The FCC recently conducted a study of some of the top broadband ISPs in the country and measured customers’ actual bandwidth as compared to what the ISPs advertised. FiOS really came out on top.
The report is available on the FCC site. The bottom line, though, is that Verizon FiOS averaged nearly 120% of advertised speed (i.e., more than was advertised) and Cablevision was between 50% and 75% of advertised speeds. Latency (ping) was also heavily in FiOS’s favor.
Well, that was quite an ordeal. But Verizon came today and finally installed FiOS. All’s well that ends well, I suppose. My phone number was finally ported over and the internet is insanely fast. This is 25/25 internet with my desktop Fedora box plugged into the TP-Link router which is then plugged into the FiOS ActionTec router. I didn’t want to have to reconnect all my computers to a new SSID so I’ll just continue using the TP-Link until I have a reason not to.
One thing I did right away was change my DNS servers. The default DNS servers with Verizon were 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52. By default, Verizon uses “DNS assistance,” meaning that DNS queries against these servers will return IP addresses when they should return NXDOMAIN, so if you mistype the hostname in a URL it can direct you to a page full of ads. You can disable this by replacing the last octet of the default DNS IP with 14. So for the two IPs above, it would be 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11. I figured I’d compare the response times of these servers with Google’s 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124. I used dig to time DNS requests and also used ping to measure latency. 126.96.36.199 was the fastest for me, followed by 188.8.131.52 and then 184.108.40.206, so those are my primary, secondary, and tertiary DNS servers.
Several weeks ago, I scheduled the FiOS install for 5/14/2011 and they said it would be between 8am and 5pm. I got confirmation emails (welcome to FiOS) and a confirmation call on 5/12. I waited all day yesterday for Verizon to show, and they never did. I called at 11:58 AM and gave my order number to see if they could tell me roughly what time the tech would be here, since I didn’t want to sit around all day if the tech wouldn’t be there until 4 PM. They couldn’t. They said we were still scheduled for today, between 8 and 5. I asked if they could call the tech scheduled to do the installation and see when he thought he’d get here and I was told they couldn’t.
At 5:45 we called Verizon to find out what happened, why the tech didn’t show, since we’d waited around the house all day. They told us the order had been put on hold 2 days before because Cablevision wouldn’t release our phone number. I understand things happen, but not calling to let me know, and then giving me incorrect info when I called, is inexcusable. The Verizon rep we spoke to afterwards wasn’t even apologetic. Disappointing.
Verizon is coming tomorrow to hook me back up with FiOS. I figured I’d do one final speedtest with Cablevision’s Optimum Online Boost (30 Mbps down, 5 Mbps up advertised). The speed’s been pretty consistent, but it’s just not as good as FiOS.
So we switched back to Cablevision and it went pretty well, but apparently Verizon users can’t call our house number (ported from Verizon to Cablevision). Verizon users have to call from their mobiles in order to complete the call. I’m guessing that Verizon hasn’t updated their systems to indicate that they no longer “own” our number and is trying to route the call inside their network. Sucks because I can’t imagine Verizon jumping to help fix this since I’m not their customer anymore.
I switched to FiOS in December, 2009, and I was pretty apprehensive, having been a Cablevision customer for many years. I really had no problem with Cablevision’s service, I just thought their pricing was much too high in the face of the new competition (and deals) Verizon was offering. I ended up going with Verizon due to their awesome deal, but now it’s almost a year later and I can’t imagine going back to Optimum. It’ll probably come down to price when the current promo pricing I have with Verizon ends, but if the price was equal then no contest – I’d stick with FiOS.
Fios was installed today. Took longer than expected but I guess it went well. FiOS digital voice is pretty good, has one or two niceties that Optimum Voice didn’t (caller ID info in the emails it sends, for instance). The Motorola STBs are way better than the Scientific Atlanta (or whatever) that CV provides… I’m awestruck that when you hit the Channel + button, the channel actually changes.
Cablevision offered to woo me back again but since the service was already installed I said no thanks. They did say they’ll pay the termination fee for me to go back. Interesting… Anyway, Fios’s speeds are pretty good, I got as high as 26/20 on the 25/15 line. The Actiontec router is pretty nice too (model #MI424WR-GEN2).
Well, this was unexpected. Verizon is really playing hardball with pricing. When I called this morning to cancel my install appointment, Verizon countered and they offered an extra $30/month discount. I asked for an extra STB for free (I figured all they can do is say no) and while the rep said she couldn’t do that, she did increase the credit to $40/month which would more than cover the cost of the 2nd box. So as of this moment, I’m on for FiOS tomorrow.