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Verizon FiOS High Speed Service

July 20, 2005

In all of the screwing around with my network over the past few days, I ran into two interesting things — one, that Comcast was now offering 6mb down / 768K up service in my area (and it turned out the be $25 a month cheaper than my existing 3mb service — go figure), and that Verizon is finally turning up their Fiber Internet service (“FiOS”) in my area.

The price on the Verizon service is extremely hard to beat — they’re offering 15 mb down / 2mb up for $49.95 a month. As a pre-sales incentive, they offered me the same service for $39.95 a month for the first year (this is the normal price for 5mb/2mb). They also have a 30mb/5mb service for $199.95 for those really in need of bandwidth.


I know it’s Verizon, and I spent a lot of time trying to get Verizon out of my life a couple of years ago, but damn that’s a tough offer to turn down.

So I didn’t turn it down.

Frankly, I don’t even care so much about the 15mb down — I’m just not that big of a bulk downloader that more than 6mb/second is going to make that much difference to me. I do care about the 2mb up, however. I work from here, and often have to upload large files (or large collections of files) to servers, and the existing upload caps cost me a lot of time unnecessarily.

So maybe it’s worth putting up with the inevitable Verizon bullshit.

If you’ve seen Verizon fiber pullers in your area, it may well be worth checking to see if service is due to be available soon.

One thing I learned while reading various reports from other early adopters was that the prequalification page on their website doesn’t necessarily mean anything. It told me that service was not available (although I knew it should have been), and so I called their pre-sales number (800-291-9402) and the operator manually looked up my street address and told me service was available (or would be in a couple of weeks). I don’t know how long the pre-sales number will be available, but apparently you can also call the FiOS main number (888-438-3467) and check availability through them as well.

Many of the early adopters (who were Verizon telephone customers) reported that Verizon moved their phone service over to the fiber also. I was a little concerned that I’d get strong-armed into taking Verizon phone service (which I replaced long ago with Vonage) with this, but they didn’t even suggest it.

I did have the (expected) difficulty in that they initially wanted to qualify me by phone number, and I knew that my Vonage number wasn’t going to help, so I told the rep up-front that it was a VOIP number, and he didn’t have a problem with looking me up by street and housenumber instead.

The lead time was a little vague — I was told I would hear from the installers sometime between now and August 15th. I’ll post more as I know more…

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6 Responses to “Verizon FiOS High Speed Service”

  1. John on August 2nd, 2005 7:06 pm

    Comcast high speed internet…
    Well, it is not even high speed any more. It was some time ago because people found out about it and started using it, which is a good thing, however, Comcast is too cheap to add more nodes(a type of local computer that you connect to). It should not be more than 12 users per node for you to get the speed that they advertise and promise. In 2005 so far, it has been 18 to 24 people. As a matter affect, you get about 1.5 mega bits per second (mbps) instead what they advertise and promise (6 mbps). If a user switched to them from dial up, even this low speed is very fast for them so think they are getting what they were promised. Everybody please WAKE UP. Test your connecion speed; just type free internet speed test in google. If you have Comcast you have the most expensive internet service in the country (for household), dont you think you should get your money’s worth?
    In addition, Comcast is not number one in anything but hiring technicians who are nothing more than your average user; all they would know is how to power cycle your modem (fancy words for unplug and replug), restart your computer and ping your connection (ping is nothing more than sending test 4 test packages to your computer in DOS and see if they arrive or get lost and time average) In other words, if you have a problem, dont call them unless you want to waste your time. Search it on the internet and do it yourself. It will be faster and better.
    Finally, until Comcast stops misleading consumers and overcharging them, and starts delivering what they promised to deliver, do not get COmcast high speed internet. If you are going to pay almost $50 a month (if you have comcast TV, without Comcast TV it will cost you almost $65 a month) for about 1.5 mbps, think again; get dsl for $29 for the same speed (1.5 mbps)

  2. Chuck Lawson on August 2nd, 2005 7:31 pm

    I routinely get 6mb down, but I’m still lucky to get 256K up — a long ways from the 768K advertised.

    Not that I’m a Comcast fan or anything (ask me about my last 10 day outage for a f*cking loose connector on the pole that I told them about when I called them on day one), but another factor is equipment — a lot of cable modems (particularly older ones) aren’t doing anywhere near the new speeds; likewise old routers, or even newer ones that only have a 10baseT (10mb, nominally) connection to the modem instead of a 100baseT. My best advice for anyone not getting rated speed is to start by hunting around on Broadband Reports forums to see what’s working for high speed with your provider in your area. Also consider replacing the cableco’s modem with your own — you may only save $3 a month on the bill, but you might also save your sanity (my service improved dramatically last year when I junked my old Comcast RCA and bought a Toshiba of my own.) Once you’ve done all of that, if you still are having problems, look for advice in the same forums for how to read the signal levels on the modem and what they should be.

