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Portland, OR - Frontier

post #1 of 1824
Thread Starter 
With the announcement of Verizon's FIOS-TV (fiber optic delivered TV) coming to Washington County sometime this year, it seems like a good time to start a thread and watch-list for the service. The information here will be updated as I discover more about the rollout, and links to the relevant articles will be posted at the end.

Coverage areas and progress:



Washington County:

On Feb 8th, The Metro Area Communications Commission voted to approve Verizon's plan to provide TV over their fiber-optic system. They are required to provide the service by the end of 2007 to their customers already wired for fiber-optic service, and complete their build-out to the other areas in four years.

The MACC represents the county and thirteen cities within it. All representatives voted for Verizon's plan except for Gaston and Banks, which Verizon was not planning to serve due to their remote locations. North Plains is also excluded because Verizon does not service that city.

Comcast seemed to take issue with this 'cherry picking' service, claiming that Verizon should not be allowed to only choose affluent communities. Fred Christ of the MACC claimed such practices would not be allowed.

Comcast will now compete head to head with Verizon for cable and internet services in cities such as Tigard, Tualatin, Beaverton and Hillsboro.

Each city must approve the service, however, and those negotiations will occur from now through April.


Multnomah County:

Qwest has announced they plan to provide TV service to their Portland customers beginning sometime in 2008. Verizon has started the regulatory process to provide their Multnomah County customers with TV as well, but there's no word on the timeline (probably 2008).


Other Areas:

Verizon says that service will later be extended to the other areas it serves, including Gresham and Troutdale on the East side, and Lake Oswego, Dundee, and Newberg on the West side.


Cost and Service Information:

Channel plans are considered competitive with Comcast, and generally offerred at lower rates. Here's an excerpt from the linked article below:

"Comcast's "Standard" 73-channel package, its most popular, will cost $50.89 monthly beginning March 1. That's a 7.9 percent increase from last year.

Verizon charges $42.99 a month in other areas, according to the company, for a package with most of the same sports and entertainment networks, but with nearly 100 additional channels."


Do I already have fiber-optic cable in my neighborhood?

To see, go to the Verizon FIOS website (link below) and follow the Get Fios links. To double check to see if fiber has been laid in your neighborhood, you can look around in the front yards of nearby houses for a flat, greenish Verizon lid planted flush with the ground. These boxes may vary, but mine is a rectangle approximately 18 x 12 inches, with the words Verizon and Channel.com on it but no indication of it being a fiber hub. Checking for the box might be a good confirmation, as sometimes the website has trouble keeping up with who has the fiber.

http://www.verizonfios.com/?ref=verizon


Here's the official announcement published in the Oregonian today (Friday, Feb 9th) - link
post #2 of 1824
It isn't a duplicate thread, but it's best to wait until someone with the service can start a thread sumarizing their HD offerings and coverage area in the first post and keep that post updated periodically.

If you plan on getting the service and want to manage the info in the first post, send me a PM and I'll reopen this thread and add it to the thread Index.
post #3 of 1824
Thread Starter 
Here's a link to a longer, but slightly older article about FIOS TV in the Portland area. It was written a few days prior to Washington County's approval of FIOS.

An interesting bit from the article is that Banks and Gaston were going to be excluded anyway since Verizon deemed them too remote. No doubt these cities no votes were connected to that assessment.

Feb 2 Oregonian article
post #4 of 1824
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPanther95 View Post

It isn't a duplicate thread, but it's best to wait until someone with the service can start a thread sumarizing their HD offerings and coverage area in the first post and keep that post updated periodically.

If you plan on getting the service and want to manage the info in the first post, send me a PM and I'll reopen this thread and add it to the thread Index.


Agreed, let's wait until someone can actually get a hookup. That'll probably be September at the earliest.
post #5 of 1824
Devlin has agreed to keep the first post up to date. There is some value to a thread prior to rollout to monitor announcements for areas or developments that will be coming online.

If you guys hear anything, just post it and he'll add it to the first post.
post #6 of 1824
Nice summary Devlin.
post #7 of 1824
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPanther95 View Post

Nice summary Devlin.

Thanks! I'll keep my eyes open for any news bits that come along.
post #8 of 1824
Does this tech use a fiber right to your home?

Does it otherwise act like cable including cable cards and the ability to use a TiVo series 3?
post #9 of 1824
I know Verizon laid the groundwork out here in most of the Tanasbourne area in '05 - I just recently moved out here from downtown NW a couple months ago - any way to find out of my area was set-up for this rollout?
post #10 of 1824
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Hutchinson View Post

Does this tech use a fiber right to your home?

Does it otherwise act like cable including cable cards and the ability to use a TiVo series 3?

Yes the fiber is laid right up to your home from a centralizing, flush-to-the-ground box situated (at least in Tigard) every few houses. This fiber installation was free when it first rolled out, but I have heard unsubstantiated reports that some people were charged for the installation later on. I suspect there was something special about their situation.

