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shmee

join:2005-04-03
Phoenixville, PA

[Price] Current FiOS subscriber trying to determine if worth the switch

I currently have a FiOS bundle with TV/Internet. I have the Extreme HD package for TV (very comparable to Comcast's Digital Preferred lineup) and the 75/35 "quantum" package for internet. I'm right at the end of a two year agreement and can renew for another two years at $109.99/month (before taxes/fees). My current bill is actually $119.99/month (before taxes/fees), so renewing for another two years nets me a savings of $10/month.

I'm considering a switch to Comcast. I'm looking at what they call the "Preferred SurePrice Double Play" plan, which comes to $89.99/month for the first 12 months (this accounts for me purchasing my own modem as opposed to renting) and includes the Digital Preferred TV package with the Blast! 105/10 internet package.

I have two HD (non-dvr) STBs with my current FiOS service. The rental fees on these boxes brings my total bill (again, pre-tax/fees) to $139.97/month. With the renewal this would drop to $129.97/month. With my current service (pre-renewal) taxes/fees are $5.81/month.

I am in the Northeastern Philadelphia area. I would be utilizing two HD (non-dvr) STBS with Comcast as well. This would bring my total (for the first 12 months of the promotion) to $109.89/month pre-taxes/fees. Assuming I keep the service for another 12 months, it would jump to $139.89/month pre-taxes/fees.

Is there any way to tell (or anyone who can possibly tell me) what my taxes/fees might be if I switch to Comcast?

The difference in price for the first 12 months (not accounting for taxes/fees) would net me roughly $240 in savings. The increase in price for Comcast over the next 12 months would offset that savings and drop it to roughly half, for a total savings of $120 over the course of two years. These calculations are entirely dependent on the actual taxes/fees, though. If Comcast's taxes/fees are higher than Verizons, I might as well stay with FiOS.

On a side note, I hate you FCC. Regulate these companies and force them to give you a straight up answer from the get go (when you are initially subscribing) as to what their taxes/fees entail. It would make comparison shopping so much easier!



MDA
Premium
join:2013-09-10
Minneapolis, MN
Reviews:
·Comcast

It's a mixed bag. You get more bandwidth for your money on Fios, but more content to watch on Xfinity TV.

I'd say stick with the company who's service you would use more of as stated above. The catch with Xfinity TV is the fees grow more substantially than other cable providers just because they can with all the subsidiaries they own like NBC Universal.

If you plan on watching TV for at least half the days out of the week, then there's no worry going to comcast (I mean the only thing that's bad about Xfinity internet in my opinion, is the upload speed compared to Fios. Rarely do I experience outtages or line issues). Otherwise Fios is still lesser of the two evils.


rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast

No while he is getting higher upload with fios he is getting higher download with comcast. Comcast speeds are pretty dam stable in this area and usually net 24/7 speeds. As far as taxes and fees, without phone in the mix should be about the same with either company. Its the franchise fee thats the killer around here and both go to your township and should match.



owlyn
Premium,MVM
join:2004-06-05
Newtown, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to shmee

Taxes and fees should be about the same, if not identical. Comcast also has several streaming options, so you can watch live TV, or on-remand programming on your phone or iPad. I recently used this ability while stuck at a car dealership repair shop. I've also used it during my commute to work by train.

As for service, when everything is working properly, it's excellent. If you have a problem, it is terrible. Their customer service reps, for the most part, don't know much, and can actually make your problem worse. If you get a good one, you are in good shape. If you do have a problem, come here first. We can often solve it faster than Comcast.



Coelispex

join:2013-06-03
Wilmette, IL
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to shmee

•You forgot one thing, if you want HD, you will have to pay an extra $10 for it's "HD Technology Fee" on top of your base rate.

•1st top box is free, the 2nd (here Comcast calls it, for non-DVR) a "digital transport adapter" which costs $1.99/month. There's a HD-DTA (not sure if its available in your area) that you can also rent.

