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Verizon FIOS Driving Down Comcast Prices

This article was written by in Internet. 16 comments.


Pkp646 asked in response to my latest Comcast adventure (which isn’t quite the latest — there’s something new I haven’t written about yet):

I would be interested to know, Flexo, if there has been talk of allowing Verizon’s FIOS into your area. It seems that everywhere that they are trying to enter the field, Comcast gives away free speed upgrades. The reason behind it is simple, though. FIOS is comprable, if not outright cheaper, but also provides a greater speed and a more reliable connection. I’m hoping to be able to get it in my area soon.

In fact, the word is that we are being primed for FIOS service in my area. In 2001 and 2002, the fiber optic cable was laid underneath US Route 1, the main corridor in my area of the state. Back then, Comcast Online (or Comcast @Home or Excite @Home) — the only broadband option in the area other than satellite — had major connectivity issues. Everyone was looking to Verizon for the first sign that DSL would be available.

DSL either never came, or by the time it did, Comcast had improved dramatically. With Comcast as the only serious choice for broadband in the area, my friends and neighbors are still looking for FIOS to provide some competition.

For the last few years, I check every so often to see if FIOS is available, just in case I missed the huge announcement. Here’s today’s response, same as before:

Verizon FiOS Internet Service is not currently available at your address. Our network is continually being expanded, and we don’t want you to the miss the opportunity to get this state-of-the art Internet service.

Honestly, I’m satisfied for now with my 10 Mbps downstream, despite an outage yesterday — while I was home sick — due to the landscapers cutting the cable connection outside the apartment and depriving my building of cable television and internet for several hours. (That’s the story I mentioned at the top of this post. Now you know.)

Updated December 20, 2011 and originally published April 5, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Luke Landes ♦127,505 (Platinum)

By the way, Comcast can probably go as high as 100 Mbps without upgrading its equipment around here, so FIOS may not even prove to be a competitor down the road. 30 Mbps is the highest FIOS speed available at the moment (for $180/mo), and I’m not sure about capacity.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,505 (Platinum)

This sounds very promising, but I haven’t seen any evidence that FiOS will be cheaper than cable. Verizon is advertising 5 Mbps for $35/mo. That speed with Comcast is $20 or $30. They list these caveats with regard to service speed. The speed can be affected by:

* Condition of wiring inside and outside your home
* The configuration of your computer
* The number of home computers and other networked equipment using the service at the same time
* Network or Internet congestion
* The server speeds of the Web sites you are accessing
* Other factors

That sounds a lot like cable to me (sepcifically point three), and contrasts with what you say about zero slowdown during peak hours.

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avatar Tman

Obviously this guy is not being objective. He seems to be emotionally invested in Comcast/cable; this is the only explanation for the statements he is making. First, comcast does not charge 20 to 30 bucks a month for 5Mbs download, it’s more like 45 bucks a month for a maximum, best case scenario, the planets are aligned 5Mbs connection if you also order cable TV service. Also, I believe that Comcast interferes with Voice over IP like Vonage. They also will try and get you to pay extra for additional computers you have using the internet connection. This isn’t too much of a problem – just add a router to hide the IP’s downstream however, if you have a work laptop that requires you tunnel through using VPN, comcast will ‘see’ the two IP addresses and usually shut one of them down, requiring the reset procedure for the modem that any comcast customer will be very familiar with. Couple that with the fact that Comcast now publicly (previously secretly and illegally) caps internet usage. I am just glad to have a connection where I don’t feel like I’m being screwed. Sure Fios costs about the same, but without the capacity issues, they don’t have to resort to sneaky tricks like comcast. I don’t mind paying 150/month for 10 Mbs down and 1.5 mbs up (these are typical and minimum. Basic Comcast might get you half that speed occasionally with many periods where it feels like DSL might be a better choice.

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avatar Chris

In response to Flexo:

Fiber has a *much* higher capacity than cable. Verizon’s setup would allow nearly 1 GIGABITE connection speeds (though most nods support at least 3-4 homes, yet its still a considerable amount). That is far faster than anything that Comcast would be able to provide using coax lines.

~100mb would be pushing it for Comcast, not even considering they have trouble providing most people with thier standard speeds currently offered.

