Review by HarpSupport
Good "Rock solid speed, reliability. Great value."
- Location: South Lebanon,Warren,OH
- Cost: $90 per month
- Install: about 4 days
- Cincinnati Bell
Bad "HD DVR leaves a lot to be desired, limited on-demand."
Overall "Much better than the alternatives"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
Review / Story
We moved to Ohio because of a new job in the area, and we had very little time to find a new place. The apartment complex we live in partnered with Cincinnati Bell to provide Fioptics service exclusively - so we didn't have much choice.
Install was horrible - but it wasn't Cincinnati Bell's fault. This is a new apartment complex, and we are the first residents to live in this unit. When the building was constructed, they ran microduct from each unit to the pedestal outside. In theory, and installation would be sending the fiber optic cable through the microduct, hooking up the ONT, and being done. In practice - it didn't work out that way. Apparently when the building was constructed, some of the workers were less than careful with the microduct and it was damaged. The install technicians (all 4) indicated that this was common in these buildings. By the third appointment - with four trucks rolled - they were able to get me going.
Despite that, I couldn't be happier with the service. We have the 50/10 internet service and it is incredibly fast and has yet to have an outage. Ping times are better than cable, and I've seen little congestion. My only gripe is that I can't get a static IP on the 50/10 plan. I'm also not away of any usage cap - a big benefit in today's tiered service world.
We also have TV service and it, too, has been rock solid. CB provides a good channel lineup and the HD channels look great. The only downsides of the service are an extremely limited on-demand portfolio (we came from Comcast in Atlanta where on-demand was full of content), and a poor choice of software for the DVR set top box (again, we came from Comcast where you could schedule recordings online, which was an amazing feature).
Info based on experiences
I do want to convey some of what I've heard regarding the Fioptics service itself. If you're considering it, you need to find out two things.
First, are you qualified as a FTTH (fiber to the home) or FTTN (fiber to the node) Fioptics customer?
With FTTH you'll have the fiber optic cable run all the way to your home. They'll install an ONT (optical network terminal) to provide your service. The only copper connection will be the wiring in your home. You will be able to get the maximum internet plan (currently at 100/20), and your TV will be provided over standard coax cable. If you qualify for this service, you can't go wrong - it's the way it should be done everywhere.
With FTTN, you'll have fiber optic cable run to a DSLAM near your home, and the service will be delivered over old copper lines. They'll install a VDSL gateway and provide you with ZTE IP set-top-boxes. This is very similar to AT&T's U-verse. If you are close to the DSLAM, and the copper lines between your home and the DSLAM are in good shape, your service should be great. You will qualify for very high speeds (comparable to cable, much faster than DSL), and you will be able to get Fioptics IP TV. The problem, in my opinion, with this scenario, is that sh*t happens - and your service may get better or worse over time.
-Second, if you are a FTTH customer, are you on the Motorola or Cisco/Scientific Atlanta plant?
Apparently, when CB started rolling FTTH Fioptics service, they were using Cisco/Scientific Atlanta equipment. At some point they switch to a Motorola based system - and have both systems operating today. With the Cisco/SA service, you get symmetrical internet speeds, but suffer with the truly awful Cisco/SA TV set-top-boxes. With the Motorola service, you get asymmetrical internet speeds, but get the much improved (but still not all that great) Motorola TV set-top-boxes. You don't really get a choice, and both are still much better than any alternative - but there can be confusion if you get to digging online, as some people will talk about Cisco/SA equipment, and some will talk about Motorola equipment.
CB's decision to follow in AT&T's footsteps to install FTTN is understandable, but disappointing. Using the same Fioptics brand, while having both FTTH and FTTN networks, is confusing to the customer (look at the CB support forums). I would also assume that long-term, it's more expensive (cost of rolling FTTN, then cost of re-rolling FTTH in the future). Despite this, I believe offering FTTN is better than nothing, and believe they will provide a quality service.
Having been lucky enough to qualify for true FTTH, I think fiber-to-the-home is the best option for delivering today and tomorrow's services. It's fast, reliable, and relatively future-proof. I appreciate that Cincinnati Bell has been forward thinking, and I hope to see them continue to improve an already fantastic service.
Please feel free to contact me if I need to correct any gross errors. At the time I wrote this review, this information was correct to the best of my knowledge. I do not work for Cincinnati Bell, and do not represent them in any way.
member for 3.4 years, 335 visits, last login: 31 days ago
updated 2.1 years ago