Verizon’s Fios service is different from other broadband offerings for a few reasons, but the biggest and most unique reason is that Fios is a FTTH/FTTP service. These acronyms stand for Fiber To The Home/Premises, but what they mean is that the fiber optic network extends all the way from the Internet backbone to the property of the customer without ever once becoming copper. A 100% fiber optic approach still involves splitting bandwidth amongst several consumers, but not relying on metal gives Fios major advantages in terms of speed and upgradability.
Fios shows off its speed advantage by offering digital telephone services and digital cable offerings over the very same fiber that powers industry-leading broadband offerings. This is not dissimilar to rival AT&T in that both companies use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and IPTV (Internet Protocol TeleVision) services over broadband connections, but there is a major difference. That difference is that the fiber optic cables that serve as the basis for the Fios system have a lot of overhead while metal wires used in VDSL systems such as AT&T’s U-Verse are pressed almost to their physical limits.
The combination of IPTV, VoIP, and fiber-optic powered broadband have also allowed Verizon to offer an incredible array of bundles that are more than the sum of their parts. While it is possible to purchase some individual Fios services, it is often better to purchase multiple services together. Not only does purchasing multiple Fios services save money, but it also adds unique features through a sort of technological fusion that Verizon has been constantly improving upon since the public release of the Fios system. Before exploring that unique synthesis of features, it is worth taking a look at what Verizon refers to as ‘Triple Play’ bundles.
A Triple Play bundle consists of Fios broadband services, Fios digital television services, and Fios digital telephone services. The idea is fairly simple: put all the entertainment/communication related services most families need on a single bill for a single great price, it is really not that different than shopping for insurance and bundling life, auto, and homeowner’s insurance with a single insurer to save a lot of money every month. Just how much money one can save really depends on the bundle they choose and how much they are spending on similar services now.
Keep in mind that there are multiple Triple Play bundles that evolve and change over time to remain competitive with industry offerings. Multiple bundles at different price points allow customer with different levels of discretionary income to save money on popular features that they are probably looking for. Verizon spends a great deal of time and effort researching what the public wants, and they do a reasonably good job of providing it. Not all features in any given bundle will appeal to every single consumer, but they can always add to a bundle with a la carte options to get exactly what they were looking for in the end.
Fusion and synthesis have been touched on a few times already, but the subject needs more coverage to be fully understood. One of the best examples of this amazing fusion would be how a Triple Play package allows incoming caller IDs to be displayed right on the television screen along with options for DVR owners to pause their live show to answer the phone or send the caller directly to voice mail. These features are not available to customers who only get the digital cable service or the bundle the digital cable with a broadband plan, but not the digital telephone service. The digital television and telephone services further overlap by allowing Fios customers to look at their call logs on their television, which can be really handy for determining when a teenager has been breaking their ‘no telephone’ restriction.
Additional features such as the ability to schedule DVR recordings from any Internet-connected PC in the entire world show Verizon’s commitment to blurring the line between data and video services, but such features take a back seat to the Fios Widget Bazaar. The Fios Widget Bazaar is a sort of app store for (mostly) free apps that run on Fios set top boxes (STBs). Verizon’s team of talented Fios engineers and developers are constantly working and collaborating with third parties to add new features for Fios customers. Fios apps take full advantage of the fusion between data and digital television services, and some even integrate digital telephone-related services. Apps are frequently released and updated, but it really takes all three of the Fios services to get the most out of the Widget Bazaar.
While it is possible to order individual Fios services, it is often more cost effective to bundle and save. The synthesis of Fios services adds value that is hard to measure directly, and many Fios Triple Play customers claim that they could never go back to using normal television services again after experience the convenience and features offered by the 100% fiber optic Fios network.