May 11, 2015 Jessica Sims
Verizon FiOS vs Time Warner Cable: Which One is Right For You?

Verizon FiOS vs Time Warner Cable: Which One is Right For You?

Comparing Internet providers before choosing which one to go with is an important step in the buying process. While Verizon FiOS has a limited availability area, especially in comparison to the Time Warner service area, many consumers want a side-by-side comparisons of what each plan has to offer for the price, to determine the best choice for their needs and budget.

Verizon FiOS At A Glance

FiOS Availability: As of 2015 FiOS is only available in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Virginia. Unfortunately Verizon has officially put expansion plans on hold but recently there are rumors that it may be expanding.[1][2] Because FiOS is a fiber optic connection, even if FiOS is in your neighborhood, you still must check if it is available at your address.

You can check your FiOS availability here: http://www.verizon.com/home/bundles/fios/

Promotional Offers, Bundling, and Current Pricing

Verizon FiOS TV, internet, and home phone deals updated 21 hours ago.
As with many broadband companies, Verizon FiOS offers both double play and triple play bundles allowing consumers to get a lower price they lock in multiple services. As their plans change often, you’ll want to check how FiOS’ deals compare to Time Warner Cable’s. That said, generally FiOS is more inexpensive during the agreement period, but you’ll want to make sure before you buy.

For current pricing see the widget to the right, or visit our FiOS deals page here.

Internet Speeds: 25mbps – 500mbps

FiOS’s broadband plans range from 25mbps to 500mbps with symmetrical upload and download capabilities. Verizon FiOS is commonly known as the “fast internet provider” in areas it serves because of it’s large fiber-to-the-home network. (It’s actually the largest in the country.) [3]

TV Channels: Up to 460 with 150HD

FiOS’s ultimate HD package offers 460+ channels and 150+ HD channels in many markets. For consumers wanting to make sure they get their favorite shows, FiOS also offers a multiroom DVR, standard DVR, and traditional cable box options.

Also after AT&T U-verse’s decision to drop the Hallmark channel much to the display of it’s consumers, we are pleased to say that FiOS does offer the Hallmark Channel.[4]

FiOS Phone Service

The FiOS’s home phone service includes unlimited long distance calling, anywhere in the United States. Calls to Canada and Puerto Rico are not included. Check your package for full details as pricing varies based on your calling needs.

FiOS Availability Map

Below is an FiOS coverage map which is useful to see if FiOS is available in your state but in order to get service you need to make sure that FiOS is available at your address with the availability tool on the Verizon website.

Verizon FiOS Availability

Time Warner Cable At a Glance

Which do You Prefer? Verizon FiOS or Time Warner Cable

Promotional Offers and Pricing: Like Verizon, Time Warner Cable offers different bundles of their TV, internet, and phone offerings. Generally Time Warner Cable is a few dollars cheaper than FiOS, but they are also known for hidden fees and incorrectly increasing prices for current customers.[5] So if you do decide to go with TWC, make sure the final bill is actually the price you signed up for.

HD Channels: Up to 200 with 80 HD

The Time Warner Cable offers digital TV with up to 200 channels. After about 35 minutes of finding the full HD channel count, it’s clear that it varies heavily based on area. Some areas only have 35 HD channels and others have more than 80.[6] To also be clear, make sure you are factoring in the “Step top” rental fee and the DVR rental fee for most bundles. [7] This also applies to FiOS, but with Time Warner Cable, these fees generally start $20/mo and go up depending on the number of rooms you have an the functionality you need.

Internet Speeds

Time Warner Cable offers coaxial broadband internet capable of delivering speeds of 2mbps to 50mbps with faster speeds available in some markets.[8]

My personal experience of having Time Warner Cable in NYC wasn’t a good one. All I had was internet access and it took them 7 months to get the internet connection setup correctly even thought I was paying for the fastest speeds. After 9 techs and 2 routers (both I had to buy) I ended up taking off work to help the tech and we discovered that the initial tech had labeled my wire incorrectly on the roof meaning my fast speeds were going to my neighbor below me.

Who Wins: Verizon FiOS or Time Warner Cable

It’s no secret that cable companies routinely make their pricing hard to understand so that consumers can’t directly compare providers. That said, if you are willing to pay $10-20 more a month for good service and good (best in a horrible industry) customer service, you should choose Verizon FiOS. [9]

With FiOS you’ll get a fiber optic connection that results in faster internet, clearer TV, and better phone call quality. Is FiOS perfect, no. But after spending years with Time Warner Cable as my only option, Verizon FiOS is a huge upgrade.

That said, if you are looking for the lowest price between providers, sometimes Time Warner can offer better deals than FiOS, but make sure to read the fine print.

Note: This page was last updated: Jan 6th, 2015. Comments below are preserved for reference. Feel free to add your opinion.

References and Footnotes

  1. Stop the Cap reporting that Verizon's CFO reported that they will stop expanding. Full Article
  2. DSL Reports that roughly 19 million people will have access to FiOS but that will be the extent of their expansion. Full Article 
  3. BroadbandNow's analysis of Verizon FiOS' coverage area, speeds, and cities.
  4. U-verse's decision to drop the Hallmark Channel.
  5. Recent TechDirt article about a lawsuit against TWC for deceptive practices.
  6. Time Warner Cable's Channel Lineup Tool
  7. This is in the fine print of all the bundles. See bottom of this page.
  8. These speeds are for New York City, zip code 10012 found on this page.
  9. The ACSI rates broadband providers based on customer service results. You can find the study on their website.

5 comments on “Verizon FiOS vs Time Warner Cable: Which One is Right For You?”

  1. SajiD says:

    Thanks for the update! really helpful

  2. Dot Katz says:

    When I wanted to upgrade from my $38 per month DSL plan with Verizon, I chose TWC instead of FIOS. The poor customer service and technical support I had with Verizon while on DSL was the deciding factor to try a different ISP. For the same amount of money (actually, $35/month), I have a 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload, whereas I had 3 Mbps download and 0.7 Mbps download on DSL. I also have access to TWC wifi spots, something I had paid for with Verizon, but did not receive because my hardware was incompatible. My building in NE Queens does have FIOS, but I gave TWC a chance, and have been quite pleased with the service. I average 80 Gb of data a month with no problems after 6 months, using Netflix, Hulu and Pandora. While with Verizon, I could never get a usage report, or a breakdown of the fees in my bill. For TWC, the billing accurately reflected the advertised price. I expect my positive experience from TWC stems from their need to compete with Verizon FIOS in my area, and I will encourage their efforts to improve in the face of competition.

  3. Bruce says:

    Great comparison Jessica! I’ve been a customer of both Verizon and TWC and I have to admit that Verizon is way better in service, pricing, and products. At Verizon, i’m paying $99.99 for 260+ channels, 100Mbps download/100Mbps upload internet speeds, and unlimted nationwide calling. The price is guaranteed for 2 years, whereas TWC only offers a 1 year price guarantee for only 160 channels and slower internet speeds(25Mbps download/10Mbps upload) for a more expensive price of $129.99. Take advice from someone who’s experience both services, Verizon is way better!

  4. Cable Tech says:

    I am a Cable technician and I just want to say that speeds are limited by software between a server and your modem. So the line on your roof has nothing to do with limiting speeds. Unless you had a bad line and your neighbors was replaced instead of yours. Also I find that people who have fios don’t even consume the bandwidth they are subscribed to. The only upside to Fios is faster uploads, and quicker pings.

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