    None of which of course helps if the bandwidth is oversold, which (as you point out) it is routinely. Unfortunately, that seems to be more the rule than the exception with most broadband providers anymore…

    Techs with a clue are few and far between, with any provider. One of my favorite stories dates back to when I was doing SDSL a couple of years ago; I had to wait 6 weeks for GTE (now Verizon) to finish installing my line because they had a shortage of “DSL Specialists” — I was chatting with the guy once he finally arrived, and up to 3 weeks before, he’d been a heating and air-conditioning installer. All he knew about DSL was to follow his checklist — maybe they actually had a shortage of people who could read?

    I’m dead in the water without broadband; it’s likely that I’ll keep Comcast when Verizon finally gets the FiOS installed — I figure between the two of them, the odds have to be fair that at least one of them will be up any given day…

  3. dfddf on September 1st, 2005 4:02 pm

    Verizon will add 3.0 DSL speed for free, and all the things you do will work better.

  4. Comcast User on October 7th, 2005 12:34 pm

    John,

    You have no clue what your talking about. First off a node is not a computer. It’s a module that takes the RF signal and converts it from fiber to coax.

    Also, I have over 450 subs on my node and I hit the caps at all peak times. (I’m an Ex-Comcast employee)

    Some area’s are over sold. But, majority of the Comcast Network is very stable even with the new tier speeds. I have the 8Mbps/768kbps. Comcast recently just moved everyone over to the CRAN for more stabality.

    You can always go to another provider. I’m sure AOL would love to have as a victim I mean customer.

  5. sid1138 on October 11th, 2005 1:33 pm

    I have to agree with Comcast User. Many factors go into “bandwidth” testing. Things like, what else is running on your computer, how many router hops to the test site, what else is going on your own network, what is happening at the test site itself, and on and on. Having a DSL or FIOS link does not guarantee dedicated bandwidth. The quoted bandwidth for these services is only from your house to the aggregation point. If your aggregation point is over subscribed (which I have seen quite often) then you will not get as much as you thought.

    Heck, I worked for a company that had a DS-3 (over 40 megabits of bandwidth) connection to the internet. Yet even late at night, I could rarely get more than a couple of megabits to test sites. Why? Because some of the hops along the path were sub-rate DS3 links, meaning that the path had less bandwidth then the source.

    Every increase in bandwidth is a good thing, but increases at the edge do not mean increases in the core. At the moment, bandwidth is way more expensive then it should be. PC’s now come with gigabit Ethernet as a standard product, and PC’s can use a good portion of that. Basically, that means that a single PC can use about 200 times more bandwidth then you can reasonably buy. If you have 3-4 PCs in your house, you could, in theory, demand almost 1000 times more bandwidth then you can get, yet service providers are proud of their 2-6 megabit offerings, like it was some huge amount of data. In 5 years, PC’s will come with 10-Gigabit Ethernet, and service providers will still be arguing on whether their 6-10 megabit service is better than the other guy’s service.

    I would also like to point out that this gigabit PC costs less then what a year of service costs.

    Bandwidth is WAAAAYYYYYYYY to expensive for what you get.

    Sid1138

  6. Tim on August 1st, 2007 11:58 am

    I use to have Comcast Internet and Phone service. However, someone got greedy or something and I was forced on to Timer Warner. Then bad things started to happen. My connections slowed down to dial up speeds. I spent almost a month trouble-shooting their problems on their network. Fridays were the worse and almost every day from 4 PM till around 7, I was down to a snails pace. It seems that since it was a shared connection, I was loosing upload speed. I was getting below 48k upload at these times. So after my last bout with the Help Desk, who told me “It’s your system” I called Verizon to get FIOS.

    I’ve not had any problems with FIOS. I’m paying a few bucks more for 15meg down and 2 meg up. I get these speeds most of the time and no longer have Outlook drop out on my VPN work connection. I’ve been pleased with the install and the service.

    I received a letter from Time Warner stating that since they weren’t getting enough cash from me, they were discontinuing my Basic Phone service. However, they would be happy to set me up with a service that cost 3 times more. I told them to take a hike. I’m going with FIOS Phone service next week.

    Just my 2 cents …..

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