Verizon FiOS is coming to RI and Providence. It’s already available in some areas. People are excited about it; however, I’m not convinced. What it does is bring in competition, which is always good. In a discussion with my fiancée’s brother, he explained to me that the benefit to FiOS is in the upstream speeds, with upstream speeds up to 2 Mbps. He went on to say that upstream speeds for most cable internet services is around 256 kbps. I was curious, knowing that Cox had been increasing their speeds for a while, and decided to check out what Cox offers. In their basic package, priced the same as the basic FiOS package (about $40 per month), Cox High Speed is 5 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream. In other words, it’s exactly the same as FiOS.
Now I’m left wondering what the benefit to switching would be. FiOS is not yet available at my apartment. I also recently received a letter from Cox saying that I could save $10 per month on my bill if I signed up for an 18 month contract. I already have Cox Extended Basic cable (I can’t afford an HD TV and I don’t need a million channels, so no need for digital cable) and Cox Digital Telephone (yes, I still have a landline, but it’s cheap, it prevents marketing calls on my cell, and it’s practically free with discount I get for having all 3 services).
I could drop the landline phone and switch to FiOS for internet and cable, but that will depend on the price and availability when my 18 months are up with Cox (which is about 17.5 months away). I have no issues with Cox and have found their customer service and tech support to actually be quite helpful.
So, given the same speeds for FiOS and Cox High Speed Internet, what are the advantages to switching to FiOS?