Whether you're moving to a new area or you're just shopping for the best deal, it's smart to compare broadband providers.
Having been a customer of both Verizon FiOS and Bright House Networks, I've created a simple comparison guide to help you make an informed decision.
Verizon FiOS - Fiber Optic Provider
Verizon FiOS is the nation's largest fiber optic provider offering service to over 40 million people across the country.
Verizon FiOS is known for it's blazing fast internet, thanks to it's state-of-the-art fiber optic cables technology.
The biggest problem is it isn't available in all areas. (you can check if your home can get it here)
Overall if you are looking for the fastest internet in your neighborhood Verizon FiOS is your choice, unless you want to pay $$$$ for a business class broadband connection.
- Bundle / Triple Play Pricing: Like most providers, Verizon FiOS offers bundle and triple play deals regularly. Make sure you check for their most recent deals are they change often.
- Fiber Optic Internet: Verizon FiOS offers some of the fastest broadband plans in the industry, with plans starting at 25/25mbps ranging all the way up to 500/500mbps, consumers are finally able to get "business quality" internet connections without paying thousands of dollars a month. Additionally, while most providers just advertise fast download speeds, Verizon offers symmetrical download speeds meaning that your upload speed is as fast as your download speed. This fact alone is almost unheard-of in the broadband industry.
- Digital TV: Verizon FiOS offers various packages when it comes to TV service... and to be honest their offerings vary from area to area because they cover so many customers. That said, where FiOS TV really shines is in the "speed" at which it changes channels. While this may seem strange, the tiny delay you've probably experienced when switching channels with other providers is typically nonexistent with FiOS TV. While I didn't initially think this would impact my TV watching experience, it did drastically.
- Home Phone: FiOS also offers home phone service which isn't all that different from most other providers.
- Customer Service: Service 40M plus customers nationwide isn't an easy task. While some companies may have better customer service than others, FiOS does use US call centers and local techs to address support issues.
Verizon FiOS Availability
Verizon FiOS availability can be hard to predict. The map below shows the areas where FiOS is available, but you'll need to use the tool on the Verizon website to check and see if you can get coverage.Availability Map for Verizon FiOS
Bright House Networks - Cable Provider
Bright House Networks is a cable provider offering coverage in six states and roughly 9.3 million consumers.
While Bright House does use older coaxial technology to deliver broadband internet to it's consumers, it still can be a cost effective option.
Here is what you should think about when comparing Bright House Networks to other providers:
- Bundle / Triple Play Pricing: When shopping for home services always make sure to compare current deals and offerings. Like most broadband providers Bright House regularly offers discounts if you bundle services together.
- Broadband Internet: Bright House offers internet speeds ranging from 90mbps on their "Lightning Plan" 10mbps at their lowest tier. For most consumers, these speeds will be acceptable, but if you have gamers in your household then you may prefer faster speed or technology that offers a lower ping. (Such as FiOS)
- Digital TV: Bright House Networks offers several different packages ranging from hundreds of HD channels and on demand premium channels to just your local channels. Depending on your TV watching needs, or whether you mainly just consumer online media, different plans will be better for different families. You can view their full channel line up here.
- Home Phone: As more consumers continue to phase out their home phone lines to only use their cell phones, cable companies are offering better and better deals on home phones. Most plans include free long distance calling and even free calling to some international countries.
- Customer Service: Having been a customer of both Bright House and Verizon FiOS, I have to say Bright House's customer service is definitely worth talking about. In an industry that routinely gets ratings for the worst customer service you can tell Bright House Networks tries to break the mold by offering solid local installers and a US based call center.
Bright House Availability
Bright House coverages a large segment of the US, but isn't available in all areas. See the map below for a good overview of where they offer serviceBright House Networks Internet Map
Which Service to Choose
When it really comes down to it, choosing between Verizon FiOS and Bright House really comes down to choosing which technology you prefer.
Do you want the blazing fast speeds offered by fiber connections directly to your home? Or are you satisfied with just a normal internet connection and speed isn't important to you.
Go with Verizon FiOS if:
- You have gamers in your household.
- You consume the majority of your content online through services such as Netflix, Hulu, or Youtube.
- If you work from home and require a fast and reliable internet connection where speed matters.
Choose Bright House if:
- You want a standard internet connection and don't consume much online content.
- You are mainly focused on your budget over everything else.
A Word on Ping
Without getting too technical, it's important that we talk about ping. Most internet service providers like to hype up their download and upload speeds. While there figures are incredibly important they leave out a key element when it comes to how you experience the speed of your internet connection.
That missing element is your "ping." Your ping is the delay between each request you make online.
On slow connection, this is experienced as a "white page" before a website loads.
The longer the delay the slower your internet connection will feel.
While cable service providers such as Bright House are able to offer speeds acceptable for most consumers, Verizon FiOS is able to offer not only faster speeds, but a connection which feels even faster.
Because all of your data needs are being transmitted via new fiber optic cabling instead of old copper lines.
While, I could write a whole article on understanding the basics of bundling and why it's a win for you and the companies that offer the bundles, what you really need to know is this:
Each company knows that once you switch your service to them, you are likely to stick around for some time.
With this in mind, they'll often offer huge incentives or short term pricing to get your to switch.
Once you understand this, it's easy to see that you should look past the flashy pricing and dig for what the real pricing will be once the introductory pricing has vanished.
If you have access to Verizon FiOS and Bright House Networks in your area, the real winner is you. You've got access to two great providers and when it really comes down to it, you just have to decide if the benefits of having a fiber optic connection is worth paying a little bit more for.
Overall, I hope you've found this comparison useful, if you have questions feel free to drop them in the comments.
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