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Technology is the term we use for things that don't quite work yet.

I’m currently paying a ridiculous amount for a very pathetic Internet connection. I’m way past the range for DSL and I have been resigned to deal with the fact that I wasn’t going to have a good connection any time in the near future for a reasonable price.

So, for the first couple of months my brain didn’t allow me to even acknowledge the small army of Verizon trucks that started building up in the Canyon (Topanga Canyon). Since I didn’t want to prematurely get excited and become completely preoccupied by it, I just ignored it. Well, between the official Verizon announcements and my wife actually asking the Verizon guys what they were doing, I finally had to come to terms with the reality of the situation.

Box on lines
Box on lines
Box before mounted on lines
Box before mounted on lines
Fiber Dogs
Fiber Dogs

Fios (FYE-ose) is coming! FIber OpticSystem? FIberOpticS? FIber OShit! ‘FIber Optic Service’ (thx Zoli).

I’m not really sure what it means, but its good. For those who don’t understand the initial significance, fiber is going to START by giving you about 10 times what you get with a similarly priced DSL/Cable connection. It has the capability of being 100-1000x faster. The FiberDirect system they are using is capable of up to 622Mbits down and 155Mbits up.

That’s fast, very…very fast. That’s faster than your typical computer fast. That’s download a full DVD in a minute fast. Probably faster than you’re computers Ethernet (typically 10-100Mbit) and hard disk (typically 20-50MBytes/sec).

Anyway it isn’t going to be THAT fast out of the box.

It’s noteworthy that Verizon has chosen to pioneer the fiber territory (although SBC has announced in very me too like fashion a hybrid fiber network of their own which may turn out to have better economics). The RBOC’s (Regional Bell Operating Centers aka. Baby-Bells aka Verizon, SBC, BellSouth and US West/Quest) are entering in to a difficult time. Two of their primary sources of income, local and long distance phone calls are being encroached upon or wiped out. The cost of Long distance has fallen to almost nothing recently and IP Telephony only stands to shrink the market even further. The other source, local service, is being encroached upon by cable companies with wired solutions and with cell phone prices lower than ever, the wireless providers are squeezing them as well. Many users coming to the conclusion that their cell phone is all they need. So with cable providing internet, video and expanding in to voice and Wireless companies coming from the other side with slower but more convenient services, the RBOC’s need to find them selves a future.

Fiber patch bay (note garfield pencil box)
Fiber patch bay (note garfield pencil box)
Guy outside window! BOO!
Guy outside window! BOO!
Working yet?
Working yet?

The Internet and Video are obvious choices, but the sheer cost of building networks is enormous. Typically with large public companies, you end up in a quagmire of sorts. If you invest large sums of money in to a network with an unknown future and soak up all the profits, share holders tend to cry bloody mercy and run you out with flaming torches. On the other hand, if you hold off too long and don’t invest in new technology, the world will pass you by and before you know it, your industry doesn’t even exist! Kodak is a good example of a company that waited too long and is now paying the price for not embracing digital with all its might early on.

Details

Verizon is going to be spending billion of dollars over the upcoming years on rolling it out to all 35million of its customers. Here is a short list of sightings i’ve compiled, this list is in NO WAY comprehensive nor does it confirm availability. I just trolled through all the forums as of today, so you don’t have to. The only confirmed area to be up and running is Keller, TX. Huntington Beach and Murrieta have been announced but not confirmed.

Huntington Beach, CA
Murrieta, CA
Topanga, CA
Whittier,CA
Hillsborough County, FL
Tampa, FL
Valrico, FL
Lutz, FL
Pasco County, FL
Arlington County, VA
Leesburg, VA
Falls Church, VA
Massapequa, NY
Mineola, NY
Nassau, NY
Irvington, NY
Rockland County, NY
Chester County PA
Valley Forge, PA
Phoenixville, PA
Downingtown, PA
Wilmington, Delaware
Silver Spring MD
Rowlett, TX
Wylie, TX
Keller, TX
Grapevine, TX
Irving, TX
Allen, TX
Southlake,TX

Package pricing:

Up to 5 Mbps/2 Mbps*	Waived	FREE	$39.95/mo
Up to 15 Mbps/2 Mbps*	Waived	FREE	$49.95/mo
Up to 30 Mbps/5 Mbps*	Waived	FREE	$199.95/mo

Pirelli Optical Cable, (yes, the same guys who make high performance tires) seem to be providing the cable here. Kimmy was cool enough to get a Verizon guy to give her a piece of fiber to bring home. From this piece and the measurement (~14.6mm) of the cable that was temporarily hanging out side in our front yard I was able to determine that its probably an FusionLink Armored cable.

Installations are being reported as using AFC’s FiberDirect system. More reading can be found here… Fiber Direct Overview PDF and here… Fiber Direct Brochure PDF

Fiber
Fiber
Fiber lit by laser pointer
Fiber lit by laser pointer
Stalking verizon guys
Stalking verizon guys
Cable
Cable

And if you just can’t get enough, here are plenty more pictures of verizon guys.

2 responses to “Verizon Rolling out the Fiber”

  1. Zoli Elo says:

    Hey Jake, you have probably seen this link:
    http://www.broadbandreports.com/forum/remark,11150893~mode=flat
    Neat last “mile” pics.

    Btw, I believe that Fios = FIber Optic Service.

  2. Jacob Riskin says:

    Good call, its just funny to me that they don’t make it more obvious in any of the announcements.

    Yeah, I’ve seen that, I’ll post some more of the installation shots and a few links to some of the other sites discussing the topic.

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