Review by Raphion
Good "High speed, decent latency."
- Location: Samsara
- Cost: $135 per month
- Install: about 5 days
Bad "Bad support, occasional LONG outages, expensive."
Overall "It's probably better than alternatives, unless an alternative happens to be Google Fiber or municiple fiber."
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
I've had this service for many years now, and am only just getting to putting a review here, so details of installation and such may be slightly fuzzy.
The order process was painless enough that I don't really remember it, although I transitioned over to FiOS from Verizon DSL, so that probably made it simpler than a whole new account.
The reason for the upgrade was simply that the DSL connection couldn't cut it anymore due to degrading lines, and Verizon had no interest in fixing that. The DSL had been the replacement for abysmally unreliable cable from BrightHouse, so going back to cable was clearly not an option.
As I recall, the install went fairly well. Initially a guy showed up with a Ditch Witch to slice the ground and drop the fiber line into the opening left by it, and left the extra cable slack under the NID. The next day, a Verizon tech was out to do the actual install, and he was quite friendly. He sensed that I was pretty technically inclined, and didn't even ask to futz with my computers or network gear, instead he just handed me the Westell (9100 I think) router and told me I could go set it up while he worked on the ONT. He also told me that he didn't care if I actually used that router after he left, but to have it up for the install process anyways. That was the easy part, some technical difficulties hindered the tech's progress on getting the ONT provisioned properly for several hours. It finally got straightened out though, and I had solid 10mbps down, 2mbps up.
Only a few months after that, it was upgraded to 15/5, and then only a year later (I think), it was up to 25/25, which is where it's at now. (I stick to the lower tiers, since I'm not a heavy downloader).
The provided Westell router seemed nicer than I'd expect for an ISP provided router, but I never really used it, so I can't comment much about it's quality or performance.
The worst that has happened with this service has been the ONT mysteriously being "dropped" from the PON. It has on at least 4 occasions gone into "not activated" status, where techs on the phone could not even find the ONT on the network, although it showed that it had a solid fiber connection, simply was not authenticating onto the network. The first 3 times this happened, they would not do very much to try to fix it from their end, instead scheduling a truck-roll, only to replace the ONT, sometimes multiple times, only to have the new ones not come up either. Also switching to different fibers at the hub, all failing attempts, until a network tech finally did something they termed "bouncing the PON", apparently a reloading of the PON card's configuration, after which the ONT would come online.
Those first 3 episodes had me without internet or POTS for 2-3 days each. Not fun. On the fourth time, after being told that this has happened three times before, and that bouncing the PON was always what fixed it, they actually bounced the PON for me without a truck-roll, which got me back online the same evening that it went down. And hopefully, they fixed whatever issue was causing the PON to need to be "bounced"....
This is one of those services that is fantastic when nothing goes wrong, but when something goes wrong, it tends to be much more of a headache than a passing glitch that self-rectifies within an hour like I'd been familiar with on other services.
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