Verizon’s FiOS – Something to be avoided


Verizon’s FiOS – Something to be avoided – Updated 4/25/2017

As those in their market service area are well aware by now due to the deluge of mail, phone calls, barrages of TV and radio advertisements, not to mention the pages and pages of print ads and mailers, Verizon has a product called FiOS.

FiOS is Verizon’s all in one answer to putting voice, internet and cable TV functionality in your home and to do so at a low cost – low cost at least to them.  Once they get all the fiber run in an area they then can pump a wide variety of goods and services down that one single little piece of fiber optic cable into your home.

Now, I have to admit, Verizon services and support are generally about as good as it gets.  You usually don’t end up with a brain dead technician to answer your tech support calls, coming out install or fix any of your problems, unlike some cable companies I know.

My problem with FiOS isn’t the services or support, it’s what happens AFTER they install the product to a home or site that has existing telephone service.

Keep in mind that with a regular telephone that is wired to your house with what we call “twisted pair wiring”, that the power supply that drives this connection, gives you your dial tone and makes things work when you pickup the phone is supplied by the telephone company.  They generally do a very good job at making sure that there’s power to the phone lines even if there’s no power to the house.   Your home can be as dark as a cave and there’s a good chance your telephone will still work.  This comes in handy for things like natural disasters from storms, power loss due to bad weather, your neighbor deciding to play Paul Bunyan and dropping a tree across your power line, or any of many other reasons we’ve all run into at one time or another in our life.

But, this all changes when you convert to FiOS.  During the conversion process, your copper cable is disconnected.  All power supporting the cable, internet and telephone functions is provided by you in your home.  Yeah, I kinda wondered if the power companies weren’t in on this as well when I first started thinking about it.  But the big hazard comes in when you lose power to your home.  At this point, you are switched to a very small short term running uninterrupted power supply (UPS) which is also installed with the FiOS.  How long this will keep you up and running will depend on its size and age.  Like all rechargeable batteries (of which this is one) they tend to deteriorate over time and they also have a short finite life when they’re fully charged.

The kicker is, when this UPS goes dead, your whole house goes dead.  Forget making any phone calls.  It just won’t happen.

For a good part of the population, this may not be a concern or just a passing pain in the tuckus, but, for the older parts of our population, this is a concern.  These are the people that may have a medical or other issue and need to be able to call someone for help or other logistical issues or needs.

When I first published this, I was fairly immediately hit with comments about how one could go out and recharge their cell phone on their cars, or how the current trend was away from copper and into fiber due to the amount of additional services we could have marketed to us.  Well, what about the older parts of our population that may not be able to go out to their car and recharge their cell phones?  And why do I need to buy additional services from Verizon, or whomever, if the current works just fine and even in a disaster?   Speaking of disasters, this now means that in a Katrina type event, you now not only have to wait for your local Telco to fix THEIR wiring, you have to wait also for the power company to send power to your house.  Is this really goodness?

Let’s look at the demographic trends of our population.  Guess what, we’re getting to have a much larger older population segment.  This trend is not in question. They’re going to be a concern due to their lack of availability to call out once the touted 4-hour limit of their UPS is dead.  This segment is growing and it’s not going to stop.  They can live VERY well without cable TV, but they can’t live without the means to call for help.  And for many shut ins, this is their social network.

So, I asked a Verizon representative about that and their reply was “go buy a cell phone”.  Now, let me get this straight, you want me to go buy another phone which is very expensive just to be able to call you and tell you that your service is broken and my house needs power and the phone at my house doesn’t work?  Well, their response is basically “yes”.  Granted, many of us already have at least one cell phone so for most of the reporting part isn’t an issue…unless you don’t have access to it…or the battery is dead…or you’re in one of the many dead cell zones that the Verizon Bimbo and his army of “technicians” just haven’t found yet.  Hello Verizon, can you hear me yet?  My house is in one of those partial dead zones.  And I’m on a ridge about 1200 feet about sea level.

Then, nobody is talking about what’s going to be done to handle all the toxic waste created from all these UPS batteries when they go dead and are past their usefulness time!?  If you figure out how many houses in the US have a phone in them in a metro area, figure that they’re going to need their battery replaced every 3 or so years.  In a short period of time, we’re going to dumping a lot of batteries in landfills and when they start to leak that’s a lot of lead acid that’s got to go somewhere.  Hello Al Gore, where are you and why aren’t you thinking about this as well?  Or are you too busy flying around in your private jet and calculating how big the carbon footprint of your house is this week?  Want to retire early and rich?  Figure out a way to PROFITABLY recycle these  batteries!

My recommendations are thus:  Avoid FiOS totally.  If you MUST have FiOS make sure that they install it separate from your existing telephone lines and if you’re a multiple phone line home (which many are due to internet dialup from several years ago), make sure that at least your main line is still a twisted pair copper wire connected to the home telephone switched network.  If they can’t guarantee you that you’ll keep your original copper line for telephone voice calls, you need to tell them “NO THANKS!”.

I’m Don Rima and that’s the way I see it, From Where I Stand.

About As Dumb As It Gets, Cell Phones, Technology Trends And Directions

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