Should I stick with my Comcast high-speed internet plan or switch to Verizon FiOS?
August 30, 2009 2:38 PM   Subscribe

Should I stick with my Comcast high-speed internet plan or switch to Verizon FiOS?

I currently have high-speed internet service with Comcast. My monthly plan is:
$74.95/month; 22 Mbps download, up to 30 Mbps with PowerBoost; ~5 Mps upload

When I first signed up for service earlier this year, Comcast was pretty much my only choice. Recently, Verizon FiOS became available in my area. They are offering me:
$69.99/month, 25 Mbps download; 15 Mbps upload; 1 year commitment

My Comcast service has been very flaky recently, and I am considering switching to FiOS. Apart from the 1-year commitment, FiOS appears to be a better deal. Is there anything I should know about either service that might be relevant for when I make this decision?

(Extra info: I use my internet connection for surfing the web, watching videos, etc. I don't play much computer games or use P2P. Also, I am interested in internet-only service; no TV/landline bundles.)
posted by lunchbox to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
my comcast connection got flaky about 4 months ago. despite 4 visits, comcast could not fix the problem ... and charged me for it. i switched to at&t.
posted by lester at 2:52 PM on August 30, 2009

I had Comcast for about three years; recently I moved to an area where FiOS was available. We were never all that happy with Comcast--the digital programming guide on the TV sometimes worked badly, or not at all, and required a forced reboot of the cable box. The internet would often go out without warning or explanation for long stretches of time, and our prices were raised pretty significantly a few months before we moved. They have, more or less, a monopoly in the area where I lived, for cable (satellite was the other option) so they never seemed too concerned about problems that popped up.

I know you're not concerned with the TV aspect, but whenever I would call with these sorts of problems, there never seemed to be much concern or hurry to resolve them. Additionally, when I let them know that I was moving mid-month, I was assured that when my service was terminated, I would receive a prorated refund for the portion of the month I'd already paid for but wouldn't have service for. I gave them my new mailing address over the phone, but the refund has never materialized.

Conversely, we've been here four months and not had a single problem with FiOS. No outages, better connection (faster and more stable), and no problems with billing. I can't say I have any complaints.
posted by miratime at 3:04 PM on August 30, 2009

I switched to FiOS a few years ago, and haven't looked back. Comcast had frequent outages and general flakiness; by contrast FiOS has been nearly rock-solid. Switch; you won't regret it.
posted by cerebus19 at 3:14 PM on August 30, 2009

Another data point for "We've been very happy with FiOS and had horrible problems with Comcast."
posted by JMOZ at 3:38 PM on August 30, 2009

My coworkers, who tend to move large amounts of data, are thrilled with FiOS. As a DC urbanite, I can only make do with Verizon DSL, but overall I've been very happy with their service.
posted by me & my monkey at 4:09 PM on August 30, 2009

Until three weeks ago, when they started installing FiOS lines in my condo complex, we were stuck with either Coc(k)mast or DishNetwork. We went Comcast and have regretted it ever since, but because of our particular location DishNetwork would be impossible for us. Down the street my parents have FiOS and the speed difference is fantastic, not to mention the level of customer service.

Also, in the past two months Comcast service has been unbelievably flaky. So yeah, switching to FiOS ASAP.
posted by InsanePenguin at 4:50 PM on August 30, 2009

Another Comcast subscriber here, who, if FIOS was suddenly available to him, would stop in mid-comment to sign up for FIOS, and drop Comcast like a ho
posted by paulsc at 4:50 PM on August 30, 2009 [3 favorites]

I have and have had FIOS for the past 9 months in the Tampa Bay area of FL, I love it.
I'm a heavy, heavy, P2P user (bittorrent), and have never had any issues with slow downs or anything of the sort.
I also only have Internet with them. I think I have the 20/5mbps deal for ~$50/month.
I would totally recommend switching to FIOS.
posted by blackout at 5:36 PM on August 30, 2009

Another point for FiOS, echoing good speeds and excellent service, and some additional reasons why:

Verizon is still the newcomer in the market - despite their glowing reputation (as seen above), they are still fighting the incumbents, such as Comcast, in each area. Verizon's customer service is running at high speeds to try and beat out the typical "Cable Guy" stereotype, and it's working. Their support is top-notch and professional, where dealing with a competitor is painful.

Another telling factor for me is Comcast's / Cablevsion's / Time Warner's response to the threat on their monopoly. I got FiOS when I moved into my home 3 years ago, for Net, TV, and Phone. Shortly thereafter, I got a letter from Cablevision stating that "a number" of homes with FiOS installed suffered from a house fire due to improper electrical work, and that switching back to cable was the safest choice. Rather than offer better service, better prices, or actually compete in an open market, the resorted to scare tactics to drum up membership. That, to me, was a sign never to trust Cablevision again. (For the record, Verizon sent someone to every single home to double-check the wiring, and fixed any issues found, at no cost to the customer. More kudos to them for taking it professionally and dealing with it.)

The only issue I have, and it's minor, is that you need to use their router equipment, as it runs both internet and the data portion of the TV lineup. If you're not using their TV service (as you noted), just ask for an Ethernet drop instead of a Coaxial drop, and you can use whatever you want.
posted by GJSchaller at 6:00 PM on August 30, 2009

FIOS Rocks... Comcrap is well.........
posted by patnok at 6:24 PM on August 30, 2009

I'm with GJSchaller, I had Cablevision's Optimum Online service, switched to FIOS about three months ago, would never go back. I was promised a 15/2 mbit connection by OOL, but got 2/.5 on a good day. Compared to FIOS where I get full speeds at all times of day, sometimes sustained for hours, OOL is a joke. Not to mention more reliable.
posted by Brian Puccio at 8:07 PM on August 30, 2009

If you regularly use your cable connection at or near it's limit for any length of time, like say, downloading tv, movies or other data, you should switch to FIOS. You'll actually get at or near the speeds they advertise, and the won't throttle and/or cap your connection. Actually, to me, the fact that they do that at all is enough of a reason to switch.
posted by baserunner73 at 8:56 PM on August 30, 2009

Ha, the verdict seems pretty clear. I went ahead and ordered FiOS. Thanks guys.
posted by lunchbox at 9:50 PM on August 30, 2009

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