Monday, October 11, 2010

What in FiOS

FiOS, according to its creator Verizon, is a Gaelic word that means “knowledge” in English. FiOS is a telecom service that is offered over fiber-optic lines. At the moment, Verizon is the only provider.

Verizon is known primarily as a provider of mobile phone service. The company is now offering other kinds of phone service, including local and long distance, using traditional fiber-optic cables. Such cables can also carry Internet signals, and Verizon is planning to offer broadband access as well. With the mention of cables comes the thought of television, and Verizon is pursuing avenues in that realm as well. All of these new efforts are part of Verizon’s overall FiOS effort.

One of the main benefits of FiOS is its speed. Verizon claims that speeds delivered over FiOS lines can reach 30 megabits a second. This is a huge improvement over current DSL lines, which deliver data at up to 1.5 megabits a second. The higher speeds achieved with FiOS lines can enable users to download full-length movies in just a handful of minutes.

Speed is a major incentive for users to investigate getting FiOS in their homes. Faster and faster connections make possible not only text, but also audio and even video chats that take place in real time, with very small amounts of delay. Another selling point of a super-high-speed connection is the ability to play the latest in extremely detailed video games, especially multiplayer online versions, without experiencing hiccups in service speed.

Television is also part of the FiOS effort. FiOS television takes advantage of wireless routers and Optical Network Terminals to provide fiber-optic network access for TV as well as Internet and phone service. TV offerings resemble those provided by satellite companies, including DirecTV and Comcast, with pricing comparable according to the channels provided.

Pricing is also a factor in the FiOS setup overall. The more advanced the computer operating system in each user’s home, the more possibilities for FiOS are available, with pricing comparable in that way as well. FiOS is available for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

FiOS is Verizon’s strategy to compete with other providers of similar products. The “Triple Play” of voice, video, and Internet is currently offered by AT&T and other regional carriers. Verizon hopes to cash in on its mobile phone reputation as it expands into new areas.

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