Verizon Wireless FiOS: Is Fiber Optics Ideal?

Jan 24, 2014 fiber optics, fios, fios tv, 0 Comments
Verizon FiOS Wireless


The fictional tech-savvy wunderkind Ella Zander represents all that’s amazing about Verizon Wireless FiOS. It’s sleek, instantaneous, and can support multiple devices without a decrease in speed or quality. It also has a lot of footnotes and fine print to go through, so let’s see if we can sift through the pros and cons of what FiOS has to offer.

What is FiOS and How Does It Work?

Verizon Wireless FiOS is a network of fiber optic cables that sends digital information through the infrared spectrum of light.

The difference between fiber optic and the copper cable used by traditional phone and cable service providers (including Verizon itself on its “standard” plans) is that fiber optic uses the light spectrum instead of the radio spectrum to transmit data. Therefore, fiber optic networks can transmit data at significantly higher rates. Each individual service (TV, phone, Internet) is sent over a designated wavelength, which eliminates cross interference.

Verizon is certainly not the only telecommunications provider using this technology, which has been around for more than a century and has evolved into the streamlined package we know today. However, Verizon has been a very strong leader in applying fiber optics for the telecommunication industry.

Bundles and Options

Like most communications providers, Verizon Wireless FiOS prefers that consumers subscribe through a package deal and there are several introductory rates currently on offer. There are choices within these options however, so choosing requires a bit of time and consideration. All the current deals (as of this writing) include Home Phone service, which is comparable to Verizon’s mobile service, with unlimited nationwide calling.

The first bundle is for basic Internet with the “Prime HD” TV tier. This includes about 200 standard channels and 55 HD channels. The Internet service is pretty standard, rated at speeds of 15 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloading and only 5 Mbps for uploading; in other words, about an hour to download 5 gigabytes (GB) of data. It starts at around $90 per month. Verizon Wireless FiOS is offering to upgrade to their Quantum Internet (50/25 Mbps) for no additional charge for the first year. This introductory deal also includes a $250 prepaid Visa debit card for new customers.

The next tier is called “Extreme HD” and offers around 300 standard channels and 75 HD channels. This one starts at about $105 per month and includes the free upgrade to Quantum Internet and the $250 prepaid Visa card. For about another $20 per month, you can upgrade to “Ultimate HD” which offers around 400 standard channels and about 120 HD channels.

Finally, there is the super fast 75/35 Mbps Internet for around $115 per month when bundled with the Extreme HD TV tier, or $135 per month for the Ultimate HD tier. The Ultimate offers a $400 prepaid Visa card.

The Fine Print

First of all, be warned that the prices for these plans vary slightly depending on which page of the Verizon site you’re actually looking at, so it’s probably best to just phone the sales department. Secondly, FiOS isn’t as widely distributed yet as Verizon’s more standard services, which use traditional copper coaxial (DSL) wiring. You will need to verify that FiOS is available in your area before anything else.

All of these offers come in both the “2-year Contract” and “No Contract” varieties. Either way, the monthly fees go up to “standard rates” beginning in the 13th month. The only real difference seems to be that canceling your contract would require a monthly payment of $20 per month for the duration of the contract.

There is also an activation fee for service of around $50. Some of the new customer deals waive this fee, however, there will still be taxes, installation and equipment rental to consider. This means that these advertised specials aren’t necessarily as “special” as they might appear to be. Be sure to look over the “terms and conditions” section, so you aren’t surprised by any hidden fees.

Finally, note that the prepaid Visa cards are only distributed to customers who keep their accounts in good standing for the first 60 days. After that, customers will receive their prepaid Visa cards between two to four weeks.

Verizon wireless FiOS is a very popular service that many have chosen over traditional Cable TV services. Check your street address in our Digital Landings Deals page for free to see if Verizon FiOS is available in your area.

Photo Credit: Txlucky1


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Kim Leonard (aka Geek Broad) can't really remember what life was like before iMac, smartphones, Netflix, and Facebook. She is also an independent filmmaker who produced two films last year, including the feature-length comedy, "Friends of the Bride." You can follow her on Twitter (@GeekBroad) or like her "Geek Broad" Facebook page.

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