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  1. Entering the Twenty-First Century - Jonathan Pryor's web log
    1. Entering the Twenty-First Century

Entering the Twenty-First Century - Jonathan Pryor's web log

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Entering the Twenty-First Century

As a child (late 1980's/1990's) I remember reading books stating that in the future we'd all have fiber-optic cables going to our houses (Fiber To The Premises, FTTP). I got the impression that fiber optic had been promised since the 1970's.

Last Friday, that nebulous future became reality, as Verizon came by my house to install FiOS, their FTTPH (Fiber To The Home) technology, providing phone, Internet, and TV service. Installation took six hours.

It's 99.999% of my childhood memories of FTTP. With FiOS, the optical fiber terminates outside my house; from there, it's a Coax cable to a Router, which acts as a cable-modem (Coax input, Cat-5e output) that my computer can plug into. (It's missing 0.001% of my memories as the pictures I saw had the optical fiber running directly to the computer in question, and I have ~50' of Coax cable between the Optical Network Terminal outside my house and my computer.)

Installation involved involved drilling a new hole into my laundry room -- the system relies on a battery backup to allow phones to work in the event of a power failure -- and terminating lots of cables. The biggest holdup was transitioning Verizon's network to use the optical network for my telephone instead of using the (no longer used) 12-V phone line. A supposedly 10-minute operation became a 60 minute operation as a part at the tel-co needed replacement, a part that apparently never breaks. (It would break for me, wouldn't it...) The next biggest holdup was setting up the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) -- plug it in, and it starts downloading...something (program guide, etc.), and it takes awhile for it to get downloaded.

Observations/thoughts:

Finally, why did I do this? Largely because of Comcast -- they keep upping the prices of their TV+Internet service, such that it's currently ~$101/month just for "basic" cable (~70 channels) and Internet, and it goes up every year. With FiOS, I'll be getting a slightly slower Internet download speed (5Mbps vs. 6Mbps download, though (1) FiOS has a 2Mbps upload compared to a few hundred kb for Comcast, and (2) the installer mentioned that Verizon will likely bump the low-end download speed to 10Mbps) for over $10/month less. FiOS also provides TV service, which is also cheaper. At present, it looks like I'll be getting Verizon TV + Internet + a DVR for less than Comcast.

Posted on 30 Apr 2007 | Path: /etc/ | Permalink
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