Verizon Fios vs RCN: Side by Side Comparison

Enter your zip code below to see if Verizon Fios or RCN offers service in your area.

Verizon Fios vs RCN

RCN and Verizon Fios have a lot to offer, but making out which is better for your household’s needs can be tricky. Both have some of the fastest speeds available to residential customers, with a few key differences in network type depending on where you live. Both providers also offer extra services like TV that can make or break a plan, depending on what your “can’t miss” shows are.

Verizon Fios AT A GLANCE

  • Sales: (844) 624-1149
  • Support: (800) 837-4966

(844) 624-1149

$39.99 to $74.99 / mo.

50 mbps to 940 mbps

50 mbps to 880 mbps



Current: 3rd ↑ (+3)


  • Sales: (800) 746-4726
  • Support: (800) 746-4726

$29.99 to $29.99 / mo.

10 mbps to 1,000 mbps

Up to 20 mbps



Current: 12th ↑ (+1)

Verizon Fios OVERVIEW

Verizon FiOS is a provider of fiber broadband Internet, TV, and phone services. They offer 100% fiber connectivity and have one of the largest pure fiber networks on the market.


RCN is a cable broadband Internet, TV, and phone provider. They also offer business broadband plans, and fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) connectivity in some select areas.


  • $39.99 for 50 mbps Fiber
    • 50 mbps ↓ and 50 mbps ↑ w/ no data cap.
    • 1-year promo rate. Regular rate is $49.99.
    • Setup: Setup fee waived when you order online ($90 value).
    • Modem w/ WiFi: $10/mo or one-time $199
    • Call (844) 624-1149 to setup service.
  • $64.99 for 100 mbps Fiber
    • 100 mbps ↓ and 100 mbps
    • 1-year promo rate. Regular rate is $74.99.
    • Modem: $10/mo
    • Call (844) 624-1149 to setup service.
  • $74.99 for 150 mbps Fiber
    • 150 mbps ↓ and 150 mbps ↑ w/ no data cap.
    • Setup: Setup fee waived when you order online ($90 value).
    • Modem w/ WiFi: $10/mo or one-time $199
    • Call (844) 624-1149 to setup service.
Last updated on 6/16/2017

†All plans not available in all areas or to all customers. Verify details with Verizon Fios.


  • $29.99 for 25 mbps Cable
    • 25 mbps ↓ and -- mbps
    • 1-year promo rate.
    • RCN prices their plans regionally. We do our best to collect these regions and zip codes, but always verify pricing via phone or online in your specific zip code.
    • Modem: $7/mo
    • Call (800) 746-4726 to setup service.
Last updated on 6/14/2017

†All plans not available in all areas or to all customers. Verify details with RCN.


We have not found plans that include data caps. This doesn't mean Verizon Fios doesn't have data caps, just that we haven't found them when collecting their plans. Always verify plan details before purchasing.


We have not found plans that include data caps. This doesn't mean RCN doesn't have data caps, just that we haven't found them when collecting their plans. Always verify plan details before purchasing.

Verizon Fios's TECHNOLOGY

Verizon Fios offers broadband internet, TV, and home phone service to consumers using their fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network.

Fios was one of the first major telecom companies to deploy a large fiber optic network. They have sold parts of their network to Frontier in recent years. Regardless, Fios is still available in a handful of states.

Unlike hybrid networks, FTTH carries data over next-generation fiber optic cables all the way to a subscriber’s doorstep. The core drawback to an FTTH network layout is that it costs an Internet provider significantly more to build up-front, thanks to the high cost of fiber cable combined with the cost of labor to install that cable underground throughout an area.[3]

That said, FTTH is generally considered the “gold standard” of consumer internet connections because it offers the lowest latency and highest bandwidth capabilities.


RCN offers broadband Internet, digital cable TV, and phone plans via three network types: hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) “cable”, DSL, and fiber optic.

RCN’s “cable” HFC network is their most widely available option. Like most cable broadband networks, data is delivered via fiber to a local node within subscriber areas, where the data is switched over to an electrical signal for transmission via the existing coaxial cable networks originally installed for cable TV service. Using existing copper cables for the last leg of the journey makes cable broadband somewhat slower than true “fiber” connections, but saves the high up-front cost of purchasing and installing brand new cables for the company.[4]

RCN’s fiber plans generally terminate inside or very near the building, allowing for speed several times those offered by traditional DSL and cable networks. Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) connections are widely considered the premium option for home Internet access, and true FTTH connections offer the highest bandwidth and lowest latency available today.


If your residence or business has already had Fios service then you may be able to “self install” your service, but for many consumers, professional installation is recommended.

Professional Installation: During professional installation, a Fios technician will use fiber optic cables to wire your location to the Fios’ network. They will also install an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) to which your Fios router connects to get you internet access. Depending on your location’s existing wiring, the technician may need to run ethernet or coaxial cable get you setup.


As with most providers, customers of RCN can either self-install or have a technician from the provider do it for them. Self-installation is fairly simple and the company should provide a detailed guide with your plan or via their website. If bringing your own router and modem, you’ll need to check that it’s compatible with their service.

Professional installation is sometimes necessary for more complicated wiring roadblocks. When setting up a connection for home Wi-Fi via a router, be sure to ask the technician to connect to the router for setup, rather than directly to a computer. If not possible, be sure to ask for explicit instructions for router installation details like MAC address setup.


62%62% Customer Rating

61.8% recommendation rating according to 19,065 verified users.


66%66% Customer Rating

65.7% recommendation rating according to 2,048 verified users.


Verizon Fios Interactive SVG Map showing broadband coverage.


RCN Interactive SVG Map showing broadband coverage.

Rental fees: do you need them?

Modem and router combo units are often cheaper to buy than rent

Renting is a good idea if you’re someone who moves frequently or simply doesn’t like to deal with upkeep. This is true for housing, and it’s also true for broadband modems and routers, which are commonly rented to customers along with their other package fees. It’s usually only less than ten dollars a month, but that can add up to around a hundred dollars annually.[1]

Since midrange routers can be bought new for significantly less, it’s a no-brainer to think about buying your own. First, check your provider’s website and see what modems are compatible with their service. Usually they’ll recommend some brands and models. Second, keep an eye on your bill in following months to double-check that the rental fee gets removed in a timely manner.

Judging the quality of a provider

Customer reviews matter, but only the real ones

Great customer service and consistent service are worth their weight in gold, particularly for broadband users who rely on their connection for work and basic communication. Getting fast resolutions to service issues, needless to say, is extremely important. There are basically two types of company rating that you can trust online when trying to gauge quality of service: ACSI ratings and IP-verified customer ratings. ACSI stands for the American Customer Satisfaction Index, a nationwide survey company that collects data on customer happiness quarterly for a wide variety of industries.[2]

Unlike user-generated reviews, ACSI conducts interviews with existing customers in person to ensure accuracy. IP-verified ratings are the type of review you’ll see elsewhere on BroadbandNow. These ratings are attached to customer’s unique IP address, ensuring that they are an existing customer of the provider being reviewed before their response is recorded.

Last updated on 5/26/2017.

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