Fiber optic service providers for Internet, TV and phone services scored top overall in Consumer Reports’ latest survey of telecom services. Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse, whose networks are fiber optic based, received top scores for Internet and TV service and were among the higher scored phone providers.
Although coverage areas are increasing, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse are not universally available, and many consumers must consider other options for Internet, phone and TV services. The article also includes individual ratings of these three services, which typically are bundled, from various providers.
In areas where telco-delivered service is not available, a highly rated cable company is the next-best choice for many households. Consumers may not have an option when choosing a cable provider because a majority of homes only have one cable company available in their area. According to Consumer Reports’ survey, better cable companies include Wow, Insight and Bright House, which although small, received scores that rivaled those of the fiber companies and are fine alternatives in areas where they are available.
Consumer Reports’ survey also found that satellite TV had strong points. While DirecTV and Dish Network scored below fiber and the best cable services for TV service overall, they were on par with those top providers for channel selection and picture and sound quality.
Detailed results of Consumer Reports’ survey of some 69,000 reader experiences with telecom services are in the magazine’s February issue. Portions of the story are available free online at www.ConsumerReports.org.