The dawn of hyperfast digital connectivity is upon us. Gone are the days when those circular loading icons would freeze our screens and lull us to sleep.
The supersonic pace at which the broadband industry is evolving has us climbing from gigabit speeds to terabytes per second. We are still a good decade away from terabit internet speeds to penetrate the residential market, but the technopreneurs have proven time and again that “to think is to do”.
In the ever-changing landscape of broadband, Verizon Fios and Optimum Fiber offer consistency with their 99.9 percent reliable and symmetrical multi-gigabit speeds.
Let’s compare and contrast Optimum Fiber and Verizon Fios to find out which internet provider is taking us closer to a fiber-fast future.
The thunder rolls as the two lightning-fast fiber-optic internet providers clash in the Northeast for dominion. Verizon Fios and Optimum Fiber are well-established leaders in the high-speed broadband industry. While one made a progressive switch from DSL to fiber, the other moved from cable to fiber in the hope of future-proofing its telecommunications solutions. Verizon and Optimum’s 100 percent fiber-rich plans are garnering attention, and both providers have become a hit in the residential and business circles of the Northeast. However, the way they approach fiber connectivity is entirely different.
Verizon’s multigigabit speeds of up to 2.3 Gigs are limited to New York City and its five boroughs. Whereas, Optimum has climbed six more rungs on the broadband speed ladder, and its hyperfast 8 Gig tier is available in most areas within Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.
The side-by-side comparison of Optimum Fiber vs. Verizon Fios analyzes the key differences and similarities between the two providers.
|Verizon Fios vs Optimum Fiber|
|Features||Verizon Fios||Optimum Fiber|
|Type of Internet||Fiber-optic||Fiber-optic|
|Price Range||$49.99/mo. to $120.00/mo.||$40.00/mo. to $350.00/mo.|
|Speed Range||300 Mbps to 2,300 Mbps||300 Mbps to 8,000 Mbps|
|Coverage||9 states of the USA||21 states of the USA|
|No. of Plans||4||6|
|Contracts||Not required||Not required|
|Data Caps||Unlimited data||Unlimited data|
|Installation Fees||Free with online orders||Free with online orders|
|Perks||Up to $200 of Verizon gift cards||30-day money-back guarantee|
|Customer Rating||4.1 out of 5 stars||3.6 out of 5 stars|
|Best For||Frequent streaming & gaming||VR and AR online gaming|
Optimum Fiber is the fiber-exclusive arm of Optimum Internet. In 2016, Altice USA acquired Cablevision Systems Corporation and Suddenlink. As a result, almost 4.6 million cable internet subscribers of Cablevision and Suddenlink across 21 states were brought under the umbrella of Optimum, which became the face of Altice USA in the telecommunications industry.
Optimum is the fourth largest cable internet provider in the country. However, with the increase in demand for symmetrical and multi-gigabit internet speeds, the cable operator decided to venture into the fiber-optic broadband industry. Initially, the fiber internet service was introduced in a select few areas of the Northeast. Today, Optimum Fiber’s footprint includes 2.7 million customer locations in 21 states. Customers can receive up to 8 Gbps of download and upload speeds for a starting price of $40 per month.
Optimum Fiber’s 6-speed tiers come with unlimited monthly data, Smart WiFi 6 equipment, a 30-day free trial, contract-free service, and savings of up to $ 70 per month for the first 12 months.
Optimum Fiber Internet and Optimum Mobile service can be purchased together for a $15 discount every month. With its ultrafast internet speeds of up to 8,000 Mbps, Optimum Fiber is the ideal next-level broadband connection for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) gaming.
Like Optimum Fiber, Verizon Fios is a fiber-powered triple-play offering by Verizon Communications. The brand name was adopted in 2005 with the launch of FiOS TV in Keller, Texas. Soon after, the fiber-optic network was expanded to seven more states, distributing symmetrical internet speeds, voice-over protocol (VoIP) phone connections, and internet protocol television (IPTV) service to at least 3.9 million individual homes.
