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Fiber TV Install and Experience 225

Posted by kdawson
from the bye-bye-cable dept.
SkinnyGuy writes "The same guy who brought you the Fiber to the Premises (FTTP), FiOS broadband installation process, now brings you a detailed look at the FiOS TV install. He's thrilled and apparently couldn't be happier to say goodbye forever to Cable TV. There's a lengthy story and interesting slideshow." From the article: "I chuckled a bit to myself. After all these years of the phone company having to lease out and let competitors use its phone lines and utility poles, Verizon was using a competitor's wiring (and the work they did to run it into my house). Sorry, Cablevision."
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Fiber TV Install and Experience

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  • FIOS is GREAT!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by linuxgurugamer (917289) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:00PM (#17224642) Homepage
    I had FIOS installed a month ago. Right now only internet is available, I'm just waiting for Verizon to get permission from the state to start offering TV. I can't wait. Comcast thinks that they can do things with impunity, such as dropping channels, moving channels around, adding new service (and charging more), etc. The day after Verizon announces FIOS TV, I'm ordering it.
    • by TWX (665546) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:16PM (#17224854)
      Honestly the problems with the cable provider have little to do with the technology and more to do with the cable provider having a de-facto monopoly on the distribution grid. Competition does wonderful things for forcing companies to provide what consumers want and to keep them in line, as consumers have the option of still getting similar services from someone else.

      If too many people change to another provider as you have done then that provider might eventually take on the attitude that your old provider had. When that happens, assuming that there is another option then people will switch to that provider instead.
      • by metamatic (202216) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:20PM (#17224918) Homepage Journal
        Indeed. I saw a report that statistically, towns which have 2 competing cable companies have cable rates that average 9% lower than towns where there's a cable monopoly.
        • Do they vary rates that much? In the UK, some areas have two cable companies (I think some even have three), and some have none. All of the cable companies, however, offer the same rates nationwide. I would have thought that they would at least keep them the same state-wide in the US.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Macthorpe (960048)
            I assume you're talking about ntl: and Telewest.

            The reason they have the same rates is because ntl: own Telewest...
          • by metamatic (202216) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:55PM (#17225414) Homepage Journal
            I used to live in Cambridge, MA, right on the border with Somerville, MA. Our next door neighbors got their cable TV for $5 a month less than us from the same company, because they were in Somerville and had the option of moving to a competing company.

            So yes, the cable TV companies really are that sleazy.
            • by Slithe (894946)
              So why couldn't you have just called and ordered their service? They probably had already laid the wires, so it should have been easy to set you up as well. Your local government fucked you over (as governments are wont to do) IMO.
              • by metamatic (202216)
                Because our house was legally in Cambridge, the cable company could make us pay the Cambridge rate. The competing service in Somerville weren't allowed to hook us up--I called them and asked. I pointed out that the cable ran to the corner of our house--the city boundary actually cut through the building. They said it didn't matter, they couldn't hook us up because we weren't legally resident in Somerville.
    • Re:FIOS is GREAT!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by db32 (862117) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:23PM (#17224962) Journal
      I can't wait for the phone companies to decide what VoIP networks are trying to take advantage of me and protect me with their own VoIP services. I mean I can't wait for them to try and "clean" up the internet so only fine upstanding companies in good standing can deliver their content to me...oh wait. I can't wait for them to decide what I can watch on TV...oh damn.

      These companies are trying damned hard to be content providers because it changes alot of the rules, gives them ALOT more control, and basically lets them swing you around by your balls whenever they want and do it with the protection of the government. These companies are infrastructure, and need to be taught to stay the hell out of content. When they get in the business of content we get things like the Tiered internet, and commercials about how "Net Neutrality means the consumer pays more". I think them extending the fiber network to the home is definetly very cool, and definetly the way of the future, I just don't want them to be on either end of the fiber.
      • by Control Group (105494) * on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:30PM (#17225060) Homepage
        Net Neutrality means the consumer pays more

        I have to say, I was honestly shocked when I first saw this ad campaign. Perhaps my naivete is showing, but that's the only time I can recall seeing something I know to be a complete, bald-faced lie in an ad. Normally it's spin, shading, vague terminology, inapt comparisons, rigged tests, the works. But my jaw literally dropped when I heard that claim.

        And of course, the problem is best illustrated by my fiancee, who had no idea why I'd be so amazed at such a statement until I explained to her what they were actually talking about.

        We seriously need a contravening campaign - of course, good luck getting the cable company to show it.
        • by metamatic (202216)
          Perhaps my naivete is showing, but that's the only time I can recall seeing something I know to be a complete, bald-faced lie in an ad.

          I can only assume you haven't seen any political campaign ads.