Plus you gain reliability (new equipment vs old porrly maintaned equipment/lines), and better support from Verizon (have you ever tried calling Comcast support? They employ lobotomized circus chimps there).

In addition, FIOS TV produces a MUCH better quality than cable TV could ever hope for, with more features and cheaper pricing as well. The picture is even better than satellite, which is already a marked improvement over cable. Plus, with a free HD DVR and the most HD channels currently offered by any provider, it makes the dicision that much easier.

Then you add in the fact that you can get your phone, internet, and TV all through Verizon on a single bill with a large discount, and it’s a no-brainer. Goodbye Comcast. We won’t miss you.

Cliff Notes:

Comcast/Charter/Cox/Etc. = Expensive. Unreliable. Highly sensitive to “peak hours”. Can’t match Fiber speeds. Poor support / Customer service. Lousy TV service.

Fios = Cheaper. Very stable. Almost 0 slowdown during “peak hours”. Huge amount of possible bandwidth. Faster than nearly all current cable offerings. Better support / customer service. Excellent TV & phone service.

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avatar tpwk

I think one of the primary benefits of having FiOS in your area is the lowered cost that comes from increased competition. If FiOS truly were not a vlid competitor, the cable companies wouldn’t be working so aggresively to prevent Verizon from locking down franchise agreements (look at New Jersey, for an example).

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,505 (Platinum)

Mr. Man,

Comcast is offering 6 Mbps for $19.95 for new customers. I know for a fact existing customers can get that price as well. I don’t have to smoke anything to simply read the offers in my area from comcastonline.com. I’m sorry Comcast costs so much in your area in Texas.

FiOS is NOT a competitor until their service begins and they show that it is as reliable as Comcast is (and in my area, it’s reliable, and customer service has been surprisingly good lately) and they offer comparable speeds at comparable prices.

By the way, I have an old TV that would not benefit from a clearer picture that is promised by fiber optics. TV is not important to me.

And if you actually check the facts about fiber optics, you will see that the signal degrades over large distances and due to the internal reflection patterns, the data doesn’t get from point A to point B at the speed of light. The signal does not travel in a straight line, and what kind of path the light takes (and the amount of degredation) is dependent on the type of wiring. There’s no guarantee FiOS will use graded-index multimode fiber rather than single mode. As they were laying the cable as early as 2000 in my area, my impression is that the technology will not be the latest.

The Man: I appreciate you sharing your info on FiOS, now go smoke something yourself. :-)

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avatar the man

ok i just checked comcasts prices in my area (tx)

for non comcast users internet-

there is a special deal for new comers so you can get internet for 29.95 a month for 6 months
but after that you have to go to the other price

the normal price is 52.95 for 4mbps/384kbps
or for 62.95 you get 6mbps/768kbps

for comcast users –

normal price 42.95 and for upgraded internet 52.95, same speeds as above.

standard comcast cable –

78 channels for 44.50

now for the little hidden prices –

to install one computer – 99.99
2-5 computers – 149.99

you need a modem so that will cost you 3 per month or 99.99 for one time fee
but thats just for one computer, for multiple computers you needs a router (you dont need a modem if you have one) the cost is 5 a month or 179.99 to buy one from them. HOLY CRAP

if you computer has not had cable tv before it will cost you 47.47 and 9.95 if you have (what the hell?) and 15.59 for additional cable jacks

i chose all the minimum crap on the site (exept for the standard cable, basic is below that. and i did not choose the limited time 30 a month internet deal) and got a total of 209.93 one time fee plus 87.45 per month

… wow

now verizon –

fios prices

5/2 mbps 34.95
15/2 mbps 44.95
30/5 mbps 179.95 (not sure whats up with that)

for fios tv premier (same as expanded basic, they just changed the name)

for the premier package you get 180 channels
if you get the internet too it is 34.95
for tv by itself it is 39.95
over 20 hd channels

the little hidden prices –

for internet
if you sign up for a year, the primary computer installation is free and comes with a FREE (4 computer) router! oh yeah and its a WIRELESS router too.

if you dont there is a 69.95, for insatallation and router.

for tv –

if you sign up for a year you can either waive the 3.95 per month set top box fee or get 5 bucks off per month of a movie package.

