Browse releases

By date

September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006

Media Resources

Print

Release Date: 04/05/2011

Consumer Reports Survey: Verizon FIOS and AT&T U-Verse best choices overall for bundled internet, TV, and telephone service

Service providers Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse were top recommendations for bundled telecom services, based on a survey of 70,000 Consumer Reports readers.

The next best choice for many households for bundled services is a highly rated cable company including Cox, Cablevision, or Bright House Networks if they are in your area.  If television service is a priority and Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse aren’t available in your area, satellite providers DirecTV or Dish Network received above average survey scores. Their TV service is offered in hybrid bundles with DSL and phone service from some telephone providers.

The issue also features tips on how to cut your telecom bills. The full story appears in the May issue of Consumer Reports, which goes on sale April 5th. The reports are also available to subscribers of www.ConsumerReports.org.

The survey, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, revealed that most major providers scored about the same in satisfaction as in recent years--ho hum compared with other services the magazine rates. Once again, the most satisfying telecom providers were a few small, regional cable companies, and Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse, the high-speed phone-company offerings.
The trouble is, according to Consumer Reports, most consumers have limited choice. All but a few markets are served by only one cable provider. Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse are available in only one-third of the U.S, and almost nowhere are they both available. Though almost all homes can receive satellite TV, satellite companies—unlike the other types of providers—don’t offer their own internet and phone service.

But there are bright spots. Some newer alternatives received favorable marks in CR’s survey, including the Ooma phone service, which offers free domestic calling, and dirt-cheap international rates.

Phone
Phone service from a major carrier makes sense for many households, especially if it’s bundled with Internet and TV service at a nice discount. But changing or eliminating such home-phone service can be a practical way to slash telecom bills. If you drop home phone services from a major carrier and use one of the options below, you could save $20 a month or more.
• Consider low-cost VoIP services. Many homes already have Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service from their cable company, Verizon FiOS, or AT&T U-verse. Costs usually run about $30 a month as part of a bundle or about $50 à la carte, including a long-distance plan.
• Alternative VoIP services including Ooma, Vonage, Magic jack and Skype cost less, from nothing to about $25 a month for unlimited domestic calls, plus an upfront cost for equipment.

Television
TV still represents the biggest chunk of the home telecom bill for most households. More than 90 percent of the respondents to the survey still had a pay-TV provider of some sort. There has been a lot of talk about consumers cutting the cord to their TV service providers. But only 1.4 percent of CR readers have canceled their pay-TV service in the past two years, and another 7 percent of those who now have a paid service are thinking about dropping it.
• Drop premium channels. Premium channels, notably HBO and Showtime, increasingly offer original programming, not just movies that have run elsewhere first. If you don’t mind playing catch-up, you can watch past seasons of some premium shows as part of an unlimited subscription from a streaming service, or borrow DVDs or Blu-ray discs free from your library. Also ask your carrier about getting premium channels free as part of a limited-time promotion.
• Cut the cord to your provider. If you mostly watch broadcast networks and rent movies, get your TV free over-the-air via an antenna and use an all-you-can watch online streaming service. You’ll need an Internet-enabled TV, Blu-ray player, set-top box, or game console and a subscription to a service such as Netflix, which has streaming plans starting at $8 a month.

Internet
 The small cable operator WOW was top rated across the board for Internet service, significantly ahead of highly rated providers such as Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse for overall satisfaction.
• Don’t pay for speed you don’t need. If your Internet service provider pitches you a “blazing fast” speed—25 Mbps or faster— at an extra cost, don’t bite. A consistent download speed of at least 5 Mbps, which is standard from the better cable companies and high-speed phone services, should be fine even for streaming high definition videos.
• Use Wi-Fi hot spots. Rather than paying $30 to $60 a month for a cellular data service, use free Wi-Fi in public areas, at cafés, and at hot spots that may be provided by your cable company. Wi-Fi is often faster than 3G and 4G, but you can’t venture beyond the hot-spot area.

See press release archive

RSS News Feed

Get all the latest information from the CR Press Room delivered right to your desktop.