        • Yeah I was pretty stunned by that, too. I guess I shouldn't have been, because it's probably going to work -- people don't expect commercials to flat-out lie to them, because of truth-in-advertising laws, so they'll probably believe that Net Neutrality is bad, because they saw it on TV.

          Unless Google and some other deep-pocketed companies get together and start running some serious counter-advertising (and just running stuff on the Internet is not going to work; people who use the internet "recreationally" are almost all already sold on the idea of Net Neutrality, it's preaching to the choir), I think Congress is going to roll over and we're going to have a tiered Internet before people even know what happened to them.

          I know a guy who works as an attorney for the telecom companies, actively working against Net Neutrality every day, and not even he would say something as cut-and-dried as "Net Neutrality means you'll pay more." Everything he says is the usual beating-around-the-bush lines that you'd expect, and that's the line I expected they'd maintain in the commercials. But they really decided to kick directly for the balls.

          I suggest a counter-advertising campaign of "Telephone Companies Are Funding Al Qaeda" or perhaps "Comcast's Executives Worship Satan."
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Mattintosh (758112)
            I suggest a counter-advertising campaign of "Telephone Companies Are Funding Al Qaeda" or perhaps "Comcast's Executives Worship Satan."

            Ooh! Truthiness!
          • by db32 (862117)
            1. I honestly know a guy that voted for Bush in the first election because he saw a Snickers commercial where the talking Donkey said "I invented the internet!" and he knew that was a lie... This was his decision making information that lead him to the polls...

            2. You know a guy actively working against Net Neutrality every day... Well since you say "know" and not "stabbed" I think you have much more productive things you should be doing right now rather than posting on slashdot. Unless of coarse you
        • by DrSkwid (118965)
          What happened when you complained to the advertising regulators ?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by lupine (100665) *
            IANAL, but I'm pretty sure that the asshat companies running these ads will say that these ads are political speech and that under the first amendment they can lie all they want, just like miserable failure george bush, since truth in advertising laws don't apply because they are trying to influence politics and not sell a product.

            The problem is that the US is a Coporatocracy(the people may elect the politicians, but the corps own them) and companies can get away with shit like this. Corporate propaganda sh
    • Re:FIOS is GREAT!!! (Score:4, Informative)

      by kilodelta (843627) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @02:10PM (#17225678) Homepage
      I'm so happy that Verizon has to ask for a franchise in every area in which they wants to supply video. Second - my cable provider is Cox. Not a bad deal at all and I loathe Verizon like there's no tomorrow. They've been responsible for all my major headaches from drowned DS1/HDSL carrier to botched installs, etc. Cox has its problems, don't get me wrong. But at least they're responsive. Here's what I suspect is going to happen. Verizon will roll in with nice cheap rates for voice/data/video and within a 6 to 12 month period those rates will rise sharply. Then once they know they've got you on a contract, you're up the creek without a paddle. It's typical incumbent behavior on the part of Verizon as they still play from the Ma Bell handbook. What they don't realize is that other players in the market don't play by the same book, hence why Verizon has lost 30-40% of its customers in the last couple of years. That's a pretty big hit and they're way over extended with the expense of stringing fiber. And they're cherry picking areas where they actually string fiber. That won't help them.
      • by planetmn (724378)
        I'm so happy that Verizon has to ask for a franchise in every area in which they wants to supply video.

        Now I can understand not liking Verizon, heck, I don't like them either, but why are you so happy that it's so difficult for somebody to compete with an entrenched monopoly (the cable companies)?

        -dave
    • Here in Pennsylvania our incompetent legislature decided to be a bunch of f**ktards and denied Verizon state-wide permission to provide TV over fibre. So, now Verizon needs to negotiate with all 660+ of Pennsylvania's municipalities individually. (Gee, I wonder if the fact that Comcast is headquartered in Philadelphia has anything to do with it.) This is different than what Verizon did with Texas and a few other states where they were granted state-wide permission to offer TV.

      I just had FiOS install
      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        "I just had FiOS installed this past Saturday and it definitely is incredible! I'm getting 15Mb down (confirmed) and 2Mb up (averaging at 1.8Mb up) for less than Comcast high-speed Internet. I wish Verizon would get to my municipality. I'm fed up with Comcast."

        I'm curious...does Verizon offer a business account? I had one with Cox before Katrina and it was sweet...I had a low level SLA, they called ME back on problems when I left a msg..I had no caps on download/upload, and all ports were opened and I cou

        • I would assume that they have something like this for business, but you're guaranteed to pay more for a more comprehensive support policy. I can't say that I've ever looked into it because I don't need to. Even with a personal account, you can for the most part run whatever you want, but they will keep tabs to make sure that you're not running a commercial service. If I run a personal web site with low bandwidth, I'm sure (because I've been told by their service reps) that they're not going to bother me.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ptbarnett (159784)
          I'm curious...does Verizon offer a business account?

