 25 up. That’s faster than the base services of both Midco and AT&T Uverse. You’ll hit data caps though of between 10 and 50 depending on how much you’re willing to pay. My office now uses a tethered phone for occasional internet needs.
All providers give you the option of “tethering” your phone to use it for an internet connection. Your computer connects to your phone, and your phone connects to the Internet. All wireless phone providers sell “hotspots” aka “MiFi’s” that acts as a mini-ISP in your pocket. They don’t do phone calls but share a cellular connection among devices.
As people “cut-the-cord” and get rid of home phone and TV, these hotspots sometimes make more sense. The costs are comparable to prices charged by Midco and AT&T but give you the added advantage of taking your internet connection wherever you go.
In particular, I like these options for single people. Your internet connection follows you. If you aren’t home, you aren’t paying for service. Cellular is also an excellent option for someone who needs the internet to occasionally work from home or a coffee shop.
Cellular isn’t suitable when you have a bunch of people trying to share the internet. You’ll eat through your data plan quickly. These devices don’t have much range. For example, you can’t use them in more than one room in the house.
Due to Midco’s coverage, speed, and reliability, they’re our recommendation as the best ISP in Lawrence, KS. It’s worth checking with Wicked to see if they can provide you service. If you don’t do much on the internet, check with your wireless company to see about getting service through your phone or another device.