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 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11. 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 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124. I figured I’d compare the response times of these servers with Google’s 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52. I used dig to time DNS requests and also used ping to measure latency. 184.108.40.206 was the fastest for me, followed by 220.127.116.11 and then 18.104.22.168, 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.