Questions about Verizon FIOS

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Leesbro63
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Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:36 pm

Questions about Verizon FIOS

Post by Leesbro63 »

After 25 years in the neighborhood with just Comcast, they are wiring up the street with VERIZON FIOS. I have a few questions:

1. I'm curious about how it's wired. Everything is underground and right now they are only putting in big plastic conduits via a subcontractor. It's not clear how the actual cable will run. Will each house be wired to a central box (like the current Verizon copper pairs), or will it be wired like Comcast with each "drop" feeding into a common line?

1a (edited in later) Will the "drops" to our houses...all underground...be via conduit that has to buried, but it's just a one-time deal, or will they bury the FIOS line without conduit and have to dig again when it needs to be replaced?

1b (also edited in) Will they install the "drops" to every house, or only to houses that actually order service? For instance I do have old copper Verizon phone lines but they've been dead for years since Comcast started offering phone thru the cable.

1c For houses with just phone service, will they replace the old copper lines with FIOS or just run the old system in parallel? Certainly that will have to be the case for a while during the changeover.

2. How will TV programming work compared to, say, Comcast?

3. Will my house have to be rewired or will the current cables feed into a FIOS adapter?

4. How's Verizon customer service compared to Comcast (which I find annoying but actually not terrible)?
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prudent
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Re: Questions about Verizon FIOS

Post by prudent »

I'm a FIOS customer.

1. No clue, but it's as fast as I could possibly want and never slows down.
2. Lots of tier options, you can review on their site what channels are in what packages. Plus on-demand with lots of free stuff and pay-per-view (or purchase) new movies. However, if you purchase a movie, you only "own" it while you're a FIOS customer. You can't take it anywhere. Also DVR options.
3. They install a box (the "ONT") and a battery backup either in your house or attached to the outside. From there it's regular cable inside the house for TV. Or you can run Cat5 for networking computers. The battery lasts about a year and a half, you have to buy the replacements. The battery backup keeps the phone working in a power outage for a few hours.
4. Never needed their customer service on the FIOS side but from my experience on the voice side, I suspect it's just as mediocre as Comcast.

There's a FIOS forum on dslreports.com if you have real detailed questions. Lots of knowledgeable folks and some posters there work for (but aren't there to represent) VZ.
EagertoLearnMore
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Re: Questions about Verizon FIOS

Post by EagertoLearnMore »

I can give you a family member's experience with Comcast and FIOS. Person moved from one state to another and arranged with Comcast to move service, which would be available at the new apartment. Everything checked and double-checked with Comcast prior to the move from one apartment in one state to another apartment in another state. Arrive at new apartment and Comcast not working, which is not what they said. Called and told to wait a day for transfer. Nothing. After promises for almost 2 weeks, Comcast decided that the reason internet was not available was because the router (which was owned, not rented) was still listed as "on" in old apartment as Comcast had not turned it off. They tried to turn it off, nothing. Sent up the chain, and no one could fix it. The family member gave up and called Verizon to get FIOS. They said the apartment was wired and would do it, but have to rent or buy router. Ordered router and set up appointment with technician from Verizon. Technician arrived and also had a router with him just in case. Returned original router for credit since already paid by credit card. Technician stated that apartment has FIOS to the street and copper wire from the street to the individual apartment. Overall, FIOS wins by a long shot for honesty, help, and actually arriving on time on the day stated. They had a few problems, but they got past them even calling another technician for a needed part. I will keep this story in mind if I have to make a choice in the future.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Questions about Verizon FIOS

Post by Epsilon Delta »

Verizon retro-fitted my neighborhood with FIOS.

There is a utility pedestal every four or five houses. A contractor used horizontal drilling to put in new conduit (about 1 inch internal diameter) linking adjacent pedestals. A few months later the Verizon engineers pulled a single cable between each pair of adjacent pedestals. Each pedestal has a repeater that splits the signal between 2 and 8 ways. One or two of them go to the next pedestals upstream and the remainder go to nearby houses. So the whole system is a tree. The drops from the utility pedestals to individual houses were originally just laid on the grass, and later buried a few inches deep by slitting the sod with a spade and pushing the cable down. About once a year somebody manages to cut one and a Verizon guy comes out and replaces it.

They left the copper intact. In theory you could have copper and FIOS but you'd have to pay for both services, so everybody I know who had FIOS went with the FIOS phone along with TV or Internet and abandoned to copper in place.

They only installed drops to houses that ordered FIOS. Initially they connected up perhaps a quarter of the houses, and now they come out from time to time to connect up new customers the same way.

In some more more urban neighborhoods they reused conduit and took out the copper, so YMMV.

Verizon installed a box in the basement that connects to the fiber coming from the pedestal. This connects to the coax that was already in the house. The coax runs through a splitter to the cable boxes and the computer/telephone modem. the cable boxes attach to the TVs using HDMI and the modem connects to the Ethernet and the existing telephone wires. They disconnected the internal telephone wires from the external copper. They also installed some new terminators and splitters on the coax, the Verizon engineer said they do that on principle since so many home owner installed ones are questionable and it's easier to replace than to test, (and certainly easier to replace immediately than to trouble shoot later). If the coax had been in bad shape or not in the right place they would have put new stuff in, they had a reel of it on the truck.

I don't know how Comcast service is but my advice on Verizon is that if they offer you a deal keep the ad and sure any paperwork you sign during installation gives a deal that's at least as good. They tried change the price when they installed it and then on the first bill. When we called them on it they kept trying to get me (and separately my wife) to agree to terms that didn't match the ad, before they finally honored the original agreement.
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black jack
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Re: Questions about Verizon FIOS

Post by black jack »

1a-c: no idea overall, but my FiOS line is not buried, it comes in from the street pole to the side of my house, down into the ONT box, then into my basement to the battery case (I've had it for 5 years, and have never replaced my battery - haven't checked it lately either).

2: I rented a cable card and stuck it in my TiVo box, so for me it works the same as Comcast. There is a FiOS On-Demand option which I assume works with their set-top box but not with TiVO (I've never checked that either).

3: no need for rewiring; inside the house the signal will go through CAT-5 cable (the installer actually ran a new cable lead to my living room, perhaps to avoid any issue about the quality of the cable that was in place).

4: "annoying but not terrible"; that sounds about right.
We cannot absolutely prove [that they are wrong who say] that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us, and with just as much apparent reason. | -T. B. Macaulay (1800-1859)
Topic Author
Leesbro63
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Re: Questions about Verizon FIOS

Post by Leesbro63 »

THAT'S exactly what I wanted to know. Thank you!
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