A few months ago I did a review of my Verizon FiOS Internet service commenting on just how good their 20MB fiber connection is for $45 a month. Since that post, I have gotten a lot of e-mails from users all over the country asking for more info on FiOS. Many can’t yet get FiOS or their service does not yet have the ability to get 20MB (I actually have the ability to get 50MB today if I pay more) but they will before too long. To date, my post about FiOS has been the most widely read post on my blog over any other topic.
Verizon has been getting a lot of play in the media lately and in my eyes, it is well deserved. Last week, Verizon announced they had signed up their 1 millionth FiOS Internet customer and has almost half a million FiOS TV subscribers. I know those numbers sound small in relation to the market, but they are growing very quickly quarter to quarter and right now, their percentages are big. 50% of all their Internet customers are also buying video and they have a 16% market penetration rate for FiOS in areas where it is offered. In addition, nearly 80% if all FiOS customer take Internet, video and phone all as one package. Verizon plans to make the service available to 9 million homes by the end of 2007, and 18 million by the end of 2010.
In addition to the fast Internet service, Verizon also offers TV over the FiOS service is some areas. In NY State, Verizon has to apply to each town to get a franchise license to offer the service. I called my town Mayor last week to ask what the hold up was and was told I that a deal with Verizon for my town should hopefully be done within the next 30 days. I can’t wait.
For me, TV is just as big as the Internet because for the first time, I see Verizon having the opportunity to be able to take the Internet and the TV and combine them into a real compelling experience. Last week, Verizon also announced that it plans to offer HD video on demand over the FiOS service. And doing a little bit of research about the cable box that Verizon uses and I found out that in some cases Verizon is using a Motorola set-top boxes, called the “QIP” series that allows broadband companies the ability to offer IPTV services. In addition, the Verizon DVR allows you to record in HD and add the multi-room functionality that allows you to watch recorded programs on multiple TVs in any room in your house.
There is also some interesting reading on CNET, who posted an article about a Q&A session that the CTO of Verizon did with a room full of reporters at the NXTComm telecom tradeshow two weeks ago. Verizon’s CTO said their goal is "to eventually deliver 100 megabits per second to any device in the home." I believe them, as where I live, they are already halfway to that number.
I will be posting a lot more about Verizon’s FiOS service over the coming months and will do a review of the TV service as soon as I can sign up for it. FiOS is the future and for some, the future is now. I have 20MB today, what can I do with it? Not much yet, as there is not a lot of content on the web taking advantage of this type of connection, but there will be soon as Verizon cuts content deals and starts looking at ways they can become a content distributor along with being a carrier.
FiOS is the real deal. It is the service that the industry has all been talking about wanting for years and it’s finally a reality. Good service, fast, cheap and lots of support. Exactly what any product needs to have in order to get mass market adoption.