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If FiOS is available in your neighborhood, Verizon has already installed the fiber infrastructure and run fiber to a junction box. The home install involves a tech running the fiber from a nearby telephone pole into your house, installing the terminal that converts the optical signal to coax, POTS and (maybe) Ethernet, and setting up your cable box and router. This will take somewhere between three hours and forever. My install was closer to three hours, though (of course) I handled the router setup myself.
You may have seen some forum complaints about having to dig up the yard; that’s probably not applicable anywhere in MA since our old neighborhoods all have phone service coming off poles rather than buried lines. The customer premises equipment includes the fiber terminal, a backup battery and A/C power supply. The tech will want to locate all of that close to where the fiber enters the house, which is presumably also near where the cable TV coax comes in. The terminal will need to be close to a power outlet and your main phone junction box. We installed ours in the basement next to the breaker box. I was worried that I’d have to fish twisted pair through the wall to get the network signal to an upstairs router, but the coax output allowed me to use the existing cable TV wiring. The provided router has a coax input as well as a built-in 4 port 10/100 hub and 802.11g access point so you don’t have to go through any abnormal gyrations to get your computers hooked up.
I’ve had two complaints in the last 18 months: the install tech forgot to put the backup battery in during the initial install, so we had a beep in the basement for 24 hours or so until someone could come out and install it. Then, a couple months ago, my router flaked out and Verizon overnighted a replacement. No service outages or DNS hiccups, as far as I can recall. I also have a minor gripe in that Verizon redirects failed DNS lookups to their own search engine, which is kinda uncool. The wireless may or may not be a bit flaky. I have a running issue with my Chumby’s clock losing time and not updating via NTP, which I can fix temporarily by rebooting the router. Still haven’t figured that one out yet, but there it is. Our laptop and other wireless devices work just fine.
As for phone service, the phone does ride the light wave into the house, but it’s not really VOIP; 911 works normally and there’s an LED labeled POTS to represent phone status on the terminal box. The backup battery provides phone service for up to 4 hours (as I recall) in case of a power outage.
Definitely count me as a happy customer; it’s faster and more consistent than the Comcast cable we had in the old house, and the phone, cable and Internet all come on one bill without having to go VOIP.
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