Triple Play Digital Services: Comcast & Verizon
(with Josh Page)
Here in central New Jersey, it's has been the summer of the "triple play." No, I'm not talking baseball -- this is about the battle to provide digital connections to the home, with the full bundle of services -- telephone, television, and Internet.
It's also been the summer for the roll-out of the Verizon FiOS (Fiber Optic Service), the next upgrade in digital service that promises faster Internet data rates, and allows Verizon to compete head-on with Comcast in providing the full suite of services. Meanwhile, Comcast is fighting back with its own all-digital package of services and healthy advertising budget.
So what's the best choice in this battle of the phone/TV/Internet provider heavyweights, Comcast Corporation and Verizon Communications? Is the choice about technology, or is it more about the packages of services and deals that are being offered as this battle heats up?
Looking at the technology, it's clear that Verizon's FiOS service offers a significant jump in download data rates, from Verizon's previous DSL service at up to 3 Mbps, to Comcast cable-based service at 6 to 8 to soon 16 Mbps (x2 with PowerBoost), to Verizon FiOS at 10 to 20 and up to 50 and then 100 Mbps and beyond.
But beyond the speed of light metaphors, the battle here in New Jersey is focused on the pricing. Not surprisingly, Verizon is undercutting Comcast on its traditional television service, and Comcast is undercutting Verizon on its base phone service. And both are promoting bundled triple play services with digital phone, TV, and Internet at around $99 with an annual contract.
In comparing the services available today, Verizon is pushing the promise of better technology and a generally better slate of services at lower prices. But Comcast offers its digital services throughout its installed network, while Verizon is just in the early phase of its rollout of FiOS service, with New Jersey among the early recipients.
So here's our attempt to explain the Comcast and Verizon service options for telephone, television, and Internet service, as well as the bundled plans for triple play services -- down to the gory detail on current pricing plans (which will change as soon as you read them).
See full article: Triple Play Digital Services: Comcast & Verizon
Plus, there's some more context in digging further into related issues: the home installation process, the cable / telco market battle, and future bandwidth enhancements -- plus a look at broadband beyond the U.S., and alternate delivery options from Internet and wireless.
See sidebar article: Triple Play: Installation, Market, Futures