Google Fiber, Armstrong, RCN lead Consumer Reports list of most popular pay-TV operators

Google Fiber Nashville
Municipal and regional providers beat out major pay-TV operators like Comcast in the eyes of customers. Image: Google

Chattanooga, Tennessee-based municipal broadband provider EPB, regional cable operators Armstrong, Consolidated and RCN, and Google Fiber scored highest in customer satisfaction in a survey of 210,000 pay-TV subscribers conducted by Consumer Reports

For its part, No. 1 cable operator Comcast finished 27th out of 32 companies, getting dinged on customer service, tech support and channel selection. Legacy Charter finished in 24th place, with migrating Time Warner Cable customers rating the company at 28. 

The bottom five also include Cable One (29), Atlantic Broadband (30), Frontier Communications (31) and Mediacom (32).

"Though consumer dissatisfaction with their cable companies has been simmering for quite some time, it’s now starting to boil over in terms of actual cord-cutting from traditional pay TV providers," said Jim Willcox, senior electronics editor at Consumer Reports, in a statement. "The good news is that there are now more alternatives, so it’s possible for consumers to get the shows and movies they want, often at a lower price than a traditional pay TV plan.”

Consumer Reports’ survey also found that 80% of respondents think ISPs should get customer permission before sharing their data. The publication found that 60% think it shouldn’t be shared at all. 

Also notable: 67% of respondents support net neutrality, indicating that telecom companies shouldn’t be able to block rivals.