•There is a installation fee (via truck roll $49) or self-install kit ($9.95) for first time customers

Other than that, Comcast bumps the prices (every 6 months * 3 times) or (every 12 months * 1 time) or 2 year agreement -- depending if you get a triple play or double play

If I were you, I would stay with FiOS. Perhaps, cancel it and start a new account under your spouse name for a better pricing. Good luck
--
Comcast Blast 105
Motorola SB6141
ASUS RT-N56U Stock



shmee

join:2005-04-03
Phoenixville, PA
reply to shmee

Thanks for all the info folks!

@Coelispex - I did account for the HD fees. The promo for 12 months of Digital Preferred and Blast 105/10 is 89.99 and then it's $9.95 a piece for two HD STBs, bringing my pre-tax/fees total to $109.89 as I mentioned previously. I didn't account for the install fee, though. Thanks for the heads up. And I also appreciate the info on price bumps. I think I'd probably only go for 12 months and then see about jumping back to FiOS, assuming I make the switch to Comcast in the first place.

One last question with respect to the install. Would I even need a truck roll? I have all the in-house coax in place already. I'm just not sure if the line coming in from the street is the right type of cable since it's running into a FiOS ONT. It's a fiber line and I would need coax in from the street, no?

I'd love to avoid a truck roll and do a self install if at all possible. Assuming I have the correct wiring from the street, I'm sure I can manage hooking into the modem (was going to get a Zoom 5341J) and router (Asus RT-AC68U).



Coelispex

join:2013-06-03
Wilmette, IL
Reviews:
·Comcast

Yes, you would need a truck roll.

said by shmee:

89.99 and then it's $9.95 a piece for two HD STBs, bringing my pre-tax/fees total to $109.89 as I mentioned previously.

That's the equipment fee itself. You need to account the extra $10 for HD channels too. So it's $119.89 (excluding taxes). Without that, you would be renting a HD-DTA but every channel is in SD.
--
Comcast Blast 105
Motorola SB6141
ASUS RT-N56U Stock


shmee

join:2005-04-03
Phoenixville, PA

1 edit

said by Coelispex:

That's the equipment fee itself. You need to account the extra $10 for HD channels too. So it's $119.89 (excluding taxes). Without that, you would be renting a HD-DTA but every channel is in SD.

Ahh, I see. I think you're right then. I should just stay with FiOS. This let's tack on silly fees just because we can game is going to wipe the "perceived" savings right out of the picture.

I went and took a look and I do have a coax line coming in from the street. It's just cut off right after it comes inside. Would I be able to splice it with some barrel connectors and call it a day? Or is it bad to splice? I understand that every splice/splitter reduces signal quality. I doubt the Comcast tech would run an entirely fresh line all the way in from the street though, would they?

EDIT: I went through the online order process all the way up to the point of submitting the order (just didn't put in my payment information) and there is absolutely NO mention of this $10 HD fee. I even read all of the fine print under "details and restrictions." Is this just some hidden fee that they spring on you after they've got you locked in as a new customer?


Firstboxfree

@68.42.244.x

Because you don't have a DVR your first box comes free with the package. Therefore you would be paying $9.95 for the HD technology fee and $9.95 for your second HD box. Your $109.94 estimate is correct



Coelispex

join:2013-06-03
Wilmette, IL
Reviews:
·Comcast

said by Firstboxfree :

Because you don't have a DVR your first box comes free with the package. Therefore you would be paying $9.95 for the HD technology fee and $9.95 for your second HD box. Your $109.94 estimate is correct

Yup. This may be correct.

Also in the disclaimer, it may say " HD Technology fee waived for the first 12 months." or some sort.

Comcast will milk the fees out of you eventually.
--
Comcast Blast 105
Motorola SB6141
ASUS RT-N56U Stock

rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit
reply to shmee

Comcast is pretty good about out the door prices around here involving the fees. Dont listen to these people. You will get the price they quote around here. Comcast hasnt done disconnects for years around here. You should have a active comcast line somewhere at your house to do a self install. Verizon was pretty consistant in actually cutting drops to the houses over there tho. So if thats the case it wont be there. They were never allowed to do that in your area and did that crap up until about 4 years ago tho. After that they stopped doing it.



shmee

join:2005-04-03
Phoenixville, PA

said by rody_44:

Comcast is pretty good about out the door prices around here involving the fees. Dont listen to these people. You will get the price they quote around here. Comcast hasnt done disconnects for years around here. You should have a active comcast line somewhere at your house to do a self install.

