Verizon Blows Network Upgrade Money At The Mall

from the can-you-deploy-to-me-now dept

Verizon has used some fairly untraditional and flexible (for a massive telco) techniques when it comes to advertising their FiOS residential fiber broadband & TV service. They've parked FiOS logo emblazoned Hummers on street corners, advertised the service on pizza boxes and dry cleaning bags, and even doled out ice cream to children at "Fios Festivals" while pitching the promise of HD over fiber to mom and dad. Yet it's the fact that Verizon has opened several FiOS mall stores that seems to have excited the Associated Press. The stores, dubbed "Verizon Experience," offer users a chance to get up close and personal with Fios HD service in simulated living rooms, but only if you live in two of the nation's most competitive broadband markets (Fairfax, Virginia and Southlake, Texas). It's not clear why every time a company opens a brick and mortar store it's treated as a revolutionary concept -- the AP suggests such stores are new, but fails to note that Time Warner Cable, Cox, and Comcast have had similar interactive mall stores since 1994. Taking a page from the Apple or Sony Stores before them, the Verizon Experience seems like little more than an incredibly expensive and inefficient form of advertising. In Verizon's case there's an additional twist, since the stores "sell" a product many people can't (or may never) get due to limited deployment. On top of the additional TV income from each customer, Verizon says upgrading a home from copper to fiber saves them $110 per line, per year in maintenance costs -- so why not use the money spent on mall rent to wire additional homes with fiber?

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  • icon
    Chief Elf (profile), 27 Dec 2006 @ 5:41pm

    Think smaller

    I live in Fairfax, have inquired about getting FiOS several times, and it's only available within a few small areas within Fairfax. Not even a tentative schedule for deployment to my community, which is right beside a Metro station.

    I want fiber!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      John Duncan Yoyo, 28 Dec 2006 @ 8:56am

      Re: Think smaller

      FYI the FIOS elves have been busy in Vienna since before thanksgiving. I asked a poll worker who said it should get turned on around here in February.

      This is a full three months for whatever section they are working on. Not much worse than the last Cox upgrade.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    EdB, 27 Dec 2006 @ 5:42pm

    THIRD!

    Screw Verizon. Any company that can hire idiots to stand at a door and point to a terminal is over-charging it's customers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Paul, 27 Dec 2006 @ 5:50pm

    Verizon FiOS

    The only good way to get to Verizon is to get enough people to make a major stink with their public utility commissions. I doubt that areas in rural areas will see FiOS without state legislation demanding it in the next 20 years.

    The start is to set up a petition drive, if your municipality really wants it, than get local assembly-people on it, and finally to take that weight to the public utilities commission.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bzk, 27 Dec 2006 @ 6:00pm

    FIOS? I'm still waiting for DSL...

    Verizon has a monopoly in my area so they don't even have to provide competitive rates. I pay 20 USD for 21.6k dial up.

    (satellite is not an economical solution)

    It's almost 2007, there is no reason for the lack of decent internet in rural areas. Perhaps Verizon should spend the brick-mortar budget on the deployment of decent DSL/FIOS

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Scott, 27 Dec 2006 @ 6:03pm

    Uh...W R O N G ! ! !

    The ONLY place that Verizon is installing is Rural areas. My brother in law lives right next to a lake in Rowlett Texas, and that fucker gets 15 megabit per sec. from his FIOS for about what I pay for a measly 6 from my "Phone Company" It is quite widely available in rural areas, my boss who lives in, for christ's sake, Murphy, Texas gets it!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bill, 27 Dec 2006 @ 6:09pm

    cities want their cut of the action

    Verizon has had a difficult time getting permission from municipal authorities to deploy their network. Many cities grant monopoly rights to cable companies and they are well entrenched and fighting against Verizon. Cities are demanding all kinds of kickbacks from Verizon before they allow them to build their network. Verizon's ammunition is demonstrate it to potential customers and make them want it enough to demand it from city officials.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    EW, 27 Dec 2006 @ 7:41pm

    To be fair

    To be fair, Rowlett, Texas, is essentially Dallas, which is a very large city.

