Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable) and AT&T are a couple of the best internet providers that operate all over the United States.
If you're moving to a ZIP code that hosts both providers, you are probably considering adopting either Spectrum's internet service or AT&T's U-Verse. But what would prove to be a better value for your dollar? After all, the competition between the two is fierce, and you may be struggling with choosing the right provider for you.
Well, we've gone ahead and compared and contrasted the two services to help you make an informed decision about which internet service provider is right for you. Inside this guide, you'll find the overviews of both AT&T U-Verse and Spectrum, including the coverage map, customer satisfaction, and more. Hopefully, by the end of this comparison, you'll be able to decide who the winner is in the battle of AT&T U-Verse vs Spectrum.
In This Guide
Spectrum vs AT&T U-Verse Comparison
|Data Points||AT&T U-Verse||Time Warner Cable|
|Fastest Speed Available||Up to 1000 Mbps||Up to 100 Mbps|
|ACSI Customer Service Rating (2016)||64/100||66/100|
AT&T U-Verse Overview
AT&T U-Verse's coverage is extensive, blanketing 21 states. That being said, some areas may be far more limited than others when it comes to the company's internet offerings. For instance, if you live in one area of Illinois, you may only be able to access up to 24Mbps download speeds, but if you live in, say, an area of Indiana, you may have full access to the fiber optic network, which offers download speeds of up to 1000 Mbps.
AT&T, unfortunately, has implemented data caps to its U-Verse service. However, it's only been recent that the data cap has been increased to the following:
- 150 GB a month for DSL customers
- 1TB a month for speeds up to and including 768 Kbps through 300Mbps
1 TB of data is a lot to eat up, and not many people are able to reach the cap. However, if you're one of the few that often surpasses the cap, then you may want to take advantage of AT&T's Unlimited Internet Data Usage option, which can be accessed if you've adopted the 1000 Mbps download tier, have a combined bill for television and internet services, or are willing to spend a separate $30 per month for the service.
In regards to bundles, you there are several that you can choose from, but you can bundle the satellite TV service provider DIRECTV (which includes NFL Sunday Ticket, and NFL Sunday Ticket happens to be incredibly popular) and U-Verse internet together, or you can order the Triple Play package and receive DIRECTV TV service, complete with HD channels, AT&T Phone, and AT&T Internet.
Note that with AT&T phone (which used to be known as AT&T U-Verse Voice, but AT&T wanted to simplify the brand and move from AT&T U-Verse Voice to just AT&T Phone), you'll receive unlimited calling nationwide. Furthermore, with these packages, you'll receive up to 50Mbps download speeds, and the Wi-Fi Gateway router, as well as the monthly fees for the HD DVR plus three receivers, are included.
Of course, if you don't desire DIRECTV, you can opt for an AT&T U-Verse Bundle instead. There are two types of AT&T U-Verse bundles: AT&T U-Verse TV (cable TV, in other words) and internet, or AT&T U-Verse TV, internet, and digital home phone service. With either of these bundles, you'll be taking advantage of the family version of the U-Verse channel packages.
Overall, the prices are pretty good, especially if you consider the higher internet speed tiers, and the customer service is regarded as average by industry standards.
Related: Buyer's guide to Internet providers
Is AT&T U-Verse Right For You?
You should consider AT&T's U-Verse service if you:
- Are a typical internet user
- Enjoy a vast array of options with your TV service
- Want quite a few HD channels in your channel packages
- Need hotspots on the go
AT&T's U-Verse coverage expands across 21 states. While the coverage is vast, it isn't as large as Time Warner Cable's coverage, which blankets over 29 states.
The now Charter Communications-owned Time Warner Cable, which offers services mainly on the east coast, a good portion of the Midwest, and in some western states like California, relies mainly on copper coaxial cable rather than fiber optic, whereas AT&T U-Verse offers both fiber and cable internet.