The fiber takes the place of your copper wiring, so TV, phone and internet will all come over fiber up to your home. One box will be installed on the outside of your house (usually your garage), and another will be exactly opposite it on the inside. Inside the house, internet data will be carried by standard Cat 5, 5e, or 6 ethernet cable (or wireless), while the phone will continue to use the standard phone wiring, and FIOS TV will flow over std coaxial cabling (AFAIK).

This contrasts with Comcast's fiber plan, which will send the fiber to a neighborhood node but rely on coaxial to go the rest of the way.

From what I've heard in other threads, there isn't a limitation on using cable cards or non-Verizon DVR's. I'll check into this though.

To see if you have fiber-optic in the ground, go to the Verizon FIOS website (link below) and follow the Get Fios links. To double check to see if fiber has been laid in your neighborhood, you can look around in the front yards of nearby houses for a flat, greenish Verizon lid planted flush with the ground. These boxes may vary, but mine is a rectangle approximately 18 x 12 inches, with the words Verizon and Channel.com on it but no indication of it being a fiber hub. Checking for the box might be a good confirmation, as sometimes the website has trouble keeping up with who has the fiber.

http://www.verizonfios.com/?ref=verizon
post #11 of 1824
Thanks!! I'll try and look for the boxes as the website is not the least bit accurate.
post #12 of 1824
Quote:
Originally Posted by grassfeeder View Post

I know Verizon laid the groundwork out here in most of the Tanasbourne area in '05 - I just recently moved out here from downtown NW a couple months ago - any way to find out of my area was set-up for this rollout?

I found two different ways to get notified on their website. The first, most obvious way said no. The second, which I found accidently, said yes. The best way is probably to call them. I did when I was transferring phone service to my new house. The CSR offered me FIOS at that time.

Since I've seen this installed, here are some details (you can find many of these details this various FIOS FAQs too):

Fiber will be run from a "tap" (my word) somewhere on your street to the side of your house.

An ONT (fiber to copper transceiver) will be attached to the outside of your house. In my case, I already had a box with cable/phone/cat-5 wires connecting to a UStec box in my house (new construction).

A power supply and battery backup will be attached inside your house, on the other side of the wall from the ONT, and will be plugged into a power socket. Yes, holes will be drilled through the wall.

Cat-5 or coax (I don't know if they're supporting coax) will need to be run from the ONT to an inside location where Verizon's Actiontec wireless router will be installed. This router will also support their TV service, in which case I doubt the coax option will be available because the coax will need to be used to output the TV signal (to a set-top box, I believe).

In my case, the router could have been installed near my UStec box, but there wasn't a free power socket, so they turned the cat-5 coming from the outside into a female connector and plugged in the cat-5 going to the room of my choice. The router was installed in that room. Obviously this means all the other cat-5 jacks in the house are not connected. If I figure out how to connect the router to power at the UStec box, I'll be able to connect it to the socket they made there and hook up four of my cat-5 jacks to the router.

Finally, the computer was connected to the router and I had to go through a sign-up on a Verizon web page. No junk was installed on my computer.

I should also say, the techs seemed to know what they were doing and recognized everything they saw at my house.

Some things they mentioned: TV in about 8 months, which matched the September comment above. They said yes to a DVR. They also said the FIOS internet 15/2 plan should be bumped to 20/5 at that time.
post #13 of 1824
Thread Starter 
Thanks ZXTT! Good information, especially about that September date.

My own installation was pretty similar to yours. I'd already run ethernet cable from my computer room to the garage location where the inside box would be, so I just hooked that cable to the inside box, and then the other end to the Actiontec router. I then used that router to run my wired ethernet.

Here's a pretty good article (with pictures) that describes one person's installation of FIOS. Note this is the basic fiber and internet installation, and does not deal with TV service. It also is a Massachusetts neighborhood which runs the cable on telephone poles, unlike most neighborhoods out here which run them underground. It also is using an older version of the FIOS ONT, but aside from all that it will give you a rough idea of what to expect.

http://www.bricklin.com/fiosinstall.htm
post #14 of 1824
well, FiOS internet is available at my place so I guess TV will then as well. Anyone here run their internet service?
post #15 of 1824
I can not wait for FiOS-TV. I can get FiOS internet now but want to wait. I can't get rid of Comcast fast enough. I have two Comcast DVR's and have not gone two weeks without some issue! A speed of 20/5 will be great as well. The d/l is limited by a lot of sites but uploads will be a big help!
post #16 of 1824
Thread Starter 
I have had FIOS Internet since it came online in Tigard this summer, and I've loved every minute of it. Not much else to say about it except that it's rock solid in my experience.

If there are any specific questions, let me know.
post #17 of 1824
Thread Starter 
Here's a long-running, non-city specific AVS thread that deals with the hardware setup for FIOS TV. I'll try to summarize some of this for the first post later on.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=621323
post #18 of 1824
Quote:
Originally Posted by grassfeeder View Post

well, FiOS internet is available at my place so I guess TV will then as well. Anyone here run their internet service?