          Yes, they do offer a business service, with a static IP and no port blocking. It's about twice as expensive as the residential service at the same speeds.

          However, there's some sort of dependency between the TV service and residential service. You can't get TV with a business internet account on the same Optical Network Terminal (ONT) at your premises. Some people have been successful in having a second ONT installed at their house.

          Also..what if y

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by jweller (926629)
      I've had Fios for a bit more than a month now and I'm generally happy with it. As mentioned the picture quality is better, and I have yet to see any of the pixelation or freezing I got from Comsuck. It even makes the 15 - 20 year old TV in my garage with no box look better. No lie. I don't like the channel guide as much but I'll get over that. Either way, it doesn't fix my single biggest gripe with the channel gide, if it's 7:59, and I click on a 8:00 show, just go to the damn channel. The channels are orga
  • by alen (225700) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:02PM (#17224662)
    anyone know? On my Time Warner HD channels most shows are pretty good but a lot of times you can see pixels
    • by RebornData (25811) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:14PM (#17224826)
      For standard def TV, the compression is unnnoticeable... we switched from DirecTV, and it was a huge quality improvement.

      On the other hand, some of the high-def channels do have very noticeable compression. I see it particularly when watching NOVA -- there are glaring blocky compression artifacts in complex, fast moving scenes (espcially scientific visualization graphics). However, this is not widespread- I haven't noticed it during major network prime-time viewing, nor with sporting events. So I'm guessing their throttling the bandwidth on the local PBS station (or get a very compressed feed from them).

      -R
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jerf (17166)
        Because of the fact that the harder you compress the channels, the more you can push down the wire, the cable companies have every incentive to push the compression to the limit, and then push a bit more. You have to be a videophile/audiophile to realize what is being done, but subjectively, everybody I've asked about this correctly does say that DirectTV does seem to lack a bit of the pop or crispness of the analog signal. And then there are the pathological cases where it's obvious that it sucks.

        Unfortuna
        • by metamatic (202216)
          Our DirecTV SD channels are better than our neighbors' analog cable. I don't have DirecTV HD because they want $10 a month for the 1 channel I'd watch.

          FIOS TV seems to have the same problem. It looks like it's exactly the same price as DirecTV, and still makes me pay for all the news and sports channels I never watch. Not really a compelling upgrade.
          • by Jerf (17166)
            Analog's problem is that it varies a lot.

            I have a couple of channels on my analog cable that are inferior, and I've seen some funky signals. Once I figured out that somewhere in Comcast's system, over-the-air channel 2 was being broadcast right through the cable system, right on top of what they were trying to broadcast as channel 2. That really screwed with the sync. (I still don't know the details, but I did find out when I moved to a new apartment and hooked into the cable system, which wasn't being fed
        • by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot.kadinNO@SPAMxoxy.net> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @02:51PM (#17226290) Homepage Journal
          Because of the fact that the harder you compress the channels, the more you can push down the wire, the cable companies have every incentive to push the compression to the limit, and then push a bit more.

          At least as I understand it, most Video-over-IP systems (which may or may not include FiOS, I don't really know that much about how it works) ought to be a little more resistant to that, because they don't transmit all the channels simultaneously as cable does.

          There is an incentive to over-compress on cable TV systems because that's the only way to add more channels. If you want to go from 150 channels to 300 channels, and you're already using all the bandwidth, you need to compress each one at 2:1 in order to squeeze more in.

          IP based systems don't work this way, because they only transmit down the wire the channel that you're watching. That's not to say that your entire connection is used to transmit that one channel (because that would prohibit having more than one tuner per household, or doing things like TiVO-style watch+record or PiP, which would put them at a disadvantage compared to cable), but it's not transmitting all the channels, all the time. When you want to change channels a command is sent upstream and you get a different feed hooked up at the head-end. So each channel can take a much larger percentage of the total bandwidth than on a cable system, at least theoretically. I think in practice, both IPTV companies and cable companies will compromise on some sort of de facto standard quality, which they think is just enough to not cause a person on a SDTV to get too pissed off. That's the way they work -- they'll deliver the bare minimum necessary to prevent people from switching, and not an ounce more.

          Reading the FiOS article [wikipedia.org] on Wikipedia, it seems as though Verizon's system in addition to the upstream and downstream data channels, also has a separate and distinct channel (1550nm) for RF video overlaid on an optical carrier. So conceivably they could be using data circuits for switching, and then send the video down the RF channel. This seems somewhat unlikely, but who knows.

