There are literally many Internet service providers in the market, and choosing among them takes time and requires some knowledge. That said, there are a lot of things to consider when choosing an ISP that will match your Internet needs at home and in business. When choosing an Internet Service provider, you need to factor in reliability, speed, and, most importantly, pricing. There are surprisingly many common mistakes that people make when choosing ISPs. To help you avoid them and make decisions that you will not regret later, we have to compare two giants in the Internet Industry Mediacom and AT&T.
Mediacom Communications Corporation is a large cable Television, Internet provider, and wireless service provider company. The company is currently ranked as the 5th largest cable Television in the country based on subscribers and coverage. The company was founded in 1995 and is owned by ACF and New York Cosmos.
Mediacom is currently focused on delivering the best Internet services via fiber-based networks and coaxial cable. The company also offers digital phone services, Digital TV, and home security services. Mediacom’s cable network is closely compared to other Internet options, including Fiber and DSL.
Mediacom has been privately owned, but in 2011, the company was publically traded. They operate through two subsidiaries: Mediacom Broadband LLC and Mediacom LLC, with the headquarters in Blooming Grove, New York.
AT&T is a giant communication company in the US, offering both DSL and Fiber Networks. The company currently has strong coverage in California, Florida, Texas, and 19 other states. In addition to Fiber and DSL internet, AT&T also offers Digital landline Phone services, Satellite TV, and Digital TV via DirecTV. AT&T Internet and AT&T wireless come from the same company, and they can be combined for customers that want to do so.
AT&T has one significant advantage over its competitors, which is its direct ownership of the DirecTV. This means that the company offers Bundle deals to customers that want to combine TV, Internet, and digital phone services.
Mediacom Pros and cons
- High-speed Internet
- No contracts
- Extra fees
- Small data caps
- AT&T pros and cons
- Well priced plans
- Option for Bundle packages
- DSL plan has low actual download speeds
- There are data caps
Internet availability and coverage
Besides the fact that Comcast is regarded as the Kleenex of the Internet service that many users think about when shopping, AT&T and Mediacom are doing quite well lately. AT&T beats many of the other companies in terms of network size and revenue. The AT&T Company originated from Baby Bells after a court ruling that required AT&T to split. Today, AT&T offers services across 22 states, but its most extensive coverage is in Texas, California, and Florida. The company’s DSL internet is available to more than 122.8 million residents and businesses. This makes AT&T the second-largest residential DSL provider in the country.
AT&T also offers fiber and fixed wireless Internet service. The fiber service from AT&T is available to about 36.0 million residents. This shows that AT&T is the largest provider of fiber broadband in the country. The fixed wireless broadband is available to 6.0 million people in the country, making it the 4th largest provider of fixed wireless broadband in the US market.
Just like AT&T, Mediacom offers internet across 22 states, but the largest coverage is in Lowa, Georgia, and Illinois. The company provides cable internet to about 7.5 million people, making it the 5th largest residential cable internet provider.
With such statistics, AT&T beats Mediacom in terms of coverage.
Availability for Low-Income Customers
Low-income customers still need access to reliable and high-speed Internet connections. For that reason, Mediacom and AT&T have been providing internet to low-income customers. However, Mediacom beats AT&T in terms of low-cost plans. Low-income customers can participate in the Connect2Compete Program through the Nonprofit group EveryoneOn. The program offers cost assistance for wired home internet access to the company’s footprint residents with school-aged children in K-12 range.
Internet plans and pricing
These two companies have a lot of the same perks and drawbacks. Upon checking their Internet plans and pricing, it’s easy to notice that the two have budget plans and top tier plans for people who want ultra-speed internet. You will realize that the differences and similarities between AT&T and Mediacom prices and plans are subtle but significant. Let’s now delve deeper to help you along.
AT&T Internet packages and pricing
AT&T has some affordable packages with different features and download speeds. But to get the best features from AT&T, you will have to Bundle Internet with TV and Phone plans. It will obviously work well, but if you don’t want to Bundle AT&T services, you can choose any of the below Internet only plans. Prices for TV and the Internet tend to skyrocket after the first 12 months. Unlike the internet only plans, AT&T has a two-year contract.
|AT&T internet Plan||Price/month||Speed*||Internet type|
|AT&T Internet||$49.99/mo.**||Up to 100 Mbps||DSL|
|AT&T Internet 1000||$49.99/mo.‡||940–1,000 Mbps||Fiber|
|AT&T Internet (bundled)||$39.99/mo.**||Up to 100 Mbps||DSL|
|AT&T Internet 1000 (bundled)||$39.99/mo.‡||940–1,000 Mbps||Fiber|
Mediacom Internet Plans and Prices
Comparing Mediacom Plans and prices with AT&T plans and prices, it’s clear that Mediacom beats AT&T in terms of rock-bottom prices on the basic Internet plans. Mediacom’s biggest attraction is the vast data allowances on the more expensive plans and modest prices for the basic plans. With Mediacom, you also have relatively more plans to choose from by features than the case with AT&T internet.
