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Photos: Verizon FiOS installation step by step

Verizon fiber-optic network took up a little turf, but the increased broadband speeds were worth it.
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Topic: Hardware
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1 of 20 Larry Dignan/ZDNet

Verizon's FiOS Internet and TV service has the potential to be a threat to cable broadband service providers. The main appeal of FiOS is a fiber optic line directly to the home. Mid-tier service produces 15 Mbps download speeds. The rub: Installation for Verizon can be pricey for the telecom giant as contractors have to lay a fiber optic conduit directly to the home. Here's the step-by-step installation for ZDNet's Larry Dignan. More on the FiOS experience can be found on Between the Lines. First step (beyond the initial phone call of course) was to install a conduit for the fiber optic line to the home. In my neighborhood, all power and phone lines are buried so laying the line required some digging.

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2 of 20 Larry Dignan/ZDNet

A conduit for the fiber-optic cable is run under the lawn to the house. Contractors covered their tracks pretty well.

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3 of 20 Larry Dignan/ZDNet

Once the conduit is buried. You're set for the installation. The lead time for this installation from the initial call was about 10 days.

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Each fiber-optic hub serves 12 homes. Each house has a connection once the fiber-optic lines are run through the conduits (orange tubes). These run under the street to my house. I'll be the second house in the 12 homes served by this hub to get FiOS. Each house has its own line.

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A fiber optic cable is strung through the conduit to get across the street and near my home.
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Cable stringing across the street complete.

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The cable now has to be pulled through the conduit to the house. In the meantime, it sits on the sidewalk. The cable will be shielded by the orange pipe/conduit under the ground.

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8 of 20 Larry Dignan/ZDNet

The fiber optic cable is pulled through to the house.

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This is the box that is attached to the house to connect the fiber-optic line with Verizon's central office. This box is made by Tellabs, a telecom equipment maker.
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The inside of the Tellabs box. The green connector connects the fiber optic line.

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11 of 20 Larry Dignan/ZDNet

The FiOS box gets its own power supply. Here are the electric connectors.

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12 of 20 Larry Dignan/ZDNet

On left, where the FiOS box goes. On right, the old telephone box. The old telephone box and the copper wiring stays, but essentially becomes obsolete once FiOS is up and running. The phone signal is carried over the fiber-optic network. It take a few minutes for Verizon to transfer your number to the new network. Copper wiring inside the home remains in tact. Contrary to some reports Verizon doesn't strip the home clean of copper wiring.

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13 of 20 Larry Dignan/ZDNet

Another look at the soon to be obsolete telephone box.

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Once the box is connected to the home the connection to Verizon's network is completed across the street.

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15 of 20 Larry Dignan/ZDNet

In the basement the battery backup is installed. The tech says the battery gives you TV and Internet access for about 20 minutes in a power outage. Then the battery concentrates on phone service. Battery life varies, but replacements are standard and purchased at many places.

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The battery for the backup. The batteries are standard and can be bought at many retailers.

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Once the power and fiber-optic lines are hooked up the installation moves along quickly. That statement assumes your connections are all set. While Verizon runs fiber-optic cables to your home it uses your existing cable infrastructure to your television and PC. In this case the set-top boxes from Verizon and Comcast were nearly identical.

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18 of 20 Larry Dignan/ZDNet

While Verizon's televison service was interesting I was really focused on the Internet connection. In fact, the Net connection is what led to the move away from Comcast. One catch: You have to use Verizon's wireless router. The tech was aware of complaints about this policy. The general idea is that Verizon's router is connected to the central office for monitoring. In talkbacks there were some complaints about the range of Verizon's router. This particular router was manufactured by Actiontec. I found the range to be fine.

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19 of 20 Larry Dignan/ZDNet

I set up my older router as a downstream router to boost the wireless signal--just in case the complaints I read in talkbacks were true. So far so good.
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Download speeds thus far hover around 15 mbps with the spike here and there. Speed test conducted at Speakeasy.net.

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