Exploring the Verizon FiOS Internet

Nov 4, 2013 fiber optics, fios, high speed internet, 1 Comments
Verizon FiOS Internet


Verizon FiOS Internet is Verizon’s next generation telecommunications service for residential and commercial customers. Instead of delivering phone, Cable TV, and Internet over coaxial cable that has been used for the past few decades (for Cable TV services), the FiOS service makes use of fiber optic cable (called fiber, for short) from their office all the way to your home or business.

Without going into the technicalities of why, copper coaxial cabling is extremely limited as to the amount of information that it carries. Advancements in technology has given providers and carriers the ability to provide multiple services over the same wire/cable, but Internet speeds are limited and voice quality, even when the phone service is digital, has been lacking.

Can you hear me now? Sometimes.

Since information is transmitted over fiber optic cabling using light (produced by lasers) and the frequency of this light can be varied, and multiple light frequencies can be used at the same time, fiber can deliver an almost limitless bandwidth. Additionally, although they won’t tell you this, it’s cheaper in the long run for providers to use fiber since it is capable of transmitting information over longer distances without the use of external signal boosters or power amplifiers. Even better, again since it’s light-based, there is no interference from electrical sources or storms.

No Electrical Interference? What Does That Mean?

TV, Phone, and Internet services that utilize copper coaxial cable to deliver their services to customers can be adversely affected by stray electrical signals. You can perform a really simple experiment to see this: Turn on your stereo and play some music. Next, place an energized power cord on top of one of the speaker wires, and turn on the device or appliance connected to the power source. You’ll hear some noise that is definitely not part of the music you’re listening to. That’s noise.

Have you ever heard weird noises on your phone when having a conversation, especially long distance? That’s noise generated by outside electrical interference. With fiber, that doesn’t happen.

Verizon FiOS Internet Offers More

Verizon offers digital quality Home Phone service that is advertised as HD quality, ultra High Speed Internet, and several Cable TV packages for FiOS customers. You can choose any or all of the services you want. Those that opt for FiOS Internet have several packages to choose from, with speeds ranging from 15 Mbps down and five up, all the way up to 500 down and 100 up. You’ll also have the ability to stream live TV to your tablet (including Kindle Fire) or smartphone if you have Verizon’s FiOS app.

Like I mentioned above, fiber optic cabling enables data speeds that are, compared to copper, through the roof. Typically, providers will advertise Internet speeds of up to 50-55 Mbps with copper cabling, and that’s actually stretching things a bit. However, with Verizon FiOS Internet, you can realize speeds of up to 500 Mbps. This is like the jump in bandwidth from dial-up to fast broadband Cable Internet.

Additionally, I’ve been seeing reports on the technology front that tell me that in the not too distant future, you’ll be able to have Internet speeds that rival a fast Ethernet network connection at 1 Gbps. Some of the vendors in the fiber optic transport market are working on technological advances that will conceivably bump that number by a factor of 40, which means that once they mature these technologies and bring them to market, we can realistically expect home Internet speeds as high as 40 Gbps.

So what does this mean to me you ask. Well, if you’re like me, you’ve got a couple of computers, a tablet or three, as well as smartphones and video game consoles and they’re all connected to your Internet service. Have you ever tried to stream a movie on Netflix while your son/daughter plays Call of Duty with their friends online? If you’ve got a regular copper coaxial connection, my guess is you probably pulled some hair out in frustration.

With Verizon FiOS Internet, this won’t be the case, since even Internet services advertised at up to 55 Mbps really deliver much less than half of that. When you order a specific speed with FiOS service, that’s the speed you’ll see. So, tell your kids to play to their hearts’ content, while you enjoy yourself in front of the TV with a bowl of popcorn.

Speaking of popcorn, if you have Verizon FiOS Internet, you better make sure it’s popped and ready to eat before you select and queue up your movie because it only takes a couple of seconds to buffer the movie, instead of up to a couple minutes.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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Mike is a certified low voltage installer with over 10 years of professional experience in the field, much of it working for Cable TV companies. He also has over a decade of experience in the computer field as a network engineer and support specialist. Mike's hobbies include installing high-end audio and video systems.

One Comment

  • wendy

    My question is, yeah it’s fiber optic to your house but all the coaxial cables in your home don’t get changed out. Now wouldn’t that affect the signal? I switched to Fios years ago when the tech was here I asked aren’t you going to change the cables in the house and he said no.

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