Verizon FiOS means bye-bye copper … and not in a good way

Don't know how this one escaped my attention earlier in the week: Verizon is ripping out copper wiring from homes when installing its FiOS fiber-optic service - not always with the customer aware of what's going on, according to the Washington Post.

This isn't such a good deal for a variety of reasons. From the story:

Verizon's installer _ without warning, (a customer) says _ removed the copper wires that used to carry his phone calls. For most of the world, copper still links homes and businesses, as it has for a century.

Verizon's new high-bandwidth fiber lines are fully capable of carrying not only calls but also Internet data and television with room to grow. But once the copper is pulled, it's difficult to switch back to the traditional phone system or less expensive Digital Subscriber Line service. And Verizon isn't required, in most instances, to lease fiber to rival phone companies, as it is with the copper infrastructure.

What's more, anyone who owns Powderly's house in the future will face higher bills with FiOS than another home with copper. Right now, for instance, Verizon's DSL plans cost as little as $15 a month. FiOS Internet starts at $30 a month.

Verizon insists they give customers multiple notices, no one is being hoodwinked, and all the company is doing is paving the way for an inevitable transition to all-fiber, all-the-time.

Of course, what corporate policy and corporate spokespeople say is not always in step with what actually happens out in the field.

Regular readers know that I have had my own issues with Verizon FiOS centering on a series of major service interruptions (there was another one the other day lasting maybe a half-hour, mercifully brief by historical standards).

Now I have to wonder if I've still got the copper I'd need to bail on them altogether if that becomes my choice. Swell.

(Thanks to Buzzblog reader - and fellow father of triplets - Miles Benson for bringing this one to my attention.)

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