          In theory anyway, a circuit-switched system like that offered by optical fiber could give more quality with an equal or greater number of channels than conventional cable. It also makes the addition of On Demand services or additional channels relatively simple, since an additional channel doesn't require an allocation of 'to the curb' bandwidth when it's not being watched by anyone. In practice though, I expect Fiber-based and coax-based TV services to sink to the same levels of mediocrity.
          • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @03:10PM (#17226646) Journal

            Reading the FiOS article on Wikipedia, it seems as though Verizon's system in addition to the upstream and downstream data channels, also has a separate and distinct channel (1550nm) for RF video overlaid on an optical carrier. So conceivably they could be using data circuits for switching, and then send the video down the RF channel. This seems somewhat unlikely, but who knows.

            My understanding is that it's not switched per say. Each fiber coming out of the CO is passively split into X number of fibers (32?) in the neighborhood that then go to the individual houses. Downstream is sent to everybody (encrypted - your terminal ignores packets not addressed to it) and upstream is shared with a TDMA scheme. With that setup I would assume that all the channels are being pushed down that fiber all the time -- regardless of what the end users are watching.

  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:02PM (#17224684) Homepage Journal
    You turn on your tv to watch your favorite show only to discover that channel surfing collapsed the wave and moved it to a different day.

    Damn fibre!

    In reality, we have had fibre for years here in england (NTL) and its nice and stable (apart from when its not).
  • Am I the only one? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drwtsn32 (674346) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:03PM (#17224694)
    I love my cable company. In fact I am considering switching *away* from Verizon telephone service and getting Charter's phone service. I have digital cable through them (including about 10 HD channels and on demand), plus 6M/1M internet service. Everything works great, and when I call to make adjustments to my service they are always very helpful.

    I feel sorry for this guy moving everything to Verizon. My experience with them has been less than stellar.
    • by drwtsn32 (674346)
      Oops, I actually have 10M/1M service, not 6M/1M.
    • by DragonMageWTF (887275) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:13PM (#17224810)
      But at least he can take comfort that their (Verizon's) math will be spot on.
    • I had Comcast for 2 years before I moved (to an area they don't service yet... now I have Knology, which is more expensive and flakier :/). I had no problems with them. The only time service dropped for anything other than a power outage was due to a bird nesting in the cable box - and it was fixed promptly (the next morning, as I left for work).

      My only complaints wrt cable in general is not being able to get internet apart from television. As little TV as my wife and I watch I think we could get by with
      • by GeckoX (259575)
        Is it not illegal to force an unrelated service on someone?

        I'm quite certain that in Canada at least this is the case. The cable companies were forced to provide internet service with no requirement for paying for cable tv as well. This happened years ago now.
        • by misleb (129952)

          Is it not illegal to force an unrelated service on someone?

          Why would it be illegal? You're not being forced. You don't have to buy their package. It isn't like TV is an essential service. And if you don't want their internet, go DSL or dialup.

          It would be GREAT if cable companies would offer much more granular service, but the reality is that they don't. If I want cable, I have to pay for 100+ channels even though I'd only watch like 4 of them. I don't have cable (or any other TV service) for that very re

          • by GeckoX (259575)
            Um, being forced to pay for phone service you don't want to get internet service...but that's somehow not forcing...hmmm, I'm having trouble following that logic.

            Particularly if you live somewhere where it's a one corp show.

            Forcing a minimum TV subscription to get TV service, not the same thing at all.

            Are you actually suggesting you see no problem with this? No wonder they do it, because there are enough suckers out there to buy into it with no questions asked.

            That's fine and all, but what is the point behi
            • by misleb (129952)

              Um, being forced to pay for phone service you don't want to get internet service...but that's somehow not forcing...hmmm, I'm having trouble following that logic.

              First of all, I was responding to being "forced" to pay for TV with internet, not phone with internet. But either way, it isn't force if you have the option to not pay for either service. The most you could say is that the cable company is offering a shitty package. Well, don't buy it! Nobody is forcing you to do anything.

              Particularly if you live

              • by GeckoX (259575)
                Sorry, I did mean TV, not phone.

                And good for you for being on the 'smart' list.

                Think your grandma figured that out though?

                At the least, it's shady business practices. You are right that ideally, it would be a stupid move on comcast's part that would result in them going out of business.

                Unfortunately, this would be the real world we're living in here.

                So, let me ask you this: Is there any inherant benefit in allowing companies to link unrelated services together and force both on you if you want one? And if n
                • by misleb (129952)

                  Think your grandma figured that out though?

                  If she'd complained to me about her bill she figured it out. ;-)

                  So, let me ask you this: Is there any inherant benefit in allowing companies to link unrelated services together and force both on you if you want one? And if not, is there any detriment to not allowing companies to ONLY offer a service if it's bundled with another unrelated one?

                  You keep using that word "force." I don't think it means what you think it means.

