One of the common questions to ponder these days is which of the two are better - Comcast or Verizon FIOS. I usually answer that technology-wise, Verizon FIOS is superior because technology advances allow fiber optic cables to carry more data at a faster and more efficient rate than copper cable ever will. But a more relevant reason to switch to Verizon FIOS is because they offer a plan that gives you the same upload speed as your download speed. Why does this matter and what is the difference between upload and download speeds?
When you're receiving email or watching a video over YouTube, you're downloading. When you're sending email or sending a video clip over to YouTube, you're uploading. A few years ago, most of us didn't care about upload speeds because the largest files we were sending were pictures and those were not even larger than a megabyte then. But today with larger megapixel cameras and video sharing sites like YouTube, we're starting to care about upload speeds.
Just to give you an idea how upload speeds matter, consider your Comcast service with 20 Mbps download speed but your upload speed is only 1.5 Mbps. So that 1 minute video clip (about 100 MB in size) you just took of your daughter sledding is going to take almost 10 minutes to send/upload to YouTube while on FIOS (if you have their 15 Mbps upload plan) it would only take about 55 seconds.
Note that this only mattes if you are doing some amount of uploads such as sending videos over to YouTube or sending your photos to web sharing sites like Flickr or the Kodak Gallery. If you're not doing any of these, chances are you'll be OK with Comcast and the standard FIOS packages that give you about the same upload speeds as Comcast. Last time I checked, the FIOS 15/15 internet access package costs about $65 compared to about $43 for their 5/2 (5 Mbps download, 2 Mbps upload) plan.