Comcast or U-Verse for an Internet Addict
July 1, 2009 10:29 AM   Subscribe

So how does U-Verse's internet service compare to Comcast's? Not in print, where they're identical, but in reality?

Almost just in time for this question, I started looking into U-Verse as an alternative to Comcast for digital TV/VCR. U-Verse would definitely give me more of what I want in TV, but I'm concerned about the internet. Much as I dislike Comcast, I can't complain about the internet speed, reliability, or even support, and if AT+T isn't going to be as good, I'll stick with Comcast for everything. Getting TV from one and internet from the other is more hassle (and money) than I'm willing to deal with.

My Comcast service claims 10MPBS; I usually get around 7, which is fine for me. AT+T's small print says "speed may vary and is not guaranteed" (as does Comcast's) as well as saying that using other U-Verse services may reduce internet speed.

I'd like the AT+T TV package, but not if it means that I can't play games and listen to music while recording something on the DVR, or if it means that my internet will be overall slower, flaky, or badly supported.

I've looked at the various broadband and U-Verse forums, but am not finding the info I want, which is just - how does AT+T's U-Verse internet service compare to Comcast's for speed (assuming the AT+T 10MBPS option), reliability and support.

I'm in southeast Michigan, if that makes any difference.
posted by still_wears_a_hat to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have had U-Verse for 3 months (in Chicago 'burbs). Switched cable from Comcast + Tivo. Aside from the learning curve with the new DVR, we're quite happy. As we had ATT/SBC DSL for internet prior to the install, we haven't noticed any decrease in speed. We did have a few issues with the DVR upon initial install and support has been stellar. Have not had any reliability issues, either.
posted by sarajane at 11:40 AM on July 1, 2009

I'm in SE Michigan and recently switched from Comcast to Uverse. YMMV, but I've found Uverse broadband to be more reliable and faster than Comcast*. On the TV side, the only thing I miss about Comcast is the On Demand, which is richer in content than what I have with Uverse. However, the "watch your DVR'd stuff from any TV in the house" capability from Uverse more than outweighs that for me.

* Note: I was running my Comcast broadband through a cheap Netgear router that might have slowed performance, I'm not sure. I'm currently using the AT&T-supplied wireless router, which seems to be fine.
posted by brandman at 11:52 AM on July 1, 2009

I can't speak with any authority on the current state of this, but I know that when U-Verse first came out, they could only send HD signal reliably to one TC in the house at a time (due to the limitations of using twisted pair cable). They may have subsequently improved on this, or you may only have a single TV and would thus be unaffected, but if not, you may want to ask them point blank if they can now do it.

Because I know some people that were unpleasantly surprised when they discovered this fact.

As to the HSD side, I prefer cable because it tends to not suffer from some of the distance related issues that DSL has to contend with; they couldn't guarantee speeds if you were a certain number of miles from the phone station. Again, this could no longer be an issue, so I would ask.

The only other thing that I would look into is whether or not you'd be under a contract; most cable companies allow you to pay month to month, but I'm pretty sure AT&T requires a contract, and if you decide you don't like the service and want to switch, they charge you a fee.
posted by quin at 12:26 PM on July 1, 2009

HSD = High Speed Data in case that wasn't clear. Stupid work jargon...
posted by quin at 12:27 PM on July 1, 2009

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