» Visit the Verizon FiOS Homepage
» Verizon FiOS Zip Code Checker
» Verizon FiOS News
» Verizon FiOS Reviews
Verizon broadband comes in two flavors. The latest version is Verizon FiOS, which either stands for fiber optic service or, according to the company's trademark, is a Gaelic word meaning knowledge. Either way, it's their fastest broadband service with download speeds up to 50 mbps.
The speed is due to the company using fiber right into the home. This differs to other providers who run fiber cable to their central offices or street cabinets but rely on copper wire for the final internet connection into the house or building itself.
Fiber internet services aren't available everywhere. As of 2009, availability was estimated at 12.7 million homes, with 3.1 million having internet access and 2.04 million getting FiOS TV. The plan is to extend this to 20 million homes by the end of 2010. The most complete coverage currently is around New York City and New Jersey. A map of the US shows the service is provided in sixteen states with future deployment planned for a further twelve, leaving 22 states with no likelihood of service in the foreseeable future.
Current states likely to receive service are Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Virginia, Washington, Texas, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Future plans for Illinois, Maine, Arizona, Idaho, Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin have been indicated.
The website does have a zip code checker so you can see what is available where you are. If you don't get VerizonFiOS, the alternative is the Verizon high speed internet service that uses DSL technology over a standard phone line. This doesn't give the same level of performance as fiber but the claim is that broadband DSL offers consistent speeds that cable can't match.
Each type has a range of plans with different prices and speeds. These range from a starter plan through to the fastest plan with high speed download and upload. If you want to join, you can choose the plan that suits your needs and sign up online. All plans come with phone and online support plus free wifi for some and optional extras such as security and backup. There are the usual bundle deals where you can include a telephone and television service at signup.
The ISP was ranked 'Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among High Speed Internet Service Providers in the East' in the JD Power and Associates 2009 Residential Customer Satisfaction Survey. PGMag.com rated it number one for reliability, speed and overall customer satisfaction for three consecutive years. Despite this, many customer reviews complain of poor customer service and problems with incorrect billing.
The service is provided by Verizon Communications Inc, originally founded by AT&T as Bell Atlantic Corporation. It changed to its current name in 2000 after merging with GTE and is headquartered in New York City with revenues of over $97 billion in 2008. Verizon Wireless, a joint venture with UK-based Vodafone Group, was formed in 2000 to provide mobile communications. It became the largest US wireless carrier with the acquisition of Alltel Wireless in 2009.
Controversy was caused in 2007 when users reported that mistyping a website address redirected them to the company's own search engine rather than the one they had set as default. The company claimed this was to help customers reach the required site but the suspicion was it was more about gaining revenue from adverts on its own site. A similar development saw the company limiting searching on smart phones to Microsoft Bing, which upset customers who used different search providers.
If you want to see what's on offer, the web address is www22.verizon.com. There was a big push by Verizon a couple of years ago to wipe out cyber-squatting on their domains. Many domain registrars (afraid of lawsuits) turned over any domain name with the word "verizon" in it - even without their customer's approval. So now, entering variants such as www.verizon-fios.com or www.verizonfios.com will redirect you to the main site. However, www.verizon.com or a mistyped www.verison.com takes you to their mobile phone site while the often-attempted www.fios.com brings up a secure mail login ... though it doesn't appear to be Verizons. †