Verizon vs. Comcast Business Internet: What’s the Best ISP for Small Business?
Can’t decide between these two popular high-speed business internet providers? From speed to price and customer service, one company stands above.
The Federal Communications Commission issued a pledge that all service providers are following. All providers “will not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.”
Comcast Xfinity is offering two free months of their Internet Essentials package to new customers and increased internet speeds to all existing subscribers. Also, anybody can use an Xfinity hotspot for free and subscribers get unlimited data use for 60 days.
Cox is offering the first month of its low-income internet program, Connect 2 Compete, for free until May 12, 2020. The provider is also providing free phone and remote desktop support.
If you’ve been shopping for business-grade internet, you’ve probably encountered plans from two well-known internet service providers (ISPs): Verizon and Comcast.
Both of these mega-corporations offer high-speed internet access to businesses across the nation. But which one should you choose to carry your precious business data? According to our research, that’s an easy decision.
With Fios business internet, Verizon offers faster plans at lower prices and outstanding customer experience.
But you shouldn’t dismiss Comcast business-class internet. Despite the company’s poor reputation with certain pockets of the public, business customers can find a lot to like about the company. For instance, unlike Verizon, Comcast offers free installation in some areas, plus free 24/7 customer support—with Verizon, you have to bundle services for round-the-clock help.
In this post, we compare internet plans from both companies so you can decide on the right business ISP for you.
|Connection technology||Fiber or DSL||Fiber, HFC, or Cable|
|Fastest plan (download speed)||940 Mbps||1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps)|
|Contract length||2 years or none for higher cost||Fiber: 24 months, cable: 2 or 3 years|
|Early termination fees||35% of monthly rate for the remainder of the contract||$200|
|30-day free trial||✔||✔|
|Dedicated internet option||✔||✔|
|24/7 technical support||✖||✔|
|Get started||View Plans||View Plans|
- Affordable high-speed internet plans
- Symmetric fiber speeds
- Superior customer service
- Slow and expensive DSL plans
- Limited access to high-speed internet plans
Verizon Communications, a child of the late-twentieth-century breakup of the colossal Bell Telephone Company,1 is a US-based, international telecommunications organization. Verizon provides landline and wireless internet, phone, and TV services to businesses and residents. Business internet plans from Verizon, depending on location, include digital subscriber line (DSL) and fiber-optic internet connections.
Read more in our Verizon Business internet review.
- Affordable starter cable internet plan
- Superior uptime guarantee
- Free installation
- Limited fiber connections
- Mediocre business customer satisfaction
Comcast is a national provider of TV, phone, and internet services. The company is probably best known for its cable TV service, which uses the Xfinity brand name. As an international conglomerate, Comcast owns NBCUniversal and many other media companies. Depending on the location, American business customers can purchase Comcast cable plans.
See our Comcast Business internet review to learn more.
Verizon and Comcast plans: DSL, HFC, and fiber
It can be difficult to compare the business internet plans that Verizon and Comcast sell because the connections they use can be significantly different. It’s true that in some areas, both companies offer what some call “purely fiber-optic” plans, which use glass fiber-optic cables to deliver blazingly fast internet speeds.
If you compare only these fiber plans, Verizon came out on top. Verizon offers fiber plans from $69.99 to $249, with download speeds from 100 to 940 Mbps.
