via CBS MoneyWatch
By Larry Light
June 20, 2017

As consumers quit traditional cable-TV companies in droves, Consumer Reports has just ranked providers with the best TV viewing options — and none is a traditional player.

Consumer Reports, a publication of Consumers Union, which tests product and services, also ranked bundled services that combine TV, internet and phone, as well as internet providers. Here again, the major cable companies didn’t head the list. Legacy cable operations, such as Comcast (CMCSA) and Charter Communications (CHTR), which just bought Time Warner Cable, generally are the chief providers of internet access.

In addition, polls by the publication showed high public dissatisfaction with internet providers’ unauthorized use of their browsing data and efforts to limit customers’ access to content.

Dismay over the cable giants’ practices, as well as their prices, have spurred an exodus of customers. Almost 800,000 Americans dropped their traditional cable package in the year’s first three months, according to research firm Moffett-Nathanson.

In Consumers Reports’ survey of companies offering the best viewing options — in terms of value, reliability and channel selection — the champ is EPB Fiber, a service offered by a Tennessee electrical utility owned by the city of Chattanooga.

No. 2 is Google Fiber, a division of colossus and Google parent Alphabet (GOOG). Verizon Fiber, a part of telecom behemoth Verizon Communications (VZ), that delivers access over its fiber-optic network known as Fios, is seventh, and Charter is 13th.

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