Ziply Fiber vs Spectrum Internet Service

Ziply Fiber is a new competitor to Spectrum cable, offering low-cost fiber service on top of the old Frontier network in the US Northwest.

View Ziply Plans → View Spectrum Plans →

Brand Service type Speed range Price range Contact
Ziply Fiber Fiber 25–1,000 Mbps $20–80/mo. (866) 699-4759
Spectrum Cable 100–940 Mbps $49.99–129.99/mo. (833) 993-3722

Fees and fine print Compare plans

Spectrum is a cable company, meaning that while they have comparable download speeds to Ziply, the upload speeds are constricted to 35 Mbps or less.

This doesn’t matter if you primarily use the internet for streaming Netflix and Facebook scrolling. However, it matters a lot if you do any upload-based activities like video chat, streaming on Twitch, moving large files from a home office, etc.

Overall, we recomend Ziply fiber if it’s available since it has a more reliable fiber-based network for a comparable price to Spectrum.

However, Spectrum is worth considering if you’re looking for the absolute lowest price, or if you want one of their sports TV bundles (currently among the cheapest on the market for local channels and regional sports + basic cable).

Ziply Fiber vs Spectrum Basic Stats

FeatureZiply FiberCharter Spectrum
Starting price$20/mo. sign-up price$49.99/mo. sign-up price
Download speed range25–1,000 Mbps100–940 Mbps
Upload speed range1–1,000 Mbps10–35 Mbps
Network typeFiberCable
Contract termsContract-freeContract-free

One key thing to note when comparing Ziply and Spectrum is that while Spectrum has the same pricing and plan speeds everywhere, Ziply actually operates two different networks: a DSL network (slow but cheap, 25 Mbps) and their more popular and expanding fiber network (very fast speeds, up to 1,000 Mbps down and up).

If you’re choosing between Spectrum cable and Ziply DSL, most people are better off with Spectrum. That said, most of their overlap is in fiber areas — so this is unlikely to apply to you.

View Ziply Plans → View Spectrum Plans →

Ziply Fiber vs Spectrum Data Usage Policies

Spectrum got a lot of bad press in 2020 into 2021 for applying to the FCC for permission to add data caps (AKA usage allowances) to their home internet plans. 1

Probably thanks to all that bad press, they recently dropped the plan. So, Spectrum should be one of the few unlimited data providers in the US, at least for a few more years.

Ziply is also data cap free — so, both providers are good choices for “cord cutter” households that prefer to subscribe to Netflix rather than a traditional cable bundle.

Ziply Fiber Data Caps

Ziply Fiber offers internet plans with unlimited data

Charter Spectrum Data Caps

Spectrum offers internet plans with unlimited data

Ziply Fiber vs Spectrum Pricing and Fees

ISPs love to charge fees, and with both Ziply and Spectrum, it can add a lot to your bill on top of the sticker price. Here’s a high-level breakdown of how they compare on fees and surcharges:

FeeZiply FiberSpectrum
WiFi equipment fee~$10/mo.~$5/mo.
Price increasesBill increases after promo periodBill increases after promo period
Early Termination FeeFree cancellationFree cancellation

The easiest fee to get rid of, which both providers, is the router or “WiFi” fee. Buying your own router will save you $10/month and pay for itself in as little as six months — so it’s a good call if you are going to be subscribed for a year or more, and kind of a no-brainer if you’re a homeowner.

For renters, leasing can actually be smarter though, since when you move the new provider might not be compatible with the equipment you own.

Logos of Ziply and Xfinity.
Ziply wins when it comes to speed, but Spectrum competes hard on bundle options in the sports arena.

Ziply Fiber vs Spectrum Internet-Only Plan Comparison

The most common Spectrum plan is their entry-level internet-only plan. It’s usually 200 Mbps, although in some areas it’s 100 Mbps download. In either case, it’s very comparable to Ziply’s 100 Mbps plan, which has lower download speed but much higher uploads:

Most Common Plan Internet speed Sign-up price Final price Avg price over 2 yrs
Fiber Internet 100/100 (Ziply Fiber) 100 Mbps $40/mo. $60/mo. $50/mo.
Spectrum Internet (Spectrum) 200 Mbps $49.99/mo. $69.99/mo. $60/mo.

Let’s walk through the scenarios with the “promo prices”, since the advertised price of both plans is actually lower than the actual price you pay as a long-time subscriber:

The Ziply Fiber Fiber Internet 100/100 internet-only price is $40/month when you sign up. However, the price increases after Contract-Free by 50% to the actual price, which is $60. That averages out to $50/month over your first two years as a customer.

Remember that Fiber Internet 100/100 includes the following fees when you compare pricing:

  • $10/month fee for WiFi equipment

Let’s compare that to Spectrum:

The price of the Spectrum Spectrum Internet internet plan is $49.99/month for the first Contract-Free. However, the price jumps up 40% to $69.99 after that initial period.

So, the price of Spectrum internet service jumps up to $60/month, in terms of the average price you’ll pay over the first two years of service.

Spectrum Internet comes with some fees as well:

  • $5/month fee for WiFi equipment

Ziply Fiber FTTH Internet Plans

Describe their fiber Fios network, Frontier // verizon history.

Plan NameDownload SpeedPromo PriceFinal Price
Fiber Internet 30/3030 Mbps$20/mo$40
Fiber Internet 100/100100 Mbps$40/mo$60
Fiber Internet Gig1000 Mbps$60/mo$80

Ziply Fiber DSL Internet Plans

Plan NameDownload SpeedPromo PriceFinal Price
Ziply DSL25 Mbps$35/mo$40

Spectrum Internet Plans

Plan NameDownload SpeedPromo PriceFinal Price
Spectrum Internet200 Mbps$49.99/mo$69.99
Spectrum Internet Ultra400 Mbps$69.99/mo$94.99
Spectrum Internet GIG940 Mbps$109.99/mo$129.99

Ziply Fiber vs Spectrum Net Neutrality Policies

Ziply Fiber Net Neutrality Stance

Ziply Fiber does not maintain a public stance on Net Neutrality at this time. However, given that the company is run by previous AT&T executives, our expectation is that they hold similar views of Net Neutrality as a regulatory burden.

No public Net Neutrality Statement
Charter Spectrum Net Neutrality Stance

Charter Communications has public statements supporting open networks, but in practice has been applying to remove network management requirements imposed by the FCC during their merger with Time Warner Cable.

Spectrum Net Neutrality statement
Page Summary
  • Ziply Fiber is faster than Spectrum in most areas, thanks to their fiber-optic network.
  • Spectrum is usually cheaper for customers who want to bundle in premium sports TV.
  • Upload speeds are much higher with Ziply Fiber, since Spectrum is limited to 35 Mbps maximum upload in most of their service area.

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Last Update: October 31, 2021
Published: January 10, 2021
CC BY-ND 4.0

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