The speed sounds great, but did you know Verizon also removes all your old copper phone lines when they install FiOS?


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  1. Major-General says:

    Umm, yeah. They don’t have to play nice over new fiber, just old copper. As such, they really want you to get FiOS.

  2. alpha says:

    oh noes the “speed sounds sounds”!!!!


  3. tadowguy says:

    Copper is a valuable metal, why would they leave it connected?

    (a book I had once said that the world’s largest potential copper mine was AT&T)

  4. swalve says:

    Good? A huge problem with the management of various wires is people NOT deinstalling unused wires.

    The more fiber that’s out there, the closer we’ll be to 21st century communications.

  5. JohnDoe303 says:


    “The more fiber that’s out there, the closer we’ll be to 21st century communications.” agreed.

    no turning back, no problem.

  6. Lordy says:

    Yeah, Im one of the lucky few to have FIOS…well im getting it…its taken 4 weeks to install last week they pulled up all my copper from my house to the vault connection,but never installed the fiber..that comes tuesday so ive been without phone service for almost a week and a half and yes i did get my money back i made them give me 2 months of free internet

  7. capaz3 says:

    I’m one of the unlucky people that has to deal with a smaller company – Windstream, formerly Alltel, and because they are smaller I doubt they will be updating to fiber anytime soon. I say if it takes a bigger company to help get into the new technology then so be it. Too often all of these local companies that have a monopoly on service (phone and cable) rely on their older technology and never offer their customers newer technology because they don’t want to pay to upgrade. The customers can’t fight back because there are no alternatives. For me, as soon as fiber is offered in my area (no telling when that will be) I’ll order it.

  8. I can’t decide whether thats a good thing or a bad one.

  9. As a journalist, I couldn’t help but notice certain weasel words and opinionated statements on the part of the articles author. Just thought I’d point that out.

  10. goodkitty says:

    Hmm… just when you thought these monopolistic companies had run out of new ways to screw you over! I guess this means they’ll save a bundle on their customer retention department. “Silly customer, there is no switching providers. We OWN YOU now!”

    Obviously circumventing the Telco Act of 1996 (leasing copper to competitors) the only reason Verizon moved so quickly to FiOS in the first place. How in the world are we going to reign in these abusive and destructive companies?

  11. raybury says:

    You’re amazingly perceptive, Papa Midnight. By the way, this is sarcasm.

  12. mkoch7811 says:

    As a long time Verizon customer, I’m well aware of their business practices, but in this case I think the Forbes article sounds a little too much like a competitor’s attempt to find fault with a system whose performance, quite simply, kicks ass. The “customer” in the article quotes the 30-day trial period, then complains that he “can’t go back”, when Verizon clearly states that they’ll switch back if a customer insists. He also said something about being quoted one price and then having it go up. Verizon has been very up-front (with me, at least) about the pricing from day one. While there was an introductory price, they were very clear about the pricing at the end of the introductory period, and in the 2-3 years that I’ve had FiOS, in both PA and TX, that rate has not gone up one cent (that was for internet – my FiOS TV rates DID go up slightly, but Comcast, my previous provider, also raised their rates just about every year). In fact, when we moved to TX last year, I found that could get the 15mb service for the same price we were paying for the 5 mb service in PA, so I’m saving money. And FiOS TV is significantly cheaper than Comcast (now Time-Warner in our local market) and as I mentioned before, the performance is much better. Yes, you’ll lose phone service if the power goes out for more than 4 hours, but that’s one of the only down sides to this technology, but these days everyone has cell phones, so I don’t see that as a deal breaker.

  13. Kromax says:

    Funny thing is that I read about this when I placed my FIOS order about three weeks ago. I assumed keeping the copper wasn’t even an option, and I was prepared to give it up for the good of high speed internet. When the tech came, I asked him about it and he said that he wasn’t switching the copper POTS line because I hadn’t ordered a conversion to fiber. I was relieved, and asked him if there was any benefit to switching, and he joked, “yeah…so when the power goes out you lose your phone service too.” Two things I want to add: (1) The Verizon technician was awesome; knowledgeable and neat (he also didn’t mind me breathing down his back–in fact he kind of invited the company, and cared about my input). (2) The speed is better than advertised. I went with the 15Mbps package, and routinely get upward of 20+ every time I’ve checked. I don’t want to sound like a commercial in my first comment, but how often does something actually exceed expectation in this crappy anti consumerist world?

  14. CaptainRoin says:

    30 day money back guarantee… aahhahha funny stuff.

  15. JohnMc says:

    I have to ask — show me the contract!

    Look with the deregulation of the phone companies any wire from the outside wall of your home or apartment became your property or your landlords. Fact is if you want an install or deinstall of any wiring in your home that is a separate charge exclusive of any other services being offered. So unless the resident authorized it, that installer, aka Verizon just committed theft. And I doubt that VZ will go for that either.

    Here’s the more likely scenario — Installer sees this is going to be a bear of a job if he has to reroute new lines. He says he can’t do the install without removing the old wires and he “…won’t charge extra for removing them”. Gosh what a deal! What the installer is actually saying is that he is going to use the old wire as ‘pull lines’ to fish the new lines thru the walls. So he tapes the new line to the end of an old line. Goes up into the attic and pulls the old copper hence feeding the new line in its place.