Comcast, on the other hand, sells fiber plans starting at $69.95 for 25 Mbps. The top-speed Comcast plan—Business Internet 1 Gig—reaches download speeds at a full 1,000 Mbps (or 1 Gbps), but it’ll cost you $250 more per month than the similarly fast Verizon plan.
|Fiber plan*||Starting price/mo.**||Contract length||View Plans|
|Fios 100M||$69||2 years, renews automatically||View Plans|
|Fios 300M||$129||2 years, renews automatically||View Plans|
|Fios Gig Connection||$249||2 years, renews automatically||View Plans|
Both companies’ fiber plans are symmetric, which means their upload speeds match (or nearly match, in the case of Verizon’s fastest plan) their download speeds. Fast upload speeds are essential if your business commonly uploads or shares large files or hosts lots of video conferences.
|Fiber plan||Starting price/mo.*||Contract length||Learn more|
|Starter Internet||$69.95||2 years||View Plans|
|Business Internet 75||$149.95||2 years||View Plans|
|Business Internet 150||$249.95||2 years||View Plans|
|Business Internet 300||$349.95||2 years||View Plans|
|Business Internet 500||$399.95||2 years||View Plans|
|Business Internet 1G||$499.95||2 years||View Plans|
When it comes to the more widely available business internet connections, the comparison is trickier. Verizon’s DSL plans use copper phone lines to provide internet. Comcast commonly uses cable technology—the same technology that delivers cable TV—for consistently faster speeds than DSL allows for.
Yet some things are clear: First, Verizon’s DSL plans are—on average—cheap, but slow. Verizon’s most affordable plan is $47.99. Still, that gets you speeds of only 3 Mbps download and 768 Kbps upload.
|DSL plan||Starting price/mo.*||Contract length||Learn more|
|Business Internet 3 Mbps||$47.99||2 years||View Plans|
|Business Internet 5 Mbps||$64.99||2 years||View Plans|
|Business Internet 7 Mbps||$64.99||2 years||View Plans|
|Business Internet 10–15 Mbps||$64.99||2 years||View Plans|
Second, Comcast’s cable plans tend to be pricier than Verizon’s DSL plans, but they offer excellently fast download speeds. With download speeds ranging from 25 to 1,000 Mbps—alongside acceptably fast upload speeds—they’re worth considering for most businesses.
|Cable or HFC plan||Starting price/mo.*||Contract length||Learn more|
|Starter Internet||$69.95||2 or 3 years||View Plans|
|Deluxe 75 Internet||$99.95||2 or 3 years||View Plans|
|Deluxe 150 Internet||$139.95||2 or 3 years||View Plans|
|Deluxe 300 Internet||$199.95||2 or 3 years||View Plans|
|Business Internet 1 Gig||$499.95||2 or 3 years||View Plans|
Finally, Verizon business internet plans are limited to only a few areas in the US. Fios is available in just 10 eastern states and DC. The other high-speed internet plans are also available in only these 10 states and DC, but solely in areas where Fios isn’t an option. So although many of Verizon’s plans are faster and cheaper than Comcast’s, you’re far less likely to have access to Verizon.
|Downtime per month||4.38 minutes||52.56 seconds|
|Downtime per year||52.56 minutes||10.51 minutes|
|Latency guarantee||45 ms||N/A|
When choosing between business internet service providers, you should consider the guarantees they offer. We contacted customer service and sales representatives from both companies to find out what—if any—guarantees they make about internet uptime and latency.
Although Verizon’s 99.99% uptime guarantee is better than average, Comcast boasts one more digit. Comcast’s 99.998% may not sound much better, but it means that over the course of a year, you can expect a Comcast business internet plan to be up and running over 40 minutes longer than Verizon’s.
However, Verizon does offer a 45 ms latency guarantee, while Comcast has no such agreement for business customers. Latency, sometimes called ping, refers to how long it takes a package of data to make one round trip between two ends of an internet connection. The lower your latency, the fewer delays you’ll experience in your connection, which can be especially crucial for real-time computing applications.
|Business phone bundle||Internet + VoIP line starting at $94.99/mo.*||Internet + business phone starting at $64.90/mo.**|
|Business TV + phone bundle||Internet + VoIP line + TV starting at $104.99/mo.**||Internet + business phone + TV starting at $74.85/mo.**|
|Business wireless (cellular)||✔||✖|
|Data storage and cloud backup||✔||✔|
|Security and customer protection||✔||✔|
|Learn more||See Bundles||See Bundles|
Like most high-speed internet service providers, Comcast and Verizon love to bundle. Internet bundles combine internet with other services like phone or TV, saving you a bit of money on the total package.Verizon and Comcast offer similarly priced phone and TV bundles. Both service providers offer Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which delivers phone service via your internet connection.
