Comcast and Qwest offer high-speed broadband Internet services to customers in the United States. In February 2010, Comcast re-branded its high-speed Internet service under the XFINITY brand. In addition to Internet, XFINITY offers voice communication and digital television plans. While Qwest delivers its broadband Internet service using DSL technology, Comcast uses cable to provide its XFINITY service. The use of cable allows for linked features between the company's services, allowing you to view telephone call history online or on a television set, for example.
Comcast's XFINITY Internet plans include up to seven email accounts, online data storage and a security suite powered by Norton. You also have access to free online content, including videos, on ESPN.com and can access XFINITY Wi-Fi at public hot spots. Qwest plans include up to 11 email accounts and the Qwest @Ease suite with Norton security suite, equipment warranty, online data back-up and support services. You can opt to upgrade the suite with additional online backup space and enhanced security and support features. Qwest subscribers can also access Wi-Fi Internet through AT&T's wireless network.
As of June 2011, Qwest offers five Internet plans with download speeds of 1.5, 7, 12, 20 and 40Mbps. Comcast promotes two standard Internet plans, with the XFINITY Performance plan featuring speeds of up to 15Mbps and the XFINITY Blast plan offering download speeds of up to 20Mbps. In a study of connection speeds in 2010, PC Magazine ranked Comcast fifth and Qwest 10th out of 14 national Internet Service Providers. The study found that average surfing speeds for Comcast was 992Kbps compared to 683Kbps for Qwest's service.
Data Cap Comparison
Comcast customers are subject to a data consumption allowance of 250GB per month. If you violate this policy, you may have service suspended or terminated. As of June 2011, Qwest hasn't introduced an official data or bandwidth cap. However, the company reserves the right to contact customers who engage in excessive or high-volume Internet use. Qwest will contact customers who violate its Excessive Use Policy to determine other Internet plans that match actual usage.
In the 2010 Readers' Choice Awards survey by PC Magazine, Qwest ranked eighth in overall customer satisfaction among of 16 national Internet Service Providers. The company's DSL service received average scores in overall satisfaction, service reliability and customer service. However, Qwest ranked lower than average in customers' satisfaction with the service's speed. In the same survey, Comcast ranked 12th with lower than average scores for overall satisfaction, reliability, customer service and technical support. Comcast also ranked higher than average in terms of speed in the survey.
- Comcast Voices; Comcast Launches XFINITY; David Watson; February 2010
- Comcast: XFINITY Internet From Comcast
- Qwest: The Heavy Duty Internet/DSL Service
- Comcast: Comcast Acceptable Use Policy for High-Speed Internet
- Qwest: Qwest Broadband Understanding the Excessive Use Policy (EUP)
- "PC Magazine"; Internet Speed Test: The Fastest ISPs in the U.S. 2010; Ben Gottesman; June 2010
- Kevin Moloney/Getty Images News/Getty Images