Are you sick and tired of slow internet speeds and paying through the roof every month for service? Fidium Fiber and Comcast are both internet services that you should consider. Based on my real-world testing, Fidium has the fastest upload speed of any residential ISP in Northern New England.
Xfinity offers competitive pricing and the ability to lock in your price for as long as 24 months without having to sign a contract. Internet speeds were faster than advertised, but Comcast upload speeds are still stingy as ever.
Learn how to save 30% or more on your monthly internet bill regardless of who your service provider is.
Fidium vs Xfinity: Table of Contents
Fidium vs Xfinity Internet: Introduction
As a computer networking professional, I have had the privilege of working on some 10 gigabit + internet connections. Downloading and uploading large files in seconds is a dream for many that their current ISP just can’t provide them.
As a New Hampshire native and an avid tech enthusiast, in 2021, I started out on a mission to help people find better internet solutions for their homes. Two of the most prevalent internet service providers in northern New England (New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont) are Fidium and Comcast (Xfinity).
I was fortunate to get the opportunity to use both Fidium and Xfinity internet connections and see how they stack up. After several months of testing both internet services, measuring dozens of metrics, and troubleshooting issues, I am here to share my findings. Which internet connection is better?
Key Takeaways Based on My Own Experience and Testing
- Fidium Fiber upload speeds are faster than any other residential ISP I have tested.
- Xfinity and Fidium both over-deliver on speeds based on my testing in the New England area.
- Xfinity allows you to use your own modem and router if you choose (I would recommend it).
- Fidium is available in some rural parts of northern New England that can’t get Xfinity.
- Xfinity is available in more urban/suburban areas, many of which are also serviced by Fidium.
- Pricing is competitive based on download speeds.
- Xfinity plans either come with 1.2 TB of data or unlimited data, depending on the plan.
- All Fidium plans include unlimited data.
- Fidium’s lowest-priced plan has faster upload speeds than Xfinity’s highest-priced plan.
- Fidium requires you to use their equipment but includes it in the service cost.
|Type of Technology||Fiber to the home (FTTH)||Fiber / DOCSIS 3.1 (Cable)|
|Release Date||2008 as FairPoint|
2021 as Fidium
|1996 as Comcast
2010 as Xfinity
|Download Speeds||50 – 2000 Mbps||200 – 2000 Mbps|
|Upload Speeds||50 – 2000 Mbps||10 – 35 Mbps|
|Latency (Ping)||5 ms – 25 ms||20 ms – 35 ms|
|Ping Stability||Excellent||Very Good|
|Monthly Service Cost||$35 – $95||$25 – $120|
|Money Back Guarantee||30 Days||30 Days|
|Data Caps||No||1.2 TB or Unlimited|
Based on my research and experience working with a number of different internet service providers (ISPs) I would say that pricing with both Fidium and Comcast is about average. Neither provider offers the lowest prices I have seen, but neither is out of line with the industry averages. Pricing also varies somewhat with Xfinity based on your service area.
Pricing with Fidium is what you would expect. During the promotional period of 12 months, the pricing is excellent. Pricing ranges from about $35 per month up to $70 per month during the promotional period.
After the promo rate expires, you can expect to see a substantial increase in monthly costs. The pricing currently ranges from $55 – $95 per month after the promotions run out.
This pricing is middle of the road, it is not cheap, but it is far from the worst. This is especially true if upload speed is important to you. There are not many ISPs that will offer you 50 Mbps upload speeds for $55 per month ($35 per month during the promo period).
Pricing with Xfinity frequently changes depending on what promotional offer Xfinity is offering at the time. Generally, it is possible to sign up for one of the lower Xfinity plans (200 Mbps or 400 Mbps) for less than $60 per month.
This works out to be cheaper than Fidium for the same download speeds. However, upload speeds on some of these lower Comcast plans top out at only 10 Mbps vs 50 Mbps for the lowest Fidium package. This is not uncommon. Comcast is a DOCSIS 3.1 (Cable) based internet service, and Fidium is a 100% fiber optic-based service. Comcast is preparing to roll out DOCSIS 4 technology which will be able to deliver download speeds of 10 Gbps and upload speeds of over 1 Gbps over existing infrastructure.
