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Metronet vs Comcast: How Do They Compare?

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Metronet vs Comcast: How Do They Compare?

Fiber optics is the future of internet connectivity. ISP providers (cable, internet, and phone) have wholeheartedly embraced it nationwide. From the little guys such as Metronet to the giants such as Comcast, fiber optic internet and phone services are popping up all over the map. But how do these two companies compare? In the showdown between Metronet vs Comcast, who ultimately comes out on top? Let’s take a comprehensive look at the two telecommunications companies below.

Metronet vs Comcast: Side By Side Comparison

infographic for Metronet vs Comcast
MetronetComcast
Founded20051963
Internet TypeFiber opticCable, fiber optic
OwnersJohn and Al CinelliBrian L. Roberts
Subsidiaries/DivisionsVexus FiberXfinity, NBCUniversal, Sky
Most Affordable Plan100 Mb plan ($49.95/month)75 Mb Connect plan ($19.99/month)
Fastest Plan2 GB plan ($119.95/month)1.2 GB Extra plan ($80/month)
Available BundlesInternet and voiceCable TV, internet, and voice
Regions Served16 states40 states

Metronet vs Comcast: Key Differences

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Comcast, which owners NBC, is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

A good way to know how these companies stack up is to explore the key differences between Metronet vs Comcast. From the different services they provide to their varying prices per plan to their coverage, below are the main discrepancies between Metronet vs Comcast.

Key Services

By and large, Metronet is an internet and phone servicer. Additionally, they focus on fiber optics and fiber optics alone. For this reason, you aren’t going to find cable internet under the Metronet umbrella. Nor are you going to find cable internet or phone lines. Metronet focuses on fiber optics, and it’s been this way since its earliest beginnings. This hyper-focus explains their success, but it also shows what to expect from them.

Comcast, on the other hand, offers a lot more than Metronet in this regard. Part of the reason is their larger size and the simple fact they’ve been around for decades longer. Comcast (under their Xfinity brand name) offers quite some extras over Metronet’s more limited offerings. Customers can sign up for cable television, internet, and phone plans alongside fiber optic internet and phone plans.

Internet Plans

Switching to pricing, Metronet’s internet services have four possible plans. The 100 Mb Plan is the cheapest, priced at $49.95 monthly for the first year. From there, there’s the 500 Mb Plan for $69.95 a month (also for the first year only). After that, it jumps to the 1 GB Plan and the 2 GB Plan, priced at $89.95 and $119.95 monthly, respectively. These prices also include the first year alone, with each plan increasing in price after that first year.

Comcast’s pricing for its Xfinity plans vary far more, as they have several more services to provide over Metronet. The most affordable Comcast plan is the 75 Mb Connect plan, which starts at only $19.99 monthly for the first year. Prices go up from there. The next available tier is the 200 Mb Connect More plan, which is priced at $39.99 monthly for the first year. At the top of the heap is the 1.2 GB Extra plan, priced at $80 a month for the first year. (This is for fiber optic internet alone, which says nothing about the various prices for cable and bundles.)

Coverage

Metronet and Comcast also have different coverage or reach. As the smaller provider, Metronet is available in 16 states. That’s not an insignificant number. Metronet is quite large for an independently owned telecommunications company. Plus, they’re growing their reach. In five years, they’ll have surely grown even bigger. In ten, it’ll be even more.

Unsurprisingly, Comcast is available in far more regions than Metronet. To date, Comcast and its Xfinity brand have stretched to 40 different states across the country. Coverage is not the same in all these states and might be limited to more populated areas. Arizona, Alabama, and Arkansas have the best Comcast coverage. In time, Comcast may reach all 50 states.

5 Must-Know Facts About Fiber Optic Internet

  • Fiber optic cables send data at 70% of the speed of light. No wonder every telecommunications company hopes to get its hands on fiber optics.
  • Not only is fiber optic fas, but it’s also a lot more energy efficient than traditional cable.
  • Fiber optic cables are thinner than a strand of human hair, about 1/10th as wide.
  • Unlike copper wires, fiber optic cables transmit light, not electricity. This makes them nonconductive, effectively eliminating the fire risk of copper wires.
  • As if the benefits of fiber optic speeds weren’t enough, they have also been said to increase the value of a home by as much as 3% or more.