there is no installation fee for up to 3 tv outlets, im not sure what it is for more.

that runs up to about a $0 one time fee and a $69.90 monthly fee

verizon = fiber optics, as in light, as in data at the speed of light. why is there different speeds then? for one profit, also if one person sucks up a bunch of bandwidth the nabors get slowed down, this limits that.

also water doenst effect the lines, so no water related problems.

if verizon wanted they could upgrade everyone with fios to speeds comcast couldnt match, they just have to reduce the limit set on the little boxes outside of our houses, no extra equipment needed.

flexo says something about 5 mbps for 20 or 30 from comcast… well i dont know what hes smoking, but it must be strong

ps- for every company the speed you buy does NOT apply per computer, it is total for every computer in that house. what chris is refering to is the network as a whole

fios not prove to be a competitor, lol. that comment shows you havent looked at all the facts.

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avatar pkp646

Flexo- Thanks for the news and information. It’s pleasent to have ones questions actually answered and clearly. I don’t know how fast and for how long Verizon can be a competitor in yours or any other market, but it is my hope that the competition will be good at least for the short run. I don’t know if I mentioned this previously, but Verizon is having trouble even being allowed to compete in their home state of New Jersey, and that’s just a shame.

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avatar oldhats

Yea, I’m not sure that a comparison of current prices and speeds is valid. What we want is competition to bring prices down and quality of service up. And as tpwk said, it speaks volumes that Comcast is working so hard at keeping Verizon out of the market in NJ (and elsewhere).

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avatar Hammer

Verizon will win my money when Fios is offered in my area (soon). Another thing everyone seems to be missing here is the upload speed. 2mbps up is extremly fast. For people who upload pictures, video , and other files to web pages etc. will greatly benefit from this service.

Comcast speed tiers range from 4.0 to 8.0 Mbps download speed (maximum UPLOAD speed from 384Kbps to 768Kbps respectively).

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avatar jkensing

I signed up for FIOS but I really wasn’t looking to leave comcast my connection was great. During peak hours my VOIP got a little choppy sometimes unusable on the weekends due to sharing bandwidth with my neighbors but I was happy. I got 4.6mbs/386kps with comcast.

Verizon went door to door selling their services and with a 30 day money back guarantee I figured I’d give it a shot and I wouldn’t go back to comcast after FIOS. I now get 5.1mbs/1.8mbs and my VOIP now works 100% of the time.

I’m looking forward to the tv services especially for the HD I’m very pleased with comcast for tv, though expensive but I expect FIOS to surprise me with their tv services as they did internet…

I recommend FIOS internet to anyone it’s definately an upgrade from comcast.

Happy FIOS customer…

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avatar Paulaner01

Long term, short term, all I know is this – where there’s FiOS, prices are lower and services are better. That’s all I need to know. If we can get a little competition, we’re going to win in both the short and long term, because either one of these two will offer a superior plan or some other option will come in and do it. I’m curious to see what happens in NJ…here’s hoping for more choice!

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avatar oldhats

Exacltly, Paul. Competition helps everyone–even Comacast customers since they have to drop prices and improve service just to stay in business!

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avatar Bob

I had Comcast. I was getting 22MB/768KB and I was using VOIP. The sound was horrible. Come to find out speed is not the only factor. Use http://myspeed.visualware.com/voip/index.html
to test your connection for VOIP quality. Since I got FIOS my VOIP is working flawless. >99% Qos now. Was getting 19% w/ comcrap

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avatar Hazzard

I have been anxiously waiting for FIOS in my area but it is dominated by Qwest. Frankly, Qwest’s products suck and I don’t see them offering any sort of fiber to the house any time soon. The only positive about having Qwest in my area is that I use them against Comcast. Every 6 months I call Comcast, tell them about the mailer I received from Qwest and threaten to cancel unless they offer me a better price. It’s kept my broadband price at $29.99 for about 2 years now.

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avatar IPMAN

I have Fios internet. I get 20/5 for 49 a month. I had Cramcast and was paying 49 for 6/1.5.

FIOS has very knowledgeable support and i have only had downtime 2 times, when they were upgrading routers for higher capacity.

Comcast already lost. The only reason they are still around is because they have near monopolies in many areas and they will butt rape the public there as long as possible.

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