FTTP VDSL != FTTH: Verizon’s deceptive practices
Article modified for clarity and updates.
Previous setup: individual ONT in the basement of a small apartment building, ran MoCA coax around the outside of the building into all apartment units. Provisioned at 25/25.
Current setup: Motorola 6000 MDU ONT using VDSL1 to run to the units. Motorola 6000 VDSL router with 20/5 provisioning.
Order: over the phone, 25/25 FiOS Internet. No mention of the inability to provision 25/25 given the MDU ONT used.
Install problems: Tech shows up at 1:30pm for a 8am – 12pm appointment. Isn’t familiar with VDSL installs. Leaves by 3pm. VDSL modem won’t pick up the signal. Says a friend of his will finish the job later. Other tech shows up 7:30ish carrying a Motorola 6000 router and replaces the ZyXel 681 installed by previous tech. Finishes up by 8:30pm. Speed tests indicate a problem. Only 15/2 max speeds. He tells me to call tech support.
Next day I spend 45mins running speed tests for the tech. Tells me Linux is not supported so I use my old Mac Mini to run tests. Agrees to send someone out to investigate. Note that I indicated I was pretty sure it was a provisioning problem but was ignored.
Next day tech runs some speed tests. Keeps telling me that it may need to be “optimized.” Network tech on phone finally realizes its provisioned to 15/2. Sets it to 20/5 and the speed tests give back expected results.
Tech problems: its a garden apartment complex. There is no physical or technical reason to use VDSL to the units. Either by using individual ONTs and existing coax for MoCA or ethernet or a MDU ONT outputting either would bring everyone up to default tiers. VDSL2 would do more or less the same.
It should be a simple upgrade. These MDU ONTs appear to use individual cards which presumably can be individually upgraded. If I ask for some provision above the 20/5 VDSL provides then upgrade my circuit. Or ramp up the VDSL provision offering some. It should handle 52/16 over phone and 85/85 over coax.
Pricing problem: I ordered 25/25. I got (in the end) 20/5. No warning. If I wasn’t tech savy or paid attention to the details it is easy to imagine that I would have missed this fact and been charged for far less than I asked for. 4/5 the download and 1/5 the up and they want to charge me $65/month instead of the 25/25′s $70/month. I called back and was told that they could probably discount it more but needed to wait for promotionals to be added to the system. The “You are about to get FiOS” paperwork that I received *after* the install indicated I was to get FTTP_20M_5M meaning they knew but never told me.
So… why shouldn’t I go to my neighbors and ask them to get an individual ONT, run coax across the yard and have the bill come to me? Why do they refuse to look into upgrading to the unit systems on demand?
So if you live in a multi dwelling unit be sure to check if you get FTTP/FTTB or FTTH. You want the latter. Your options though are limited if the former. Verizon seems unwilling to upgrade or work around the existing install limitations.