Verizon Fios logo
|Founded||September 22, 2005
Keller, Texas, U.S.
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, U.S.|
Verizon FiOS (occasionally branded as fios by verizon or simply FiOS), is a bundled Internet access, telephone, and television service that operates over a fiber-optic communications network to over 5 million people in nine states. The name, FiOS, is an acronym for Fiber Optic Service. Service is offered in some areas of the United States by Verizon Communications, while Frontier Communications operates licensed FiOS services in former Verizon territories across six states, using a nearly identical network infrastructure. Fios service began in 2005, and networked areas expanded through 2010, although some areas do not have service or cannot receive TV and phone service because of franchise agreements.
Verizon was one of the first major U.S. carriers to offer fiber to the home, and received positive ratings from Consumer Reports among cable television and Internet service providers. Other service providers use fiber optics in the network backbone and existing copper or coax infrastructure for residential users.
- 1 History
- 2 Technology
- 3 Television
- 4 Internet access
- 5 Telephone
- 6 Criticism
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
Early Development (1995-1996)
The early stages of Fios began when Bell Atlantic was testing its video service "Stargazer" in 1995. This was the world's first commercial VOD (Video on Demand) service, which was tested to 1,000 homes in northern VA. During this time there were talks of developing a fiber optic based service. This service was developed at a headquarters located in Reston, Virginia.
"This will be folded into our deployment of fiber to the curb," Mr. Townsend said, referring to Bell Atlantic's plans to deploy a high-tech fiber-optic system.
Launch and expansion (2005–2010)
In September 2005, Verizon Communications, announced the launch of its Fios television service, which first became available for 9,000 customers in Keller, Texas. Verizon aimed to replace copper wires with optical fibers, which would allow greater speed and quality of communication.
In 2006, Verizon and Motorola partnered to bring its customers home DVR access, which allowed viewers to record and watch television programs simultaneously. In 2006, The Wall Street Journal speculated:
Verizon Communications Inc. is fielding offers for [sale] ... of traditional telephone lines ... part of the New York-based phone giant's strategy to delve deeper into the wireless and broadband arenas, while getting out of the traditional phone business in U.S. areas that aren't slated for fiber upgrades ... Verizon also has been shopping a package dubbed "GTE North" that comprises about 3.4 million access lines in former GTE Corp. territories in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan.
In addition to expanding its customer base, Verizon expanded its services in the first few years. Home Media DVR, a digital video recorder, was released in 2006. Fios updated its user interface in 2007, allowing customers to access widgets for localized content, such as weather and traffic. Verizon announced in January 2008 that one million people subscribed to the service. By the end of 2008, Fios offered more than 150 HD channels. Price increases were announced in April 2008, when Fios was available to (not necessarily subscribed by) 6.5 million households.
In January 2009, Fios was available to 12.7 million homes, with about 2.5 million subscribing to the Internet service. As of June 2009[update], Fios Internet had 3.1 million customers. Estimates on December 31, 2009, were 3.4 million Internet customers and 2.86 million for Fios TV, with availability down to 12.2 million premises.
Stable footprint (2010–present)
Following relatively poor financial results for the wider company in early 2010, Verizon announced in March 2010 that it was winding down its Fios expansion, concentrating on completing its network in areas that already had Fios franchises but were not deploying to new areas, which included the cities of Baltimore and Boston, which had not yet secured municipal franchise agreements. Doug Michelson, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, concluded that "Verizon has been overspending to acquire Fios customers". Some viewed the halt in expansion as a violation of Verizon's agreements with some municipalities and states, since Verizon has collected revenue to deploy infrastructure upgrades that never occurred. In New Jersey, Verizon collected an additional $15 billion in fees from customers and tax subsidies in exchange for promising fiber optic broadband for the whole state. The New Jersey government altered the deal in 2014 to allow Verizon to substitute wireless internet access to fulfill its promise instead. Verizon defended itself, claiming that they had spent $13 billion building fiber optics in New Jersey, about $7.6 billion more than the company anticipated. Critics pointed out that wireless internet was slower and less reliable.
