Light Reading

FiOS Tracker

Raymond McConville

9:00 AM -- Welcome to the FiOS Tracker, a recurring series that will attempt to keep you up to date on the happenings of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s high-fiber service. This collection of notes, links, and news will be assembled with the help of our resident FiOS fanatic Raymond McConville, a loyal Time Warner Cable subscriber. Here's what's going on:

  • Arlington becomes the latest town in Massachussetts to have FiOS TV service made available. That makes 40 Massachussetts counties that now have FiOS. Sorry, Bostonians. No FiOS for you yet. (See Fiber-to-the-MDU: Verizon's Manhattan Project.)
  • Cable's FiOS killer is catching on in Japan as one carrier this week announced it would deploy a 160-Mbit/s service based on pre-Docsis 3.0 wideband gear. (See Japanese MSO Moves 160 Mbit/s.)
  • FiOS comes to Venice, Fla., for about 21,000 homes. Verizon is also expected to make the town just like its Italian namesake by destroying the sewers and flooding the streets. (See What Price FiOS?)
— Phil Harvey, Dialup Editor, Light Reading

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Raymond McConville
Raymond McConville,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:10:25 PM
re: FiOS Tracker
Ah, but we did say "no FiOS for you YET."

You seem to have left that word out of the quote in your subject line. No doubt FiOS is coming to the big cities, but it's not there YET. Unless you attribute a few scattered buildings in one neighborhood on the outskirts of Boston to an arrival that is.
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 3:10:25 PM
re: FiOS Tracker
Not quite:

Boston Globe, Nov. 2, 2006
An urban fiber-optic challenge
Verizon to use Dorchester as a test site for bringing high-speed Net into cities
By Keith Reed, Globe Staff | November 2, 2006

Verizon Communications Inc. is installing fiber-optic Internet service in Dorchester, using Boston's biggest, and one of its most diverse neighborhoods, as a test site for the challenges the company will face in bringing "FiOS" to urban areas nationwide.

But relatively few Dorchester residents will be able to get the high-speed service, which promises download speeds up to 10 times faster than Verizon's popular digital subscriber line service, any time soon. Verizon says installation is moving at a snail's pace because it's harder to run lines in an urban setting than in the neat, suburban grids where most of the more than 100,000 Massachusetts residents live who already subscribe to FiOS.

"We're starting to dip our toes in the water in places like Dorchester because we get a sense of what it's like to install fiber in urban areas where you have to go underground, under the streets," said Philip G. Santoro , a company spokesman.

Installing fiber in suburbs where many of the homes are detached single-family structures tends to be easy: Connect a wire from a telephone pole to a box called an optical network terminal on the side of the house. But cities are a challenge. Many utility lines are underground instead of on poles, and dropping fiber under streets involves opening manholes, pumping out water and dangerous gases, then sending in work crews. "And you have to repeat that every 150 to 200 feet," Santoro said.

It takes five times as long to design the network for a city neighborhood than it does in the suburbs, Santoro said.

Verizon crews can run 70 feet of fiber-optic cable per hour in the suburbs, compared to 20 feet per hour in urban areas.

Installation in Dorchester started in the first quarter of 2006 but the company didn't begin advertising its availability until August , mostly through mailings to homes that are close enough to the new lines to be eligible for the service. Verizon won't say how many local FiOS subscribers it has in Massachusetts nor will it say exactly how many it has in Dorchester. Santoro acknowledged there are few in Dorchester because the service is so new there.

By installing fiber optics in an ethnically diverse neighborhood populated mostly by middle-class and low-income people, the company may be able to refute critics who have accused Verizon of high-tech redlining.

User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 3:10:22 PM
re: FiOS Tracker
Ah, but I did say "Not **quite**".

VZ is clearly dipping a cautious toe in the water, to see what it takes to deploy and market FTTH in a low-rise urban area. Dorchester is an interesting choice, if you know Boston urban geography and demographics. I predict they'll get take rate for FiOS TV at the high end of expectations, especially if they're able to get enough international programming in the right packages at the right price.

Those of us who've been around Boston for a while also remember how long it took Continental Cablevision to bring up cable to most of the city. For a long time, there was an impasse in the historic Beacon Hill and Back Bay neighborhoods over aerial vs buried construction, and then over permitting for the burial. Will be intreresting to see how all this plays out for VZ.
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 3:10:20 PM
re: FiOS Tracker
Singapore is also pushing pre-DOCSIS 3.0 services. And according to Starhub's Thomas EE, the Singapore operator's seen an increase in subscription data services since it's improved its bandwidth capacity. (More here:

How soon will US MSOs follow suit?
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:10:14 PM
re: FiOS Tracker
Excellent question...I hope soon, as the MSO's don't really have much other choice to compete across all market/product segments other than using 3Ghz equipment from Vyyo, as Starhub has chosen.
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