Monday, February 18, 2008

Verizon FIOS Versus Time Warner Road Runner Broadband Internet Service - Which Do You Prefer?



An earlier post responded to a reader's inquiry concerning cable and internet providers on Roosevelt Island in which I stated that I was satisfied with my Time Warner digital broadband internet service. In the last few months I have become increasingly dissatisfied with Time Warner's Road Runner internet service noticing significantly slower page loading speeds and am seriously considering switching to Verizon's FIOS service.

Readers of the prior post had different views on whether Road Runner or FIOS were the better service for Roosevelt Islanders. From a Road Runner supporter:
... I got rid of Verizon broadband because it went out every time there was a heavy rain. After insisting on a home visit, the Verizon man mumbled something about water in a tunnel.

I have no problems with my Time Warner Cable connection and Roadrunner.
And a FIOS fan:
I've been using it for a year, and it is hands-down the best internet service I've ever used. ... I highly recommend it.
The Wall Street Journal reports on the battle between phone and cable companies for the business of internet users:
Stung by the success of phone companies in selling packages of TV and high-speed Internet services, the cable industry is getting close to launching a counteroffensive -- an inexpensive new technology that dramatically boosts Internet connection speeds. Called Docsis 3.0, the technology will allow the cable industry to compete on a more even footing with telecom giant Verizon Communications Inc., which is aggressively marketing a high-performance fiber-optic network called FiOS that offers much faster Internet connection speeds than cable modems can currently deliver. Whether the cable industry can roll out the new technology fast enough to minimize the damage from FiOS remains to be seen.

... For many years cable companies had an advantage on Internet speeds because phone companies were limited to DSL offerings, which had a maximum speed of seven megabits per second. Both Verizon's FiOS and a more limited fiber-optic service being rolled out by AT&T Inc. called U-verse are allowing the phone companies to offer more-competitive services. FiOS currently offers download speeds of up to 50 megabits a second -- nearly two and a half times faster than what Comcast or Time Warner offers. AT&T's U-verse can offer up to only 10 megabits a second, a 40% improvement over its fastest DSL offering and more comparable to cable offerings.
The NY Times on all-in-one cable, internet and phone triple play packages.
Consumers can also be the winners, if they are careful and question the sales representatives thoroughly. Let me impart my hard-earned knowledge and suggest that anyone considering a bundled plan ask these questions:

Are taxes included, or is there a flat rate?

Is there a one-time installation fee? Is there a fee to keep your phone number?

Is a contract required? For what duration? Can the fees rise over the contract period? What will they go up to after the contract expires? (For example, Cablevision’s bundled service rises to about $125 a month after the first year.)

If I change or drop one of the bundled services, will I be penalized? (Generally, the answer is yes.)

Is there a termination fee? (Verizon, for example, may charge a $200 fee if you cancel before the end of a two-year contract; Cablevision requires no contract and has no termination fee.)

Are there any promotions? (For example, we were offered $10 off the first six months of the bill in addition to a $200 gift certificate at an electronics store. My friend was given a $50 Target gift certificate for signing on.)

What options come free with the telephone services, and what costs extra? Caller ID? Call waiting? Voice mail?

There are other considerations. With Verizon we would get FiOS — the company’s name for its fiber optic technology. To make it more confusing, cable networks also use fiber optic technology, but it does not go all the way into the house, as FiOS does.
I think the cable companies better hurry up with their Docsis 3.0 technology.

UPDATE - 5/21/09 - I made the switch to Verizon FIOS and could not be happier.

45 comments :

Paul said...

Concerning the comments from the previous post....Verizon Broadband is generally NOT the same as Verizon FiOS. Obviously I can't say for sure as I have no idea what the commenter ACTUALLY had.

Their Broadband service is generally some sort of DSL-based system, whereas FiOS involves bringing brand new fiber right to your apartment and switching your old copper wiring to it.

My FiOS connection consistently gets over 10,000 kbps with hardly a hiccup in 22 months.

Anonymous said...

I have not tried Verizon VIOS, but have been a prisoner to Time Warner for way too many years, with their inept service, poor response time and that darn hold when you call which goes on endlessly. Anything has to be an improvement, no?

Anonymous said...

I'm actuly a Fios Tech Support person, and a Fios customer (and former TW RR customer), if you can get past some of the billing issues that I see from time to time, Fios is a far better product. What I kind rather entertaining, are the commercials that time warner puts out that clearly lie about fios, such as the one claiming that fios dosen't have VOD.... the way I look at it tho is this, compare the TM/Cox/Comcast comercials vs the FiOs ones, verizon puts out commercials that are about True Quam, and Blowing stuff, while the others slander. :D i love verizon its a pretty pimp company. I mean, try seeing if Verizon will pay you to come back to them if you leave. Comcast does.

Anonymous said...

The only problem with Verizon is that they are part of the warranteless wiretapping program, as well as AT&T.

Anonymous said...

These are good internet connection!! Recently, I tried Verizon Broadband connection and It worked satisfactory!!

Anonymous said...

I have Time Warner Cable. My internet was out for 2-3 days before they could send a repairman to fix it (after waiting through countless self-help guides and being on hold forever). They gave me a 4 hour time window. When the repairman came he confirmed we have no signal coming in. He asked me where the cable came from. I said I wasn't sure. He said "Well, you are going to have to HELP ME here. Call your super and find out." Turns out its in the shared backyard of my apt building. The key getting into the backyard was stuck. After 5 minutes of attempting to get in, I try contacting a neighbor. As I am doing this, he starts walking away impatiently saying, he can't stay here and wait and has to go. As I plead with him to stay just another 5 minutes, he ignores me and continues walking, hops in his van and speeds away. I call to set up another appointment (and figure out how to get in the backyard in the meantime). I explain the situation and now have to wait another day for this to get fixed. Apparently the repairman said he stayed waiting for a half hour on his report. I ask the Time Warner employee, "don't you think it would be a good idea to inform people that they need access to the cable box to their apt building / house when you are setting up appointments?" He implied there was nothing he could do about it (wait, aren't you one of the people who makes appointments, seeing as you just made one for me), and gave me the website where I could file complaints. Yeah, great... a website seeing as I need the internet.

I am a web developer. My business is based on having the internet. This is unacceptable.

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