Today, Verizon Fios internet plans are available to 15 million homes and businesses within its 9-state coverage area. For a starting price of $49.99 per month, Verizon Fios internet subscribers can receive up to 2.3 Gbps of upload and download speeds. Verizon Fios customers can choose between 4 monthly plans, each offering unlimited data, cutting-edge WiFi 6 gateway, price lock guarantees, Verizon gift cards, and no-contract service.
While Verizon Fios’ gigabit speeds are widely available in 34 urban centers, its 2 Gig speed tier is limited to some parts of New York City.
Verizon Fios internet plans can be bundled with Verizon’s Unlimited 5G mobile phone lines to get discounts of up to $25 per month. The fusion of low-cost connectivity and 99.9 percent network reliability makes Verizon Fios a go-to fiber internet carrier for avid streamers and passionate gamers.
Verizon Fios and Optimum Fiber start their fiber internet service with a 300 Mbps base plan. In our years of industry research, we have seen that 300 Mbps is the most common starter speed offered by top-rated internet providers in the USA. AT&T Fiber plans start at 300 Mbps and so does Spectrum’s hybrid fiber-coaxial cable service.
Apart from a similar range of low-speed tiers, the month-to-month pricing of Optimum Fiber and Fios is also within the same bracket. Ultimately, it is the minor differences in the fiber internet plans of Optimum Fiber and Verizon Fios, such as price guarantees, additional costs, and accompanying benefits that will make or break a deal.
Verizon’s fiber-exclusive internet service has four levels of speed, each reflecting its unique monthly fees to ensure that everyone within the diverse customer pool has a fiber internet plan that perfectly meets their needs. Verizon’s fiber internet service starts at $49.99 per month, and you can receive ultrafast symmetrical speeds of up to 2,300 Mbps. All the plans include unlimited data, router rental, a Verizon gift card, up to 10 years of price guarantees, and no contract service.
New Verizon Fios customers are eligible for a professional fee waiver ($99 in value) if they place an online order for their chosen plan. Moreover, subscribers can bundle their Verizon Fios Internet with an Unlimited 5G Verizon Wireless phone plan to save $25, each month, on their combined bill.
With Verizon Fios’ fast-to-superfast internet plans, you can surf, stream, share, and game hassle-free.
|Fios 300||$49.99/mo.||300 Mbps||2 years|
|Fios 500||$69.99/mo.||500 Mbps||3 years|
|Fios 1 Gig||$89.99/mo.||1,000 Mbps||4 years|
|Fios 2 Gig||$120.00/mo.||2,000 Mbps||10 years|
The monthly fee of Verizon Fios Internet includes equipment rental. Customers get a modem-router gateway that effectively converts analog signals into digital data and disseminates wireless signals around the house using its built-in Wi-Fi 6 capabilities. For no added charge, subscribers enjoy consistently fast speeds and whole-home Wi-Fi connectivity.
The cost of a Verizon router is $399.99. Those who lease the equipment on a month-to-month basis instead of purchasing the equipment upfront must return the equipment in good condition within 30 days of service cancellation. Failing to do so can result in hefty penalties.
Extra equipment can be bought to eliminate dead zones in larger homes, e.g., basements, attics, garages, and backyards. The Fios extender, with tri-band 4×4 antennas, costs $169.99, or it can be rented for a small monthly fee of $10.
Verizon Fios customers can choose between two installation options; professional installation and self-installation. An expert installation becomes mandatory if your home does not have the necessary infrastructure for fiber-to-the-home service. Your home should be close to an optical terminal network (ONT) to qualify for self-installation. You must also be a prior fiber internet customer or have the technical skills needed to connect the equipment to the ONT box via additional jacks or wiring.
Verizon Fios’ professional installation service costs $99 per visit. You can avoid this fee by ordering the plan and related services online.
