Reliability: 4 ¼ Stars
Verizon also seems to be the reliability leader of our ISP review series, with a rating of 4 1/4 (4.16) stars out of five. This is the best rating of any ISP in any category in our review. However, despite the high score, there was an apparent split between surveyed DSL subscribers and fiber-optic customers.
Verizon DSL customers judged the company's reliability much lower, usually at or below two stars, citing some of the same complaints mentioned in the performance category. "Verizon DSL is slow and marginally reliable," said a reader who gave reliability a one-star rating. "But it's basically the only 'high-speed' Internet connection available."
It may be fortunate for Verizon that its final grade in each category doesn't seem to be affected by the minority of DSL customers giving feedback, because the few who voted in our survey seemed severely dissatisfied with almost every aspect of the service.
Measuring Broadband America, a 2014 Federal Communications Commission study on the reliability of the country's major Internet service providers, resonates with our survey findings. This study supports one of the primary complaints of Verizon DSL customers in our survey: that speeds are less-than-advertised.
|Advertised Speeds (Available Verizon Data Rates From 2013)||Actual Sustained Download Speed||Actual Speed/Advertised Speed Percentage|
|Up to 1 Mb/s (DSL)||0.89 Mb/s||89%|
|Up to 3 Mb/s (DSL)||2.41 Mb/s||80%|
|Up to 15 Mb/s (Fiber)||20.67 Mb/s||138%|
|Up to 25 Mb/s (Fiber)||29.09 Mb/s||116%|
|Up to 35 Mb/s (Fiber)||40.96 Mb/s||117%|
|Up to 50 Mb/s (Fiber)||55.93 Mb/s||112%|
|Up to 75 Mb/s (Fiber)||80.28 Mb/s||107%|
Similar to our survey, this study shows that a majority of fiber-optic Internet customers enjoy higher-than-advertised performance. With as much as 138 percent more bandwidth than expected, FiOS Internet customers have reason to be satisfied with Verizon's reliability.
"I actually get [about] 10 percent faster speeds than advertised," said one surveyed reader. "My connection is reliable, and it always seems to be there."
"I've never had a problem with Verizon FiOS -- ever," said another fiber-optic Internet subscriber. "The service is quite reliable, and regardless of the time of day, I always manage to get my subscribed bandwidth," said another.
Reliability was the second-most important factor in deciding on an ISP, according to our surveyed Verizon Internet customers, and it seems that the company scored big with a rating of 4 1/4 stars out of five.