Consumers who switch to Verizon’s new FiOS TV or Internet services will find a change to their existing Verizon phone service: Their copper-wire phone line will be replaced with a fiber-optic line.
Verizon touts that the fiber-optic lines can carry more information and provide a better signal.
But some consumers see a downside: They will lose phone service during an extended power outage. That doesn’t happen on phone service provided via copper wire.
It’s worth mentioning because while most people understand that with an internet-based service like Vonage you’ll lose phone service when the power goes out, customers might assume Verizon’s FiOS service is no different from the copper-wire variety. Fiber-optic cable is made of glass, and doesn’t conduct electricity, and therefore can’t be powered remotely. Verizon provides a battery back-up to its FiOS customers, (which needs to be replaced periodically) that stores enough power for 4 hours of talk time. In the event of an extended power outage, however, you’re out of luck. —MEGHANN MARCO
Photo: Josh Bancroft