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Cable/Video

Comcast VOIP Rollout Spurs Verizon FiOS

Clearly feeling the heat from Comcast's accelerating rollout of VOIP and discounted "triple-play" bundles, Verizon Communications is stepping up its own deployment of FiOS broadband data and video services around the country to counter its growing loss of phone access lines.

In their second quarter earnings call with analysts this morning, Verizon executives indicated that they are rolling out FiOS faster than expected this year, at least partly because of heightened competition from Comcast and other cable operators plunging into IP telephony. With 4.5 million homes passed by their new fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) plant by mid-July, up 1.5 million households from the close of 2005, Verizon officials are now shooting to exceed their target of 6 million homes passed by the end of the year.

Verizon executives are also looking to drive up their FiOS Internet and TV take rates faster and further than before. Disclosing its FiOS data subscriber numbers for the first time, the company said 375,000 phone customers have signed up for the high-speed Internet service so far, which amounts to 12 percent of the 3.1 million customers who could get it during the second quarter. The telco netted 111,000 FiOS data subscribers in the spring quarter.

"Could we go higher?" says Verizon Chairman & CEO Ivan Seidenberg. "The answer to that is: I expect it to and that we drive our people to make it go higher."

Get the rest of the story on Cable Digital News.

— Alan Breznick, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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twill009 12/5/2012 | 3:46:29 AM
re: Comcast VOIP Rollout Spurs Verizon FiOS Roughly 100k new Fios subscribers? Is anyone else underwhelmed? This appears about 20-25% less than at least one Wall Street estimate I checked this morning. No wonder ADCT, Tellabs and others are talking about inventory corrections.

Despite all the ink spilled about Fios, the actual impact is pretty minimal. This is sounding more and more like ADSL circa mid-1990's.

Also, I wish LightReading and other media outlets would stop repeating the party line about 'homes passed' -- that is a highly suspect number, a little like dot com companies counting eyeballs. When all is said and done, the number of subscribers is the real number that matters.
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:46:20 AM
re: Comcast VOIP Rollout Spurs Verizon FiOS 1. The installation is performed by a Verizon Technician.

2. Depends on what you mean. Today, an install includes running the drop cable so no. The outside install, also means that the Ethernet is connected to the home through a custom installation.

3. Verizon owns the ONT. They own the NID on the side of your house now (or whomever your carrier is owns it). You start at the demarc points in the NID.

4. ONT stays. You may not be moving to an area with FiOS AND when GPON rolls out someday, the BPON ONT and GPON area are not compatible either.

5. ONTs are accessible remotely for some OAM functions and privisioning.

6. ONTs today are layer 2 bridges, so they have no firewall. STBs today lie on the RF overlay and are controlled like Cable STBs. The data firewall comes from the BHR which Verizon supplies and many consumers replace with their own.

7. No wireless today, but it would be easy enough to put in there. Verizon announced earlier this year a push to deploy MOCA to cut installation costs.

You might want to check Verizon's website for FiOS (easily searchable enough).

A couple of other points here. Remember this is an outdoor installation. There are indoor components of that including getting the PC to surf. So, the install requires the customer to be present. Wireless theoretically could make the home kit customer installable (the BHR and such). It would also be possible to use VDSL from the ONT to create an indoor install of data separate from the Outdoor install of POTS. This would use Switch IP video instead of RF Video as is used today.

Wiring the home is a really big deal. That area swamps the other problems, which are not as unique as home setups are.

seven
stephencooke 12/5/2012 | 3:46:20 AM
re: Comcast VOIP Rollout Spurs Verizon FiOS Hi Seven,

I was wondering how FIOS is installed in a home...perhaps you can help me? Once you read through the questions perhaps you could redirect me to a site with more information instead of answering them all. Thanks in advance.

When a customer requests service is the ONT installed by a technician? Do you feel that this can someday become a Radio Shack item that is consumer installed (I don't think so but it seems that many carriers are completely enamoured with this deployment model)? Who actually owns the ONT? When a customer moves to a new house can they take the ONT with them and possibly save a few $ on having another technician install it or is it bolted to the wall so it stays with the original house? Can VZ access the ONT remotely or even reach through it to monitor the STB (I am assuming that the firewall is also a VPN that they can perhaps control)? Is there any wireless (eg: WiFi) capability in the ONT?

These are currently things that the HGI is discussing and I would like to get a NA carrier deployment-based viewpoint.

Thanks again,

Steve.
stephencooke 12/5/2012 | 3:46:19 AM
re: Comcast VOIP Rollout Spurs Verizon FiOS Thanks Seven & OP for your responses...