The self-installation kit is shipped for free and contains a Fios router gateway, a power supply, an instruction booklet, and ethernet cables. The service must be activated as soon as you receive the starter kit because your billing cycle will start as soon as your shipment order is finalized.
Verizon Fios internet service is contract-free. Annual contracts are not compulsory to secure perks and avail of promo rates for up to 10 years. Verizon Fios is so anti-contract that it offers early termination fee coverage of up to $500 through its contract buyout deal. Potential customers of Verizon Fios can cancel their contract with their current provider and easily switch services midway because Verizon Fios will pay their early termination fees, as long as evidence is provided and a good account is maintained.
Optimum Fiber is one of the best regional internet providers for 8 Gig speeds. The fiber-fast internet service starts at $40 per month, and customers can receive up to 8 Gbps of equal download and upload speeds. For the first 12 months, customers are charged a promo rate for the standalone broadband service. But in the 13th month, the price is increased by $25 per month, and it keeps increasing in blocks until it reaches the regular price stated in the table below.
Optimum Fiber Internet plans come with a Smart WiFi 6 router, unlimited data, a 30-day money-back guarantee, a $200 prepaid card, and no-contract service.
Customers can get up to $15 off, each month, when they stack an Optimum Mobile line on their Optimum Fiber Internet plan. For example, the unbundled price of Optimum Fiber 1 Gig is $70 per month, but when the plan is bought together with the Optimum Mobile service, the price drops to $55 per month (with AutoPay and paperless billing discounts).
|Plans||Promo Price||Regular Price||Speed|
|Fiber 300||$40.00/mo.||$109.99/mo.||300 Mbps|
|Fiber 500||**$50.00/mo.||$129.99/mo.||500 Mbps|
|Fiber 1 Gig||$70.00/mo.||$139.99/mo.||1,000 Mbps|
|Fiber 2 Gig||$100.00/mo.||$180.00/mo.||2,000 Mbps|
|Fiber 5 Gig||Call for price||$240.00/mo.||5,000 Mbps|
|Fiber 8 Gig||$280.00/mo.||$350.00/mo.||8,000 Mbps|
Optimum’s Smart WiFi 6 (802.11ax) router is included in the fiber plans. However, bigger homes and office spaces will need WiFi extenders to provide wireless internet coverage to every nook and cranny. Optimum WiFi extenders can be leased for a small monthly fee of $3 per device. The extenders are paired with the Optimum Smart WiFi 6 gateway and effectively expand connectivity to the forgotten corners of the house.
Please note that since you are renting the equipment and not buying it, the Smart WiFi 6 Gateway and extenders will remain the property of Optimum Fiber. Therefore, after service cancellation, you will have 30 days to return the devices to Optimum via mail or in person (at your nearest Optimum store). Failure to do so will result in an unreturned equipment fee of $130.
Much like Verizon, Optimum offers free expert installation on online order placements. But if you do not qualify for the installation fee waiver and need a technician to install and activate your fiber internet service, you can arrange an appointment with Optimum Fiber for professional installation. An Optimum certified technician will be sent to your house within 3-5 business days to set up your internet service the same day. The process will cost you $100.
On the other hand, if you are confident about your technical skills and a fiber-optic line already exists from the ONT box to your home, go ahead and order the self-installation kit. Everything, from the Smart WiFi 6 Gateway to cords and additional WiFi extenders will be shipped to you for free in a couple of days.
Optimum Fiber is a no-contract service provider. Legal bindings, written agreements, and credit checks are not required to join the Optimum Fiber tribe. Customers automatically qualify for promo prices and perks like a 30-day trial run and reward cards when they pay the first month’s service charges.
Optimum Fiber’s contract buyout terms include a credit of up to $100 for the coverage of early termination fees (ETF) imposed by a competing provider on a potential Optimum Fiber subscriber. To get the $100 ETF coverage within 6-8 weeks of service enrolment, the customer’s account must be in good standing, and sufficient proof (bills, service cancellation confirmation letter, etc.) must be submitted to Optimum Fiber.