I've got the 5/2 or 5/1.5 whatever it is service, had it since July. It's rock solid, has a little bit of latency but overall it's great since it's just about the same price as the DSL I used to have.
post #19 of 1824
Thread Starter 
There shouldn't be any increase in latency. When I first switched to FIOS I insisted on using my old Linksys router, which I thought was up to the task. Instead I kept getting dropped data packets and thus increased latency. When I switched to the Actiontec router Verizon provides the dropped packets disappeared.

Note that speed tests alone may not show a problem. Try the following link to Broadband Forums for a line quality test.

http://www.dslreports.com/linequality

You can also go outside to the ONT box on your garage and open up the customer-accessible portion. There should be a green status light next to the 100mbps listing. If it's not lit, there's a problem.
post #20 of 1824
Quote:
Originally Posted by DevlinNulland View Post

There shouldn't be any increase in latency. When I first switched to FIOS I insisted on using my old Linksys router, which I thought was up to the task. Instead I kept getting dropped data packets and thus increased latency. When I switched to the Actiontec router Verizon provides the dropped packets disappeared.

Note that speed tests alone may not show a problem. Try the following link to Broadband Forums for a line quality test.

http://www.dslreports.com/linequality

You can also go outside to the ONT box on your garage and open up the customer-accessible portion. There should be a green status light next to the 100mbps listing. If it's not lit, there's a problem.

Verizon included a D-Link DI-624 router with my 5/2 installation. They brought a Cat 5e from the garage into my den for direct hookup. It has worked great. I added an extended antenna for whole-house (and neighborhood, too, I bet) wireless distribution.
post #21 of 1824
Quote:
Originally Posted by DevlinNulland View Post

There shouldn't be any increase in latency. When I first switched to FIOS I insisted on using my old Linksys router, which I thought was up to the task. Instead I kept getting dropped data packets and thus increased latency. When I switched to the Actiontec router Verizon provides the dropped packets disappeared.

Note that speed tests alone may not show a problem. Try the following link to Broadband Forums for a line quality test.

http://www.dslreports.com/linequality

You can also go outside to the ONT box on your garage and open up the customer-accessible portion. There should be a green status light next to the 100mbps listing. If it's not lit, there's a problem.


Will try that tonight to see what's going on. Thanks
post #22 of 1824
Yes, how are the Newsgroups regarding Retention and speed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DevlinNulland View Post

I have had FIOS Internet since it came online in Tigard this summer, and I've loved every minute of it. Not much else to say about it except that it's rock solid in my experience.

If there are any specific questions, let me know.
post #23 of 1824
Thread Starter 
The speed and the variety of the newsgroups seem fine, but I don't use them enough to be an authority on the matter. Sorry!
post #24 of 1824
Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman69 View Post

Will try that tonight to see what's going on. Thanks


Came out with 0% latency, but I've noticed that the signal can drop for a second or two just every so often (and I'm hard-wired in on this computer). It's not really a problem and most of the time I don't even know it's happening.

It's head and shoulders above the old 1.5/256 DSL. Now waiting for the tv by the end of the year.
post #25 of 1824
I'll really be looking forward to hearing some feedback from the early fios TV adopters in the area after the rollout. I recently switched from D* to Comcast and although the increase to full resolution is quite apparent and nice, there's still compression issues that I think could be much better. Hopefully reports of very high quality PQ from other areas that have been rolled out will be duplicated here and things will be looking up within the year!


ron
post #26 of 1824
No problem. I sometimes go to the ISO binary groups to get Linux distros and other things. Faster than web sites but Comcast is now limiting max newsgroup d/l to 2GB per Month!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DevlinNulland View Post

The speed and the variety of the newsgroups seem fine, but I don't use them enough to be an authority on the matter. Sorry!
post #27 of 1824
Thread Starter 
Looks like Gaston and Banks are pretty angry about being bypassed, and will continue (with the help of North Plains) to push for fiber extension to their communities. Some interesting facts about the cost of fiber extension.

oregonian article
post #28 of 1824
I thought it would have been more than $170 million to bring it into Washington County, but like the article stated, the costs are dropping. $20 million to $7 million is almost a 3 for 1 cost now.
post #29 of 1824
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpsan View Post

Comcast is now limiting max newsgroup d/l to 2GB per Month!

Yeah that makes a lot of sense. Not! So you can easily push 2 GB per day thru B*tT*rrent but they limit Usenet to 2 GB per month???

OT: Heh Heh. I just learned something new. Apparently thou shalt not use the B*T* word on this forum.
post #30 of 1824
Quote:
Originally Posted by DevlinNulland View Post

Looks like Gaston and Banks are pretty angry about being bypassed

Isn't Banks just the intersection of US 26 and Ore 47? Do those two towns even have one traffic light between them? I wonder why Verizon doesn't just pay for DirecTV or Dish service for every resident? That should quiet them down, and much cheaper than pulling fiber. What would that amount to? 10 households each?

Sorry, just kidding!
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