How can I tell if the line coming into my place is active?

And I would be able to splice, then, with only neglible effect on signal?

EDIT: Whoops, just saw your edit. That's exactly what happened as far as I can tell. Verizon cut the drop just as it comes into the window well of my basement. The line is intact from the pole all the way down the house and into this point of ingress, though.

rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast

When did you get verizon? Are you underground or aerial at your location. In our area if they allow a self install its active or supposed to be. Verizon was cutting comcast drops over in that area for years up to about 4 years ago. Something they never were allowed to do.



shmee

join:2005-04-03
Phoenixville, PA

said by rody_44:

When did you get verizon? Are you underground or aerial at your location.

FiOS service was installed at my address in September 2012. It's aerial.

tylersweb

join:2010-06-04
Verona, PA
reply to rody_44

I recently switched to comcast/xfinity from fios. I pay 109.99 for the X1 Premier Package which includes basically ALL channels, ALL movie and sport channels, the X1 receiver, unlimited home phone (which i don't use), and 105 meg internet/10 meg upload. I do however pay 1.99 for an additional HD DTA for my bedroom (i remember back in the day, these weren't hd, now they are) and I also pay $8 for the modem rental since it has the phone built into it, since there is no other option.

After 2 months, i get a 250 dollar statement credit, and after 1 year, the price goes up 25 dollars.

The receiver is a huge upgrade from the past, I love the sport application on it where you can view the strikes, balls, outs for a baseball game, and im looking forward to hockey season again and football!


rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA
reply to shmee

2012 was after verizon was cutting and after comcast was doing physical disonnects over there. You dont have a coax line from the pole to your house?


rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA
reply to shmee

Should be connected to your house and should be active.



shmee

join:2005-04-03
Phoenixville, PA
reply to MDA

said by MDA:

It's a mixed bag. You get more bandwidth for your money on Fios, but more content to watch on Xfinity TV.

I'd say stick with the company who's service you would use more of as stated above. The catch with Xfinity TV is the fees grow more substantially than other cable providers just because they can with all the subsidiaries they own like NBC Universal.

If you plan on watching TV for at least half the days out of the week, then there's no worry going to comcast (I mean the only thing that's bad about Xfinity internet in my opinion, is the upload speed compared to Fios. Rarely do I experience outtages or line issues). Otherwise Fios is still lesser of the two evils.

You make an interesting point here.

My fiancée and I have been disappointed with the VOD offerings of FiOS, so outside of the occasional live tv programming, we mostly stick with Netflix and Hulu+.

Think Xfinity's X1 platform is good enough to pick up the slack?

Really, my main hesitation is with the internet side of the bundle. FiOS internet is rock solid. I've literally never had one outage, and I've had the service for over four years at two different addresses. They fluff their packages quite a bit, too. I pay for 75/35 and can pull 84/39 consistently on speed tests. Wondering if I'm going to miss that consistency with the Comcast Blast 105/10. Do you often see at least advertised speeds? Or even fluffed speeds?


alchav

join:2002-05-17
Saint George, UT
Reviews:
·ooma
reply to shmee

said by shmee:

One last question with respect to the install. Would I even need a truck roll? I have all the in-house coax in place already. I'm just not sure if the line coming in from the street is the right type of cable since it's running into a FiOS ONT. It's a fiber line and I would need coax in from the street, no?

You answered your question right here. Do you want Fiber or Obsolete Coax to save a few bucks? If you read the latest Tech News, FTTH is the Last Mile choice. So to my way of thinking, don't go back to the Dark Ages with Coax. You should also consider Structured Wiring for your home.


shmee

join:2005-04-03
Phoenixville, PA

said by alchav:

You answered your question right here. Do you want Fiber or Obsolete Coax to save a few bucks? If you read the latest Tech News, FTTH is the Last Mile choice. So to my way of thinking, don't go back to the Dark Ages with Coax. You should also consider Structured Wiring for your home.

Forgive my ignorance, but what do you mean by "structured wiring" for your home?

I currently rent, so I'm reluctant to do much in the way of a wiring overhaul.

