SF Internet providers:

The Big Boys

Big ISPs offer reasonable speeds for reasonable prices.

  • AT&T -- Offers DSL and U-Verse
  • Comcast -- Cable
  • Wave -- Cable via a Hybric Fiber Coax network - Speeds up to 1,000 Megabit/1 Gigabit per second - Available in about 50% of SF residences
  • Wave G -- Only delivering in Multi-family properties (Apartments and Condos) - 1 Gigabit per second symmetrical delivered via the ethernet outlet in your unit

The Little Guys

  • Sonic.net -- Based in Santa Rosa (about 50mi north), sells ADSL 2 over AT&T wires.  Has "fusion" service in most areas that's 20Mbps / 1Mbps up.  Better customer service than any of the big boys, and has a perfect score for respecting your privacy from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (an amazing digital rights advocacy nonprofit based right here).
  • MonkeyBrains -- Based in San Francisco, sells wireless point-to-point access in certain neighborhoods.

The other guys

  • Webpass provides insanely fast Internet (100-200Mbps) to residential units, but they require a building that's 1) built after 1995 2) has 20 or more units.  So, in other words, you've got to live in an expensive condo to get it.
  • Fastmetrics provides internet, phone and data center services to businesses only. Fiber optic internet service up to 1Gbps up and down, plus list of pre-lit buildings. Service to the entire Bay Area. All internet services include unlimited data usage and IPs. Business broadband, ethernet and hosted phone service options. Routers, switches and / or softphones included with contracts. Locally based San Francisco support. 

Evaluating ISP performance

A great dataset for looking at ISP performance is this speedtest.net page.