History of Metronet

John and Al — a father and son duo — founded Metronet in Evansville, Indiana, in 2005.

Comcast might have more customers and larger profits than Metronet, but the latter has accomplished one thing that the former can’t ever say for itself. Metronet is the nation’s largest independently owned and operated fiber optic internet and phone provider. With Comcast’s messy ownership split between investors and corporations and holding companies alike, Metronet stands alone as a fiber optic provider with a family at its center.

Metronet started small and grew slowly, first implementing community-wide fiber optic networks in rural areas and smaller towns. Over time, Metronet was able to reach increasingly larger cities throughout Indiana and eventually beyond state lines. Fifteen years after starting small, Metronet is available in more than a dozen Midwestern states.

Metronet certainly isn’t operating on the same level as Comcast. The independently owned company is committed to continued growth, just like they’ve been since its inception. Given Comcast’s decades-long history as a telecommunications provider, time will only tell how much growth Metronet will be able to achieve, True, they’re still young, but their future looks brighter than ever.

How Comcast Compares

It helps to think of Comcast as the Goliath to Metronet’s David. First and foremost, Comcast stands as the largest telecommunications conglomerate in the country. What’s more, the company is the second-largest broadcast cable TV provider on Earth — and that’s just going off of their revenues. Only AT&T earns more. Moreover, Comcast also qualifies as America’s largest brand name in the pay-TV market. That’s how big Comcast is right now. Not to mention, they’re the largest cable provider, internet service provider, and third-largest phone provider in the U.S.

Obviously, this gives them an edge over Metronet. When the differences are this enormous, it’s hardly fair to call the two competitors. It’s almost as if Comcast is operating on a separate playing field compared to Metronet: One’s practically available nationwide. The other is available on a much more regional basis. One’s offering cable, internet, and phone services with the option for fiber optic internet and phone. The other is focused solely on fiber optic internet and phone.

Comcast didn’t just get to the top overnight. They’ve been around since 1969, formed in Pennsylvania upon the reincorporation of American Cable Systems. The newly reorganized Comcast scaled slowly in the succeeding decades. By the close of the ’90s, Comcast has grown tremendously. And they got ahead of the pack by embracing broadband through their acquisition of AT&T’s services in 2001. However, it was their massive purchase of NBCUniversal in 2013 that cemented them there.

Metronet vs Comcast: Pros and Cons

Pros of MetronetCons of Metronet
Unlimited data with no capsOnly available in 16 states to date
No contracts necessaryNo television plans are available
Metronet offers phone bundles on top of its fiber optic internet service — adding a home phone is less than $5 a monthCostly internet plans
Seriously high speeds
Pros of ComcastCons of Comcast
More affordable upfront costsCable service has fewer channels and higher prices than its closest competitors
Offers cable in addition to phone and internetHigher costs for plans outside of 12 or 24-month contracts
Subscribers have the option of cable or fiberComcast equipment fees are quite expensive
Nationwide network means more dependable connections than smaller competitorsHigher monthly fees for bundled services

Metronet vs Comcast: Which Is Best?

So, who’s the better fiber optic telecommunications provider when all is said and done? Metronet vs Comcast? Considering all we’ve gone over and everything we’ve outlined above, the answer is pretty apparent. While Metronet is a promising and impressive up-and-comer in the fiber optics sphere, Comcast and its Xfinity brand are simply the best bet. They have better prices, superior bundles, and a wider reach than Metronet. While Metronet might be slightly faster, Comcast beats it in nearly every other regard.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's so great about fiber optics?

Fiber optics offer increased bandwidth and deliver more data at higher speeds than traditional copper cables do.

Is fiber optic internet better than cable internet?

Fiber optic internet is faster and more reliable than cable internet by quite a significant margin. However, cable internet is much cheaper than its fiber optic counterpart.

Who has the best fiber optic internet?

With their wide reach and their affordable bundles, Comcast’s Xfinity brand is widely considered the best fiber optic provider in the industry.

Are there any downsides to fiber optics?

The biggest downside to fiber optics? Probably the costs associated with it. Additionally, fiber optics only move data in one direction, requiring more cables than traditional copper wires.

What are fiber optic cables made of?

Fiber optic cables are made of incredibly thin glass fibers.

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