FIOS Update – Read ‘Em And Weep

A few days into my Verizon FIOS experience I figured it was worth updating everyone with a few lessons learned.

  1. The basic FIOS package is a 5 mbps downstream / 2 mbps upstream service. If you get the Internet service bundled with phone service and some phone features (like call waiting, call forwarding, voice mail, voice dial, 3-way calling) it will run you about $55 a month. That’s about what I was paying for Comcast Internet service alone – I have and will continue to maintain DirecTV – so it was a pretty easy decision to switch
  2. Upgrading to the 15 mbps downstream / 2 mbps upstream service is $10 a month more.
  3. You can get the base package down to the $44 range by dropping some of the phone features. I was able to get the $10 knocked off the base rate by dropping voice dial and 3-way calling.
  4. That left me at the original $55 rate with a 3X speed increase. Very nice!
  5. If you have Verizon cell phone service setup with OneBill (which is free and easy to do) as FIOS you can get $13 a month off the FIOS bill (for 12 months) which drops your costs (temporarily) even more. You have to ask for a customer service rep to “find” that discount for you but it’s worth a few minutes on hold for $156 in savings. That puts my cost for FIOS Internet and phone service down to $42 a month. I didn’t check but my recollection is that’s only maybe $10 more than our phone service alone cost last month…
  6. If you have a home alarm it’s probably wired directly to the Network Interface Device (NID) and the install may wreak havoc on your service. My advice is to unplug your service (there should be a RJ31 jack inside the alarm box) prior to the installer arriving. Make sure he gets dialtone delivered to that location, but don’t plugin the RJ31 jack again until there’s dialtone. Once the alarm “sees” the phone service again it will attempt to call the main office. Arrange with your alarm service to run a test (the silent panic mode is handy for this) while the installer is still there and make sure you still have dialtone after the test is over. Some alarms may seize the line and not let go, but generally if you’ve had the unit unplugged from the phone service during the install you should be fine if you wait until the install is done to reconnect it.

Since I already knew how much Comcast sucks, that’s pretty much everything else I’ve learned this week…

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