                  Of course companies should be able to offe

                  • by GeckoX (259575)
                    Well, that's maybe why this happened in Canada, but hasn't in the states. Rogers had a monopoly on Cable, Bell had a monopoly on Phone Lines. Both were forced to offer unbundled internet services (Which neither did on their own).

                    So I can see how this is the way things are in the states, free market and all that.
        • by ivan256 (17499)
          In my town, the difference between in price between Comcast internet service, and the Comcast internet service and Basic Cable package is $0.04.

          Yup, if you cancel basic cable but keep internet access, your bill will be reduced by four cents.
      • According to the Comcast rep I talked with, you can get Internet service without the cable box. It just costs you more than the normal $59. I didn't ask how much, 'cause I already have Comcast cable, but I figure it's about $5/mo for account fees, about $1/mo for the the little $2 splitter that they use and another $10/mo for the "we really don't want to do that but we have to and we're gonna make you pay for us to be flexible" fee.
        • by massysett (910130)
          You can get Internet only. However, the surcharge is slightly *more* than it costs to just get the basic cable (which has the major networks, public access, and CSPAN.) So you might as well just get the basic cable. Seems to me to be some sort of scheme Comcast uses to push up its subscriber numbers.
    • Where I live (northern DE), our only choices so far are Comcast for cable, Verizon for DSL or fiber in most neighborhoods. Neither of them have great customer service, so it comes down to whichever one is less expensive.
    • I, on the other hand, have had a strikingly different experience with Charter.

      I've had them for about a year and a half now, since moving to Madison. Up until last month, their digital cable UI was, in a word, awful. One time slot on screen at a time, the left third of the screen taken up with banner ads, and no way to see what was going on in the show that you were watching at the time. Thankfully, this has been updated to a better system.

      It still doesn't default the channel menu to the channel you're curr
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vertinox (846076)
      I love my cable company. In fact I am considering switching *away* from Verizon telephone service and getting Charter's phone service.

      It appears you haven't had to deal with Comcast.

      To make a good Slashdot analogy.

      Comparing Comcast with Verizon is akin to comparing Sauron with Saruman.

      Sure they are both evil, but I'd rather deal with Saruman if I had to choose one or the other. Considering he is more human and would be satisfied with mortal acquisitions rather than Sauron's desire to destroy the world as we
      • by sammy baby (14909)
        I have to say, I've had the opposite experience. Many times in the past I've felt like Verizon was screwing me simply for the enjoyment of it. While I've had tons of problems with Comcast in the past, calling their tech support has always resulted at the very least in a "we're lowering your bill this month by X," result, where X = whatever service isn't working right.

        If I have to choose between two incompetent bureaucracies, I'm going to choose the one that doesn't punish me for it.
        • by Shakrai (717556)

          If I have to choose between two incompetent bureaucracies, I'm going to choose the one that doesn't punish me for it.

          I'm going to choose the one that's regulated by a state oversight commission.

          I've had lots of problems with Verizon, both on a business and personal level. I ask for a supervisor. If the supervisor can't/won't resolve my problem I file a complaint with the NYS Public Service Commission [state.ny.us]. Typically within four business hours of filing that complaint I have an Executive Vice President on

      • Unfortunately, I'm too drained from finals to think about it properly, but I believe there's an analogy to be made with the whole One Ring thing. With the right power in the wrong hands, either of those companies could rise up and start putting the boot to our faces just as hard as the other--I just can't think of what regulatory or monopoly power they'd need.

        Hell, there's probably a power out there so terrible that we wouldn't even want to trust Google/Gandalf with it.
    • by bahwi (43111)
      Everyone is good and bad depending where you are. I had comcast, never had any trouble, then Time Warner got into the market here in DFW and when they switched us to "RoadRunner" I had no internet for a week, and the programming update reset my HD box to only output non HD controls(so no guide or menu whatsoever on the HD output). Calling them ALL WEEK I spent on hold for about four hours, and I never got to talk to anyone useful. Eventually my internet came back up, it was out Friday night thru Monday afte
    • by derF024 (36585) *
      I love my cable company.

      You've obviously never had to deal with Comcast, Time Warner, or Cablevision. Compared to those three, dealing with Verizon is a dream.

      Two years ago I had Comcast for Internet and TV and was constantly fighting with them regarding both services. The Internet was dog slow and would routinely drop out for hours at a time. They'd simply acknowledge that they were having problems in my area and that the problem was being worked on. After about two months of that, I switched to Speakea
    • by massysett (910130)
      I know it's popular to bash cable operators, but I've never had any major problems with Comcast. No company is perfect. Their tech support generally is incredibly stupid. Fortunately it seems their network engineers are more on the ball, as outages are rare and seldom last long. I would switch to Verizon if I had that option, because their upload speed is faster. Unfortunately the FiOS is not available in my apartment building, even though fiber is in the area generally.
    • by Avatar8 (748465)
      Apparently not though my knee jerk reaction is "Yes, you are."