Just like AT&T and many other ISPs, the prices for internet-only packages are introductory prices that will go up after the first year. Some of the plans continue to rise in price even after that. The top tier Internet plan of 1Gig is a bit pricy and can almost double in price after the first year.
Besides the unstable prices, Mediacom will not lock you up in annual contracts. Consequently, you can opt in and out any time you want. The Mediacom’s cable network is more reliable than the DSL, which poses as a huge advantage.
Mediacom imposes a data cap, which I term as a major drawback since there are some ISPs with Unlimited data plans. However, the 6TB data cap is the largest you will get, and unless you are downloading or streaming on Netflix every single day, you will never come close to half of the 6TB data cap. But if that happens, you will be required to pay for extra data for the remaining days of the month.
AT&T has unlimited Bundle plans. But if you only want to sign up for the Internet service, you can buy the Unlimited Internet-only bundle separately. But remember, this will be a substantial price increase from your normal monthly bills.
|Internet plan||Price/month||Download Speed*||Internet type||Data cap|
|Access Internet 60||$19.99/mo.||60 Mbps||Cable||60 GB|
|Internet 60||$39.99/mo.||60 Mbps||Cable||400 GB|
|Internet 100||$49.99/mo.||100 Mbps||Cable||1,000 GB|
|Internet 200||$59.99/mo.||200 Mbps||Cable||2,000 GB|
|Internet 500||$69.99/mo.||500 Mbps||Cable||4,000 GB|
|1Gig||$79.99/mo.||1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps)||Cable||6,000 GB|
|Family TV with Box & Internet 60||$89.99/mo.**||60 Mbps||Cable||400 GB|
|Xtream Silver 60||$79.99/mo.**||60 Mbps||Cable||400 GB|
|Xtream Silver 100||$99.99/mo.**||100 Mbps||Cable||1,000 GB|
|Xtream Silver 200||$109.99/mo.**||200 Mbps||Cable||1,000 GB|
Mediacom and AT&T have 1,000Mbps internet plan, but comparing the price for the two similar plans, the AT&T 1Gbps plan is cheaper and probably more reliable. The only drawback, in this case, is availability. The company’s 1000mbps internet plan delivers gigabit speeds through the fiber-optic network. Fiber is faster and more reliable than other traditional methods, but it’s not easily accessible. Mediacom’s Internet speeds can match the speeds of a fiber network. But the challenge is that they share the network with your neighbors, which means it’s very likely to reduce the speed as more people get online.
With that data, it’s easy to deduce that AT&T reigns visibly in terms of dependable speeds.
Best for Heavy Internet users
Even though AT&T and Mediacom have 1000Mbps plan, one of them beats the other, especially if you want to keep all the devices in the house connected. Mediacom has a high data cap, and it’s more reliable for heavy Internet users.
Best for Single professionals and Small families
Mediacom Internet 100 goes well for single professionals such as Freelancers and families with less than four people using the internet. It’s cheap and very reliable. You can choose to pay another 10$ for upload speeds that are twice as fast. The data cap can as well be doubled. For heavy Internet users and home-based businesses, AT&T Internet 1000 is cheap and highly reliable. This AT&T internet plan offers up to 1000Mbps speeds, which is an added advantage for developers and other professionals.
We all know the two companies have Internet speeds of up to 1Gbps. But remember, the Internet speed is like age, it’s just a number, and there are chances you will not get the advertised speeds. With the two companies, Internet 100 will provide enough download and upload speeds to keep your Destiny 2 Game from lagging. However, cable networks can suffer slowdowns during primetime hours. Given that Mediacom provides the Internet through Cable Internet, you can expect its Internet speeds to go below the advertised marks.
The internet has changed from being a fun novelty to an essential utility in our homes. So, dealing with low data caps is the last thing most of us want to think about. Unfortunately, Mediacom has low data caps for the first three Internet plans. Data caps of as low as 400GB is a nightmare for serious Internet users. If you happen to exceed your data cap with the company, you will be charged $10 for every 50GB increment.
AT&T Internet plans also have a data cap of 1TB. AT&T data caps are lower than Mediacom data caps. Fortunately, you can choose unlimited data too. Bundling the Internet with TV and Phone can also save you from the data caps.
Fees, contracts and equipment
Most Internet providers impose a yearly or a two-year contract on most of the plans. AT&T, for example, imposes a 1-year contract in all their internet-only plans and a two-year contract in most of their Bundle packages. Mediacom’s contracts, on the other hand, are month to month. This is clear that the user can cancel any time the prices go up or the internet becomes unreliable. You are only supposed to notify Mediacom Company 7 days before cancelling the service.
Mediacom has a $99 installation fee, but you will probably skip paying this one-time fee if you sign online. You will equally pay another $10 activation fee. There are no early contract termination fees. On the other hand, AT&T will charge you $35 activation fees and $99 for pro installation. AT&T also has an early termination fee of $15 on the contract, and it can go up to a total of $180.
Equipment and fees
Now you have a cable line, computer, and an internet plan from either AT&T or Mediacom. The other thing you need is Internet equipment. You can equally rent equipment from any of these two companies. From Mediacom, you’ll need an additional $11.50 a month for rental equipment.
