FiOS Invades Gotham

Congratulations! It's a girl! It's a boy! Happy birthday! Bingo! You won the lottery! Happy New Year! Look - it's the Publisher's Clearing House van!

Actually, in all probability, it's none of those things for you, at least not today. But, if you live in New York (all 8 million of you), you got a bit of good news this week: The NY Public Service Commission approved Verizon's petition for a Certificate of Confirmation. Yes, I know. You'd prefer a winning lottery ticket. Who wouldn't? But this is still pretty cool. It clears the way for FiOS to become available in the City.

You're still not impressed? Then I guess you don't know what FiOS is . . .

FiOS ('FIber Optic Service,' as well as an Irish word for 'knowledge') is Verizon's super-cool new TV, internet, and telephone service that's coming online in urban markets. This broadband is brought to you via Passive Optical Network fiber optics, with data traveling over three infrared wavelengths, into an Optical Network Terminal at your home, where it' converted into copper for television, internet, and phone. More important, FiOS delivers a goodly amount of data. Throughput depends on your particular location, cost, and regulatory issues. But it's way faster than your typical DSL. For example, you might be able to get 10/2 Mbit/s and for $10 a month or so, you can double or triple your download speed. For a few bucks more, you can opt for commercial-grade speeds of 30/15 or even 50/20 Mbits.

One particular advantage, for you, S&V reader: FiOS has the bandwidth for many more HD channels (without the nauseating compression) than the other cable services.

I'm sure that the five boroughs will appreciate those wide bandwidths. More importantly, FiOS brings new competition to a super important market, and competition is always good.

The FiOS NYC franchise is good for 12 years, and it may take 6 years to get the City wired up. But, I am sure that Verizon will not dilly dally in getting into this lucrative market. Go ahead and pop your cork. -Ken C. Pohlmann

Verizon FiOS