Posted on Sat 20 October 2018

FIOS one year later

About a year ago, we switched ISPs from RCN to Verizon. I had no particular issues with RCN except that their prices went up each year without providing better service. (It’s true that RCN also fails to handle IPv6 natively, but Verizon shares that failure.) What’s happened in that year?

  • Three outages. Two were caused by trucks knocking down the fiber crossing the road; one by an unspecified problem that was fixed by rebooting the Optical Network Terminal (i.e. fiber termination device, which offers ethernet, cable TV and telephone services). The first fiber outage took a week to be repaired – it was in the middle of a heav winter storm. The second one took three days.

  • No surprises in the bill.

  • I have realized that most of the Internet is not expecting, or does not have, a clear gigabit/second wide path end to end. Very few – to a first approximation, no – single connections take advantage of that speed. The bandwidth is generally available, but you need multiple simultaneous TCP sessions to see it. Latency figures much more strongly in my perception of the Internet these days.

We have another year of this service before they start cranking up the prices as RCN did. I expect that by that time it will be simple enough to bring RCN back in at reasonable prices. I don’t think there will be a significant value in paying for a notional gigabit over a notional 500Mb/s or so, though.

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