Xfinity also offers bundle pricing if you combine your internet service with either TV or with Xfinity Mobile cell phone service.
Overall pricing is pretty similar, and depending on the Xfinity promotions available at the time, Fidium pricing could be slightly higher or slightly lower. Overall they are equal in terms of pricing.
|Fidium Fiber Internet||Comcast Internet|
|Service Cost Per Month||$35 – $95||$25 – $120|
|Equipment Rental Cost per Month||Included||$15 (or use your own modem)|
Fidium has no equipment rental fee, whereas Xfinity charges $15 per month to rent the Xfinity WiFi gateway. You can avoid paying for this by using your own modem and router.
Fidium Fiber vs Comcast (Xfinity) Download and Upload Speeds
Fidium advertises packages that range from 50 Mbps to 2,000 Mbps. Speeds with Fidium Fiber are 100% symmetrical. If you subscribe to, for example, the 50 Mbps plan, you will get 50 Mbps download speed and 50 Mpbs upload speed. This is typical with most but not all fiber internet services.
Based on my testing Fidium Fiber reliably delivered between 105% and 110% of advertised speeds in both directions. For example, with the 50 Mbps plan, I routinely saw speeds of about 53 Mbps download and upload. Anytime an ISP over-delivers on their advertised speeds, that is a welcome sight.
On higher-level plans, I routinely saw speeds that were maxing out the limitations of my testing equipment. With the 1 Gbps Fidium plan, I was consistently getting 948 Mbps download and upload speeds.
This is as high as a standard 1 Gbps ethernet port will allow. I am sure with the right equipment, I would have seen even higher speeds.
I did not test the Fidium Fiber 2 Gbps plan since I did not have a way to test speeds reliably over 1 Gbps.
Xfinity also over-delivered on their advertised speeds. On average, I was getting between 15% – 20% faster download and upload speeds than advertised. On the 200 Mbps package, I was almost always getting download speeds of 235 Mbps or higher.
Upload speeds with Xfinity are much lower than with Fidium. However, Xfinity still averaged 120% of advertised upload speeds. This is a great result and shows a level of honesty in advertising that is less commonly seen in the competitive residential ISP industry.
|Fidium FIber||Comcast (Xfinity)|
|Advertised Download Speed||50 Mbps – 2,000 Mbps||200 Mbps – 2,000 Mbps|
|Advertised Upload Speed||50 Mbps – 2,000 Mbps||10 Mbps – 35 Mbps|
|Tested Download Speeds (Percent of Advertised)||105%||118%|
|Tested Upload Speeds (Percent of Advertised)||108%||120%|
Latency and Stability
Both Fidium and Xfinity Internet are incredibly stable based on my testing at multiple service addresses in northern New England. When compared to Starlink or 5G home internet from Verizon or T-Mobile, Fidium and Comcast, both dominate the competition.
Between the two, Fidium offers slightly lower latency in most cases. This is unsurprising given that it is 100% fiber optic, whereas Comcast is coax/fiber hybrid.
However, both service providers proved to be stable and consistent even during peak hours when many people are using their internet connection the most.
Given that Fidium and Comcast both offer average pings of less than 20 ms, it would be hard to go too wrong with either option for latency-sensitive activities such as online gaming, videoconferencing (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Webex, etc.), or VoIP.
|Fidium Internet||Comcast Internet|
|Average Latency (Off Peak Hours)||7 ms – 15 ms||18 ms – 25 ms|
|Average Latency (Peak Hours)||7 ms – 18 ms||20 ms – 33 ms|
|Latency (Max Spikes) (Off Peak Hours)||20 ms – 30 ms||35 ms – 40 ms|
|Latency (Max Spikes) (Peak Hours)||20 ms – 35 ms||35 ms – 40 ms|
Reliability of Service
Based on my testing, both services are generally reliable overall. I did notice a little more downtime with Fidium when compared to Xfinity. This is not totally surprising to me. Fidium FIber is a rebrand of the fiber internet services offered by Consolidated Communications.
