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blog

FIOS!

John Federico

Availability of Verizon FIOS service has just been announced in my area. Steve's going to have his installed next week(!), but it's not available in my town yet.

I called to pre-order the mid-tier service: 15 Mbps downstream/2 Mbps upstream for $49.99/month. I can't (yet) justify the top-tier package: 30 Mbps downstream/5 Mbps upstream for $179.95/month to my "Management". (aka my wife...)

;)

Some points to note:


  • When you get FIOS service, you no longer have copper telephone lines (POTS) in the house. All of your telephone lines get converted to VOIP Digital Loop Carrier (DLC) service over the fiber connection. What happens if I decide to cancel my FIOS broadband? Do they limit my service to just VOIP? Probably. Yep. According to a commenter named Scott, you can cancel your broadband service and still keep the voice service using DLC.
  • There's a 4-hour battery backup in case of power outages, so you can make emergency calls. Can I turn the system off to conserve the battery in case of a real emergency? Unknown, but I'll ask.
  • A technician will install everything - including Cat-5 wiring from the fiber connection into your home office - for free.
  • It comes with a free wireless router, but they administer it. Steve thinks you can get administrative access to it. If not, I'll just turn off the WAP portion of the router and use my own WAP.

They pushed me to get their cable TV service, too. I told them I'd have to wait to see what the reviews are like before I switch from Comcast. (The devil you know is better than the devil you don't, as they say...) I'd also like to find out if they offer a DVR with the cable TV.

UPDATE: Yes, FiOS TV has plenty of HD and DVR goodness. All I had to do was look for it...

A few scary things from the TOS:

3.3 You agree that you are responsible for all use on your account, including any secondary accounts or sub-accounts registered to your primary account. You understand this means that you accept full liability and responsibility for the actions of anyone who uses the Service via your account, or any secondary accounts, with or without your permission. You also agree to use the Service only within the United States.

Guess I'll be locking down my wifi...

3.4 The Service is a consumer service and is not designed or intended to be used by any business or for any business or commercial purpose.

Does that mean I can't work from my home office on occasion? Are they going to limit VPN access across the network?

3.8 Verizon reserves the right to audit connections electronically to enforce these or any other provision of the Agreement.

What exactly does that mean? Are they going to be packet sniffing?

3. You may NOT use the Service as follows: ... (b) to post or transmit information or communications that, whether explicitly stated, implied, or suggested through use of symbols, are obscene, indecent, pornographic, sadistic, cruel, or racist in content, or of a sexually explicit or graphic nature; or which espouses, promotes or incites bigotry, hatred or racism; or which might be legally actionable for any reason;

The internet is full of pr0n and with broadband that fast, you know some people are going to switch to FIOS for that very reason. How can they limit that type of usage? Isn't that in violation of fair trade against the companies that provide those type of wares?

(g) to post information on newsgroups which is not in the topic area or charter (e.g. off-topic posting) of the newsgroup; (h) to interfere with another person's usage or enjoyment of the Internet or this Service;

Come on. How are they really going to monitor and enforce this?

(j) to damage the name or reputation of Verizon, its parent, affiliates and subsidiaries, or any third parties;

So basically, if you're unhappy with Verizon and you voice your opinion somewhere on the interweb, they can cut you off. How convenient.

(n) to generate excessive amounts (as determined by Verizon in its sole discretion) of Internet traffic, or to disrupt net user groups or email use by others;

If it's at their sole discretion, wouldn't it be nice to know what their policy is, so you don't run up against it?

(s) to cause the screen to "scroll" faster than other subscribers or users are able to type to it, or any action that has a similar disruptive effect, on or through the Service;

Huh?

It's these next sections that really make the hair on my neck stand up:

4. ... In addition, Verizon expressly reserves the right to terminate or suspend the Service of any Subscriber or account holder if Verizon, in its sole judgment, believes that circmstances relating to the infringement of third party intellectual property rights warrant such action...

Guilty until proven innocent.

7. Verizon reserves the right to cooperate with legal authorities and/or injured third parties in the investigation of any suspected crime or civil wrong. Such cooperation may include, but not be limited to, provision of account or user information or email as well as monitoring of the Verizon network.

None of this is going to deter my quest for bandwidth, but it does make me think twice about the power wielded by large corporations.

[tags]FIOS, Verizon FIOS, Verizon, Broadband, Digital Media, Cable, Television, TV[/tags]