In regards to Time Warner's base internet packages, it offers high-speed internet at a minimum of 15 Mbps download speed and 1 Mbps upload speed. The maximum speed Time Warner Cable offers is 50 Mbps download speed and 5 Mbps upload speed. Again, these are just the base internet packages. Time Warner Cable also provides Spectrum internet, which offers alleged download speeds of up to either 60 Mbps or 100 Mbps. The price, if bundled with TV and home phone service, is set at $29.99.
Time Warner Cable isn't the most reliable provider, especially in rural areas. You may encounter high latency issues and disconnections when utilizing Time Warner Cable's internet. Yet, while the service can be a little shaky, the customer service is above average, sitting at 66/100 as the ACSI score. At times, the representatives will go above and beyond the call of duty, credit your account when the situation calls for it.
Is Spectrum Right For You?
You should purchase a Time Warner Cable package if you:
- Enjoy solid double and triple-play packages
- Aren't too concerned with having blazing fast speeds
- Shudder at the thought of limited bandwidth
Spectrum's coverage expands across 29 states, making it a highly available service.
Plans & Prices
AT&T U-Verse Internet
When it comes to pricing, do you receive more for your value with AT&T's U-Verse in comparison to Time Warner Cable?
AT&T U-Verse internet offers a wide variety of plans. Depending on your ZIP code, you may be lucky enough to secure the fiber selections, which are decently priced. 1000 Mbps for $80? It's a tempting offer for many, especially streamers and gamers. However, for $40 less, you can always opt for the 12 Mbps download option, but again, 1000 Mbps is tempting. Even the 300 Mbps fiber download tier, which is conveniently the same price as the 75 Mbps cable tier ($70), is tantalizing.
So are AT&T U-Verse's services a greater value than Time Warner Cable's services? Absolutely.
Spectrum internet, which is faster than Time Warner internet offerings, is available for $29.99 a month for a full year if you bundle the service, though you can pay $39.99 per month (again, for a full year) if you do not want it bundled. You can receive up to 60Mbps with Spectrum Internet.
However and generally speaking, Time Warner Cable's prices are a little on the steep side for what you're receiving, especially in comparison to AT&T U-Verse. While that is true, U-Verse's slowest tier, which is 12 Mbps, is just as expensive as Time Warner Internet's slowest tier, which is 15 Mbps, so you're receiving more Mbps per dollar with Time Warner Cable. Yet, you'd be gaining more value with U-Verse if you select the 45 Mbps tier, which is $60, compared to Time Warner Cable, which charges $60 for 30 Mbps download speeds.
Furthermore, if AT&T Fiber is available in your area, you're receiving far more for every dollar if you decide to purchase one of the higher tiers. In that case, you're better off being an AT&T customer rather than a Time Warner Cable Customer.
From the data charts illustrated at the beginning of the comparison, we can make the assumption that the customer service ratings between the two are highly similar - AT&T U-Verse sits at 64/100, whereas Time Warner Cable has scored a 66/100. Unfortunately, when it comes to actual speed versus advertised speed numbers, you'll be receiving slightly slower speeds for what you pay for with Time Warner Cable in comparison to AT&T U-Verse, which gets you faster actual speeds compared to advertised speeds.
But it's clear, even with Spectrum's speeds of up to 100 Mbps downloads, that AT&T U-Verse provides faster selections. So again, you may be a more satisfied with AT&T's selection, steering you away from becoming a Time Warner Cable customer.
Which Is Better?
When it comes to customer service ratings and lower-tiered speed packages, Time Warner Cable and AT&T U-Verse are close, but what makes AT&T U-Verse stand out is its affordable fiber offerings. In the battle of AT&T U-Verse vs Time Warner Cable, I have to declare AT&T U-Verse to be the victor here, even with its average customer service score.
An easy way to save on your monthly Internet service bill is to bundle. By bundling TV and even home phone service alongside an Internet plan, you can expect serious savings every month. You can check out the Time Warner Bundles here and the AT&T U-Verse Bundles here.
Comcast is one of AT&T's fiercest competitors. To see how it stacks up, check out our comparative guide on AT&T vs Comcast.