UPDATE: I have upgraded again to 25mps in 2011!
In the late 1990’s, I was seeing many new homes being built with Cat5 cable and a network hub from Bell Atlantic (soon to be Verizon) so that buyers could have the best available communications network. The box was branded with the Bell Atlantic logo but it was up to the new owner to either pick them, a cable company or satellite TV.
In the mid 2000’s, Verizon started to offer FiOS. According to Wikipedia,”noted in Verizon’s trademark, fios is a Gaelic word, translated into English as “knowledge.” Simply put, FiOS is fiber optics direct to your house and provides high speed internet, TV and a land-line phone line.
My story begins a little over two years ago when I had FiOS installed in my Vienna home replacing the basic COX cable service. It was a nice upgrade since there were a ton of channels, on-demand movies, and much faster internet. I had been using Verizon DSL but having the “bundled package” gave me better service at a lower monthly cost.
This summer the two year agreement ended and my monthly charge increased – bummer! And in early July I came home to hear my son tell me that “something” happened to the internet connection. Of course I know some tricks to try, but discovered that the FiOS router was out, and no re-boot or re-set seemed to engage the device.
And yes, it was plugged in!
Verizon tech-support quickly understood that the router was “fried” and put in an order to send a replacement via UPS. It arrived a few days later and I quickly installed it… up and running!
Like any seasoned geek, I logged onto “speakeasy.com” to perform a speed test on the line only to see that my numbers were low compared to what Verizon is now advertising on the radio (yes I still listen, except to WJFK for canning Mike O’Meara). Let’s just say that the slow results bummed me out since it probably meant that I must have done the installation wrong.
Why was I only getting a download rate at 4.9mb and upload rate at 1.9mb?
I stopped by my local Verizon Wireless store in Tyson’s Corner yesterday for a mobile phone issue, when a nice Verizon CS guy named Scott asked me about my FiOS service. Scott deserves the highest honors here because he listened to me, understood my numbers, asked a few excellent questions and had a solution that would make my day.
When I had FiOS installed, home service was at 5/2 which matched the numbers in my line test. In 2009 that basic service has been upgraded to 15/5 but the change needed to be made by the Verizon tech people… and now my upgrade is scheduled to be done next Tuesday at no cost to me.
So, if you had Verizon FiOS installed two years ago, you may have the 5/2 service too, and all you need to do is contact Verizon to change to 15/5 and agree to keep the service for a year or two just like a mobile phone contract. Good luck!