In April 2010, Verizon announced that three million people were subscribed to Verizon Fios. In July 2010, estimates were 3.8 million Fios Internet subscribers and 3.2 million TV subscribers, with availability to 15 million homes.
In May 2013, Verizon announced it had passed 18 million homes with Fios and 5 million customers.
In April 2015, Verizon announced that it added 133,000 new Fios Internet connections and 90,000 net new Fios Video connections in Q1, taking its total subscriber base to 6.75 million and 5.74 million, respectively.
As described in 2007, Verizon Fios services are delivered over a fiber-to-the-premises network using passive optical network technology. Voice, video, and data travel over three wavelengths in the infrared spectrum. Service is distributed by single-mode optical fiber that extends from an optical line terminal at a Fios central office to the neighborhood where a passive optical splitter fans out the same signal to up to 32 fibers, thus serving up to 32 subscribers. At the subscriber premises, an optical network terminal (ONT) converts signals to the corresponding in-home copper wiring for telephone, television, and Internet access. Some Fios installations use an Ethernet cable for data and coaxial cable for television, while others use the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) protocol for both data and television over a single coaxial cable. Telephone service is provided over existing cabling in the premises.
One of the three wavelength bands is devoted to carrying television channels using standard QAM cable television technology. The other two wavelengths are devoted to all other data, one for outbound and the other for inbound data. This includes video on demand, telephone and Internet data.
This allocation of wavelengths adheres to the ITU-T G.983 standard, also known as an ATM passive optical network (APON). Verizon initially installed slower BPONs but now only installs GPONs specified in the ITU-T G.984 standard. These bands and speeds are:
- 1310 nm wavelength for upstream data at 155 Mbit/s (1.2 Gbit/s with GPON)
- 1490 nm wavelength for downstream data at 622 Mbit/s (2.4 Gbit/s with GPON)
- 1550 nm wavelength for QAM cable television with 870 MHz of bandwidth
The set-top box (STB) receives IR code and channel subscription information through the out-of-band (OOB) channel, like other coax or RF-based STB. However, guide data, cover art, widgets and other data are sent via IP over the data channels. All upstream OOB requests (or responses) are sent via IP over the data channels. All non-OOB data transactions to or from STB's are carried over the MoCA channels. The MoCA channel is also used to carry out inter-STB transactions, such as multi-room DVR and synchronization.
Verizon's broadcast video service is not IPTV (Internet Protocol television), unlike AT&T's U-verse product and CenturyLink's Prism product. However, video on demand content and interactive features, such as widgets and programming guide data, are delivered using IPTV-based technology. The majority of content is provided over a standard broadcast video signal that carries digital QAM content up to 870 MHz. The QAM system is identical to HFC cable TV, but is only one-way, and is not interactive, with no VOD or SDV content going over the QAM (VOD and SDV go over out of band IP). The 870 MHz QAM system was primarily done to satisfy franchise agreements that required a basic channel packaged with unencrypted, no STB required/cable-ready TV, channels. This broadcast content originates from a Super Head-End, which sends the signal to a Video Hub Office for distribution to Fios TV customers.
From the Optical Network Terminal (ONT) at the subscriber premises, the RF video is typically delivered with a coaxial connection to a Fios set-top box that handles both RF and IPTV video. Interactive services such as VOD and widgets are delivered by IP and are only accessible through use of a Fios set-top box and a Verizon-supplied router. The router supports multimedia (MOCA) and provides the set-top boxes with programming guides and all SD channels, but high definition content (beyond local HD channels which are in clear QAM) requires HD equipment like a Fios HD set-top box/DVR or a CableCARD-supporting device, such as TiVo. In 2008, Verizon ceased carrying analog television signals in parallel with digital channels, meaning televisions without a QAM tuner or a set-top digital adapter received no signal.
