Monday, December 10, 2007

I, For One, Welcome Our New Telecom Overlords

I'm filled with wonder, hope, excitement, fear, and dread.

Yes, my children, we're changing our broadband, cable, and ½ of our phone service from Comcast (broadband & cable) and Verizon (phone) to Verizon FIOS.

Specifically, we're getting the Verizon package for all three services, which is supposed to cost $99/month, but actually costs about $135/month when you factor in the DVR, and the movie package (we chose HBO) that they require you get in order to get the installation charges dropped. That's about what we pay now for Comcast's cable and broadband service, and it allows us to drop a copper phone line.

Of course, Comcast has its own “Triple Play” which costs about the same. However, that all goes through the same coax that provides our service now, and which is sometimes inadequate (it was first laid over 20 years ago, what do you expect?). And friends have Verizon's FIOS phone and broadband, which seems to be decent. No one I know has the TV yet, as far as I know. We're pioneers. Hence my dread.

But we get this really neat $200, 19 inch high def TV, which I plan to mount right by my computer, so that I never have to leave this chair — OK, maybe to go to work, but otherwise. (Or we can get a $200 Best Buy gift card, for a down payment on a really big HDTV.)

Anyway, installation is scheduled for Wednesday next week, so I'll let you know how it goes.

Such as today: Last Friday Miss Utility came out and painted orange paint on the snow in our yard, along with flags marking various cables. Today, the line-digging crew came out and installed the fiber from the street to the house.

Along the way they cut the Comcast cable — unfortunate, as we're still using the cable until Wednesday next. They did manage to repair that.

The Verizon-owned copper phone line, however, they shredded.

This does not comfort me.

I'm sure it was unintentional, as we told them that we wanted to keep one of our copper phone lines, because we've had many power problems in the past. True, the FIOS box comes with an 8-hour telephone battery, but there have been times when I'm sure we would have run through that. Hence we want to keep the copper.

Verizon is supposed to come back tomorrow and replace the copper. If the don't cut anything else I'll report later in the week.

Oh, yeah, the deal's for two years. We'll see what kind of offer Comcast has then.