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Getting Online at Penn State

As the upcoming semester approaches, many of you are probably getting ready for a move into a new dorm or apartment. While most people remember necessities like laundry detergent and a new set of shot glasses, you might not have put much thought into your Internet service provider. Since we lose readers when they can’t get online, we thought we’d make it easy for you to get connected once you’re back at school.

If you’re going to be living in the dorms, your Internet is provided by Penn State. However, you need to set up your connection, which can take a couple of days. Insead of having to deal with going to computer labs the first week of class, head over to the RESCOM site and get the process started now.

If you’re living in an apartment, you have options (though not many). There are two companies offering Internet service in State College, Comcast and After hearing conflicting anecdotal reports about all of these providers, I’ve given up on trying to give you a recommendation on the “best” option, so below I’ve outlined the important info to let you decide for yourself. (Speeds are Download/Upload)


  • Connection: Cable
  • Budget Option: 1.5 Mbps/384 Kbps, $40.25 per month
  • Premium Option: 50 Mbps/10 Mbps, $114.95 per month
  • Installation: $49.00
  • Contract: None

While it is the best known company, Comcast can get expensive. However, if you’re planning on getting digital cable and/or a landline (yeah right), you can save a lot on a bundle plan.

  • Connection: Wireless
  • Budget Option: 7 Mbps/1 Mbps, $29.95 per month
  • Premium Option: 20 Mbps/2 Mbps, $49.95 per month
  • Installation: Free
  • Contract: 12 months

The most local option, has several special deals for Penn State students. Those who sign up early get a month of free service. However, in order to keep students from cancelling over the summer months, you do have to sign a 12-month contract. I have heard some people complain about their service, but I know other people who haven’t had any problems, so take that as you will.

Apparently Windstream also offers Internet in State College, but one is hard pressed to find this information on their site. Windstream bought D&E Communciations, which had served State College in the past, but the site now reports Internet isn’t offered in the State College area.

If you use any of these providers and have recommendations or horror stories, let us know in the comments below.


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About the Author

Nick Johnson

Nick is a junior majoring in IST (the Internet) and CAS (saying things). He hopes to one day get paid to do this, but for now he is willing to do it for the fame. Besides writing for Onward State, he also puts things on the Internet here.

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