We got our new ISP activated on Saturday, and we had selected Verizon FIOS. On a dollars per bandwidth unit basis, it was by far the most effective way to spend the money. The choices where we are were Verizon DSL, Bright House cable, and Verizon FIOS.
I had priced the DSL a couple of months ago, and Verizon was offering 1 Mbps for $19.99/month and 1.5 Mbps for $29.99/month. We were considering the 1 Mbps DSL service simply on the cheapskate basis. However, when I checked again last week, the prices had been sharply changed upward. The 1 Mbps was $29.99/month, and the 1.5 Mbps was $39.99/month. I happened to have a chat session going with a Verizon representative, and part of it went something like this:
Me: So what additional value has been added to the DSL options to make them worth $10 more a month now than back in January?
[2 minute pause]
Verizon Rep: I’m sorry, I don’t have any information available about that.
Me: Good answer.
While we didn’t really want to reward Verizon for the predatory pricing structure they’ve created on DSL, the bandwidth available with Verizon FIOS was just too tempting. The FIOS Internet service starts at 15 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream at $54.95/month. It’s more than we wanted to be budgeting for our internet, but we really do use it.
A Verizon service person called last Thursday to discuss access to our driveway. It’s a mere 663′ long. His job was to get the fiber optic cable laid down to the house. We found out that they had to put in a splice; they’ve marked that patch of ground with flags and recommended that we don’t plan to extend our driveway over that spot. I had informed them about the long driveway in the chat session, and they get their fiber optic cable in 1000′ lengths, so they should have had plenty to manage to get there without a splice.
The actual install went fairly smoothly. Verizon says installation may take between four and eight hours, but our install was done in about three.
I did a Speakeasy bandwidth test, and the gear delivered a bit more than advertised, so that’s to the good. We’ve been using Bright House cable to access the internet since last August, and we’ve had a variety of annoying lapses in what we’ve been able to do. For instance, we use email on a server located in Texas. We have not been able to send email through that server for several months. That has now been remedied.
The next step is to get our home internal network set up again. Right now, FIOS does look like it will help us get done the things we need done on the internet.
Update: OK, I found a slightly annoying thing here: poor DNS resolution. Apparently, the FIOS router defaults to a set of not-so-hot nameservers. Fortunately, I can specify better ones on my individual computers. See this page for an explication of the problem and the fix.