Fios TV Plans include:
|Name||SD Channels||HD Channels|
|Fios TV Local||20+||5+|
Fios Spanish TV Plans include:
|Name||SD Channels||HD Channels|
|Fios TV Mundo||200+||35+|
|Fios TV Mundo Total||205+||40+|
In early January 2013, Verizon introduced Quantum TV service, to help expand the functionality of the conventional set-top box offered by Verizon Fios. The VMS can also record up to twelve TV shows at the same time, and it allows the customer to pause and rewind live TV. It also has up to one terabyte of internal storage which equates to 100 hours of HD content.
The older Quantum boxes have Motorola branding on them, but the newer Quantum boxes have Arris branding on them, as a result of Arris' acquisition of Motorola's Home business.
Fios Internet was the first service offered under Verizon's Fios brand, and is one of three of the product line's current offerings. The broadband internet service initially launched in Keller, Texas, in 2004, a year before Fios TV was available.
The service offers several data transmission speed tiers for subscribers. Originally, peak speeds topped out at 30 Mbps. Until 2014, upload speeds were slower than download speeds for any given plan, but Verizon decided to increase the upload speed to match the download speed of each tier. As of 2016, upload and download speeds range from 50 to 500 Mbps, depending on the plan. At 50 Mbps, the lowest-tier plan is double the FCC's definition of broadband.
|Download Speed||Upload Speed|
|50 Mbit/s||50 Mbit/s|
|100 Mbit/s||100 Mbit/s|
|150 Mbit/s||150 Mbit/s|
|300 Mbit/s||300 Mbit/s|
|500 Mbit/s||500 Mbit/s|
Traditional telephone service
As a component of its product line-up, Verizon also offers plain old telephone service (POTS). It has been reported in various markets that Verizon physically disconnected the copper lines, or the network interface device, for copper-line phone service at the time that Fios was installed, and that Verizon customer service talked customers into upgrading from copper with false promises of no changes in service rates.
Verizon sold landline operations in the markets of northern New England to FairPoint Communications in March 2008. Fiber to the premises projects in those markets was renamed as FAST (Fiber Access Speed Technology). In June 2010, Verizon sold landline operations scattered throughout 13 states to Frontier Communications. Some of these areas already had Fios service availability, for which Frontier became responsible. In 2015, Verizon sold Texas, California, and Florida landline and Fios operations to Frontier.
Fios Digital Voice is a voice over IP service that uses an ONT as the VoIP gateway, generating dial tone to enable traditional analog telephone service. The service began in September 2008. Fios Digital Voice replaced an earlier service, VoiceWing, which was launched in 2004 and discontinued in early 2009, shortly after the launch of Fios Digital Voice. It is the only telephone option for new Fios customers, and it offers an unlimited calling plan or $.05/minute plan. Fios Digital Voice has numerous international per minute calling plans as well.
Inside wire maintenance
Verizon offers the Inside Wire Maintenance Plan at a fee of a $9.99/month, which covers diagnostic and repair service for inside wiring and jacks. For Fios customers, it also covers jacks and wiring associated with Fios services.
When Verizon Fios was first launched in 2005, Verizon's shares decreased by 4.6% while AT&T (which was still technically SBC at the time, as it was still finalizing its purchase of AT&T Corporation) rose by 38.7%. Critics argue that Verizon's low prices could put their fiber-optic network in jeopardy, since the cost of building a fiber-optic network could surpass the return from Fios sales. While there has been criticism of Verizon Fios since its launch, there have been many positive reviews of the services. A 2007 report noted the high quality of the service and that subscribers enjoy the fast Internet speeds and high quality HD channels.
The Weather Channel carriage dispute
On March 10, 2015 at midnight EDT, The Weather Channel and its sister network, Weatherscan, were pulled from Verizon Fios after the two parties were unable to come to terms on a new carriage agreement. The services have respectively been replaced by the AccuWeather Network (which launched on March 13) and a widget provided by Fios featuring forecast content provided by WeatherBug. No public announcement was made regarding the removal until over 12 hours after TWC and Weatherscan were pulled. The Weather Channel offered a less expensive deal to Verizon Fios, which rejected the offer. Verizon cited the wide availability of the internet and mobile apps for consumers to access weather content any time of day as the reason for dropping TWC and its services.