    I live in southwest Crook County (Cook, that is), where Comcast has a little monopoly going, so I'm stuck with their crappy service. I haven't heard word one about fiber, and this is the third largest city in the country!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rytr, 27 Dec 2006 @ 8:11pm

    hmm

    A couple things.. 1. They (Verizon) is putting in FIOS all over the place out here near Phila PA and I know several people who have it in Pitts. PA... ad I have those kiosks in several malls here as well.. and this isn't Fairfax or Texas..

    and 2. The comment about the Apple stores being liittle more than poor advertising is ignorant at best.. Does the poster realize that the Apple stores make more per sqft than Tiffany's and scads of other retailers including Bestbuy et al...

    Embarrasing.. I thought slashdot editors were bad..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    gv, 27 Dec 2006 @ 10:06pm

    Franchising of Verizon

    No franchisee has a monoploy. Other providers can always negotiate for a francise from local authorities. Comcast fights new entrants every step of the way. Verizon tried to get national legislation doing away with local franchising (and a number of states, including CA, have enacted state level laws to the effect, at Verizon et al's urging ( $$$$$). They claim such laws will speed competition, but they also avoid local "build out" rules that require they serve entire area, not just more lucrative locations.

    My county and municipality (PG in MD, a DC suburb like Fairfax) are in the process of approving new franchise agreements for Comcast. They say we should have service in about six months. In Montgomery Co., MD, Verizon has Comcast in court, claiming they were given a better than "level playing field" agreement (I think), which Verizon's agreement guarantees them. Comcast successfully kept out of the county an open source provider - Starcast - that tried to move into the market. No accident that the U Md new b-ball palace is "The Comcast Center."

    Even the swap meets around here are getting pretty corrupt -- Bob Dylan

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    gv, 27 Dec 2006 @ 10:08pm

    oops

    that should be, Comcast has Verizon in Court in Mont. Co. My bad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dwreid, 27 Dec 2006 @ 10:44pm

    Hard to buy what you can't find

    Verizon might want to save some of the ad money they are spending on FIOS and just make it possible to find the product on their web site. What an abortion that site is. It's a lot easier to sell it if you make it available AND you make it easy to find and buy. Verizon.. duh!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    gv, 28 Dec 2006 @ 12:31am

    concur

    Yes,
    Verizon has had sucky sites for years. If you want to be a provider, please have a site, or sites, we can navigate. Idiots.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Richard, 28 Dec 2006 @ 2:12am

    The Verizon FIOS "store" in my local mall never seemed to have any customers. No wonder when I went with my family there just this past week the store had closed. I live on an Army base where we don't really have much of a choice in broadband. That goes to the lowest bidder.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Cam Tidwell, 30 Dec 2006 @ 8:30am

    Verizon FIOS Don't Get IT

    Verizon FIOS is not a service to sign up for unless you like waiting for installations that don't happen, to have your telephone switch before the FIOS service is installed, and want to have Verizon supervisors hang up on you before you can even ask a question. Verkzon changed the installation date, never notififying us. Then tried to blaim us for the change. After my experience with Verison I recommend everyone stay away from this service.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CO Poo-bah, 15 May 2007 @ 1:46pm

    Some of you folks on this blog are swimming in ignorance. My beloved(??) employer has FIOS here on the west side of Los Angeles for some time now in Melibu, Topanga, Pacific Palisades, and I believe Santa Monica.
    City governments are holding things up in part because where there is high density population, the question arises, who pays for and maintains that thingy on the back wall? The customer or "The Phone Company" (TPC). For some folk it becomes complicated.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      James, 17 Dec 2008 @ 6:40am

      Re: Fios

      You're a dumb ass. First of all you don't know how to spell its Malibu not Melibu, secondly there is not Fios in Pacific Palisades and there never has been. I attended a meeting with the community council and all the geriatrics who didn't want the noise associated with fios thus causing a delay by several years. It is December 2008 and there is still no Fios in Pacific Palisades. It's not important, I live in Tokyo now and I have a 1 gigabit connection from Asahinet's KDDI fiber.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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