A Comparison of Verizon, AT&T & Comcast Internet in Sarasota, Florida

by Andrew Breslin

Sarasota, Fla., is a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts. Sailors and surfers abound in the waters surrounding this coastal community. When the weather isn't cooperative, Sarasotans can continue surfing on the web. They have several options from which to choose for Internet access in Sarasota.

Verizon

Verizon offers Internet service throughout Sarasota through a digital subscriber line (DSL), sending and receiving data through the same line as a telephone land line. Internet customers can sign up for Internet service whether or not they use Verizon for phone service. Customers can choose the Starter plan, which provides up to 768 Kbps download speed and 128 Kbps for $19.99/month as of June 2011. They can opt for the Power plan, which provides up to 3 Mbps download speed and 768 Kbps upload speed for $29.99/month. Either of these plans provides for one free month of service, if the customer is not also a Verizon telephone service customer, and six months free Internet with Verizon phone service.

AT&T;

Customers who choose AT&T; for Internet service in Sarasota can choose from among several plans, including the high end plan with download speeds of up to 6.0 Mbps for $19.95/month, for the first 12 months. For $14.95, they can get either 1.5 or 3.0 Mbps, depending on availability in their specific area. These offers are extended periodically for a limited time, and in this case are available until July 16, 2011. The standard price for these plans in 2011 is $24.95 and $19.95, respectively. After 12 months customers will pay the standard rates for these plans, which is typically $20 higher. Customers have to commit to a minimum of one year, and early termination penalties apply.

Comcast

Comcast offers stand-alone Internet service as well as cable and telephone bundled plans. As of June 2011, its Powerboost cable Internet service offers speeds up to 12 Mbps for $19.99/month for six months for existing Comcast customers using Comcast for digital TV. The price is $29.99 for stand-alone service. Customers who wish to combine phone, cable and Internet service can opt for the Comcast Triple Play deal for $99 for an entire year.

Comparison

Sarasota customers have several options to consider when deciding which company to use for Internet service. If they already use one of these three companies for other services, there are incentives to bundle services. It is almost always more cost effective to get phone, Internet and cable service from the same provider than from three different providers. Comcast offers the highest speed Internet service, while Verizon offers the lowest priced plan. There are 18 zip codes in Sarasota and not all plans and connection speeds are available throughout the city of Sarasota.

About the Author

Andrew Breslin has been writing professionally since 1994. His articles and op-ed pieces have appeared in the "South Florida Sun Sentinel," "St Paul Pioneer Press," "Detroit Free Press," "Charlotte Observer," “Good Medicine,” and others. He studied molecular biology at Westchester University and frequently writes about science and mathematics.