My existing setup is Cat6 from my FiOS ONT to my primary router (Linksys WRT320N). I have the Verizon-supplied Actiontec router hanging off my primary router via a LAN-to-LAN configuration. The Actiontec simply establishes a MoCA (coax LAN) network for my STBs in order to provide guide and VOD data and is otherwise not doing anything. Coax (RG6/u) comes from my ONT to a 3 way balanced splitter (-6dB per leg). One leg goes to the Actiontec so it can do its MoCa thing, and then one leg each to feed my two STBs. RG6/u is also used for all runs coming from the splitter to the Actiontec and STBs.

I would assume this setup is sufficient for a switch to Comcast (except for a new coax drop instead of the existing fiber line, of course), although I might consider swapping out for an unbalanced splitter with a -3.5dB/-7dB/-7dB configuration and run the cable modem off the -3.5dB leg.

I totally get what your saying in terms of FTTH being the future, and I understand that switching back to cable and coax is a step backwards. I would really only be doing this to save some money in the short term (over the next 12 months).

Again though, I'm curious as to what you mean by structured wiring?

iNick
Premium
join:2012-12-11
Joliet, IL

I'm sure if you call FiOS or Comcast they can offer you a decent deal.



alchav

join:2002-05-17
Saint George, UT
Reviews:
·ooma
reply to shmee

said by shmee:

said by alchav:

You answered your question right here. Do you want Fiber or Obsolete Coax to save a few bucks? If you read the latest Tech News, FTTH is the Last Mile choice. So to my way of thinking, don't go back to the Dark Ages with Coax. You should also consider Structured Wiring for your home.

Forgive my ignorance, but what do you mean by "structured wiring" for your home?

I currently rent, so I'm reluctant to do much in the way of a wiring overhaul.

Structured Wiring is the latest in wiring homes with Cat5/6, to every room in the house. Then the Fiber Providers use this wiring to set up your HDTV's. For Streaming Video this set up is ideal too, you don't loose any Bandwidth. If you are renting there is not much you can do, but when you plan on buying take this in to consideration.


MDA
Premium
join:2013-09-10
Minneapolis, MN
Reviews:
·Comcast

3 edits
reply to shmee

I'd say the X1 platform goes as said before. I have it, like it (more dvr space, records 4 shows at once, and smoother navigation), but only is worth it if you watch tv at least 4 out of 7 days a week. It only comes with triple play unless you are in a certain area that allows it for certain double play packages, so the price might definitely be higher than you'd want. They throw in a lot of premium channels like HBO, AMC, movie channels, etc. for subscribing to their latest product.

A tech is also required to install it, though it's free. It is because the system uses MoCa for the Any room DVR to communicate with each terminal box and they need to make sure you have the right equipment and signal to pass and prevent it from leaving your house back upstream.

Xfinity HSI is as consistent as I'd say any fiber connection would be, assuming your cable node isn't congested and your modem's power levels are within range. I subscribe to the 50/10 Blast! package and I get 56.975/11.80 (these are 99% confidence because I have speed tested so many times). The value for your money would be with Fios because the upload speed is always welcome. You get more of that than with Comcast.

One more thing to do if you plan to switch would be negotiating a better deal with the rep for comcast since in many places, there isn't competition for their services. If you even mention that Verizon has so-and-so for a lower price, they should and will try to meet that price for your interest in them.

Expand your moderator at work


Kasoah

join:2013-08-20

1 edit
reply to shmee

Re: [Price] Current FiOS subscriber trying to determine if worth the switch

Switching from FIOS to Comcast? That's not a good idea.

With FIOS you get less than a ms of jitter in your pings, you get a lot less ping to the first hop. Things will definitely load faster on FIOS than Comcast. Yes you might get better peering on Comcast, but that isn't worth it.

Also the picture quality if you watch TV is worse on Comcast than FIOS.



MDA
Premium
join:2013-09-10
Minneapolis, MN
Reviews:
·Comcast

4 edits

said by Kasoah:

Switching from FIOS to Comcast? That's not a good idea.

With FIOS you get less than a ms of jitter in your pings, you get a lot less ping to the first hop. Things will definitely load faster on FIOS than Comcast. Yes you might get better peering on Comcast, but that isn't worth it.

