If Everyone Had Verizon FiOS For Broadband, Capping Would Not Be An Issue
For over four years now I've been a happy customer of Verizon's for their FiOS broadband service, deployed to my home. In that time, I'd be hard pressed to find any other technology product that has made as bigger of an impact on my consumption of online video. For all the talk of capping by ISPs and throttling of bandwidth, I can't help but think that none of this would be an issue if everyone had the ability to get Verizon's FiOS service. Last year I wrote that "Verizon's FiOS Service Will Change The Game For Video Delivery" and I think they already have.
Whenever discussions take place about ISPs capping users, it's always from ISPs and networks that have broadband services that were not built to truly handle video. Comcast and others never anticipated that their network would have to scale as quick as is now required or have to carry as much video as they are today. Verizon's FiOS service was built for video from day one, with a focus on pushing as many high-quality bits as possible directly over fiber.
Five years ago I had a 10MB connection and since then, Verizon has upgraded the speed to 20MB at no additional cost. I pay Verizon $95.99 a month for broadband, TV and phone combined and would never think of cutting my service. You see lots of folks talking about cutting cable and using the Internet for watching videos but I have to wonder, are any of these folks paying for TV and Internet from the same company? Because if you are, then your TV service is not $75 a month with the discount you get for multiple services. With FiOS, I think paying what averages out to be $32 per service, per month is quite fair.
I know that many folks can't get FiOS where they live so it's not an option for them today. But as Verizon continues to get more and more customers each quarter and as more competitive services like AT&T's U-verse get adopted, the whole debate of capping users should not be a big deal in a couple of years. Right now, many want to get upset over the capping that ISPs are doing but I have yet to hear one person who is complaining because they have gone over their cap. In addition, many of the ISPs have said that they will raise the caps over time as the market demand increases. I also wonder how many of those users complaining about capping can get FiOS but haven't. If they can get it but haven't, then why are they complaining about capping?
I've been writing about FiOS for a few years and still, the service amazes me. I've never had a single outage, the quality of the TV signal beats any cable company hands down and believe it or not, the support Verizon provides for FiOS is excellent. You don't get some phone company tech person on the line, you get someone from the FiOS group who knows the hardware, the service and even how it works with Mac users. It's no wonder Verizon continues to see good subscriber growth quarter after quarter.
For all the talk of how far behind the U.S. is with broadband, I think a lot of that is hype. The average broadband speed in the U.S. is 3.2Mbps. That's not slow and while it's not enough to stream HD movies to the TV, no one has a content service today that has a real business model to even support it. The problem is not the technology or the infrastructure, it's the business model. If we use the average broadband speed of 3.2Mbps, which means every content owner could encode their content for at least 2Mbps. So why aren't they? Simple, the business model does not work. Blame the business model, not the broadband infrastructure.
The bottom line is that FiOS is a product we've been waiting on for years and for many, it is here today. The service works as advertised, it's affordable, and it has no limitations. Not to mention, while I have the 20Mbps package, it's capable of up to 50Mbps if you want to spend more money or need it for a business location. For those that can't get FiOS in their area, I feel for you. But keep in mind one of the biggest hurdles Verizon has faced in their expansion is from the cable companies who have tried to do everything in their power to make it hard for Verizon; clear proof that the service really is that much better than what the cable companies offer. As Verizon continues to win more franchise licenses in more towns, FiOS will become available to a wider audience. When that time comes, get it, you won't be disappointed.