A week with Verizon's FiOS.
Lauren and I had Verizon's FiOS fiber optic internet service installed at our house last Saturday. This entailed that Verizon come out and replace our copper wiring at our phone box and replace it with their fiber optic cabling, as well as installing a couple of new boxes in the house to provide a UPS backup for our phone service.
Benefits to installing FiOS at your house:
Really fast internet – Seriously, we're talking 2 megabit/sec. upload and 5 megabit/sec. download for roughly the same money that I was paying for my 128 kilobit/sec. upload and 384 kilobit/sec. download that I had with my DSL line. Sweet.
FiOS TV down the line – Allows you to get your cable TV service, at some point in the future (depending on location, may be available now), from Verizon.
Downsides to installing FiOS at your house:
Verizon takes out your copper lines and replaces them with all fiber optic lines – Verizon takes out the regular copper phone lines running to your house and replaces them with fiber optic cables as part of the installation. What this means is that Verizon, for now, is the only place you can get phone or DSL service from. You can switch back, but you'll have to pay to have your copper lines reinstalled.
Electricity isn't able to be provided to your phone in case of a loss of power – Your phone company provides power to your phone normally, so in case of a power outage, your phone can still work. Fiber optic lines don't conduct electricity, so this ability disappears. Verizon compensates by installing a UPS that provides up to eight hours of power, though power is cut to the internet connection to allow the power to stretch as long as possible for the regular phone connection.
I was pretty happy with Verizon's install team and the installation process. I had one false start, where Verizon had said they were coming to install the new fiber optic service, then called that day to let me know they weren't going to be coming after all. We rescheduled for last Saturday, where two gentlemen showed up when they were supposed to, worked with me to get their equipment installed so that my office was the place where the internet connection came in, and even worked to get my existing Linksys router connected and talking correctly with the D-Link router that Verizon says is needed by their service.