Verizon offers superior customer service
Our final area of focus is customer service. Business customers need to rely on their internet service provider to quickly and effectively troubleshoot problems, handle billing issues, and repair broken connections.
In this area, Verizon rules—literally. For 2019, J.D. Power ranked Verizon in the top three of every business segment surveyed.2 If you’re looking for an internet company you can trust to keep you a happy customer, Verizon seems pretty good.
|Segment||Verizon ranking (2019)||Comcast ranking (2019)|
|Very Small Business||First place||Third place|
|Small/Midsize Business||First place||Fifth place|
|Large Enterprise||Second place||Sixth place|
How much speed do I need for business internet?
We’d all like to have the fastest service at the lowest cost. But nobody’s budget is infinite, and every business owner looks to cut costs where they can.
So how can you know which internet plan will give you enough speed to keep your business running smoothly and your customers paying? We broke down internet download speeds to provide you with a better idea.
|Download speed||What it’s good for|
|1 to 4 Mbps||Connecting one to three users to do light web surfing, email, online computing, and standard-definition video streaming and conferencing.|
|5 to 19 Mbps||Connecting a few employees and adding the ability to easily transfer files, run e-commerce services, and stream and conference in high definition.|
|20 to 49 Mbps||Connecting several employees for streaming and downloading big files and communicating online with little interruption. You can also set up well-functioning Wi-Fi for employees and customers at this level.|
|50 to 99 Mbps||Connecting about a dozen employees to work, conference, and collaborate in real time. File sharing is easier, and downloads and backups are faster. Hi-def streaming and conferencing are clear.|
|100 to 499 Mbps||Enabling internet-heavy business operations with many users who access applications and files on the cloud. Supports website services with lots of online traffic and activity.|
|500 Mbps to 1 Gbps||Providing the fastest business internet available. As you approach 1,000 Mbps, all the previous activity and more become near-instantaneous, and you rarely wait for any service to function.|
Remember, these figures signify only download speeds, or the rate at which you receive data from your broadband internet provider. Upload speeds, which represent how fast you can send data up to the internet, are different. If you need fast upload speeds, fiber-optic network plans that offer symmetric download and upload speeds are your best bet.
What’s the difference between dedicated and shared internet connections?
It’s true: your internet plan is probably seeing other people. Most internet connections are shared, which means your service provider is sending data to more than one customer through a single line.
Shared internet can become a problem for businesses if you depend on high, reliable bandwidth for things like file sharing, videoconferencing, and VoIP, because your fellow customers can hog the line.
If you’ve been using a residential internet plan for your small business, your neighbors might be sharing your bandwidth and slowing down your connection. Consider upgrading to business internet to speed things up.
Older internet technology like DSL and cable is prone to clogged bandwidth on shared lines. With fiber-optic technology, shared lines aren’t as much of a problem because data is sent at nearly light speed anyway.
Still, some businesses choose to purchase dedicated internet. With these connections, your internet connects to you and only you. No other customers can suck up that precious bandwidth.
Verizon and Comcast both offer dedicated internet plans for business customers. You’ll have to contact a sales representative to get pricing, but if you’re a data-heavy internet user, you may want to consider the option.
In the Verizon versus Comcast match up, Verizon is the winner. Although Comcast Business offers decent plans at affordable rates, it can’t beat Verizon’s superior customer service. And Verizon’s top fiber plans are faster and better priced than Comcast’s.
If you don’t think either Verizon or Comcast will work for you, no worries. There are plenty of other internet fish in the sea—our article on the best internet for small businesses showcases a few.
At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don’t guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.