November 16, 2008

Verizon FIOS finally arrives in North Lakewood

Many areas of Lakewood CA north of Del Amo now have Verizon FIOS available to them (thanks to LAAG making sure our central office was on the 2008 build list). LAAG was one of the first installations in our area (11/1/08). Areas south of Del Amo have had it since early 2007. We now have the 10/2 speed and do like it. We had the 3.0 DSL speed previously for about 5 years. Dont notice a huge difference in down load speed but it seems more speed consistent from web page to web page than DSL and the upload is better. Email checking is also faster on POP 3 and via web interface on Google than with DSL 3.0.

The most accurate way we determined to see if FIOS is available is to use the Verizon on line checking tool available here

We have been using the service for two weeks and have not had a problem yet with the internet or phone portion. We did have a problem with the aspect ratio on the TV via the set top box with the DVR. We still have not ironed out the aspect ratio issue but the DVR does work nicely. Needs more space (bigger hard drive) for High Definition recording. Eventually with the "M-Cards" you will be able to buy your own DVR (not rent one for 20.00 mo from Verizon) and plug in their card to get your shows. The latest DVR's can use this M-Card.

We are also waiting for femtocells here as well as FIOS digital voice, both of which are likely over a year away from this area.

I will say 4 hrs is a min installation time. Mine was an easy installation. I have seen some installations take 7 hours. I was also thankful I had Verizon employees do the installation and not contractors. I saw some contractor installations and there were some major problems. FIOS and Verizon may end up with a damaged reputation if contractors keep messing up.

I was also worried about the battery back up "BBU" placement. But once the installers got there there was no problem as they placed it in a laundry service area. It cannot be placed outside. The Motorolla optical net work terminal "ONT" was placed in the same area as the old phone service box. I was fearful I was going to have to bring in an electrician to wire in the 110 voltage.

The BBU does power both the phone and the internet connection when the power goes out. (Not sure about TV part as we did not test that part). However you have to have the modem and all the computer stuff on a separate battery power supply, which some do.

One last note, it took some time for LAAG to get the City, Time Warner and Verizon to get the city channel 31 (like on Time Warner) to also be broadcast on FIOS. As of 11/15/08 it seems to be working so now we can finally tape the city council meetings broadcast live on Channel 31. Also for Lakewood FIOS users the city channel is on 31 just like with Time Warner. One problem is that neither the city nor Verizon have coordinated the scheduling menu so that feature is useless. It just say "local programming" for all times and dates. This requires you to do manual programming to record the meetings every two weeks. But of course the city does not want to make it easy to view those meetings as you might learn something, but that is another article.

Lakewood Accountability Action Group™ LAAG | | Lakewood, CA
A California Non Profit Association | Demanding action and accountability from local government™

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