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.

Winner
Fast and affordable fiber plans
Award-winning customer service
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Good Alternative
No installation fees for fiber plans
Industry-leading reliability guarantee
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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.

In this post, we compare internet plans from both companies so you can decide on the right business ISP for you.

Verizon Business vs. Comcast Business internet plans

FeaturesVerizonComcast
Connection technologyFiber or DSLFiber or HFC
Cheapest plan$39.99/mo.$69.95/mo.
Fastest plan (download speed)940 Mbps1,000 Mbps
Contract length2 years or none for higher costFiber: 24 months, HFC: 2 or 3 years
Early termination fees35% of monthly rate for the remainder of the contract$200
30-day free trial
Dedicated internet option
24/7 technical support
Free installation
Get startedView PlansView Plans
Strengths
  • Affordable high-speed internet plans
  • Symmetric fiber speeds
  • Superior customer service
Weaknesses
  • 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 across the globe. 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.

Strengths
  • Affordable starter HFC internet plan
  • Superior uptime guarantee
  • Free installation
Weaknesses
  • No pure-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 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 or hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) internet 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 $84.99 to $214.99, with download speeds from 75 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 $300 more per month than the similarly fast Verizon plan.

Verizon Business fiber internet plans and pricing

Fiber planStarting price/mo.Download/upload speed (Mbps)Contract length
Fios Internet 75 Mbps$84.9975/75 Mbps2 years, renews automatically
Fios Internet 150 Mbps$109.99150/150 Mbps2 years, renews automatically
Fios Internet 300 Mbps$184.99300/300 Mbps2 years, renews automatically
Fios Internet 500 Mbps$214.99500/500 Mbps2 years, renews automatically
Fios Gigabit Connection$214.99940/880 Mbps2 years, renews automatically

Data effective 6/1/2018. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

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.

Comcast Business fiber internet plans and pricing

Fiber planStarting price/mo.Download/upload speed (Mbps)Contract length
Starter Internet$69.9525/252 years
Deluxe 50 Internet$109.9550/502 years
Deluxe 75 Internet$149.9575/752 years
Deluxe 100 Internet$199.95100/1002 years
Deluxe 150 Internet$249.95150/1502 years

Data effective 2/13/18. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

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 HFC technology, which combines traditional coaxial cables—the same that deliver cable TV—with fiber-optic connections. It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. (Comcast also offers purely coaxial cable internet, but we didn’t include them in this post.)

Yet some things are clear: First, Verizon’s DSL plans are—on average—cheap, but slow. Verizon’s most affordable plan is $39.99. Still, that gets you speeds of only 1 Mbps download and 384 Kbps (only about one-third of 1 Mbps) upload. We wouldn’t recommend an internet plan that slow to our worst enemies.

Verizon Business DSL internet plans and pricing

DSL planStarting price/mo.Download/upload speedContract length
Business Internet 1 Mbps$39.991 Mbps/384 Kbps2 years
Business Internet 3 Mbps$47.993 Mbps/768 Kbps2 years
Business Internet 5 Mbps$64.995 Mbps/768 Kbps2 years
Business Internet 7 Mbps$64.997 Mbps/768 Kbps2 years
Business Internet 10–15 Mbps$64.9910–15 Mbps/1 Mbps2 years

Data effective 6/1/2018. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Second, Comcast’s HFC plans tend to be pricier than Verizon’s, 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.

Comcast Business HFC internet plans and pricing

HFC planStarting price/mo.Download/upload speed (Mbps)Contract length
Starter Internet$84.9025/52 or 3 years
Deluxe 50 Internet$124.9050/102 or 3 years
Deluxe 75 Internet$164.9075/152 or 3 years
Deluxe 100 Internet$214.90100/202 or 3 years
Deluxe 150 Internet$264.90150/202 or 3 years
Deluxe 250 Internet$364.90250/252 or 3 years
Deluxe 500 Internet$414.90500/352 or 3 years
Business Internet 1 Gig$514.901,000/352 or 3 years

Data effective 2/13/18. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

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.

Comcast has a better uptime guarantee

Reliability statVerizonComcast
Uptime guarantee99.99%
(fiber plans)
99.998%
(fiber plans)
Downtime per month4.38 minutes52.56 seconds
Downtime per year52.56 minutes10.51 minutes
Latency guarantee45 msN/A

*Uptime and latency guarantees confirmed from online chat conversations with internet service provider representatives.

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.

Compare bundles and value-added services

Product/serviceVerizonComcast
Business phone bundleInternet + VoIP line starting at $89.99/mo.Internet + business phone starting at $84.90/mo.
Business TV + phone bundleInternet + VoIP line + TV starting at $99.99/mo.Internet + business phone + TV starting at $104.85/mo.
Business wireless (cellular)Starting at $19.95
Dedicated internet
Static IP
Private IP
Data storage and cloud backup
Security and customer protection
Learn moreSee BundlesSee Bundles

Data effective 8/1/18. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

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, but they differ in the type of services you get. With Verizon, you can get access to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which delivers phone service via your internet connection. Comcast provides traditional business phone services using copper-wire connections.

One extra perk of Verizon is that it’s also a wireless phone provider. With Verizon Wireless, you can get talk and use data with plans starting under $20 per month.

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. J.D. Power, an internationally recognized collector of corporate customer service data, conducts an annual “Business Wireline Satisfaction Study.” The study ranks business internet service providers by using surveys of the companies’ customers.

In the latest J.D. Power study, Verizon ranked first in 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.

J.D. Power business internet customer satisfaction

SegmentVerizon rankingComcast ranking
Very Small BusinessFirst placeFourth place
Small/Midsize BusinessFirst placeFourth place
Large EnterpriseFirst placeThird 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.

But 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 speedWhat it’s good for
1 to 4 MbpsConnecting one to three users to do light web surfing, email, online computing, and standard-definition video streaming and conferencing.
5 to 19 MbpsConnecting 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 MbpsConnecting 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 MbpsConnecting 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 MbpsEnabling 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 GbpsProviding 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, video conferencing, and VoIP, because your fellow customers can hog the line.

Look out

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.

The takeaway

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’ve been a Verizon or Comcast business customer, please tell us about your experience in the comments below.

Disclaimer

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.

Sources

  1. Verizon, “History and Timeline

2. J.D. Power, “Business Wireline Satisfaction Study (2017)