9/2/2008:

You can order FiOS now in Hoboken!

I checked the Verizon site this weekend, and it appears that it’s now available in Hoboken (uptown, at least).

To find out cost, ease of ordering, and other fine print, I went through most of the steps on the FiOS website, but didn’t place an order at that time (more on that later…)

verizon-fios-hoboken-ordering-summary-1.gif

FiOS Internet and TV

Internet options
What I saw on the website, you can pick three speeds of internet service: Fast (10 Mbps down/2 Mbps up), faster (20/5) and fastest (20/20). They seem to also offer a 50/20 package, but didn’t see it displayed. Costs for each is $47.99, $59.99 and $69.99 per month respectively. I chose the fastest option for price comparison, because why switch to the slowest option, when that’s what we get already with Cablevision?

TV options
You have a few more choices with the TV options. Everything from just local channels, to almost all channels. The “Basic” package (most regular channels) starts at $47.99 per month. You can add movie channels, sports or spanish channels. It was odd that they separated Cinemax & HBO only. For pricing comparison I chose the “HBO, Cinemax & Movies Combo” to try and replicate what I am currently receiving from DirecTV. The “sports package” offered nothing I was interested in, but those who love lots of golf and college action might think otherwise.

See a channel lineup here.

Competitive cost, but should you switch?

For $158.97 per month (plus god knows what hidden fees, taxes and other surcharges), my monthly TV and internet bill would almost be the same as I’m currently paying (+/- $10). Note that the first 12 months would cost only $143.

The one benefit would be the now supposedly much faster internet access speeds. I’ve also heard that the picture quality is supposed to be fantastic, but would have to say bye-bye to the NFL Sunday Ticket.

Caveats

Reading one of the contracts listed, I took note of a few items you might want to consider in your decision making process:

  • You have a $30 activation charge for the internet service. Doesn’t seem to be a way out (but you might be able to if you order via phone).
  • As always, Verizon imprisons you in their service by having “early termination fees” for both the one and two-year plans ($99 and $149 respectively). If you don’t want to get locked in, you’d have to pay $80 installation charge to enjoy month-to-month services. Either way, they “stick it to ya!”
  • Verizon “reminds” you to download legally (why include that, can they monitor or disrupt your service?)
  • Speed and uninterrupted service isn’t guaranteed, and “Premium” technical support was $15 per month! (what?)

And what bugged me the most was the “CAT5 or higher or existing RG59 cable required.” My bet is, that if you don’t have some or all of the in-home wiring, they’ll hit you with extra installation charges.

Would you change?

For one, I don’t see an “immediate” need to switch both my TV and Internet providers over. In order for me to really make the switch, I’d have to really hear some long-term feedback once it’s been in Hoboken for a while. Like any technical or billing issues, performance and actual quality of the non HD TV content.

At the very least, I could try and negotiate lower rates from my existing providers.

Has anyone placed an order yet?

See other website screenshots after the jump.

verizon-fios-hoboken-internet-options.gif
verizon-fios-hoboken-add-on-options.gif

verizon-fios-hoboken-ordering-shot-step-2.gif

6/26/2008 Update:

Spoke with one Verizon technician the other day as he was installing fiber optic wire for the much-anticipated FiOS high-speed communication network.

hoboken-verizon-fios-installation-hudson-street-june-2008.JPG

He told me all of the “basic” wiring in Hoboken is done, and now they’re slowly completing the individual junction boxes around town. This particular install (pictured) would cover the blocks of 11th Street, between Hudson and Bloomfield.

verizon-fios-hoboken-august-2007.gifWhen I mentioned my dislike for Verizon in general (DSL is crap, their phone services are over-priced, hidden fees, etc.) he said the FiOS service is a technicians dream come true (i.e., “light years ahead”). He did mention one “complaint” coming from new customers of the FiOS service, and how Verizon bills you in advance for services you haven’t received yet. Customers sign up for the $99/month package only to receive a $250 bill the first month… and that it’s not explained clearly to them.

He also said that these homes could essentially get the service today, but Verizon is most likely waiting to “pull the switch” once all (or most) of the wiring city-wide is complete. When I sarcastically suggested that it’ll probably be in 2009, he corrected me and and strongly believed we will be able to enjoy this service sometime in 2008. In other words, sooner rather than later.

Will you sign up for FiOS? Or will you wait and see how your neighbors or friends like the service? What about DirecTV’s NFL Ticket? Will that stop some of you from getting this service? Or just Internet only?

8/1/2007:
verizon-fios-hoboken-august-2007.gifI’m sure many of you have seen commercials for the new FiOS high-speed internet/TV/phone service Verizon has been advertising on TV.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of Verizon for a couple reasons (I know, their cell reception is fabulous.. that’s a given). But a few years after I moved here, I was one of the first apartments to have that crappy DSL service installed in Hoboken. The biggest headache and nightmare ever. Never worked properly, and I still dislike DSL across the board. Bad technology.

Additionally, I think that because they’re such a big “player” in the telecom world, I don’t believe they treat their customers very well. From over-priced service, to tons of ridiculous fees (I’ve had their landline and cell before), it just left a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe things have changed now, but I’m not buying it. Yet.

However, this new FiOS service may give them a chance to redeem themselves (IF it works great). They’ve been SLOWLY been installing various components required for the FiOS infrastructure in Hoboken. Our cramped City is part of the reason why we’ll probably be last to get it.

verizon-fios-truck-hoboken-august-2007.jpgHere’s what the City of Hoboken’s Information Technology head Patrick Ricciardi told me yesterday about FiOS:

“We do not have much info on the Verizon rollout of their FiOS service as of yet.

They have started to install some fiber lines on some streets. They have not officially contacted the City to inform us of their roll out timeline, nor disclose a project start date, or discuss the state franchise agreement they must sign with the city in order to offer Cable service to our residents.

I did get a call last week from one of their representatives asking question about the city’s channel 78. It seems like in order to make their offer more appealing to current Cablevision subscribers they are trying to work out a deal with Cablevision to carry the Channel78 broadcast to the Verizon channel lineup. I have been making calls to Verizon to try to find out what’s up! I’m still waiting to hear back from them so they can supply me with more details about the new services they are going to be offering Hoboken residents.”

Anyone want to guess the month/year when it will be available in Hoboken?? Do you know anyone that has the full-blown FiOS service?

Hoboken NJ

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