I joined the Verizon Fios waiting list in December 2004, when I saw a Verizon crew splicing fiber on a pole near our house. And since then, I've been running the "Can I Get Fios?" test at the FIOS website every few weeks. Last week the answer was yes, so I attempted to order Fios through the website. Several interface items didn't work with FireFox and, even after switching to Internet Explorer, I couldn't schedule an alternate date for installation. So I ordered by phone. That went smoothly with installation scheduled for Wednesday. I had to commit to being available from 8am - 5pm.
Sometime on Monday, a pre-terminated optical cable was run, from a pole-mounted optical junction box that serves eight subscribers, to the side of my house. That was the first truck roll.
Then on Wednesday morning a very pleasant Verizon installer showed up at 8:45am -- the second truck roll. The 8am-5pm installation window was no joke as it took him until 5:15pm to finish. He was very confident on optical, electrical and mechanical issues, a little hesitant on computers issues, but he only had to phone for advice on one occasion.
The completed installation includes an optical network terminal (ONT) on the side of the house, a battery backup unit high on the basement wall, a power supply on a post in the basement near an available wall outlet, new wiring for our traditional phone line and a new CAT5 cable to a jack in my computer area.
Since optical drop cables come in fixed lengths with factory installed connectors, the ONU mounting box includes plenty of space to coil up spare fiber. The active part of the ONU terminates the fibers and provides connections for four analog telephone lines, one RJ-45 Ethernet connector for broadband access and one video connector, currently capped. There's also a power cable from the basement battery unit to the ONT with two power leads and 5-6 sense leads.
By 3pm all the new equipment was in. His first step was to move our phone line over from the copper drop wire to the ONU. With his laptop, he logged into a Verizon system that made the changes at the central office, so we had dial tone over the new optical connection in a few minutes.
Then he plugged in a Verizon-supplied D-Link DI-624 wireless router. When ordering Fios, I was told this was extra cost, so I had declined. But he insisted this was a free part of the installation so I acquiesced. We connected my laptop to the D-Link and proceeded to install software from a Verizon Fios installation CD. The installation procedure asked for the installation order number which it uploaded to a Verizon server. A few seconds after entering the order number, my AIM client connected automatically and then Skype connected -- we were on the air (or at least on the Internet). The rest of the software installation took another 20 minutes as I accepted everything they offered. Apparently I am now a premium member of MSN (at no extra charge!). And I have new email addresses at both verizon.net and msn.com.
At this point we had the only glitch in the whole process. While I was attempting to turn off the open wireless signal on the D-Link, i.e. while I was logged onto the D-Link, we lost Internet connectivity. I have no idea what went wrong. The installer proceeded to spend 15 minutes on the phone with another Verizon employee who walked him through various screens on the D-Link. Nothing was apparently wrong, no changes were made, but suddenly things started working again.
So then we ran a few speed tests and he packed up and left.