AT&T Fiber and Comcast Xfinity are two of the leading home internet providers available to U.S. consumers today. With multi-gigabit download speeds available, these fiber internet services deliver the fastest speeds available.
But how exactly do AT&T Fiber and Comcast Xfinity compare when it comes to availability, speeds, data caps, pricing, and overall value? This comprehensive guide will examine the key differences to help you determine which provider is the best fit for your household.
Let‘s start with a high-level overview of AT&T Fiber and Comcast Xfinity:
|Provider||AT&T Fiber||Comcast Xfinity|
|Type of Service||100% Fiber||Hybrid Fiber-Coax|
|Max Download Speeds||5Gbps||6Gbps|
|Max Upload Speeds||5Gbps||35Mbps|
|Contracts?||No||On Some Plans|
|Data Caps?||No||Yes, 1.2TB/month|
|Availability||21 States||40 States|
|Price Range||$55 – $180/month||$20 – $300/month|
As you can see from the overview, both AT&T and Comcast offer blazing fast download speeds. But AT&T Fiber‘s symmetrical upload and download along with no data caps or contracts give it some advantages. Now let‘s dive deeper into how they compare across key categories:
Speeds and Reliability
Gigabit internet speeds were almost unheard of just a few years ago. Now, AT&T Fiber and Comcast Xfinity are pushing speeds up to 5Gbps and even 6Gbps in some areas. These warp speed connections completely change what‘s possible in your home.
AT&T Fiber‘s speed tiers look like:
- 300Mbps download / 300Mbps upload
- 500Mbps / 500Mbps
- 1Gbps / 1Gbps
- 2Gbps / 2Gbps
- 5Gbps / 5Gbps
All of AT&T‘s fiber plans feature symmetrical speeds up to 5Gbps down and up. This symmetry is crucial if you need fast upload performance for video calls, conferencing, gaming, and cloud backups.
According to November 2022 data from Ookla Speedtest Intelligence, AT&T Fiber customers typically get 90-100% of their advertised speeds consistently throughout the day and night. This demonstrates the incredible reliability of AT&T‘s 100% fiber network.
Comcast Xfinity‘s speeds skew higher for downloads but lower for uploads:
- 200Mbps download / 10Mbps upload
- 400Mbps / 10Mbps
- 800Mbps / 20Mbps
- 1.2Gbps / 35Mbps
- 6Gbps / 6Gbps (fiber only)
The download vs upload asymmetry makes Xfinity better for downloading and streaming. But upload performance lags AT&T. Ookla data shows Xfinity users get 70-90% of advertised speeds, pointing to somewhat more variability.
The bottom line is AT&T Fiber and Comcast Xfinity both deliver incredible gigabit+ speeds. But AT&T‘s symmetrical fiber speeds and extreme consistency give it the performance edge.
Availability and Coverage Area
Availability can make or break your decision between AT&T and Comcast. Let‘s examine the footprints:
AT&T Fiber availability includes:
- Southeast region
- Midwest region
- 19 other states
Comcast Xfinity availability includes:
- Northeast corridor
- Florida, Georgia
- Midwest region
- Pacific Northwest
- Southwest region
- 30+ other states
As you can see, Comcast Xfinity has the much larger service footprint with availability in 40 states compared to AT&T Fiber‘s 21 states.
So if you live outside AT&T Fiber‘s current zones, Comcast Xfinity is likely your only option for multi-gigabit speeds. But AT&T is actively expanding into new regions, so also check for updates.
Data Caps and Overages
Another major consideration is whether each provider enforces data caps and overage fees. This can significantly raise your bill if you‘re a heavy internet user.
AT&T Fiber does not enforce any data caps or overages. So you can use as much data as you want without penalties. This makes AT&T a great fit for high bandwidth households.
Comcast Xfinity enforces a 1.2TB monthly data threshold in most regions. If you exceed 1.2TB, you‘ll pay $10 for each additional 50GB block – up to a maximum of $100 in overage fees per month.
For perspective, it takes around 60-100 hours of 4K video streaming to hit 1.2TB. So medium to high bandwidth users should budget for overages with Comcast. Unlimited data with AT&T provides more peace of mind.
You also want to know whether you‘ll be locked into a long-term contract.
AT&T Fiber does not require contracts or commitments for any of its fiber internet plans. You can cancel or switch providers anytime without facing early termination fees.
