Astound Broadband, Powered by RCN, Cable Service Review

Astound Broadband, powered by RCN, has contract-free TV plans and bundles for those on the East Coast.

Astound (formerly RCN)
Astound Broadband
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • pro
    Contract-free fair-priced TV plans
  • pro
    You have to bundle with internet to get TV, but you can get internet for as low as $10
  • con
    Only available on the East Coast
Chantel Buchi
Feb 08, 2024
bullet6 min read

We may earn money when you click our links.

Most cable providers try to lock you into a contract by promising sweet deals upfront. But not Astound Broadband, powered by RCN. Its plans are month-to-month, and the prices are on the lower end of the spectrum.

But Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) is only for some. It’s only available in six different areas on the East Coast: Boston, Chicago, DC Metro, Lehigh Valley, New York, and Philadelphia.

If you live in one of these areas, let’s get into the details to see if this is the right cable TV (and internet) provider for you and your family.

How much is Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) cable?
Service area
Plan
Monthly price
TV channel count
Details
BostonBasic TV$29.69/mo.70
BostonBasic + Preferred TV $106.6/mo.*287+
ChicagoBasic TV$28.7/mo.70
ChicagoBasic + Preferred TV $109.32/mo.*304+
DCBasic TV$38.88/mo.70
DCBasic + Preferred TV $109.6/mo.*289+
LehighBasic TV$32.78/mo.70
LehighBasic + Preferred TV $110.92/mo.*294+
New YorkBasic + Paramount+ with Showtime$28.37/mo.70
New YorkBasic + Preferred TV + Paramount+ with Showtime$122.75/mo.*300+
PhiladelphiaBasic TV$28.49/mo.70
PhiladelphiaBasic + Preferred TV $108.41/mo.*291+
* Signature pricing includes the cost of Limited Basic. Subscription to Limited Basic is required to access other levels of TV services, tiers and packages.
reviews.org next zip logo
See if Astound Broadband, powered by RCN, is available in your area.

How much does Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) Cable cost?

Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) gives you the choice between a $30 or $110+ plan, depending on how many channels or Mbps you'd like.

As we mentioned above, Astound Broadband, powered by RCN, is only available in six cities in the US. There are only two TV plans for each city, and the pricing differs in all six areas.

Kind of confusing, we know.

Either way, the monthly price for your Astound Broadband cable bill will most likely be lower than any other cable TV provider in your area. So, why not take advantage? Save a few dollars for those Nike shoes you have your eye on.

With Astound Broadband, you have the choice between a plan around $30–$40 for 70 channels or a plan between $107–$123 for about 300 channels.

How much are Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) Cable's plans?
Service area
Plan
Monthly price
TV channel count
Details
BostonBasic TV$29.69/mo.70
BostonBasic + Preferred TV $106.6/mo.*287+
ChicagoBasic TV$28.7/mo.70
ChicagoBasic + Preferred TV $109.32/mo.*304+
DCBasic TV$38.88/mo.70
DCBasic + Preferred TV $109.6/mo.*289+
LehighBasic TV$32.78/mo.70
LehighBasic + Preferred TV $110.92/mo.*294+
New YorkBasic + Paramount+ with Showtime$28.37/mo.70
New YorkBasic + Preferred TV + Paramount+ with Showtime$122.75/mo.*300+
PhiladelphiaBasic TV$28.49/mo.70
PhiladelphiaBasic + Preferred TV $108.41/mo.*291+
* Signature pricing includes the cost of Limited Basic. Subscription to Limited Basic is required to access other levels of TV services, tiers and packages.

While Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) only has a couple of standalone packages per location for its TV customers, those packages can be custom-built with channel add-ons and international packages (more on that below).