Along with promotional prices and mega saver bundle deals, Verizon Fios and Optimum Fiber internet plans include complimentary benefits, like free trials, gift cards, installation fee waivers, cloud storage space, and accessories.
Let’s, talk specifically about the perks offered with Optimum Fiber Internet. From multi-millionaires to those living from paycheck to paycheck, people can be risk averse when putting their hard-earned money on the line. Optimum has shown appreciation for this human trait. It allows subscribers to test drive the service for 30 days, and in case they are unhappy with their experience, they can cancel the service and get a full refund. This is known as Optimum Fiber’s 30-day money-back guarantee.
Another reason why Optimum Fiber works in your favor is its complimentary $200 prepaid card. The reward card is included in the 500 Mbps and 1 Gbps plans. Optimum Fiber 2 Gig plan subscribers get a $300 Visa Prepaid Card. However, it is unclear if such a freebie is part of the 8 Gig plan.
Some other added benefits of Optimum Fiber Internet service are:
So, while Optimum Fiber has become the colloquial ‘Santa’s sack of presents’, it is natural to question what Verizon Fios can offer in return. The short answer is perks that are just as good and more.
Verizon Fios offers a limited-time price guarantee of up to 10 years on its 2 Gig plan. The slower speed tiers, too, come with price lock guarantees of up to 4 years. With the stress of annual price hikes out of the way, you can focus on other giveaways that Verizon Fios has to offer. So, let’s start with the gift cards. Starter plans (300 Mbps and 500 Mbps) include a $50 Verizon gift card. Whereas, elite-level plans (1,000 Mbps and 2,000 Mbps) include a $200 Verizon card with a lifetime validity.
A treasure trove awaits you when you decide to upscale your life with Verizon’s gigabit and multigigabit fiber internet. For example, the Verizon Fios 1 Gig plan includes 6 months of free subscription to a Disney+ Premium account (ads-free) and 2 terabytes (TB) of cloud storage. You can exchange the $200 Verizon gift card for a free Apple HomePod.
The Verizon Fios gift basket gets heavier with the addition of:
Gamers love fiber internet for 3 reasons; fast upload and download speeds, ultra-low latency, and 99.9 percent network reliability. Verizon Fios and Optimum Fiber power gamers’ make-believe world. But the difference lies in the number of gamers that can access Optimum Fiber and Verizon Fios plans.
Here is a summary of the gaming capabilities of Optimum Fiber vs. Verizon Fios.
|Features||Optimum Fiber||Verizon Fios|
|Max. Download Speed||8,000 Mbps||*2,314.62 Mbps|
|Max. Upload Speed||8,000 Mbps||*2,016.88 Mbps|
|Lowest Latency||20 ms||*6.19 ms|
|No. of Gamers Reached||***20.6 million||**15 million|
So, even though Optimum Fiber claims to offer ultrafast internet to over 20 million gamers, in reality, Verizon is meeting consumer demand with its tested speeds, low latency, and proven coverage.
Verizon was one of the first internet providers to offer fiber-to-the-home services to residential and small business customers across the country. Since 2005, Verizon has deployed more than 800,000 route miles of fiber-optic cables, covering most metro areas in 9 states within the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions to offer ultrafast broadband to nearly 15 million homes. At the moment, Verizon Fios Internet plans are available in 34 cities within the provider’s fiber footprint.
