Verizon FIOS Expansion

Verizon is aggressively expanding its infrastructure to accommodate current and future technologies. According to Light Reading and Telecommunication Online, Verizon plans to spend $18 billion through 2010 to connect 18 million households to the fiber optic network. Thats $1000 per household! For areas where FIOS is available now, only homes that order the FIOS Internet Service will be upgraded to the FIOS connection.

FIOS stands for FIber Optic Service, and is trademarked by Verizon. FIOS brings a dedicated fiber optic cable all the way to the ONT (optical network terminal) mounted on the house or building itself (usually outside). Since there are no copper lines with this system, the service cannot be powered from the line itself as with traditional phone lines. Instead a FIOS installation also requires a battery backup mounted inside and plugged into an electrical outlet. The battery backup maintains the FIOS service in the event of a brief power outage.

Older FITL (Fiber In The Loop) technologies used a shared fiber optic cable to the local outside terminal (usually serves 1-6 homes) and copper lines from the local terminal to the home itself. The current system utilized by Verizon consists of local hubs (serving up 32 homes). These hubs simply split the optical signal signal up to 32 ways. The fiber optic standard that Verizon uses provides up to 622 Mbit/s down and 155 Mbit/s up. (A single optical fiber is capable of transmitting 14 Terrabytes of data per second over a distance of 160 km – NTT Science, 2006). From the local hubs, a single dedicated fiber optic cable is pulled through coduits and/or directly buried to individual homes.

The FIOS network can (and eventually will) entirely replace the existing copper network which has been in place for the last 50+ years in most places. A standard ONT provides up to four POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) lines, a CAT5/6 ethernet connection for internet and data services, and a coaxial terminal for Verizon’s FIOS TV Service. Of course you can also use VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) service from Verizon or a 3rd party for telephone service and eliminate the need for the POTS jacks. Of course technically the POTS lines provided by FIOS are probably VOIP since they travel over the new fiber optic network, but a VOIP service over the internet usually provides more features for less money.

If you’re one of the lucky ones to be in a FIOS area, check the reviews on the FIOS Internet and Fios TV Service.

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