And remember, you have to bundle with Astound Internet to get TV service. Everyone needs an internet plan, so this isn't a downside. The true upside is that you can tack on internet service for as low as $25

Astound Broadband, Powered by RCN, internet plans
Plan
Monthly price
Download speed
Details
300 Mbps Internet$25/mo.Up to 300 Mbps
600 Mbps Internet$40/mo.Up to 600 Mbps
800 Mbps Internet$50/mo.Up to 800 Mbps
940 Mbps Internet$50/mo.Up to 940 Mbps
1500 Mbps Internet$60/mo.Up to 1500 Mbps
No contract required. 24 Month Internet Pricing. Equipment priced separately. Includes $5 discount for 12 months w/ ebill & autopay. Observed speeds may vary. Excludes surcharges and fees. New residential customers only.
24 Month Internet Pricing. No contract required. Equipment priced separately. Includes $5 discount for 12 months w/ ebill & autopay. Observed speeds may vary. Excludes surcharges and fees. New residential customers only.

Does Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) Cable have a contract?

Astound Broadband's minimalist attitude also extends to its contracts: it has none.

None of the company’s plans require a contract. Its prices are guaranteed for 12–24 months, and you can cancel at any time without penalty.

Does Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) Cable have fees?

Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) has a few fees like every other cable TV provider, but not as many as some. 

The activation fee is self-explanatory (and only $10). We also like that your internet modem rental is free for your first 12 months.

How much are Astound Broadbands (formerly RCN) Cable fees?
Fee
Price

Activation fee

$9.99 (one-time)

Internet modem rentalIncluded for 12 months
Main set-top box$10–$20/mo.
Additional set-top boxes$5/mo.

As for the equipment, the charges increase with each TV you'd like a set-top box for. You can choose between a "TV converter" or a "TV converter with Cloud DVR Enhanced Tier."These are Astound Broadband, powered by RCN's versions of set-top boxes.

Astound Broaband's cable box rental is $10–$20 per month for your first with 125–250 HD hours or DVR space. If you want an additional one for your bedroom and one for your living room downstairs, they will each cost $5.

How much are Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) Cable equipment fees?
# of TVs
TV converter
TV converter with Cloud DVR enhanced tier
One TV$10/mo.$19.99/mo.
Two TVs$15/mo. $24.99/mo.
Three TVs$20/mo.$29.99/mo.
Four TVs$25/mo. $34.99/mo.

How much are Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) Cable installation costs?

Astound Broadband has an $80 installation fee, but when you order online, this cable service waives the fee. Use that $80 to treat yourself to something nice.

How much do Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) Cable bundles cost?

With some cable TV and internet providers, when you bundle, you save little to nothing—it's more about the convenience of paying one bill. 

With Astound Broadband, powered by RCN, you can save $10–$20 monthly by bundling your TV, phone, and internet service.

Astound Broadband's TV/internet/mobile plan combinations and prices vary widely by service area (check Astound Broadband, powered by RCN’s website, to see what it offers in your area), but here's an idea of what you'll find at checkout. 

You can mix and match download speeds of 300, 600, 940, or 1,500 Mbps, and you can choose from a combination of Basic TV,  Preferred TV, and Paramount+ with SHOWTIME® packages. Mobile plans range from $15–$50 per line, offering 1.5GB, 3GB, and unlimited data options.

Here's a glimpse of RCN's bundles in different locations.

How much are Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) Cable bundles?
Service area
Bundle
Monthly price
TV channel count
Download speeds
Details
Boston600 Mbps Internet + Basic TV$49.69/mo.^58+Up to 600 Mbps
Boston300 Mbps Internet + Preferred TV$121.6/mo.^288+Up to 300 Mbps
Chicago600 Mbps Internet + Basic TV + Preferred$154.32/mo.°288+Up to 600 Mbps
Chicago1500 Mbps Internet + Basic TV$80.69/mo.°65+Up to 1500 Mbps
DC600 Mbps Internet + Basic TV + Preferred$138.11/mo.°288+Up to 600 Mbps
DC940 Mbps Internet + Basic TV + Preferred$148.11/mo.°288+Up to 940 Mbps
Lehigh300 Mbps Internet + Basic TV + Preferred$135.92/mo.°296+Up to 300 Mbps
Lehigh600 Mbps Internet + Basic TV$77.78/mo.°85+Up to 600 Mbps
New York300 Mbps Internet + Basic + Preferred + Showtime$114.75/mo.°Up to 300 Mbps
New York600 Mbps Internet + Basic + Preferred + Showtime$129.75/mo.°Up to 600 Mbps
^ No contract required. 12 Month Internet Pricing. Incudes $5 discount w/ ebill & autopay. Observed speeds may vary. Exludes surcharges and fees. Equipment extra. New residential customers only.
° No contract required. 12 Month Internet Pricing. Equipment priced separately. Includes $5 discount for 12 months w/ ebill & autopay.
How much are Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) Cable Chicago bundles?