    When the job is done, yeah the old copper has been replaced with — new copper, CAT5. What? You thought a FIOS install fished new fiber all thru the house? Hardly! Could/Would it be done? Yes, extra charge. But a typical FIOS install feeds the fiber to a demark box just inside the house for new installs or outside the house for existing installations. The FTTP ‘router’ used, breaks out the phone, video, data as appropriate. It is quite possible, and more likely that in existing construction that the original copper is reused.

    I tell ya, journalism majors are such dorks. They will be death of civilization as we know it.

  16. JohnMc says:


    For all your understatement about copper, are you aware that there is an ongoing trial for 10mb data transmission over power lines — using copper? Happening in Houston now, probably the rest of Texas in 2 years as a service.

  17. alpha says:


    I bet the installer then collects all that lovely copper and recycles it. With the price of copper these days it’s no wonder they want to rip out as much of it as they can ;)

  18. rickpark says:

    Re Verizon removing the copper after installation: when I had FIOS installed, I had read on a FIOS related forum about this practice so I asked the installer if he could leave the copper for my alternative line in place and he agreed to do so. My primary line was converted to fiber and I believe the copper pair was left intact as well. So I believe you just have to ask them to not disconnect the copper as it is not mandatory.

    Having said that, I now use ViaTalk VOIP which cost me $200/2 years + a monthly $5 charge for regulatory fees. ‘Unlimited’ calling nationwide (actually, it is 5000 minutes/month which I don’t come anywhere near) + all the fancy calling bells and whistles.

    My alternative number is still on the copper.

  19. Nytmare says:

    @alpha: A 50-foot spool of telephone wire costs $8 new, so I’m sure that recycling copper is not the reason the wiring would be removed.

  20. wesrubix says:

    The old wiring should be removed. There’s no reason to leave inactive infrastructure unless you support sloppy work.

    Some copper wiring is cloth insulated, like the old phoneline that use to go into my mother’s house. The tech happily removed it, saying we’re lucky it never caught on fire.

    You can get any phone service over the fiber anyway. It’s an infrastructure change, and it does not force you to use Verizon for phone service. I can imagine it could be difficult to get home phone service other than VErizon, but why would you? Having a Verizon land line shaves 5 bucks/mo off your fios bill.

    Fiber is safer and more reliable than copper. Fiber is immune to a lot of things that copper is not, like heavy electrical storms, or stupid animals. Animals cannot chew through glass, and the fiber line is reinforced with a spine. It’s tough stuff.

    If you’re paranoid about your optical terminator losing power after 4 hrs of battery in an outage, get a generator. You should have a generator if you experience outages for more than 4 hours anyway.

    If you don’t want to go forward to using optical fiber then don’t.

    I’m on Fios and I enjoy it very much. The bandwidth per buck cannot be beat (assuming it’s available in your area).

  21. FLConsumer says:

    ADSL2 supports 24Mbps over copper… don’t think copper’s a dinosaur yet.

    Fiber has a HUGE downside — it’s unpowered and it’s digital. For FIOS’ VoIP to work, you must have power and the digital equipment must work. While the little FIOS ONT has a battery in it, they’re only good for about 3 hrs in the testing I’ve done on them. Considering many of them are installed inside unconditioned garages, expect the batteries to go flat in about 2-3 years. I’ve been through enough hurricanes to know that 3 hrs of backup time isn’t enough. 3 days really isn’t enough. Running a generator 24/7 after a storm isn’t practical either. Even when you have power, the ONT becomes a “hidden” cost for you. They suck anywhere from 20-60 watts continuously, 24/7, 365 days a year. Might not seem like much, but that works out to an extra $60/yr on your electric bill.

    For those familiar with the technology, digital error correction is good, but digital still won’t work in as many adverse conditions where analog can get the job done. Copper’s still analog and will work under some rather severe conditions. I’ll gladly take a staticy call over no dialtone at all.

    FWIW, my insurance company wouldn’t insure my property unless the fire/burglar alarm was connected to a COPPER POTS line. No VoIP/FIOS. They also spec’d the alarm system, which has enough backup power to run for close to a week by itself.

  22. JohnMc says:


    The only folks making any money on removing old infrastructure is the guy/company making such a suggestion. A Verizon installer’s loaded labor rate is in the 6 figures. So he is costing whoever falls for that about $40/hr. At those rates, unless the old infrastructure is in the way, you leave it in place. No harm, no foul.

    Been in the IT biz 30 years and I have seen installations where the legacy infrastructure was 3-4 layers deep. It’s clip and forget till the raised floor doesn’t close. Nobody wants to pay the labor charges for demo till they have to.

    cloth phone wire, the likelihood of that catching fire is minimal. We’re talking 60-70 volts at milliamp ratings. And power is only available and being drawn when the receiver is off hook. Cloth covered power cables are a different matter. Sigh…

  23. JohnMc says:


    Folks are regularly doing 10Gb over copper for short distances. Copper is far from dead and technologies are coming along that will extend its capacity even more.

  24. rhombopteryx says:

    Why are half the posters sooo willing to mindlessly burn bridges to other providers? This is the wire equivalent of a mandatory FOREVER-years-long cell phone plan – you CAN’T switch to any other phone or DSL provider, you have to take whatever price increase next year brings, and have to stomach the possibility of downtime/crappy service/power outages with almost no alternative. If it weren’t soooo wrong and so “should be illegal,” I’d say that people gullible enough to take it deserve what they get…

  25. Anonymous says:

    They didn’t remove my copper or any of the 30 other people in my neighborhood who got FiOS. They just disconnected the end of it so they could hook my phones up to the new stuff. They didn’t even take away the old Demarc box.