Wednesday, December 17, 2008

FiOS - The new kid on the block

FiOS Sidebar.  I was talking about FiOS in my morning post this morning and wrote so much that I just decided to make a separate post for it. 

FiOS can provide cable television, telephone, and internet services to your home - Verizon operates as a cable provider in this sense (as most cable providers provide all 3 as well), and not just the telephone/internet provider that most know them as.  Although I can't find it right now - I am not looking that hard - I know Verizon used to advertise that the word fios is also Gaelic for "knowledge" - which makes sense because fios is able to bring so much knowledge (data) to your home.  Verizon is awesome.  

Basically FiOS is a service known asFTTP, or Fiber-to-the-premises - meaning that Verizon actually runs Fiber right to your home.  Most cable and telephone companies have FTTN, or Fiber-to-the-Node - which means that Fiber comes from the Central Office to the node in your neighborhood (serving anywhere from a dozen to a hundred homes), and then travels from that node via coax or some other kind of copper or other 1800's-esque wiring.  FTTP dramatically increases the bandwidth (amount of data) that can travel into and out of your house - because you have a dedicated fiber line, and your house is only requesting the data it needs at the time.  Meaning if you are watching Channel 3, only channel 3 is being sent over the fiber into your home.  Over FTTN, every channel has to be sent out over the coax to your house - so even if you are watching Channel 3, there needs to be room for Channel's 4 and 5 on that coax because that is what your neighbors are watching - which overall decreases your bandwidth.  

Those of you who have had a cable modem since the early days (this won't apply to you if you had DSL), will remember that at first it was blazing fast, and then as more people in your neighborhood got cable modems - it slowed down, until the cable company installed a new node.  This is essentially the same concept - yes the cable companies can keep adding nodes, but to what point -- why not just get the data right to the customer.  

AT&T also was caught up in the Fiber craze not to long ago - attempting to expand their lackluster cable service - UVerse (or something stupid like that).  But they decided to be cheap and only go for FTTN, combining that with their already lackluster customer service - they were branded as a normal cable operator and everyone hated that.  Okay, that was just my personal opinion ... but either way who cares - FiOS is better and coming to more places.

Verizon has taken on loads of debt to bring Fiber into neighborhoods (its very expensive), and doesn't even charge you to hook your home up to the Fiber (which costs another few hundred dollars) - but they are making a bet that this is where the future lies.  And I tend to agree with them.  As the internet becomes more prevalent in our lives (yes we will become even bigger information whores then we are today), we will demand more from our services and more data - and Verizon will be there.  Not to mention they can get blazing fast internet to you for really cheap (fiber is fast - its how the internet travels around the globe).  

But more importantly, I have never heard anyone rave about the great experience they had with their cable provider.  Comcast sucks, RCN sucks a little less, Cablevision sucks, Time Warner sucks, Charter sucks ... those are the only ones I can think of - but guess what, they all suck.  I'm sure Verizon has its problems, but any competition in the realm of cable providers can only be good.  

Anyway - if you have the option - get FiOS.

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