- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 27, 2006

I have a love-hate thing going with Comcast, as, it would seem, most of its customers have. I love the (relatively) high-speed Internet, and I like the cable service (more choices would be nice). Intermittent outages are a pain, but that happens. However, Comcast is one of the most uniformly unresponsive, uncreative and just un-nice companies I’ve ever dealt with. Many of my friends feel the same way, as some random conversations have revealed.

An alternative could be FiOS, a fiber optic service from Verizon, which also offers a fiber-based TV service as well. Both compete with Comcast’s cable offerings, and are roughly equal in price — FiOS Internet is a little higher than Comcast, the cable packages are similar if not a tad cheaper.

That’s where the difference ends. At the slowest FiOS Internet speed, Verizon’s $35 to $39 monthly service is about as fast as Comcast on the downstream side — 5 megabits per second versus a claimed 6 MBPS for Comcast — but uploads are faster, 2 MBPS for Verizon versus 1.5 MBPS for Comcast. A 15 MBPS down/2 MBPS up service from Verizon costs between $45 and $50 a month, on a par with Comcast’s price but much faster. If you’re super-rich or super-in-need-of-this, you can spend between $180 and $200 a month — the price varies by location, I guess — and zip along at 30 MBPS downstream and 15 MBPS upstream each month. I don’t believe Comcast can come anywhere near that. Sadly, all this reviewer can do is dream: a Verizon contact I met at Starbucks this a.m. informs me my neighborhood won’t be online until 2007. Now, if I can only move to Howard County and figure out how to pay those higher BG&E; bills …

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