Which channels does Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) Cable have?

Astound has local, lifestyle, news, and kids channels, but not many sports.

Astound Broadband's Basic TV plan comes with all local channels and some network favorites, like The CW.

Basic + Preferred TV adds 180+ popular channels, like Disney Channel, History Channel, Hallmark, FX, and HGTV. 

You can see the full channel lineup on Astound Broadband, powered by RCN’s website, or get the sneak peek here. Basic TV includes the following channels in its lineup:

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • The CW
  • Cozi TV
  • Crime Network TV
  • FOX
  • HSN
  • NBC
  • Telemundo
  • PBS
  • PBS Kids
  • QVC
  • Unimas
  • Univision

Basic + Preferred TV includes the following channels in its lineup:

  • A&E
  • AMC
  • Animal Planet
  • BET
  • Cartoon Network
  • Comedy Central
  • Discovery Channel
  • Disney Channel
  • Food Network
  • FX
  • Hallmark Channel
  • HGTV
  • Lifetime Movie Network
  • MSNBC
  • National Geographic
  • Nickelodeon
  • Paramount Network
  • TBS
  • Telemundo
  • TNT
  • TruTV
  • Turner Movie Classics (TMC)
  • Univision
  • USA

Which premium channels do Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) Cable have?

Regarding premium channels, Astound Broadband, powered by RCN, prices are about the same as other major television companies besides CINEMAX and STARZ.

CINEMAX's and STARZ's price is slightly high with Astound Broadband/RCN, so we recommend ordering these premium channels through their standalone apps. 

But who doesn't want Paramount+ with SHOWTIME® and TMC for free for one year?

Channel
Price

Max

$14.99/mo.

Paramount+ with SHOWTIME® + The Movie Channel

Included for 12 months

CINEMAX

$15.99/mo.

STARZ

$17.95/mo.

Premiere Sports

$29.99/mo.

Premiere Entertainment

$27.99/mo.

Premiere News & Information

$22.99/mo.

Premiere Family & Kids

$22.99/mo.

Premiere Total Pack

$18.99/mo.

Premiere Sports includes channels like NFL Network, MLB Network, Tennis Channel, and NHL Network.

Premiere Entertainment will have your Starz Encore, BBC America, MTV2, and VH1 Classic.

Premiere News & Information is for the newsies who like their daily Bloomberg Television and Science Channel.

Perfect for families, Premiere Family & Kids has channels such as Nicktoons, Cooking Channel, DIY Network, and Destination America.

Lastly, the Premiere Total Pack includes all these channels, making it the most worthwhile option. You can try any of these add-ons for one month—if you don't like the channels it offers, cancel before your next billing cycle. 

Which international packages does Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) Cable have?

Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) Cable has international channels in 13 different languages, each channel with its own price. This cable provider offers 1–8 channels for each language, ranging from $5 to $16 per month. 

The languages Astound Broadband/RCN has channels for are the following: 

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Filipino
  • French
  • Greek
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • South Asian
  • Spanish

Which sports channels does Astound Broadband, powered by RCN, have?

Astound Broadband/RCN could up its game in the sports channel area. 

To get any sports channels with Astound Broadband/RCN, you'll have to get either the Basic + Preferred TV plan for $107+ or the Premiere Sports add-on with the Basic TV plan for a total of $60+ per month. 

Astound Broadband/RCN reveals only four channels you'll receive with the sports-channel add-on: NFL Network, MLB Network, Tennis Channel, and NHL Network.

