GEEKNOTE: We've had the Verizon "Triple Play" package here at the house for a week and a half now, so it's time for a few initial thoughts.
For those of you who don't know the term "Triple Play" in this context, it means that we are getting phone, Internet, and TV all in one package. In theory at least, we are supposed to save money.
Before the switch, we had Verizon phone service, Brighthouse Internet, and DirecTV. We were generally happy with all three, but when Brighthouse jacked up the price of the business class (static IP) service we had at the house and essentially said "tough" when I called to inquire about why the service had suddenly gone up so much, we took a hard look at the FIOS flyer that arrived in the mail.
FIOS took all day to install. Verizon had to jet the fiber under four of our neighbors' driveways to get to us. They still need to come back and remove the copper wires coming into the house.
The phone service seems about like before, except we now have to dial "727" before local numbers. Not a big deal, assuming we remember to do it. On the flip side, we now have caller ID messages popping up on the TV so we know when not to answer. Verizon seemed very happy to get us as a customer for all three services. We've had several followup calls to make sure we are happy.
The Internet service seems to be much faster, as it should. We got the "slow" 15/5 service, which is still way faster than the 8/0.5 we had before with Brighthouse. We lost the static IP address, but that wasn't that big a deal. I moved the one server I had here over to a spare spot at the office. The Brighthouse folks didn't seem to care much when I dropped off the modem and cancelled the service. No phone calls so far to ask why we switched.
The FIOS modem/router is "okay". It has some limitations from a Geek's perspective, but we got it locked down and the built in wireless seems to play nicer with my wife's computer and Kindle, so that all important requirement to "Ensure domestic tranquility" has been met.
The TV service seems to be "okay". There aren't as many HD channels on FIOS and we are still trying to sort out where various channels are. I don't quite understand why Channel 10 has to be on Channel 10 for SD and 510 for HD, but I suspect we'll get used to it. More problematic are some of the other channels that we are still trying to find without resorting to the printed guide. The DVR doesn't hold as much as the DirecTV receiver, but we should be okay with the new limits.
One nice feature is that the FIOS box asks us to confirm when we delete a recorded program. It only gets annoying when we have to then go through multiple steps to delete the deleted program.
The DirecTV folks tried to get us to reconsider, but some of their pitch was inaccurate. They also told my wife that there would be a $10 charge because we hadn't completed our contract with them... this in spite of the October email I got from them telling me that we would finish our agreement last December.
We deliberately chose the option of "no contract" so if Verizon ever fails to live up to its promises, we can easily switch to somebody else.
In the mean time, we've trimmed three bills totalling something around $200 into a single bill of just over $100, plus tax. While the DirecTV service is qualitatively better, it just isn't $100 a month better.
As always, feel free to drop me a note or give me a call if you have any questions about your computer or the Internet.
Rob Marlowe, Senior Geek, Gulfcoast Networking, Inc.
(Rob also serves as deputy mayor of the City of New Port Richey. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not necessarily represent the position of the city.)