RCN is one of the biggest Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the nation. This "small" ISP is regularly rated as one of the best ISPs available.
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RCN (Residential Communications Network), is one of the biggest Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the nation. Based out of Princeton, New Jersey, this ISP is regularly rated as one of the best ISPs out there by PC Mag.
They work tirelessly to achieve these rankings and awards. You’d think a company with this much effort and acclaim would be one of the bigger ones out there.
Well, it technically is…but not in terms of employees or presence.
This puts RCN in a unique position.
By the Numbers
Rated as the eighth largest ISP in the nation, RCN is available in only four states, not including the DC metro area.
You can find them in New York, the greater Lehigh Valley area, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and as mentioned before, the DC metro area.
This small presence is a strategic one. By setting up shop in these major cities and highly populated areas, RCN is able to provide internet, cable TV and voice to a significant portion of the overall population. So it works in their favor.
But just being present here is not enough. RCN is still “small.” They’re always competing with the bigger companies. And it’s easy to assume that a small company is an easy target.
Sometimes this is true.
Sometimes it’s not.
RCN falls into the latter category.
Where it Counts
To match the competition from the bigger companies, RCN is working hard to beat them on a metric that’s always tough- customer service. According to PC Mag, RCN is consistently ranked as one of the best in overall satisfaction.
That alone is an interesting feat as they have a smaller customer base to work from. But think about it; for such a small customer base, RCN is able to garner such a following that they beat out companies two and three times their size.
And this goes beyond customer satisfaction as well.
RCN is also good on speed.
To prove this, we go to Netflix.
Netflix regularly monitors the providers who stream their service. They check download speeds during a specific time of the day- prime time. This is usually the hours of 5 pm to 10 pm. It doesn’t matter what time zone you’re in, prime time is easily the time of day when most customers are streaming their content.
Netflix tracks this data throughout the year.
Therefore, from August 2017 to August 2018, RCN ranked at 3.9 Mbps.
That puts them in 19th position overall. Again, keep in mind that other slots in this list are occupied by much larger carriers. And some of those carriers are coming n behind RCN.
Part of the reason for this is that RCN offers fiber connections in most of its service areas. They also have cable TV and voice services as well. You can bundle all three if you like. So check out RCN internet deals and packages to make sure you’re not missing out.
RCN is Advancing
While RCN is staying small, for the moment, they’re working to make improvements.
For example; RCN Boston is one of the first ISPs to use green electricity.
This came about back in February 2018. RCN Boston’s energy manager secured the vendor contract with IGS Energy, a green energy provider. Thanks to windmills, RCN Boston will have a smaller carbon footprint.
In other news, at the beginning of 2018, RCN Lehigh Valley announced they were rolling out 1-gigabit communities.
And that’s just news from 2018 alone.
This puts RCN on the leading edge when it comes to ISPs. So often the larger companies are content to sit back and “do things the way they’ve always been done.” While this may work for a time, it will never delay the inevitable.
Reminds me of another thing that was “small” but became a decisive factor.
Before Hollywood began rebooting the franchise, and not making it any better, there was Star Trek: Deep Space 9.
This series diverged from the original Star Trek in many ways; it was set on a space station and not the USS Enterprise, it had a mythic arc for the entire series and not self-contained episodes, and the Captain sported an awesome goatee by about the third season.
As mentioned before, the show was set on the eponymous space station Deep Space 9. Deep Space 9 had once been the property of a foreign government that had subjugated another species. In the wake of a drawdown, the Federation took over the station and attempted to broker a treaty to include all three.
Since the show was set on a space station, and space stations largely remain in one place, the ability to travel to other worlds was limited. In the season three premiere, the writers of the DS9 solved that problem.
Get a Better Ship
Up to that point, any “war ship” of the Federation was a small craft meant for short-range combat. Oh, and they were called “escort ships” so as not to sound too aggressive.
The USS Enterprise, from both the original and Next Generation series, was a massive ship. Plenty of room to move around, spacious quarters, and the second one even had its own holodeck. Thanks to their size, these ships had weapons and shields for defense. So if the situation called for it, the Enterprise could fight back or come to the defense of an ally.
The drawback here was their size. In reality, a ship that size wouldn’t be hampered by weight or friction in space. The budgets of a weekly sci-fi drama, however, made “realistic” depictions of space battles difficult. These shows were made back in the day of props and green screens. Thus, any “action” sequences of the ships involved moving a prop in front of a green screen and trying to make it look believable.
By the time DS9 was in full swing, there was computer-generated imagery.
This allowed the producers of DS9 to do two things- create more realistic space battles, and have ships maneuver more gracefully. By that point, however, everyone believed that a ship the size of the Enterprise was sluggish at best.
Also, DS9 introduced some new enemies that required new technology to fight.
Or, more accurately, technology the Federation hadn’t fully utilized.
This is where we got the USS Defiant.
The Defiant was created to combat a previous enemy, or so the narrative went.
This ship was small compared to the Enterprise and others like. In fact, it was so small that space inside was at a premium. Quarters were barely the size of bunk beds. And there was no holodeck.
While most of the amenities found on normal starships were removed, the weapons and powerplant were not. The Defiant, despite its size, still carried a warp core that could power the Enterprise. They also loaded it down with the normal weapon complement of a standard starship.
There was a perk too- a cloaking device.
The Defiant, small and swift, go also go invisible.
Thanks to this “little ship,” the crew of DS9 could travel away from the station as they needed. Most of the time that was to drop kick bad guys and save stranded allies.
And thanks to advanced effects, the Defiant moved gracefully through space, literally running circles around its opponents.
Just like RCN is doing.
RCN and The Defiant
While it’s a “small” ISP, RCN is running circles around its competition, and deftly weaving in and out of spaces the bigger ones can’t. While the big companies may have the money and reach that RCN doesn’t, they’re slow to react.
This is putting RCN in a superior position.
As the small ISP leverages this advantage, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more and more people switch to RCN as soon as its available to them.