Verizon FiOS Installation and HDTV Quality of Service Review
by Chris Lewis of BabylonVillage.com
I decided to try the new Verizon FiOS Internet and Phone bundle after receiving countless advertisements in the mail from Verizon. I was very skeptical since I have enjoyed my Cablevision Optimum Online Internet Access for over 10 years without any problems. I still had Verizon as my Phone service and was paying about $50 per month and my Optimum Online and Cable TV was about $120 per month. I did not like the Optimum Voice since it relied on the cable modem to work and if there was a power outage my phone would not work, plus my late Uncle Joe worked his whole life for Bell South in Ft. Lauderdale Florida (30 years) and I always want to remember him by supporting Telephone Company workers. So on November 13th 2007 the Verizon FiOS Technician came to upgrade my old phone line service to the new high tech Verizon Fiber Optic Service.
I was told when I signed up that I would have a Verizon FiOS Technician come between 8 and 12am which was fine since I was home on vacation that week. The technician came by around 10:45 and was very friendly. He introduced himself and ask me some basic questions to help with the installation. He then asked me if I would like to test the speed of my current connection using SpeakEasy.net . I said fine and we logged into my computer and accessed the Speed Test Tool and I was told my internet access speed was about 7 mbps download and 2 mbps upload. He told me we will do the test again once the Verison FiOS installation was completed.
He then needed to run a Fiber Optic cable to the main junction terminal which was about 2 house south (about 120 feet). This may be done prior to the installation. I know this because I was going to have the FiOS installed about a year earlier but decided to cancel since I was still unsure. Before I could cancel the installation date I noticed I had another wire hanging from the side of my house. It was a Verizon FiOS cable which was installed in advance of the installation date without my knowledge. Since I canceled my 1st install I called Verizon and asked if the cable could be removed, they where very accommodating and had a technician remove the cable within a couple of days. I also asked the Verizon FiOS Technician if he could remove my old telephone wire while he was on the ladder and he said as long as I asked he was allowed to remove the old wires and code off the work properly. He finished installing the new cable and removing the old cable and was ready to move on.
The next step was to install the Verizon FiOS Optical Network Terminal on the side of my house. This terminal is what separates Verizon from Cablevision. Verizon delivers the Fiber Optic signal right to your homes new Optical Network Terminal box and Cablevision customers share the signal from the central station located somewhere in the neighborhood. I was told by Cablevision that the Verizon customer is powering Verizon's system because the Optical Network Terminal box is powered by the customer's electrical supply. I will let you know if I notice any jump in my electrical bill. I do not think I will notice anything since I was told that the ONT box uses about as much electricity as 2 nightlight. Once the Verizon Optical Network Terminal was installed on the side of my house I started to see how professional this system looked and was waiting to see if this was going to be an improvement or not.
The next step was to install the Power Supply Unit (PSU) and the Battery Backup Unit (BBU) inside the house. The two units need to be located near an electrical outlet since this is what powers the system and charges the Battery so you will have up to 8 hours of phone use if you happen to loose electrical power.
Once the 2 units where installed it was time to install the new Verizon secure wireless router. The technician installed the router and also setup my other wireless network to access the new network. I was very impressed with the new router since it was one unit and my Optimum Online network was 2 units (a cable modem and wireless router) which both used electricity. The only problem I had with the new network which will effect allot of customers is accessing the new router with my son's Xbox 360 console. I needed to update the firmware in the router so the Xbox 360 would be allowed to connect to the network. I was not concerned about this since I new this may be a small settings problem in the router and after 5 minutes of researching the FAQ's on the Verizon web site, I was upgradingthe router with the new version of the firmware. If you find yourself having trouble connecting your Xbox 360 to the Verizon FiOS network click here for more information and the upgrade firmware. Clink the link to download and print the Verizon FiOS XBox 360 upgrade information.
After everything was installed it was now time to download the Verizon Speed Optimizer Tool the Verizon Central web site. This Verizon FiOS Optimizer Tool would help improve my computers ability to download and upload from the internet faster. The Verizon FiOS Technician explained to me that the TCP/IP and MTU settings need to be tuned for optimal performance and that this tool will check the settings and make the necessary adjustments. Well it was now time to check the new internet speed at SpeakEasy.net and boy was I surprised to see that my computer was now downloading at 20mbps and uploading at 5mbps.
My new FiOS Phone service was also very clear and now up to date with the latest Fiber Optic technology. The total time to install the new FiOS Internet and Phone system was about 3.5 hours but well worth the time plus during the installation I was able to ask the technician about the FiOS TV service which was now something I was considering doing.
After the FiOS Tech left my wife and I decided to try the new FiOS TV service since the system that Verizon installed on my house was very professional and the new FiOS TV Service must be as professional. Well the Verizon customer service representative was very helpful and scheduled a Technician to come to my house on November 20th 2007. A new Technician came early in the day and upgraded my splitter to allow for a optimal HDTV signal for my televisions. I was unable to be home but my wife was in contact with me and I was able to speak to the new Verizon FiOS Technician. He asked me some basic questions and was able to finish the installation in about 2.5 hours.\
When I returned from work I could not believe the difference of the HD picture on my 32 inch Sony HDTV which we purchased from Plessers in Babylon Village. The same channels which we watched on IO where much clearer and more defined on Verison FiOS plus when we change channels on FiOS there was not a delay like we experienced with Cablevisions IO TV and HDTV.
I would recommend trying Verizon FiOS Internet, Verizon FiOS Phone and Verizon FiOS TV since the system is very professional. I will update this review with any new developments as time goes by. "Experience FiOS"button below.