Substandard is based off the manufacturer, not the ISP. You'd be surprised. Many ISPs are cracking down on the manufacturer to get a better Wifi device in place.
Every single ISP I have come across when I worked DirecTV used a craptacular 25 dollar router inside of their modem. ATT, Verizon, TW, Charter, you name it. I have the latest model TW offers and it's a 10/100 ethernet, wireless G based device with a single pole antenna connected to a modem that drops connection any time the CPU reached 95%. The ISP controls what goes in their modems and they are substandard to cut prices. You'd be better off with a 25 dollar D-Link from Fry's while totally bypassing the router in your modem so the two don't have to be processed on one lousy CPU. This is exactly why aftermarket modems are costly. Since we still have about 7 months on our lease here I intend on buying a standalone Linksys modem with a single gigabit port to go into my router. Otherwise, I have a 120 dollar router sitting there doing nothing while this junk keeps locking up.
The best built in router I have seen is my best friends FiOS router he just got when he upgraded his package. It actually has gigabit ports but still a substandard G radio that cuts out constantly when WPA2 is used.
I work for an ISP that's waiting on a product of a higher nature from a manufacturer that has yet to produce one. And they're one of many awaiting a higher-end product. I honestly think the ISP shouldn't offer a wireless option. Standard modem and let the consumer figure out the BEST router for the job. Some don't need the high-end gigabit HD streaming media sharing device; while some do.
Funny, the manufacturer makes great standalone routers, and a variety of them. They just can't get a modem/router right.
Which ISP is that? When I went in for an interview at Charter I overheard their morning meeting about the combo with the manager. Basically what they were saying was, if the customer complains tell them to get a router because they have no future outlook on upgrading due to cost. That is exactly what the Time Warner person told me in September when I ordered my internet, as well as the installer who basically knew squat about what he was doing. Because of that I wanted a standalone modem but they didn't give me one.
If Verizon has a decent combo for their FiOS (at least Gige) then other ISPs are just slow to the game or simply don't want to pay the cost for such a device. 10/100 and wireless G really isn't bad for 90% of the customers out there, but the complaint lies within the power of said device. When your modem CPU utilization reaches 95% and starts DCing internet when the routing is done by a separate router, that is a serious problem. I can only imagine what the junk would do if I was using all of it instead of simply bridging to my Linksys. I know for sure I am not the only person with this problem on a broad range of ISPs just in this area.
I'm in Canada, and last I heard there was discussion and waiting on something... of course, results may vary or never transpire. If this becomes reality, expect a year or two if someone is developing something. Honestly though, wireless signal degrades faster then a portable phone. It would be far easier to setup a modem and go with wireless routers. I've advocated this North of the border, but it seems to fall on deaf ears. And by the time something decent comes out, it will probably be out of date.
Here in Canada the providers are not as substantial as the likes of Time Warner et al, so the expectations and push are from South of the US/Can border.