OP you mentioned the battery:

"The technician also must install the battery which is the customers to replace. Note the location becomes critical because of UL battery safety concerns."

Is the battery customer replaceable? I am assuming that it is rechargeable via the home mains power...? What is its expected lifetime and what does it cost for a replacement? How long is the battery expected to provide power?

Seven,

You mentioned GPON rollout. There is obviously no upgrade plan for the BPON that is being installed today. How many flavours of PON will eventually be deployed and need to be supported as part of FIOS do you think? What can those people in Keller do if they want GePON later...anything?

Thanks again,

Steve.
OldPOTS 12/5/2012 | 3:46:19 AM
re: Comcast VOIP Rollout Spurs Verizon FiOS Not seven, but they are implementing in my neighborhood and I worked with several telcos, including VZ on this.

" is the ONT installed by a technician?"
The ONT is property of VZ per contract. Bolted to side of building or inside Garage. It is installed by their technicians which must pull a fiber from a splitter on the curb to your house. (they got my sprinkler system twice) Not only are video and data services cabled in the house, the phone connection Must be moved to the ONT and tested. The technician also must install the battery which is the customers to replace. Note the location becomes critical because of UL battery safety concerns.

"Can VZ access the ONT remotely or even reach through it to monitor the STB (I am assuming that the firewall is also a VPN that they can perhaps control)? Is there any wireless (eg: WiFi) capability in the ONT?"

They can monitor it remotely like a DSL modem. No wireless capability. This is expected in the STB in the house.

OP




optiplayer 12/5/2012 | 3:46:18 AM
re: Comcast VOIP Rollout Spurs Verizon FiOS "Also, I wish LightReading and other media outlets would stop repeating the party line about 'homes passed' -- that is a highly suspect number, a little like dot com companies counting eyeballs. When all is said and done, the number of subscribers is the real number that matters."

I don't believe the comparison to eyeballs is valid. The DLECs (Covad, etc.) used to throw a DSLAM in an equipment cage at a CO and count every sub in the CO as a home passed. That was nonsense. What VZ is doing is different. There is substantial work and cost associated with passing a home with FiOS. Right now it costs them about $1,000 per home passed which is significant money even for VZ.

It appears that Verizon has three categories: homes passed (currently 4.5M), homes "open for sale" (currently 3.1M) and subscribers (currently 375k). Each is a valuable metric in measuring Verizon's progress in what is a make or break project for them.
OldPOTS 12/5/2012 | 3:46:17 AM
re: Comcast VOIP Rollout Spurs Verizon FiOS "Is the battery customer replaceable? I am assuming that it is rechargeable via the home mains power...? What is its expected lifetime and what does it cost for a replacement? How long is the battery expected to provide power?"

It is customer replaceable (big and bulky) and is recharged via home power. I believe the expected liftime before replacement was about 8 to 10 years and cost a couple of hundred dollars plus environmental charges.
I think the expected battery power lasts for 8 hours after AC outage. This requirement is driven by the phone service that MUST be moved to FIOS (VZ requirement) from twisted pairs.

This is my recollection and others may correct me.

OP
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:46:17 AM
re: Comcast VOIP Rollout Spurs Verizon FiOS
1. The battery is replaceable. Life of these is a hot topic. Theoretically, battery life is 8 hours of hold up but again...theory. The batteries are similar to 12V batteries in Home Depot.

2. Probably 3 - BPON, GPON, WDMPON. Why would the consumer care what the technology is. If you read the FiOS page, they are buying Voice, Video and Data Circuits not PON ports. Right now you can buy a 50/5 service on BPON. Likely as not, higher speeds will be available.

seven
twill009 12/5/2012 | 3:46:15 AM
re: Comcast VOIP Rollout Spurs Verizon FiOS Thought you all might enjoy this as much as i did when i first saw it:
http://www.nyquistcapital.com/...

stephencooke 12/5/2012 | 3:46:13 AM
re: Comcast VOIP Rollout Spurs Verizon FiOS Again, Thanks Seven & OP for the great info! I also liked the link to Nyquist. It seems totally strange to me that VZ has to use batteries when the twisted pair is still there for mechanical support of the fibre. I guess the current draw on the ONU (or is it ONT...I get confused) is too much for twisted pair...?

Regarding the comment on xPON evolution... the old addage of "give the customer a bunch of bandwidth and they will find a way to use it" says that people, even those in Keller, will want more at some point down the road. I am sure that even 50/5 service will not be sufficient for some people in a couple of years. This reminds me of the famous Bill Gates quote having to do with "no one should ever need more than 64k of RAM."

Steve.
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