      I find it rather odd and slightly humorous how hot and cold people are when you discuss cable vs. satellite vs. fiber. It's nearly as heated as a political discussion. Some had bad experiences with this vendor so they'll never deal with them again; others had the completely opposite with the same vendor.

      I left cable TV (Comcast) about 12 years ago for DirecTV. Quality was better, service was much better, price was cheaper and customer service

  • by Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:07PM (#17224744)
    My cable representative told me that FiOS causes cancer ... is this true?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Gospodin (547743)

      Warning: Using FiOS may result in drowsiness, loss of appetite, nausea, uncontrolled bleeding, headaches, back pain, skin rash, hair loss, itching, athlete's foot, sore throat, blurred vision, tinnitus, and/or dry mouth. Do not use FiOS before operating heavy machinery or driving. FiOS should not be used with meals.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      That might be true; but based on my experience with Comcast if you stick with cable you're likely to get an insatiable yet uncontrollable need to bend over and grab your ankles resulting in a severe case of rectal bleeding. Just by coincidence, this malady often flares up on a monthly basis when the cable bill arrives in the mail. Must be an allergic reaction to something in the ink that they use.
  • Monopoly (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PaisteUser (810863)
    Didn't he tell Cablevision in TFA that he wanted to get away from a monopolistic operation? Isn't Verizon just another monopolistic company that wants to lock you in?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by michrech (468134)
      Didn't he tell Cablevision in TFA that he wanted to get away from a monopolistic operation? Isn't Verizon just another monopolistic company that wants to lock you in?

      The fact that his cable provider now has competition in the TV area (and possibly phone, I don't recall from his previous article) automatically removes monopoly status from them. They now have incentive to improve service, rates, offer new technology, etc, where they had none of this incentive before. This can be very good for his town.

      If Ca
  • FIOS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RaboKrabekian (461040) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:21PM (#17224920) Journal
    Every time a story mentions FIOS I have to post to say how desperately I want it. I [i]hate[/i] my cable company with a passion (Cablevision), and I can't install a dish. I'm in Brooklyn and am counting the days until FIOS is available.

    Unfortunately, I have no idea how many days that will be.
    • Yeah, I have Cablevision in Brooklyn. The TV portion of the service is pretty bad. The Internet portion is fast enough, but they make you pay extra for them to allow ports 25 (either direction) and 80 (incoming), and you can't get a static IP under any circumstances. It's retarded.
      • Their customer service is terrible and I really just want to get away from them. FIOS has everything I want (minus NFL Sunday Ticket) and is cheaper and by all accounts better. I can't even seem to get Verizon DSL, though, so I have a suspicion that FIOS isn't anywhere near being available.
        • I used to love NFL-ST. Then DTV slowly jacked the rates up to $300, and tacked on another $100 if you wanted it in HD. For $150-$200 it was kind of cool. For $400 I'll go do something else on Sundays.
    • Although you didn't say whether your inability to have a dish was a result of geography/location or a landlord, if it's the latter, you might be able to show them that they cannot legally prohibit you from installing a small-dish system [fcc.gov]. A lot of landlords don't know this, and think that they can just tell tenants that they can't put one up. Unless you're living in a historic area, or there are particular safety reasons for not installing one, you have the right to put one up. The landlord can say that you
      • In my case it's the home owners' association, or really the condo board. No property that I own is suitable for installation, so I would need to install it in a common area, which they, rightfully, can say no to.
  • I just made the switch to FiOS... I'm pretty happy with it.

    So far, it's been like dealing with a totally different company when dealing with anything related to FiOS. They show none of their old nickel-and-diming that they did on the normal phone service, and they have been very responsive.

    Not only that, when they got to my house, we didn't have a fiber drop to the house (it was at the end of the block), so the tech called his boss, who sent a truck full of people to dig the trench and run the line the rest
    • So far, it's been like dealing with a totally different company when dealing with anything related to FiOS.

      Just wait until they don't need the early adopters any longer. Once Joe Public knows what FiOS is and how to get it--and can get it--they'll start cranking the machine up again. It's literally inevitable.
  • by stilz2 (878265) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:31PM (#17225076)
    This is a little off-topic, but I guess it'd be helpful for those thinking about switching such as myself. There is a little disclaimer at the bottom of the FiOS ordering page, saying that once switched, we can't go back to DSL again because the wiring has been changed. Does this mean that we can't ever have DSL again even with another phone company, say AT&T? What about the phone service? Thanks.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kadin2048 (468275)
      Yes, they basically cut or otherwise remove the copper wires going into your house, so once you switch, you can never go back to DSL. They seem to think this is acceptable because they offer the same prices on POTS service delivered over fiber as POTS delivered over copper, but you're SOL if you want copper-based internet.

