FIOS or Fiber Optic Service is coming to my street and home but just when remains an unknown. Two Verizon trucks are out there now measuring the distances between my utility box and the fiber optic cable about 100 yards distant on the main street. Fios in Gaelic, by the way, means “knowledge.”
We’ve all seen the FIOS ads with the depressed red-haired cable guy which promises better TV and faster Internet than cable. Take away what we paid for one-off movies, my cable bill was about $160 last month and that includes DVR, HD and a $40 TV package with HBO and other movies channels. That’s also for phone, Internet and TV. FIOS looks to be nominally cheaper because its HD from the getgo whereas Comcast irritatingly charges me $13.95 extra to have HD cable boxes.
My back of napkin calculations has them neck and neck. FIOS phone/Internet/TV comes in $100, $110 and $140 packages. The advantage for us price will depend on whether the loaded $140 FIOS package would include what Comcast puts in the extra $40 movie package. The $140 FIOS package channel lineup looks to have us covered. However, I’m still trying to figure out how FIOS handles DVR which appears to be an add-on and as such, costs extra.
Comcast has been reliable and the Internet decently fast, but I’ve always wanted a choice and have repeatedly inquired with Verizon when FIOS would happen in my neighborhood. But just because the trucks are there doesn’t mean next week or month. The fiber was being hung on the main street last week. When I saw a reel of cable labeled “Corning,” I said to myself “hey, they make glass. It’s fiber! Must be FIOS.”
Now they are measuring how to get it into the four houses on my street. The friendly Verizon lineman told me they’d be back in a week or two to actually pull the cable undergound to main street. Then, the central office has to get the FIOS equipment. Bottom line: he guessed we’d have it by mid-summer although he heard no later than October.
With FIOS, my friends tell me there’s shakedown period getting everything to perform up to spec. One friend said his Internet service on Macs ran horribly slow at first and of course, with all new TV, there’s a learning curve. What’s more, premises equipment installation takes the better part of a day.
FIOS, welcome to da hood.