A reader who is a happy Verizon’s FIOS customer left an interesting comment on one of the older posts. He said he loved the service, but decided to save some cash and wanted to switch back to the older technologies. My problem is that Verizon monopolizes […]

A reader who is a happy Verizon’s FIOS customer left an interesting comment on one of the older posts. He said he loved the service, but decided to save some cash and wanted to switch back to the older technologies.

My problem is that Verizon monopolizes your house once FIOS is installed. By removing your copper wire you are now forced to stay with Verizon until other carriers have fiber optic capabilities. I did not find out about this until I wanted to switch back to DSL to save some money. They said “Nope, can’t”

I have not heard of this before, and if you have, then drop me a note, or leave a comment. It is understandable given that they are spending a lot of money rolling out the service, but why rip out the copper?

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  1. Fiber or bust

    Om reports a reader’s post that Verizon is literally removing the copper wires from homes that subscribe to its FIOS fiber optic services, making it impossibel for users to switch back to DSL. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is…

  2. Yes. I’ve seen this on Broadband Reports forums and on Vonage forums. My understanding is that they take the copper away if you’re already a Verizon phone customer, but that they might leave it in place if you get your phone line from another provider. If you want the copper line re-installed, then you’ll have to get it done by another provider.

  3. I’m a FiOS user and I love it. Not sure how you could change back to DSL after using it because it just plains SMOKES. But here’s what I’ve heard…

    Verizon has EOL’d copper in my area. It’s going all fiber. From what I understand, all new installs will be fiber (even for just pone service) and anytime they can they will switch customers over, like when FiOS gets intsalled. Since the POTS is giving way to VoIP this just makes sense. It’s all about speed and no way you slice it is copper going to beat FTTP in a speed test.

  4. I just had the oddest conversation with Verizon, I was checking FiOS availability and my address wouldn’t come up in their data base. I’m in Sunnyvale CA, pretty much the heart of Silicon valley. After getting bumped around a bit I spoke with somebody in their fiber depart who told me they are not planing to roll fiber to Sunnyvale, or the surrounding areas, ever, no plans for any of the cities.
    Can this be right? Some sort of non compete deal with SBC or something? Weird and sad, since my SBC dsl is pretty substandard performance wise and… well lets just I have had some unfortunate experiences with Comcast.

  5. I used to have FiOS at my home in Lewisville, TX – a townhome community where Verizon laid only fiber, no copper anywhere in the community.

    I had the 15MB/5MB connection with Vonage over the line. It was FANTASTIC!!! I did so fricking much, unbelievable…..

    I was actually saving money since I took the data only service for FiOS + Vonage= 65 incl taxes…

    I had to move to WA and I hated selling the house and getting back to DSL (shiate!!!) :(

  6. I am a very satisfied FiOS customer and, yes, Verizon uninstalled the copper from house-to-street in my installation. The fiber install was very professionally done (from house to street and in the house), while my old copper seemed to be to be “hanging by a thread”, probably in place for many many years.

    I agree with J Gales that, once you get FiOS, it is hard to imagine going back to DSL. In my subscriber zone (Westchester County NY) the charge is only marginally higher for fiber and of course the performance is tremendously higher. My VoIP service is very good (using the Vonage/Linksys router) as well, so I can not imagine going back to POTS either. VoIP over fiber + high-speed data over same fiber – isn’t this the Holy Grail (at just $44/month, $34 if you keep your POTS service with Verizon)?

    Regarding the “monopoly” worry – I see none. My local cable operator would be more than happy to give me free installation of a “triple play” package (voice, data, content) as soon as I become dis-satisfied with Verizon. However, is it not also true that Verizon – as the incumbent RBOC – is required to provide “universal service” in its coverage area? If Verizon of its own accord has torn out your copper but you become dis-satisfied with their FiOS data service, it would seem that Verizon would STILL have to provide you POTS service through the fiber or de-install it and give you your copper back.

  7. If you go and look at Verizon’s investor presentations at the time the launched FOIS, they made the point that half the benefit of FTTH is the lower maintainance costs – local loop fibre has lower maintainance costs than local loop copper (partly because with fibre there’s no powered equipment between the exchange and the customer premises). If they leave the copper in place they don’t get that benefit.

  8. Why rip out the copper? Because telcos pay tax on assets…rip out the asset, no tax. Makes sense to me. Lowers the cost for everyone. Let’s be a little reasonable here.

  9. Cloudy Thinking by Ron K. Jeffries » Blog Archive » FIOS Lockin Saturday, October 15, 2005

    [...] [see also Om Malik] [...]

  10. No question that Verizon is ripping up copper. In addition to taking away your ability to ever get lower cost DSL, it removes you ability to obtain competitive service from a COVAD or other comptitive LEC that leases copper to provide end user services. (Verizon is currently required to lease a “voice grade channel,” but it’s not clear that they actually do.)

    Note that Verizon’s claim to “reduce maintenance” costs is baloney. Verizon is also telling Wall Street that they will not install FiOS unless someone orders a fiber-based service, like video or high-speed. This “success based cap-ex” is their answer to why they won’t go broke installing, but it also undermines Verizon’s claim that it will save on maintenance. For as long as Verizon only installs to people who buy additional services, they will be maintaining TWO NETWORKS — one the old copper network and one FiOS, all in the same neighborhood.

    Amazingly, Verizon also touts that it will stop investmment in maintenance of copper. What this means for grandma and others who don’t have the money for FiOS is unclear, but given the deteriorating services, it cannot be good.

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