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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Consumer Reports' Survey: Verizon FiOS a Leading Choice for Internet, Television, Telephone Service

Consumers looking for Internet, television, and telephone service should consider Verizon FiOS. In Consumer Reports' latest survey of several major telecom providers, featured in the February issue, Verizon FiOS, whose network is fiber-optic based, received superior scores for reliability and performance for its Internet, television, and telephone services.

Because the availability of Verizon FiOS is as yet limited, many consumers should also consider other options for these services. The article also includes Ratings of services typically bundled from various providers based on reader scores.

Consumers interested in services provided by a cable company may not have an option when choosing a provider because a majority of homes only have one cable company available in their area. According to CR's survey, better cable companies include Cox, Bright House and Wow, which are fine alternatives to Verizon FiOS in areas that they are available and also offer Internet and telephone services.

If television service is a priority, satellite service may be a fine option. DirecTV scored significantly higher than all the major cable companies and Dish Network, the other major provider of satellite service. It also offers hybrid bundles of its TV offerings and DSL and phone service from telephone providers Qwest and Verizon. DirecTV's television service stacks up well against services offered from the best cable companies and requires getting a satellite dish and other equipment, typically free or at discount in exchange for a contract agreement.

For Internet service offered through a cable company, Wow and Bright House did well in CR's Ratings. Cincinnati Bell, which offers a DSL Internet connection, was one of the higher scoring providers due to its high marks for value and reliability. Verizon's DSL Internet service was average for value, reliability and support, but scores for performance were lagging.

Although landline phone service offers a more reliable connection, especially in cases of an emergency, VoIP phone service scored higher in overall satisfaction in CR's Ratings. Cox was among the leaders especially because of its reliability and performance. Skype was noted for its superior value, but its scores were worse than average when it came to reliability and performance.

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