      Frankly this alone would be enough to keep me from switching. I would love fiber internet and maybe even fiber TV, but I want those copper wires still going into my house Just In Case.

      I fe
  • I can get FIOS neither at my office nor at home.

    Verizon will only install FIOS in single-tenant buildings. I rent an apartment, and I rent space in an office suite. :(

    WTF Verizon? Every time I try to come back there is always, ALWAYS a technical reason I can't come back.

    And every time you send your reps to my place of business to sell me services, I inform your rep that you can't deliver what you're offering, they call to confirm (actually they call to prove me wrong and try to sell me the service) and find
  • If you use coax to hook all the TVs up? Screw that.

    Verizon oughtta start pumping out multicast MPEG2 over IP, and give everyone a small IPTV reciever with fiber gigabit port on the back. So. Fucking. Lame.
    • When I saw that my new router had a coax connection, I completely choked. My brain immediately said, "What The FU*K!!! They're supporting 10Base2 again?" So, I asked the tech when he was installing my FiOS this weekend what's with the coax.

      The reason why they're using coax, even for FiOS Internet, is because just about every house has coax in it because of their cable company! I was fortunate in that my house is a ranch-style with a four-inch gap in the walls, so one of the first things I did was wir
      • The cable company seems to get along fine putting wiring in houses that don't have it. I can't believe that it would be such a greater cost for Verizon to do it. Being fucking cheapskates (while continuing to pull in federal money to upgrade all sorts of things) is why we still have second-class network infrastructure compared to say nearly any country in Europe or Asia.

        Sorry, but I'd rather pay an extra $150, and have real fiber. If it even cost that much, the bulk of the cost would be in the hourly wages
        • You're completely missing the point, which considering how you're approaching the topic is not surprising. The number of houses that currently have coax vastly outnumbers the number of houses that don't. There is no reason to re-run a whole new set of cable when what is already there will do nicely. It saves Verizon money, which an optimist would say keeps rates low, although we know better; it save a ton of headaches for the tech, I'm sure; and it saves time on installation, which the customer will no d
  • by djtachyon (975314) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:51PM (#17225350) Homepage Journal
    I have been living in upstate Jersey for about a year now. I have seen Cablevision frantically try and upgrade their systems to compete with the invading FIOS. My speeds on Cablevision tests at about 13Mb/1.8Mb which is close to their advertized 15Mb/2Mb. So not bad.

    But, they have throttled me 3 times and have told me next time they will either not release the throttle or terminate my account. They have told me the throttle is a function of the processor load on the managed switch over time (wtf?). So I have to be very careful now. I have been referred to a section in the contract I was forced to agree to that states something very vague along the lines of "Cablevision reserves the right to do anything we want".

    Verizon save me!
    • by Nasarius (593729)
      But, they have throttled me 3 times and have told me next time they will either not release the throttle or terminate my account.
      Yeah. 15KB/s up just isn't fun. I'd love to know if Verizon/Fios does this too. DSL isn't an option where I live.
    • Cablevision was having some pretty serious problems in Northern NJ (sidenote: nobody calls it upstate. that's reserved for NY). They started wiring my town several years ago, with the go-ahead from the town, and the assumption that the present (terrible) cable company (RCN at the time) would lose its franchise once the install was completed. I think there was a stipulation that if RCN also improved its service, it would be allowed to stay and exist in a duopoly.

      Years went by. The installation crawled al
  • Right as this article was posted I was starting to draft the fiber distribution plans for an area in the Journal Square C.O. in Hoboken, NJ.

  • So when can us schlubs on the San Francisco peninsula get fiber? The best we can get around here is 6000/768 DSL, or 8000/768 cable (but Comcast are jerks, and their TOS are laughably unrealistic, so they don't get my money).

    Please dig up our street. I won't mind, honest. It won't even be that big a deal. Pacific Bell's... er, SBC's... Um, AT&T's central office is just a block and a half away.

    Schwab

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @02:33PM (#17226038) Homepage

    The article is all about receiving one-way broadcast video content. That's fine for the couch-potato crowd, but what do you get in Internet bandwidth?

  • Fiber or HDTV (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rizzle (848961)

    To me, this guy seems to be mis-attributing his excitement to Fiber, when he's ready just excited to be getting HDTV for the first time.

    That said, getting an HD feed is always great (especially the first time you see your new HDTV the way it was meant to be displayed).