Comcast Xfinity does require 1 or 2 year contracts depending on your plan:
- Performance Pro plan requires 1 year contract
- Gigabit Pro plan requires 2 year contract
- Other Xfinity plans are currently contract-free
If you may move or want flexibility to change providers within a year, AT&T‘s contract-free approach is preferable. But Comcast fortunately offers some no-contract options too.
Bundling your internet with other services can potentially unlock savings of $30 per month or more.
AT&T Fiber can be bundled with:
- AT&T Wireless phone plans
- DIRECTV satellite TV
- AT&T TV streaming
- Smart home automation
Typical AT&T bundles can save you $10-$30 per month, depending on services.
Comcast Xfinity bundles frequently include:
- Xfinity Mobile wireless
- Xfinity Home security
- Xfinity Flex streaming
- Xfinity apps and automation
- Unlimited nationwide calling
Comcast bundles can drive savings of $30-$60+ per month. So both providers offer decent ways to cut costs through bundling.
Gaming and Streaming Performance
For avid gamers, streamers, and cord cutters, performance is vital. Both AT&T and Comcast measure up well.
AT&T Fiber‘s low latency fiber network offers extremely responsive multiplayer gaming. You‘ll experience fast reaction times and minimal lag. The 5Gbps speeds also support smooth 8K streaming and instant 4K video starts.
Comcast Xfinity handles gaming and 4K/8K streaming like a champ too thanks to its gigabit-class download pipes. The 35Mbps upload speeds are sufficient for gameplay latency. Expect sharp, high-quality video with quick buffering as well.
Third-party testing confirms both providers earn top marks for gaming and streaming. The ultra-fast fiber from AT&T gives it a slight advantage, but most users will be very pleased with both.
Customer Satisfaction and Support
Dealing with internet issues is never fun. So how do AT&T and Comcast compare when it comes to customer support?
AT&T Fiber customers give positive ratings for customer service quality and technician responsiveness. According to 2022 American Customer Satisfaction Index data, AT&T Fiber earns a score of 70 out of 100.
Comcast Xfinity lags slightly behind with a customer satisfaction score of 64 out of 100, based on the same ACSI survey data. Comcast has improved support in recent years but still trails AT&T.
When you do need assistance, both AT&T and Comcast offer 24/7 customer service via phone, online chat, social media support, and self-help via apps. AT&T seems to have a slight edge in first-call resolution rates.
AT&T vs Comcast Pricing and Fees
Last but not least, let‘s dive into what you can expect to pay monthly for AT&T Fiber versus Comcast Xfinity high-speed internet.
AT&T Fiber monthly prices currently range from:
- 300Mbps speed tier – $55/month
- 500Mbps speed tier – $65/month
- 1Gbps speed tier – $80/month
- 2Gbps speed tier – $110/month
- 5Gbps speed tier – $180/month
Taxes, equipment fees, and WiFi router are included in those AT&T Fiber prices. There is a one-time $99 installation fee.
Comcast Xfinity prices range from:
- 200Mbps speed tier – $80/month
- 400Mbps speed tier – $92/month
- 800Mbps speed tier – $97/month
- 1.2Gbps speed tier – $102/month
- 6Gbps speed tier – $300/month
Expect an extra $10-$15 per month with Comcast for gateway modem, taxes, and fees. Installation is around $100.
The verdict? AT&T Fiber comes out ahead for transparency and value. Comcast intro pricing can be lower for slower speed tiers. But for gigabit and multi-gig, AT&T Fiber offers superior pricing.
Which Provider Is the Right Choice?
When weighing AT&T Fiber versus Comcast Xfinity, there are solid cases for both providers.
AT&T Fiber is the superior overall choice for fiber internet in 2023 based on its widespread symmetrical multi-gigabit speeds, unlimited data, reliability, and simple contract-free pricing.
Comcast Xfinity competes well on maximum download speeds and offers nearly double the geographic availability today. But AT&T Fiber is expanding quickly.
For most households seeking a future-proof fiber optic connection, AT&T Fiber is the winner. But Comcast Xfinity also delivers a strong fiber internet option. Be sure to check both for availability in your area to see which provides the best fit.
With multi-gig speeds and premium fiber technology, AT&T and Comcast give you access to internet capabilities that simply weren‘t possible even a few years ago. By understanding how these two telecom leaders compare, you can determine which provider and plan will unlock the full potential of your home internet experience.