The Weather Channel had earlier signed renewal agreements with major providers that are members of the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), including Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications. While Verizon claimed it was a long-term business decision (instead of a carriage dispute) that it made, The Weather Channel launched a campaign to urge viewers to contact Fios about restoring the cable channel and its services.
In April 2015, ESPN Inc. sued Verizon for breaching its carriage contract by offering ESPN and ESPN2 as part of a separate sports package under its new "Custom TV" service. ESPN's contract requires the two networks to be carried as part of the basic service. Verizon and ESPN reached a deal in May 2016. The terms of the deal were not made public.
On May 19, 2015, Cablevision sued Verizon in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, to challenge Verizon's claim that it is 100% fiber-based. Cablevision started an advertising campaign to take the case mainstream. The two companies agreed to end the dispute in September 2015. The terms of the deal were not disclosed at the time.
In October 2015, both New York City, Philadelphia. and Pittsburgh threatened to file lawsuits against Verizon for failure to deploy Fios throughout their cities. In areas where Fios isn't available in those cities, they must either sign up for satellite television or the local cable company. New York City has several including Cablevision and Time Warner Cable, while Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are dominated by Comcast.
- AT&T U-verse
- Prism TV
- Bell Fibe TV
- Fiber-optic communication
- Fairpoint Communications
- Frontier Communications
- Google Fiber
- Multiple system operator
- Very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line
- "About Verizon Fios Communications". broadbandmap.gov. Retrieved 2015-06-02.
- "Verizon Fios Overview and Coverage". broadbandnow.com. Retrieved 2015-06-01.
- Team, Trefis. "Verizon Reports Strong Q1 Earnings Amid Sluggish Subscriber Adds". Retrieved 2015-05-12.
- "Fiber-Optic Providers Are Leading Choices for Internet, TV, and Telephone Service". Consumer Reports. January 5, 2010. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- "Consumer Reports Survey: Bundling TV, Internet, and Phone Services Point to Big Savings". March 28, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Belson, Ken (September 25, 2005). "Verizon Introduces Fiber Optic TV Service". The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
- Corner, Stuart (Aug 15, 2006). "Verizon Launches the Three-channel DVR". ITWire. N.p.
- Searcey, Dionne; Dennis Berman (May 10, 2006). "Verizon Fields Offers for Phone Lines; Value of Two Packages May Total Up to $8 Billion; Bigger Focus on Web Services". The Wall Street Journal. p. B4. ISSN 0099-9660.
- Fisher, Ken (14 August 2006). "Verizon taps in-house DVR media streaming". Ars Technica. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- "Timeline: The Evolution of Fios TV". Blog. ARRIS Everywhere. August 19, 2010. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
- Safran, Steve (18 July 2007). "A sneak peak at the Verizon FiOS 2.0 guide". Adweek. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- Spangler, Todd (April 30, 2008). "Verizon Plans Q2 Rate Hike For Fios". Multichannel News. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Porges, Seth (February 12, 2009). "Fiber Optics Bring Faster Internet, DVDs on Demand". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Ng, Jansen (August 20, 2009). "Rogers Cable Launches 50 Megabit DOCSIS 3.0 Service". DailyTech. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- "Verizon Fios". FiberForAll.org. 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Joseph N. DiStefano (January 26, 2010). "Verizon, Fios losing Comcast war; will cut over 10,000 jobs: reports". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
- Svensson, Peter (March 26, 2010). "Verizon winds down expensive Fios expansion". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Kushnick, Bruce (May 19, 2012). "The Great Verizon Fios Ripoff". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
- Wood, Sam (March 14, 2014), "Will Verizon be allowed to break its FiOS promise to New Jersey?", Philadelphia Inquirer, archived from the original on December 16, 2016, retrieved December 16, 2016
