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Nov 29

AT&T Uverse vs. Verizon FiOS

After our posts about AT&T Uverse vs. Comcast XFINITY, and Verizon FiOS vs Comcast XFINITY, here we come with AT&T Uverse vs Verizon FiOS.

It simply amazes me what can be done on an Internet connected computer these days. When I first got online in the late ‘80s, you had to know the numbers of local bulletin boards, log in with a dial-up modem, and most of what was there were chat discussions and text-based games. Now you can download mp3s, subscribe to MLB.tv to watch all out-of-market Major League Baseball games live, or play online games. Doing banking online is like brushing your teeth in the morning, and nobody would even remember ATM machines if we still don’t use them to get some cash.

But not everyone is a full-time computer user. I don’t fall into that category, but there are a lot of people out there that only use their computer for a few minutes a day, maybe just to check email or to look over their favorite social media site. What I don’t understand is why Internet Service Providers seem to ignore these people when they’re setting up their plans.

Not all is about Internet of course. There are TV and phone service (voice or VOIP) to compare as well. We’ll go one by one.

Uverse Internet vs FiOS Internet

From doing a research for this post it seems that AT&T Uverse provides a wider choice of packages for the wide variety of Internet users. If you take a look at Verizon FiOS Internet plans, you’ll see that they offer lesser number of Internet plans at quite high price. No kidding about download speed of up to 50 Mbps, and upload of up to 20 Mbps – no, you can’t expect this to be even close to the price range of common Internet connection speeds for 2010. Still, the price of $144.99 per month without Verizon home phone service. It’s $139.95 with the home phone service. For the zip code 90001 (Los Angeles, CA), Verizon local phone service offers few options:

  • Flat rate at the cost of $19.50-$25.14/month
  • Sensible Minute – $2.99 plus $0.08/minute)
  • Local Measured Service – $11.80/month-$16.62/month plus charges per minute

We’re not here to go into details about Verizon home phone service, but still want to give you an idea about how much it would cost you if you would have both Verizon home phone and FiOS Internet service. It’s worth of mentioning that the first two offer local and regional (not long distance), and the third one is local calling only. This means additional extra cost if you were to get long distance from Verizon.
The other two FiOS Internet plans are priced at $54.99 and $69.99 per month for speeds of up to 15 and 25 Mbps, respectively.

Anyhow, sure FiOS can boast that they have the fastest Internet speeds. But what good is all that speed if you don’t need it or you can’t afford it? While FiOS only offers three different plans with three different speeds, Uverse High Speed Internet offers five different plans (five different speeds) that start at bit more affordable price.

Uverse Pro plan, its most inexpensive plan with download speed of up to 3 Mbps starts from $35 per month. FiOS’s most inexpensive plan is $20 more expensive than U-verse Pro Internet. For some people, 3 Mbps is all they need. It’s much faster than dial-up, it doesn’t tie up phone lines, and it keeps them connected all the time. It’s also enough for fast downloads and radio streaming, which is also great for frequent Internet users who may not be able to afford all that speed.

On top of that, Uverse High Speed Internet brings one of the most recognized names in anti-virus and Internet security protection: McAfee. The AT&T Security Suite provides several layers of protection to its subscribers, including two-way firewall protection; virus and spyware protection; and McAfee SiteAdvisor, which uses a rating system to help users stay away from phishing Web sites. It also provides parental controls, allowing adults to monitor and limit their children’s Internet usage.

Uverse TV vs FiOS TV

This would not qualify to be a valid blog post if Uverse and FiOS TV have not been discussed here. The whole idea of AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOS is based on supporting service such as TV and phone via fast and reliable Internet connections. So high speed Internet comes here as a precondition or prerequisite for why most of their customers are actually ordering Uverse and FiOS: TV service (with a great focus on HD programing).
It seems that both of these providers have their own goods and bads when about their TV service:

  • Service stability – Verizon FiOS is in a position to be more stable as it is all fiber optic, while AT&T U-verse uses either fiber or copper to premises, depending on the area. Some of those copper installations are really old (decades).
  • Value for money – AT&T has the flexibility here and therefore meets the lower price demand better.
  • Availability – Both providers are limited here. If just doing the comparison, here is the picture in numbers:
    • As of the third quarter of 2010, AT&T had 2.9 million U-verse High Speed Internet customers, 2.7 million U-verse TV customers, and 1.5 million U-verse Voice connections. More than 26 million living units are passed by AT&T’s advanced fiber network. AT&T Uverse is available in 131 markets across 22 states.
    • As of June 30, 2010 the FiOS network passed 15.9 million or 50 percent of total Verizon households.  FiOS Internet counted 3.81 million customers, while FiOS TV had 3.20 million customers. Verizon FiOS is available in 16 states.

AT&T Uverse Voice vs Verizon FiOS Phone

It was impossible to get the pricing information for FiOS phone service. They did mention they had two plans, unlimited and per minute, but if you wanted to see the pricing, you had to go ahead and enter your address and go through further process which I guess would show the price at some point.
Uverse offers two plans: AT&T U-verse Voice Unlimited starts at $35 per month, and AT&T Uverse Voice 250 at $25 per month (250 minutes). The first one includes local and long distance anywhere in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, while the second one is limited to U.S. and Puerto Rico. International calling is available at different rates per minute for different countries. Prices seem to be higher than those from dedicated long distance providers.

Uverse vs FiOS – The Finale

So if you’re looking for a bundled Internet, television and phone service, and your primary driver is the price, you may find yourself settled with AT&T Uverse under one condition – after checking Uverse availability in your area.
If you’re looking for top knock Internet connection speed, and guaranteed fiber all the way to your home, then Verizon FiOS may be right service for you, again, if it’s available in your area.