GEEKNOTE: I wrote about the Verizon triple play last week and figured I'd talk about the comparable Bright House product. I can't give you comparison billing info because my reference account (my mom's) only has two of the three products billed directly...she gets TV with her condo fees. If one of you who has the Brighthouse triple play wants to comment on what you actually pay, that would be great.
In reviewing the Bright House website though, it appears that the Brighthouse triple play is comparable in price. Plus or minus a few dollars, depending on what options you pick.
The question then is which is better. This is not easy to answer. Mom has a triple play package that includes TV, phone, and Internet. It all appears to work pretty well most of the time. It doesn't take up the wall space my FIOS converter takes, but then it doesn't have fiber all the way into the house.
We have a business triple play package from Bright House at the store. Four phone lines, basic (analog) TV, and a 50meg/5meg connection for less than we were paying for a 1.5meg T1 by itself. We could get the digital HD TV service, but we don't watch much TV at the store. Given that we've got a faster Internet connection and rock solid phone service, what's not to like?
Mom has had limited problems with her Brighthouse service and the folks at Brighthouse have been very good about solving problems for her.
Likewise, we have been extremely happy with our business service at the store. In THEORY, it doesn't come with the service level commitment (SLA) of the T1, but in practice it has been more reliable than the old T1.
For consumers, the question of which one is going to be better probably depends on where you live. Ask your neighbors what they have and whether or not it has been reliable. Both Verizon and Bright House have been upgrading their feeds into various neighborhoods around our area. Regardless of which one you choose, you might do well to avoid the temptation to sign a multi year contract. That way, you can switch if things don't work out with your first choice.
For businesses, the price differences between month to month and a contract rate can be huge. We subscribed to TV and Roadrunner for a fair while before we trusted our phone service with Bright House. Business FIOS wasn't available in our building when we signed up for the full triple play, so we didn't consider it at the time.
Now that FIOS is available in our building, we are considering adding a FIOS Internet connection for the additional bandwidth and to make sure we have something available in the unlikely event that our Bright House service goes on the blink. If staying on the Internet is critical to your business, a backup connection is well worth considering.
Regardless of which service you choose, give consideration to having an email account that is NOT tied to your Internet feed. That way, your email address doesn't change if you change providers. I encourage you to consider getting your own domain name and having a local provider host it for you. You'll pay more than you would with a "free" mailbox from Yahoo or Google, but this is a case where you get what you pay for. This is expecially true if you have a business. Nothing screams "fly-by-night" so much as a business using a free email address.
As always, feel free to drop me a note or give me a call if you have any questions about your computer or the Internet.
Rob Marlowe, Senior Geek, Gulfcoast Networking, Inc.
(Rob also serves as deputy mayor of the City of New Port Richey. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not necessarily represent the position of the city.)