Comcast’s Xfinity services offer blazing fast broadband performance, industry-leading digital cable services, and even digital telephone services via the power of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies. How does Xfinity stack up against similar offerings on tap via Verizon’s fiber optic FiOS network? It all depends on how you value the following traits: availability, broadband performance, unique features, and price.
Availability is Key
FiOS markets are always in flux, with Verizon constantly wavering between expansion, retraction, and stabilization. As a whole, FiOS has spread over time but that may or may not change as the company has recently announced plans to sell off some markets. Whether these markets being placed for sale is part of a grander corporate strategy remains to be seen, but the bottom line is that there is little doubt that Xfinity has a bigger slice of the pie when it comes to availability. In short, the availability advantage easily goes hands down to Xfinity.
How Fast is Fast?
At the time this article was written FiOS offers up to 150 Mbps download and 35 Mbps uploads to consumers and it seems as if that is based entirely on market rather than distance. Simply put, if a city or neighborhood is served by hardware that can dish out these speeds then all FiOS customers in that area tend to be eligible. The same cannot be said for Xfinity’s top of the line offerings, a comparatively slow ‘up to’ 105 Mbps. The actual promised speeds and the percentage of time that the download meter might show triple digits on the Comcast side of the fence is a big question mark, as is availability.
There are lower tier broadband offerings from Xfinity that are also availability to an incredibly wide range of cities that simply dwarf the availability of FiOS and its fiber optic connections. The tradeoff between availability may be one that Comcast regrets when nothing but the fastest performance will do and FiOS is second to none. The speed advantage clearly goes to FiOS, often by a great margin that will attract those that consider performance to be a key characteristic.
Unique Features Make Great Selling Points
Both Verizon and Comcast bring a plethora of TV channels and HD offerings to the table, but Verizon brings slightly more than just TV. The integration of digital cable and VoIP services enables broadband-fueled fusion to take place, such as being able to receive and manage caller ID via the television and remote. The fusion of the fiber optic-fueled FiOS services makes them truly more than the sum of their parts, and that is something that Comcast cannot offer. For those looking for a truly integrated home, FiOS has a major advantage and only AT&T’s U-Verse can rival this.
Xfinity has a very competitive range of channels and HD offerings, but FiOS tends to edge it in raw numbers. Whether or not looking into those offerings turns up channels that you are interested in will vary person by person, and it makes it hard to say if there as significant additional value in FiOS’s offerings from a lineup standpoint. Even without such an edge, FiOS is still a clear winner when it comes to digital cable. On the other hand, Xfinity offers some great VoIP packages, especially for those that are interested in international calls, but dedicated VoIP services such as Vonage may prove to be a better deal in the long run. The net result is that the features each service has to offer may prove to be a tipping point that could change the entire decision making process for any given consumer.
How About Prices?
No matter how you slice it up, the bottom line is that prices matter. Those looking for the ultimate in broadband performance and/or media features will pay a premium price no matter which way they go. Everyone else should certainly look at the different bundles offered before making and purchasing decisions. Both services have great bargains, and Xfinity may have a serious edge in areas where their only real competition (FiOS) does not compete.