In the past, I had found that Consolidated Communications was not as reliable as some of the alternatives. However, in 6 months of testing, based on the reports I ran from Net Uptime Monitor, a leading uptime tracking tool, Fidium was 99.4% reliable. This amounts to an average of 52 hours per year of downtime.
With Xfinity, Net Uptime Monitor showed an average reliability of 99.8%. This amounts to about 17 hours per year of downtime.
Of course, weather and other factors can also affect reliability, and as with most residential internet services, neither ISP offers a service level agreement (SLA) on their residential plans. This means that service is provided on a “best effort” basis with no reliability guarantee.
Based on my testing, most home users would be fine with either service. However, if you work from home, run a business from home, or need the highest level of reliability, both services had some downtime In my testing.
If a higher level of reliability is needed, consider getting both services. That is right, you can actually have more than one ISP in the same home. In this case, I would recommend getting a slightly lower tier on both services and using a load-balancing router to split the load over both internet connections.
Based on my personal experience working with enterprise organizations, using two redundant internet connections makes it possible to achieve 99.95% reliability in most cases, assuming a battery backup or generator backup is used to continue supplying electricity to your modem and router in the event of a power outage.
Fidium Fiber vs Comcast: Customer Service / Technical Support
Customer service and technical support are common criticisms of virtually every internet service provider. Fidium is no exception to the rule. However, I am happy to say that most of the support experiences I have experienced have been better than with other providers such as Comcast, Spectrum, Breezeline, AT&T, or Verizon.
This is especially good to see, given the number of support-related issues I faced in the past when dealing with Consolidated Communications for DSL support.
Generally, the wait times for technical support are the longest during the evening hours. If you are able to call off hours, you will generally get through to a support agent much faster. A lengthy wait for technical support is not uncommon in the residential ISP space, and Fidium is no exception.
I was impressed by the technical knowledge of the support techs I spoke to. They were able to explain how to bridge the PPPoE connection to my own router and how to do basic port forwarding
For billing and account support, generally, the wait time to get through to an account representative was minimal. Canceling service also proved to be a simple task with minimal hoops to navigate.
Comcast (Xfinity) is highly criticized for its lack of customer service. Is this reputation deserved or not? Based on my experiences, partially. Support, especially on the technical side of things, is hit or miss with Xfinity.
They were not great at times. They transferred my calls multiple times, put me through multiple auto attendants, etc. However, ultimately they were always able to fix any issues, and getting a service tech dispatched when required was not as painful as often described.
Xfinity has slightly better self-help resources online than Fidium, including the ability to reset your own modem and router, which I was able to take advantage of as needed.
Comcast customer support for billing-related issues was pretty decent compared to other ISPs I had used in the past. They were able to explain the charges on my bill and fix an error where they charged me for a modem rental despite the fact that I was using my own modem.
Overall I would say that the support I received from Fidium was better than that from Comcast. However, Comcast support was acceptable, and I would not let it deter you from using Comcast. Most people will rarely, if ever, need to contact support anyways.
Alternative to Fidium and Xfinity to Consider
There are several alternatives to Fidium and Xfinity that you may wish to consider. Obviously, you may have some of these, non of these, or all of these available at your service address.
- Verizon Fios
- Starlink Internet
- T-Mobile Home Internet
- Spectrum Internet
- AT&T Fiber Internet
- Breezeline Internet
These are all viable alternatives to Fidium and Xfinity, and each service provider comes with its own list of pros and cons.
In general, I would recommend most people look for a fiber-based service such as Fidium, AT&T Fiber, or Verizon Fios as their best option. If a fiber-based service is not available in your service area, then a DOCSIS 3.1 based service such as Breezeline, Spectrum, or Xfinity is generally the next best thing to fiber.
Finally, if you can’t get fiber or cable-based internet in your neighborhood, look into options such as Starlink Satellite Internet or 5g home internet from Verizon or T-Mobile. These services are generally inferior to cable or fiber internet, but they may be all that you can get in some locations.
Who is Fidium Fiber Best For
Fidium Fiber is best for people who are looking for an affordable internet option that offers solid performance and reliability. Most people who can get Fidium Fiber at their residence should strongly consider it.