AT&T will also offer you a wifi gateway modem-and a router. This means you may not need your own router to set the wifi network. The equipment rental fee per month for AT&T equipment is $10. This is one of the cheapest rental fees we’ve seen lately.
If you want to avoid such costs, you can buy your own equipment. All you need is to make sure that the equipment is compatible with the ISP of choice. There are some recommendations for the best Modems and routers for AT&T and Mediacom.
Internet Up to 100Mbps is the best pick from AT&T for casual internet users. The speeds are good, and the price is reasonable. So, if you are an average Internet user, you can choose the top-end 100Mbps. I picked this plan because the speed and cost are in line with top competitors. The maximum speed of up to 100Mbps is enough for Home Security Systems, games, and streaming. But I recommend faster speeds if you have many cameras at home or an avid gamer.
Mediacom Internet 100 is also a good option for professionals and small families. It’s one of the lowest speed tiers that match well for normal internet streamers and gamers. 100Mbps is enough for streaming a series or playing online games seamlessly.
Best for Multi-Family and Home Businesses
Mediacom Internet 1Gig is the best match for Home Businesses, Multi-Family homes, and normal businesses. So, if you have many people connected to the internet and using it simultaneously, it’s essential to choose 1Gig.
AT&T Internet 1000 is suitable for homes full of gamers and regular streamers. This way, people will not be competing for bandwidth. So, ask yourself the following questions: Does every user in the family stream Netflix and play online games simultaneously? Do you need to keep all the devices in your home connected to the internet? If yes, then choose the Internet 1000. The reason why I choose this is that it’s enough for all types of Internet uses. You probably don’t need 940Mbps, but at least everyone in your family needs to be connected seamlessly.
We’re not really angry at the ISPs; we are just disappointed. Mediacom and AT&T have one of the worst customer services. Most Telecommunication companies are known for having the worst reputation in this case. That’s the way it is, and Mediacom and AT&T don’t buck the trend. For example, Mediacom is at the very bottom of the class when it comes to customer satisfaction. The company has a score of 55/100 in the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s 2018 report.
Compared to Mediacom and many other ISPs, AT&T customer service ranks well, but that doesn’t mean it is good overall. Customer service is a pain point for many Telecommunication companies, and AT&T is not exceptional. It has a score of 69/100 in ACSI. This makes it the top-scoring internet provider in terms of Customer service but can actually do better.
What are others saying?
Thomas Larsen, senior Vice President of Government and Public relations, believed that Mediacom was at a disadvantage when it’s compared directly with other Competitors. According to Forune Report, Mediacom has a small customer size, which means that ACSI surveys will have a small sample size. Over the years, Mediacom also focused on improving the customer service experience. Some of these included the improvement in Mobile experience and adopting flexible scheduling for service installations.
Some time back, Mediacom’s customers in Missouri had to cope with service outage for several hours. As reported by Missourian, Mediacom experienced a site-wide outage that lasted for long. This affected the internet and phone service in close to 70,000 businesses and 90,000 households. An accidental cable malfunction caused this Outage.
According to customers, Mediacom Customer service is gradually changing for the better. One customer left a five star review on Consumeraffairs.com, claiming that he had a good experience with the young man that came to help reconnect his internet. The support team member was friendly, professional, and knowledgeable.
Another customer left a two star review on Broadbandnow.com claiming that Mediacom needs to work on their customer support. He adds that Mediacom speed is excellent and very fast in downloading and streaming movies. However, Mediacom Customer support is lackluster and unhelpful. The customer claims that he’s tired of getting home to play games only to find the internet isn’t working. Apparently, the customer support is slow to respond.
Moving on Quickly to AT&T customer responses, there are many positive reviews, especially when it comes to Internet service and customer service. The only common issue with AT&T internet is billing and service coverage. One user left a one star on bbb.org claiming that his account has been overcharged, undercharged, and then overcharged again. The company also has common billing cycle delays, and no one will be there to help you with the issue.
Another user on the same platform claimed that she’s no longer a valued AT&T customer. She claims that upon calling the customer service to present the issues, she was put on hold for hours on end. There have been a couple of problems with the service, and the customer didn’t get an instant solution.
Is Mediacom any good?
Mediacom’s cable internet is great. As a matter of fact, cable internet is faster than DSL. What this means is that Mediacom’s cable internet is good in terms of service and reliability. The plans can exceed download speeds of 60-1000Mbps.
Is AT&T fiber Optic better than cable?
Fiber Optic sends data signals through the basic cables. It is actually delivered through the dedicated lines facilitating more consistent speeds than cable Internet. It is also less likely to go down at any time of the day or when there is increased internet traffic.
Why is my Mediacom wifi so slow?
Your Internet wifi can be slow due to a couple of reasons. It might appear slow because of issues with the Modem and router or even the wifi signals. The devices connected can as well slow the Internet speeds with time.
The battle between Mediacom and AT&T internet is stiffly contested. The fact is Mediacom and AT&T has some of the best and the most reliable Internet plans priced reasonably for both budget and serious internet users. However, AT&T beats Mediacom in terms of coverage and customer service. But when it comes to budget Internet plans, I would recommend Mediacom.