AT&T U-verse, Verizon FiOS top Consumer Reports bundled services survey

Consumers lucky enough to be able to get an AT&T (NYSE: T) U-verse or a Verizon (NYSE: VZ) FiOS triple play service package, a new Consumer Reports survey reveals, continue to be happy with the triple play services.

The annual rating of bundled telecom services was based on an online survey by Consumer Reports of 14,233 consumers that subscribed to broadband Internet, TV and phone service.

Verizon FiOS had an overall average score of 78 out of 100, followed by AT&T U-verse (76).

Outside of RBOC Qwest with a score of 72, cable operators' triple play packages also resonated well with consumers: Bright House scored 74 while Cox Communications followed with a rating of 73. Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) earned a 70 rating as Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) reached 68, Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) scored a 65, and Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR) trailed the pack with a rating of 62.

However, one of the glaring realities that Consumer Reports report reveals is that consumers have limited choices for who they can buy their triple play services from. Not only are most U.S. markets dominated by one cable operator, but Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse are only available in one-third of the U.S., nor are both available in one market at the same time. And while most homes can get satellite TV, satellite operators, outside of selling their video wares to the likes of AT&T and Verizon, don't offer Internet and phone services.

One choice that consumers do have is a bevy of alternative voice services, such as Ooma, that can run over any broadband line (cable, DSL or fiber). Ooma's service offers free domestic calling and low-cost international calling with rates that begin at a penny per minute.

RBOCs and large cable operators weren't the only frontrunners in the Consumer Reports' survey. Wide Open West (WOW), a regional cable operator, for one, received high ratings for broadband Internet service, surpassing both Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse for overall customer satisfaction.  

For more:
- see the release

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