Below, we have stated all the 9 states where Verizon offers fiber internet coverage.
|All the 9 States where Verizon Fios Internet Plans are Accessible|
|Delaware||Massachusetts||New York||Rhode Island|
Verizon Fios’ broadband coverage is concentrated in Pennsylvania, New York, and the District of Columbia. The following are the top 5 cities where Verizon Fios Internet’s citywide availability is over 80 percent.
|5 Best Cities for Accessing Verizon Fios Internet Service|
|Staten Island||New York||94.4%||448,400 people|
|Washington D.C.||85.4%||574,119 people|
|Bronx||New York||81.5%||1,198,995 people|
In Comparison, Optimum Fiber’s coverage area is 2.3 times bigger and includes 21 states in the Mid-Atlantic, south-central, and southwestern regions. In August this year, Optimum’s fiber passings touched a 2.7 million mark, and its 8 Gig speed tier is currently available in 1.7 million locations, within the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
Approximately 600,000 homes within Optimum Fiber’s 21-state coverage area can enjoy uninterrupted multi-gigabit internet connectivity with upload and download speeds of up to 5 Gigs.
The table below lists all the 21 states where Optimum Fiber Internet service is accessible.
|All the States where Optimum Fiber Internet Plans are Available|
Optimum Fiber vs. Verizon Fios battle intensifies as we enter the northeastern states of New York and New Jersey. With internet speeds of up to 8 Gbps and a median broadband coverage of 75 percent, Optimum Fiber is giving Verizon Fios tough competition in the overlapping territories of New York and New Jersey.
The following 5 cities boast more than 70 percent availability of Optimum Fiber Internet plans. Around 3.8 million Americans residing within these top 5 cities can access median upload and download speeds of 1,305 Mbps on Optimum’s fully fiber-optic broadband network.
|5 Best Cities for Accessing Optimum Fiber Internet Service|
|Bronx||New York||94.0%||1,408,984 people|
|Newark||New Jersey||73.4%||228,677 people|
|Brooklyn||New York||72.0%||1,898,449 people|
Optimum, primarily known as a coaxial cable internet provider in the USA, is slowly building its presence in the dense web of fiber-optic cables. Its newness creates an air of mystery that only gets deeper when mixed messages, frequent price changes, and ambiguity regarding the availability of specific speeds become an everyday part of the provider’s business operations. Lack of clarity in internet plans and billing criteria has lowered Optimum Fiber’s customer satisfaction score. In 2021, Optimum Fiber was given 60 points out of a hundred on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), but in 2022, there was a 2 percent decrease, and the score further dropped to 59 points.
In contrast, Verizon Fios topped the list in the same study above-industry-average score of 72 out of 100 points in 2022. By the second quarter of 2023, Verizon Fios’ customer satisfaction score improved to 75 points, an average score for all the fiber internet providers in the USA. To put it simply, Verizon Fios has focused on quality over quantity. Its goal is to ensure customer service excellence in its small footprint of 9 states. And the J.D. Power US Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study of 2022 is a testament to that. Verizon Fios is the best-performing internet provider in the East of the USA (states include, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hamshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., and West Virginia).
Optimum Fiber’s customer service representatives can be contacted through calls, live chats, and at their 100+ physical stores scattered around the country. Similar communication channels are available to Verizon Fios’s existing and potential customers.
Listen, before we become the judge, jury, and executioner in this Optimum Fiber vs. Verizon Fios case, let’s agree on one universal truth. Fiber is the future of hyperfast internet connectivity. With its speed potential reaching up to 100 Gbps (100,000 Mbps!), there is no question that fiber is the best form of internet technology out there. So, now that we are clear that to get the fastest internet, you will need a fiber-optic broadband connection, let’s circle back to the Verizon Fios or Optimum Fiber debate.
Optimum Fiber has a wider coverage area, lower starting prices, and higher speeds, hitting an 8 Gig mark. But what good is it if you have to prepare yourself for second-year price hikes, spotty availability, and unsatisfactory customer support?
With Verizon Fios, you feel like the top 1 percent of the world’s population. A deluxe service for luxe customers. Verizon Fios offers up to 10 years of price guarantees, delivers “tried and tested” multigigabit upload and download speeds of up to 2.3 Gigs, and provides unparalleled customer care to its valued customers in the Northeast of the country.
So, whether you pick Optimum Fiber or Fios, one thing is certain, you are enjoying a better quality of life as compared to your DSL and coaxial cable counterparts.