Also the picture quality if you watch TV is worse on Comcast than FIOS.

I'm not a Comcast advocate or anything, but how is comcast any worse (or more evil) aside from upload speed and pricing of certain packages than Fios?

Speaking from experience, I get 5ms to my first hop which is negligible. You should only worry if it's higher than 20ms. The jitter is the same as you described Fios having, being as low as 0.15ms-1ms (wired of course. I used freeola's line quality test that shows sub-1ms variations ). Remember comcast runs an HFC network so half use fiber already and then it depends on CMTS congestion for the last mile coax portion.

The router you are using will have the most impact due to the speed of it's processor and efficiency of its routing engine/firmware. In fact, I just replaced a year-old Dlink dir-636l with a year-older dir-632 because the jitter when pinging was a difference of 5ms (I know it's not the worst, but you will notice that variation when gaming). Routing is the slowest form of networking.

And peering is EVERYTHING with routing on the internet. Just take a look at what the outcome of being on a bigger backbone than Fios for gaming (less of a need for peering) and Netflix having to direct connect with comcast just to get decent speed (unnecessary need of peering, in ny opinion) are.

Care to elaborate with PQ on cable versus Fiber? Comcast and Verizon are sending digital (which is lossless) broadcast streams to your STBs so PQ is not actually determined by the carrier, but the station who cares to provide enough bit rate for its channel.

In the end, who better serves your bottom dollar is the winner.


owlyn
Premium,MVM
join:2004-06-05
Newtown, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to shmee

It really is a tough call. My last experience with Verizon was when they only offered DSL in my area (FiOS was being built at the time). It wasn't the (now) slowish DSL speed that bothered me, it was the completely incompetent tech support that got me looking at Comcast HSI. Too long a story, but looking back on it, their tech support was even worse than Comcast's, and theirs can be terrible.

As to picture quality- I haven't used FiOS, but reading comments on both forums, I've seen that there's about an equal split between those who say one is better than the other. Bottom line- if you can't tell the difference between VHS and Beta (okay, I'm dating myself), or between film and video, you will never notice a PQ difference.

Bottom line for me is that I am very happy with Comcast, but that is because I can troubleshoot and fix most problems myself,sometimes with help from this forum. When my rates go up, i call the retention department at Comcast and threaten to jump to FiOS. I generally get some kind of reduction.



Geot

@96.226.95.x
reply to MDA

I'd go with Comcast given the OPs comments.

I was on cable for years and really looked forward to getting FIOS last year. I had it my head that fiber is way better than cable. Unfortunately it isn't. Same ping, same speeds down. Now you do get much greater up speeds on FIOS but who needs that in a residential setup?

Internet has really become a commodity, all most people want is reliable internet. I've had 2 tech out since getting on FIOS to fix things in less than 1 year (both outside of the house), which is too high, but could be just bad luck. Finding out before you buy how reliable a company is in a given neighborhood is what I would try and figure out.



ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to shmee

What I find interesting is this price difference will be avoided by simply downgrading to the 50/25 speeds, and you will see no difference contrary to what most people say on this site. 50/25 likely comes in at 60 something by 30 something anyway. If I was hurting for money, Id kick it down further.

If you love to run speed tests all day long, by all means, stick with the higher internet package.


KevTech
Premium
join:2002-08-22
Seattle, WA
reply to Coelispex

said by Coelispex:

You forgot one thing, if you want HD, you will have to pay an extra $10 for it's "HD Technology Fee" on top of your base rate.

Since going to a Tivo DVR I no longer have a HD fee but still receive all HD channels.

I also no longer have a DVR rental fee plus I get a 2.50 customer owned equipment deduction a month.

My monthly bill has dropped by almost 20 dollars a month since I went to a Tivo DVR.

From what I was told by Comcast when I went to Tivo is that the cablecard (first one is free) is HD capable and since I subscribe to a package that has HD channels that all HD channels will come in with no extra charge. The HD fee would only apply if I have/had multiple HD boxes or more than one cablecard.

I remember reading a similar post on the Comcast forum about this as well.
Searching....found
»forums.comcast.com/t5/Channels-a···/1006811

Read the last post by nsalta.