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Summary:

Verizon unveiled a package of incentives today that give users the triple-play bundle of voice, video and data for $100 a month. The incentives are aimed at getting customers to switch from cable bundles to Verizon’s FiOS TV, and I can’t help but compare what Verizon […]

Verizon unveiled a package of incentives today that give users the triple-play bundle of voice, video and data for $100 a month. The incentives are aimed at getting customers to switch from cable bundles to Verizon’s FiOS TV, and I can’t help but compare what Verizon is offering to my own package of communications services and see how true broadband competition would benefit consumers.

For $100 a month (with an annual contract) Verizon is offering customers unlimited local and long distance calling with Voice Mail, Caller ID and Call Waiting, FiOS Internet with 10/2 Mbps speeds and FiOS TV with up to 295 digital channels, including 14 HD channels. A triple-play bundle from my local cable company costs $140 and the bandwidth is slower (I won’t go into the HD channel debate here). Nor does Verizon limit customers with data tiers or caps, and reiterated that stance to me again today. Yet the company is still making money.

It’s hard to compare apples to apples on bundled plans, because the service offerings are so different, but in a time when cable bills are up by 7.5 percent and broadband providers are talking about caps and metered service, Verizon’s plans to deploy fiber to the home will put pressure on providers that end up competing with the carrier’s FiOS products. FiOS doesn’t just mean a potential check on pricing, but could also galvanize ISPs to offer better services (perhaps even ones customers will pay extra for), which would be a real win.

  1. I think the deal you write about has been around for a year. I have the triple bundle a step up that includes more HD and 20/5 Mbit internet…and yes the lonely phone.

    One thing to note is that a cable card or set top box (STB) is required to view most digital and HD channels. This is the same with cable companies and the telcos. So depending on what STB you get plan on adding an extra $5 to $10. And you can’t for get about the taxes and fees.

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  2. My problem with this stuff is that I neither need, want or can use all the services included in the bundle. I hardly talk on the phone at all and would gladly trade voice minutes for data on my iPhone. I certainly do not need call waiting, voice mail or any other whistle. I get by just fine spending a lot less than $100/month. (Well, that is not quite true as I do have an iPhone and high speed Internet access but I’m likely to give up the iPhone at the end of the contract as I am not getting real value from it.)

    The TV I watch is limited to a very few hours a week and to local channels which I get on a 46 inch LCD HD set from an antenna for free. Of course Comcast rips me off for doing this by charging me more than it would if I even subscribed to a “double – play”. I cannot, in fact, begin to stomach hundreds of channels. The prospect make me ill. On the other hand I would really like to be able to subscribe only to the channels I want to watch and to pay accordingly.

    Most of my video consumption these days involves streaming movies. If I had my druthers the cable industry would die a quick and awful death. The Internet would replace it and the cable companies would become nothing more than dumb pipes.

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  3. Sounds like a pretty decent deal. However the bandwidth for internet and the asymmetry of it all could seriously be improved. I’ve compared the two Dutch incumbents in this arena UPC and KPN on their Docsis and FTTH offers and the prices were about similar to the US, but Dutch customers get alot more bandwidth. Customers of another ISP, XMSnet, even get 50Mbit/s symmetrical for much less.

    http://internetthought.blogspot.com/2009/04/upc-fiber-power-triumphant-over-kpn.html

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