  • Similar experiance (Score:4, Informative)

    by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @02:48PM (#17226242) Homepage Journal
    I had FiOS internet installed a couple of years ago and the TV service installed over the summer in my home. I'll focus on the TV like the original article. I don't have a HD set, and I already owned a TiVo (with the lifetime subscription) so I just got the regular tuner box, not the DVR. Installation was pretty straight forward. My ONT was a little too old (it didn't have the sort of DOCSIS-like support that the modern ones have that allow the tuner boxes to call back and set up streaming video sessions), so I had to have a separate box installed on the network. It wasn't a problem, but it's the second wall plug Verizon has needed for FiOS (the first being on the ONT itself). Install took a couple of hours all told and the tech was very well informed and friendly. He didn't mind that I was using a TiVo instead of spending the extra $12/month for their DVR, he even supplied the somewhat oddball digital optical cables needed to connect the box to my receiver.

    The box itself isn't bad. It has a program guide and a reasonably extensive selection of PPV and Video on Demand. There is even a decent amount of free VoD options. That said, the quality of the VoD is not all that wonderful (even at SD resolution), and the ones that they're actually trying to sell are grossly overpriced. For stuff you can purchase, the cost is generally in the $10-$15/hour range, and for something that you can only view for a couple of hours and has somewhat crummy quality I can't see myself ever using it. Frankly, even the free VoD offerings aren't all that compelling and I've used the feature a grand total of twice--both times I was just playing around too. Example free VoD things are: One of the better sketches from the latest Robot Chicken, A discovery channel program about something or the other, some music videos, ads for videogames, extremely patronizing "help on making the most of your FiOS service" clips, and so on.

    Some bad news: The box has USB and serial ports on the back, with an optional ethernet port. All impressive features that could set it apart from the normal cable boxes, all disabled. Yes, this means if you want to use a TiVo you have to set up an IR blaster. I believe the serial port was disabled entirely out of spite. If you don't use the router they gave you when you got the FiOS install it is very difficult to get the VoD working. The router they give you is a buggy piece of crap Linksys DI-604. I had to swap out the router because it was constantly generating packet storms over my FiOS link, and I still haven't managed to get VoD working again.

    Overall, I prefer Verizon over the old Cox service we used to have. The base price is slightly cheaper, but since we didn't have to rent the box from Cox the price is a wash in the end (although Cox bumped their prices a few months ago around here, making FiOS cheaper again). One interesting thing with their plan is that they offer several ala cart options, typically for foreign language channels. While they're somewhat pricey ($7-$10/month for each channel), Cox didn't offer them at all. The HD selection is much better than Cox, not that I care yet since I still only have a SD TV.

    From what I understand, Verizon is dragging their feet on coming out with a Cablecard for FiOS TV, which is a real shame because I hate cable boxes and I don't really care about their VoD options or guide. IR blasters suck.

    Oh, about the guide: Unlike TiVo they apparently don't have a staff that double checks the guide info they get. It's not unusual to fire up a show on the TiVo and notice that the guide information that the TiVo recorded on the bottom of the screen is wrong or generic.
  • I keep hearing about how great FIOS is, blah blah blah, yet according to dslreports it's nowhere to be found near me. I'm in the midwest (Northwestern Indiana now, Kalamazoo Michigan soon), and there's neither anything nearby now, or according to their maps in the future. What the crap? How long do I have to live with the crapulance that is Comcast?
  • I live in northern New Jersey. I currently have the Cablevision triple play. I have the IO package (I forget if it's the standard or Silver) with HBO, one HD cable box, one standard cable box, phone service, and Internet all for $140/month. Everything works fine, the only reason I would consider switching would be considerably lower pricing.

    What is the price for a comparable Verizon setup?
  • MythTV? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stu42j (304634) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @03:21PM (#17226824) Homepage
    Any way to hook-up a MythTV box to one of these?
  • by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @03:23PM (#17226864) Journal
    About once a month Verizon calls my home to promote FIOS. Apparently the no-call list doesn't apply if you do business with the vendor. (I get my land line from Verizon.) The salescreature usually waxes enthusiastic about the performance of FIOS, and I have to wait for him to wind down before I can get a question in edgewise. My question is always: Can I continue to use my current ISP? (I have DSL, but with an alternate carrier because Verizon charges an unreasonable price for a static IP.) The answer (so far) is always no, I have to use the one Verizon assigns me. I then ask what the price per month is for a static ip. The answer (so far) is always about 2.5 times what I'm paying now.

    I'd like FIOS. A friend has it and loves it. But until they either open it up to other ISPs or provide a competitive price for static IPs, I'll have to stick to what I have. Too bad, as I'm also interested in FIOS TV as a replacement for our elderly DirecTV setup, but until they budge on the network issue, I won't be budging on the TV issue.

    Ron

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