How does Verizon Fios compare to RCN internet?

Whether you enjoy gaming, posting on social media, streaming movies, or work from home, an internet plan from Verizon Fios or RCN can meet your needs. However, the plans from these internet service providers (ISPs) have some major differences, including where they’re available and their approach to installation fees.

Before you decide which ISP is best for you, you’ll want to compare them carefully and get as much information as possible. Luckily, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you, comparing services, pricing, fees, and reviews to help you make the best decision.

Who Verizon Fios and RCN internet are for

When you consider your internet options, thinking about your household size, budget, and speed requirements is one of the best ways to start. Then, you can take a closer look at available plans to narrow down your options.

Verizon Fios has the fastest, most reliable fiber network in the US. It’s a great option for people who live in its coverage area, especially if they want high speeds for online gaming, working from home, or video streaming. Prices start at $39.99/month for 300Mbps and you can get up to 940Mbps for $89.99/month, if you need a bit more bandwidth.

Verizon Fios currently has coverage in parts of Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Massachusetts. Several cities in New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia also have Verizon Fios service available. The company offers TV and phone service as well, but you won’t get any discounts for signing up for bundles or multiple services.

Astound Broadband by RCN offers fast, reliable service for people who want to save money while enjoying high speeds. The RCN base plan is $19.99/month for 100Mbps, and new customers can get a free month of service and free installation. If you’re looking for more speed, the fastest plan available from Astound Broadband/RCN is 940Mbps, and it costs $44.99/month.

If you prefer to bundle, basic TV service with the 100Mbps internet plan is only $29.64/month. However, prices vary in different locations so you may want to check before making any decisions.

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Key considerations

Before you choose between Verizon Fios and RCN, think about considering these factors:

Installation fees

Verizon Fios has a $99 installation fee, but you can get it waived if you install your equipment yourself and sign up for service online. Astound also offers free self-installation, but there’s a $9.99 account activation fee. If you need professional installation, Astound/RCN charges $49.95.

Modem fees

With Verizon Fios, you can rent a modem for $15/month or purchase it outright. Astound/RCN doesn’t sell its equipment, but you can rent it for $3 to $13/month depending on your location and the model you choose. You can also use your own equipment in some areas as long as it meets the minimum service requirements.

Data overage fees

Verizon Fios and RCN offer unlimited data. With both companies, you won’t have to worry about overage fees or throttling after you transmit a certain amount of data each month.

Early termination fees

Verizon Fios charges an early termination fee of up to $350 depending on how long you’ve used the service. If you don’t have much time left on your contract, your fee will be lower. Verizon will also pay up to $500 in early termination fees to other companies if you switch to their service. Since RCN doesn’t require a contract, you won’t face any termination fees if you decide to cancel their service.

Non-return equipment fees

If you don’t return a Verizon Fios modem after canceling service, you could have to pay up to $175. With Astound/RCN, you may need to pay around $175 if you don’t return rented equipment. However, the exact amount of the fee depends on the model of the modem that both companies use.

Initial prices

Verizon Fios starts at $39.99/month for 300Mbps of download and upload speeds. With Astound Broadband, you can get 100Mbps for $19.99/month. Either plan works well for households with one or two people. However, Verizon is more suitable for larger families or people who enjoy online gaming.

Prices after 12 months

Verizon Fios keeps the same base price after 12 months. However, you’ll stop getting Disney+ and AMC+ for free after the first year. RCN starts with a low introductory rate, but it goes up by more than $100/month after the first year, so be aware of this change when budgeting for internet costs.

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What others say about Verizon Fios and RCN internet

Taking a look some at reviews can help you make an informed decision abut your ISP.

Verizon Fios

Verizon Fios was PCMag’s Best Gaming ISP for 2020 and a Readers’ Choice Winner for the 15th consecutive year. It’s one of the fastest ISPs the magazine tested, and it received an 8.2/10 overall satisfaction rating. Only Google Fiber got a better score.

Verizon Fios also captured the top spot in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Residential Internet Service Provider Customer Satisfaction Study. It had a score of 758 out of 1,000 for the East region of the US.

Astound Broadband by RCN

RCN was on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the Best Cable Internet Providers of 2022.

Astound Broadband/RCN was only slightly behind Verizon Fios in PCMag’s 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards. It got an 8.0/10 in overall customer satisfaction, making it one of the top five ISPs.

According to CNET, “Astound Broadband powered by RCN is at the top of the class when it comes to cable internet providers. It gives you many different options to customize your service and its first-year pricing is second to none.”

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How do Verizon Fios and RCN internet packages compare?

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*Pricing varies by location and availability. Speeds may vary. All prices subject to change; for current pricing and availability visit our internet service page. Prices as of 3/11/22.

Disclosure | Updater articles are based on our own data and research, independent from partner relationships. We are not compensated by partners for information and opinions presented here. Our Editorial Terms of Service can be found here.