The Basic + Preferred TV package includes the following sports channels:

  • Big Ten Network (BTN)
  • CBS Sports Network
  • ESPN, ESPN2
  • ESPNews
  • ESPNU
  • FOX Sports 1 (FS1), FS2
  • Monumental Sports Network
  • Tennis Channel
  • TNT (for NBA games)

This cable TV provider also has sports packages for diehard league fans. 

The NFL RedZone Channel is the best channel for NFL fans, but Astound Broadband/RCN charges the most for it among other TV providers. No other TV provider requires a one-time charge; instead, they let you pay about $11 monthly. 

Check out our NBA League Pass and NHL Center Ice reviews for more info on these services.

Sports package
Price
FOX Soccer Plus$14.95/mo.
NFL RedZone + Premiere TV$18.99/mo. + $68.99 (one-time charge for RedZone)
NFL RedZone + Premiere TV Sports$29.99/mo. + $68.99 (one-time charge for RedZone)
NHL Center Ice$69.99/season
NBA League Pass$99.99/season

What equipment and features does Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) Cable have?

Astound Broadband/RCN has one of the best DVRs in the TiVo.

Watch your daughter’s game at school without missing the game on TV. 

How often have you said no to a dinner party so you could stay in and watch your team dominate (or not) in a home game? With a DVR system, you’ll never have to ditch on dinner again. (You can still use the game as an excuse—we won’t blow your cover).

The company has teamed up with TiVo, one of the best DVR services on the market, to offer DVR rental options. And heads up, the pricing for the DVRs will differ based on which area you live in.

How much storage space does Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) Cable's DVR have?

Device
Monthly price
Storage hours
TV converter$10/mo. and $5/mo. for additional125 hours
TV converter$19.99/mo. and $5/mo. for additional250 hours

Recap: Is Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) Cable worth it?

Astound Broadband gives its customers a money-saving and all-entertainment option.

Astound Broadband Cable is for you if you live on the East Coast and want an inexpensive TV package with lots of channels and low-cost internet. It's also for you if you prefer to avoid committing to a contract.

Astound Broadband Cable is not for you if you want more TV packages to choose from, like 185+ channels for $70 per month. If this is you, check out our top cable TV providers. Or we suggest a live TV streaming service to avoid the headache of fees and equipment.

Methodology

With 8+ years of experience reviewing telecommunication companies and hours of research, we base our cable TV reviews and ratings on the following aspects:

  • Price 
  • Channel count and variety
  • Bundles
  • Equipment and DVR storage space

First and foremost, we compare all cable TV providers on their dollar-to-channel ratio. And we notice the providers with the best value have limited availability across the US, like Astound Broadband/RCN. 

Most people need internet and mobile service, so its nice to have the simplicity of one bill when you bundle. 

Good equipment prevents stress in your life, so a well-performing set-top box and sufficient DVR space are a must.

Chantel Buchi
Written by
Chantel Buchi
Chantel is all about finding the best tv or streaming service to watch as many football games as possible to keep her Fantasy Football team in check. Prior to being a TV and Streaming Tech Reporter for Reviews.org, she worked for NFL Network and The Alliance of American Football. Before that, she received a B.A. of Communication at the University of Utah and an M.S. in Sports Journalism at USC. Go Utes and Fight On. Contact her at chantel@reviews.org

Related Articles

woman sitting on couch next to a dog using laptop
ACP Enrollments Are Closed—Here Are Other Ways To Get Affordable Internet
Worried about losing your ACP credit? Here are other ways to get affordable internet, plus...
An African-American man works at a desk with a laptop
CenturyLink Internet Review
Are CenturyLink prices as good as they seem? We spill the beans on its Price...
Young family using Cox internet in their living room
Cox Bundles Review
Save hundreds of dollars by combining your cell phone plan and internet service with Cox.
A man lies on a brown couch and shops online with his laptop
Cheapest Internet and Wi-Fi Providers
Looking for cheap internet? Read our review to find the best cheap internet and Wi-Fi...