How Does Verizon FIOS Compare to Basic Cable?


Quick Answer

Verizon's FiOS TV Local package is most comparable to basic cable packages and provides approximately the same number of channels. As of 2015, FiOS TV Local provides 20 or more channels, according to Verizon's website. The actual number of channels is dependent on the specific market in question.

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Full Answer

Basic cable is defined by United States law as a cable package retransmitting local broadcast signals, as reported by Cornell University Law School. While specific cable providers sometimes offer additional channels as part of their basic cable package, the channel lineup provided by FiOS Local TV is also primarily local broadcast TV stations and national networks. Therefore, channel lineups are likely to be similar in most markets between the two services.

One advantage of FiOS Local TV services is the availability of Verizon FiOS TV Online. This service enables users to log in to Verizon's online TV services and watch programming on computers and other devices. Similar services are sometimes unavailable with basic cable packages.

Cable providers sometimes offer multiple tiers of what they term basic cable, such as the Limited Basic and Expanded Basic tiers offered by Comcast. In this case, FiOS Local TV is most comparable to the more limited package, as Expanded Basic cable includes many additional non-local cable networks.

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