Size matters as Verizon FiOS tops Consumer Reports survey

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It pays to be the biggest even if you may not necessarily be the best. That's one way of looking at a Consumer Reports' survey that hedged a bit before naming Verizon FiOS (NYSE: VZ) as "highly rated" among providers offering a triple play of voice, video and data services, the magazine says in its June issue.

Throw out big and regional telecom provider WOW (WideOpenWest), which "was also top rated," the magazine said.

Verizon had the chops to score higher than the major cable companies for "TV picture, sound and channel selection" and got top grades for Internet speed. The telco lost points, though, because of complaints about bills for its triple play and the fact that subscribers must rent a receiver for every TV.

WOW, which has a smaller subscriber base than Verizon, mostly in the Midwest, got pretty glowing praise across the board.

"With the very best providers so limited in availability, the leading options for many consumers will be either the cable provider where they live or satellite TV service, paired with Internet and likely phone service from other providers," Paul Reynolds, electronics editor at Consumer Reports said in a statement. "The best choice for you may depend in part on your particular cable company, since cable varied widely in satisfaction, depending on the provider."

If you're looking beyond Verizon and WOW, meanwhile, the magazine said you could do worse than Bright House Networks, Cox, Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) or AT&T (NYSE: T) U-verse. And who's that leave out?

For more:
- see this news release
- FierceCable has this coverage

Special Report: Unraveling the triple play bundle

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