Verizon Fios Review – 2020

Verizon Fios is the fiber-optic division of Verizon Communications. The company offers TV, telephone, and internet services over fiber-optic cable. Fiber-optics enable much faster transfer speeds than traditional wire-based cables.

Pros of Verizon Fios

  • Supported by Verizon, the second-largest telecoms company in the USA
  • A choice of speeds
  • Entertainment bundles with telephone and internet
  • Costs little more than cable internet

Cons of Verizon Fios

  • Not available in many states

Table of Contents

Overview of Verizon Fios Internet Services

The Fios division is based in New York City, where it moved from its previous home in Keller, Texas. The fiber-optic cable provider has been in operation since 2005. Although it only provides services in ten states, Fios is the largest fiber internet provider in the USA.

The Verizon Fios service area lies exclusively within New England, stretching down the Eastern Seaboard from Massachusetts to Virginia. Between those two points, the company serves customers in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.

Verizon was a pioneer in the use of fiber-optics. Its experimentation with the medium stretches back to its previous incarnation as Bell Atlantic, which started trials of delivering video on demand over fiber back in 1995. Although the original service area for Verizon’s fiber-optic network was created in Texas, the company soon moved its focus over to the densely populated East Coast. By 2008, the service had one million customers. By 2016, Fios server 5.49 million households.

Since 2016, Verizon Fios has streamlined its menu of internet-only plans. The list of options has reduced from seven plans down to three.

Some Points About Verizon Fios

Verizon was created from the merger of two former divisions of the Bell Company, which had changed its name to AT&T before it was broken up. The Bell Company was created by the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell. The two divisions that formed Verizon were Bell Atlantic and NYNEX.

Fiber-optics can transport data faster than wire cables. Each fiber-optic cable contains a bundle of glass strands, with each strand about the thickness of a human hair. Digital messages are transmitted along each glass strand as a beam of light. The strand retains the light even where it bends around corners. Light doesn’t cross over from one strand to another.

Fiber-optic is much more expensive than wire cable.

The name Fios stands for “fiber-optic service.”

Verizon Fios is the industry leader in customer satisfaction. The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is a leading market research organization and it publishes an annual survey that reports its investigations into the perceived quality of the USA’s telecommunications service providers. This is the ACSI Telecommunications Report

Among other data in its 2019 edition, the survey ranks the USA’s major ISP by customer satisfaction ratings, expressed as percentages. It also shows the scores for the previous year. Verizon Fios came top among the largest ISPs in the USA for customer satisfaction. The customers of this internet service provider on average expressed their satisfaction with the company at 70 on a scale of 0 to 100. That put Verizon Fios in the number one slot in 2018 and again in 2019 when it achieved the same customer satisfaction rating. 

The Federal Communications Commission published its Report on Consumer Fixed Broadband Performance in the United States in December 2018. This is an annual survey and the 2018 edition is currently the latest installment. Of the many service quality factors that the FCC investigated for its report, it wanted to identify how the USA’s internet service providers actually delivered on the speed promises written into their publicity. 

The FCC derived the averages of the measured upload and download speeds attained in customer households during peak usage times for each provider. Those speeds were then plotted against the advertised speeds for that service. 

The FCC investigation results reflected very well on Verizon Fios. It actually exceeded its advertised speeds for both uploads and downloads. 

Verizon Fios Plans

Verizon Fios currently offers three internet plans.

 

Plan Download Speed Upload Speed Data Cap Signing Bonus
Better Browsing 100 Mbps 100 Mbps None A $50 pre-paid Verizon Visa Card
Better Streaming 300 Mbps 300 Mbps None A $100 pre-paid Verizon Visa Card
Better Everything 940 Mbps 880 Mbps None A $250 pre-paid Verizon Visa Card

Each subscription must be paid for on an automated bank payment schedule each month through Autopay.

Verizon Fios also offers bundles that combine internet service with a TV package, a landline telephone service, or both. Another TV option is to take up the Verizon Fios offer of the first month on a YouTube TV subscription for free. The YouTube TV system allows you access to many of the channels that you would get on cable TV packages. However, it is delivered to your computer or mobile device, so you would need to buy a casting system, such as Chromecast, to watch it on a TV screen. A YouTube TV subscription costs $49.99 per month after the free gifted month expires.

Verizon Fios Pricing Overview

Verizon doesn’t require a contract and there are no penalties for early termination. The company offers compensation of up to $500 to customers who have to pay an early termination fee to a current internet provider in order to get out of the contract and switch to Verizon Fios.

 

Plan Introductory Offer Price Guarantee Period Setup Cost Equipment Fee
Better Browsing $39.99 1 Year $99 $12/month
Better Streaming $59.99 2 Years $99 $12/month
Better Everything $79.99 3 Years $99 $0

Prices will increase at the end of the price guarantee period. However, Verizon does not impose a contract or a termination fee, so you can avoid increased fees by exiting before the price fix period ends. For example, the Better Browsing monthly subscription rate increases from $39.99 to $54.99 after a year.

The setup fee of $99 is waived for those who order the internet service online – that applies to all plans. The equipment rental can be avoided if you buy your own modem/router. The Better Everything plan has router rental included for the first three years. Those customers have to pay the rental fee per month following on from the end of the three-year price guarantee period.

All plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Verizon Fios Customer Service

Verizon has a very good reputation for customer service and ranks highly in customer satisfaction surveys. The J.D. Power US Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Studies ranked Verizon number one for six years in a row – from 2013 to 2018.

Customers can manage their accounts and see bills online. There is also an online support system that includes a knowledge base and a chat facility. Support and accounts staff can be reached by phone and by email.

Verizon also has a presence on social media that creates another contact channel. The Verizon site includes a forum for customers where anyone can ask for advice or find out the experiences of other customers.

Choosing Verizon Fios Plans

Verizon Fios has invested billions laying very expensive fiber-optic cable to create a very fast network. Despite that large investment, the prices for the service are actually less than competing cable internet providers.

Cable internet is very similar to fiber internet. This is because the cable TV networks that carry cable internet are only made up of coaxial cable for each branch connection to individual houses, from the neighborhood junction through to the ISPs access point, all cabling is usually carried on fiber-optics.

This means that there are only a few hundred meters of wire cable in the delivery of a cable internet service. With Verizon Fios, the connection is made up of fiber-optic all the way to the customer’s door. Given that the Verizon Fios network contains a little bit more or the fiber-optic cable than cable TV networks, it is difficult to see how they can afford to undercut those cable TV rivals.

Just like regular cable providers, Verizon Fios also offers TV and phone services and they really like to push bundles that combine two or three of these services. It works out a lot cheaper to buy all three services together than to take out separate contracts for internet, TV, and landline services.