- Brodkin, Jon (June 9, 2015). "22 years after Verizon fiber promise, millions have only DSL or wireless". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on December 16, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- Morley, Hugh (March 14, 2014). "N.J. may ease Verizon's broadband obligation". The Record. NorthJersey.com. Archived from the original on December 16, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- Godinez, Victor (October 8, 2010). "If Verizon's Fios service isn't here, it's not coming". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Buckley, Sean (May 30, 2013). "Verizon's Shammo doubts Google Fiber will build in Fios areas". Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Rowe, Martin (April 30, 2007). "Verizon's last mile". Test & Measurement World. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- "CableCard features and services | Fios TV | Residential Support | Verizon". 2.verizon.com. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- Drawbaugh, Ben (December 17, 2009). "An inside look at a Verizon Fios Super Headend and Video Hub". Engadget. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- "Your Fios TV service is becoming 100% Digital". web site. Verizon Communications. Retrieved July 24, 2011.[dead link]
- "Verizon And Motorola Announce Fios TV Media Server That Can Record Six Shows at Once". web site. TechCrunch. Archived from the original on January 7, 2013. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- Charney, Ben (19 July 2004). "Verizon's fiber race is on". CNET. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- Reardon, Marguerite (22 September 2005). "Verizon switches on TV service". CNET. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- Brodkin, Jon (July 21, 2014). "Verizon Fios finally symmetrical, upload speeds boosted to match download". Ars Technica. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
- Brodkin, Jon (27 January 2016). "Verizon Fios default speed now 50 Mbps — double FCC's broadband definition". Ars Technica. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- Baumgartner, Jeff (26 July 2016). "Verizon Fios sheds 13,000 internet subs, 41,000 video customers in Q2". Multichannel News. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
- "Fios and DSL performance". www.verizon.com. Retrieved 2016-06-25.
- Yao, Deborah (July 11, 2007). "Verizon's copper cutoff traps customers, hampers rivals". Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- "FairPoint Communications Reports second Quarter 2008 results" (PDF). news release. August 7, 2008. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- "FairPoint FAST FAQ". Official web site. Archived from the original on March 21, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Whitney, Lance (May 13, 2009). "Verizon selling landline operations in 13 states". CNET Networks. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- "Fios Digital Voice: Here's How It Works". June 3, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
- Bode, Karl (December 12, 2008). "Here Comes Fios Digital Voice". Broadband Reports. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Spangler, Todd (December 12, 2008). "FiOS to Raise Its Voice: Verizon Plans to Widely Roll Out Internet-Based Phone Service in Early 2009". Multichannel News. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- "Verizon Fios Digital Voice". Commercial web site. Verizon. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- Hansell, Saul (August 18, 2008). "Verizon’s Fios: A Smart Bet or a Big Mistake?". The New York Times.
- "Review: Verizon's Fios Phone-Cable TV-Internet Service". FOX News. N.p., September 12, 2013. Web.
- Yvonne Villarreal (March 11, 2015). "Verizon Fios drops the Weather Channel". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
- Brian Stelter (March 10, 2015). "Verizon Fios drops the Weather Channel". CNN Money. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
- Beatrice Verhoeven (March 13, 2015). "AccuWeather Launches Its First National Weather Channel". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
- Roger Yu (March 10, 2015). "Verizon Fios drops Weather Channel over contract". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
- "Verizon drops The Weather Channel, claiming internet killed the weatherman". Quartz. March 10, 2015.
- "Verizon Fios drops The Weather Channel – Our Statement". The Weather Channel. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
- "ESPN sues Verizon over its plan to create slim bundles of cable channels". The Verge. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
- Kludt, Tom (10 May 2016). "ESPN and Verizon reach settlement in subscription lawsuit". CNNMoney. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- Baumgartner, Jeff (2 October 2015). "Cablevision, Verizon reach deal in internet false ad row". Multichannel News. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
- Marsan, C. D. (2008). Verizon Fios tech heading to enterprises; Claims new high-speed optical networks slash floor space, electricity needs. Network World, (1). Retrieved March 8, 2009.
- Searcey, D. (2006). Telecommunications; Beyond Cable; Beyond DSL: Fiber-optic lines offer connection speeds up to 50 times faster than traditional services; Here's what early users have to say. The Wall Street Journal, (R9). Retrieved March 7, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fios.|