The value for the money is solid. This is especially true for cord-cutters and cord-nevers. Getting the best price with Xfinity and many other ISPs requires bundling TV with your internet. For people looking for an internet-only solution, Fidium is a good value.
Who is Xfinity Best For
Xfinity Internet is best for people who would subscribe to cable TV service anyways. For people who choose to have traditional cable TV, the bundle pricing offered by Xfinity is cheaper than getting internet separate from your cable TV service.
Xfinity also offers great savings for people who want to switch to the Xfinity Mobile platform. Switching to Xfinity Mobile can save a significant chunk of money over traditional carriers, including Verizon and AT&T.
Xfinity is also available in more areas than Fidium. If you do not have access to fiber internet, Xfinity is a solid alternative to consider.
How to Save Money on Your Internet Bill
It is no secret that internet prices have gone through the roof, especially in the United States. Getting the best price on your internet service requires shopping around, threatening to cancel, and in some cases, even switching service providers.
A trick that has worked well for me, and for many other people, is to frequently call, at least yearly, and ask for any current promotions. Just by calling, you can generally get some kind of promotional discount. Also, don’t think you must be a new subscriber to qualify. Existing customers can oftentimes get discounted pricing as well.
If you do not get anywhere, threaten to cancel and ask for the customer retention department. They oftentimes have more flexibility in offering larger discounts. Give this a try, and you can likely cut your monthly bill by 30% or more.
Finally, if that doesn’t help, consider switching to a different internet service provider. When you sign up with your new provider, you can get whatever promotional pricing they offer. See if you can lock in that price for at least 12 months, or preferably 24 months.
After 24 months or so, you will have the option to rinse and repeat. By that time, your previous ISP will probably be offering you a discount to switch back.
What is Xfinity Internet
Xfinity Internet from Comcast is a very commonly available internet service option for millions of customers living in many areas of the United States. The company specializes in DOCSIS cable-based internet but also offers fiber service, depending on the customer’s service address. Some newer neighborhoods are wired 100% fiber optic, and other neighborhoods use a coax/fiber hybrid network.
One advantage of Xfinity’s cable internet service is its high bandwidth when compared to DSL or satellite internet service options. This can be especially useful for customers who need to download large files, such as for work or running a small business from home.
Additionally, Xfinity gives its customers the ability to use Xfinity WiFi when traveling to save on their cellular data usage.
In areas where Xfinity is available, it can be a great choice for customers who are looking for fast and reliable home internet service. Spectrum is another popular option and is widely considered to be the largest competitor to Comcast (Xfinity).
Overall, Xfinity’s internet service is a great option for many people looking for a solid home internet service that doesn’t break the bank.
What is Fidium Internet
Fidium is a 100% fiber to the home (FTTH) internet service offered by Consolidated Communications. It is known for offering solid reliability at affordable prices.
Fidium has a fairly large coverage area in northern New England as well as coverage in select areas of Pennsylvania, California, Texas, and Florida. They are rapidly growing into new service regions.
They also have a fair amount of rural coverage thanks to expansions funded by federal rural broadband initiatives.
Consolidated Communications is most commonly known for its DSL and landline telephone services. They rebranded their fiber services to Fidium to avoid any potential confusion and to hopefully erase any bad feelings customers had toward the Consolidated Communications brand. They are also using expanding their fiber service into more and more rural areas, especially in Northern New England.
Conclusion: Fidium or Comcast: Which is Better
For most people, the better choice between Fidium and Comcast will come down to whichever is able to offer them the better pricing. However, for some people, the decision is a little easier.
Choose Fidium if:
- You are a cord-cutter or cord-never.
- You want the fastest possible upload speeds.
- You want to lowest latency possible for online gaming.
Choose Comcast (Xfinity) if:
- You also want cable TV service with your internet.
- Live in an area without access to fiber internet, such as Fidium.
- You want to switch to Xfinity Mobile to save money on your cell phone bill.
Most people would be well served by either ISP. Neither did significantly better in my testing, and both have a fair number of pros and cons. Most people should also consider some of the alternatives outlined in this article in addition to Fidium and Comcast (Xfinity).