Time Warner's Hilarious Verizon FiOS Attack Ad

Competition brings out the best in employees, friends, and companies, as demonstrated brilliantly in Time Warner’s attack ad against Verizon FiOS. The scenario is that a cocksure suburban dude is interrupted making a bowl of fiber cereal by the doorbell. He opens his door to find a nerdy pitchman for Verizon FiOS on his doorstep. When the kid waves his hands, magic red light streams around the word “FIBER.” The homeowner raises his eyebrows and talks about how Time Warner has been using fiber optic cable for the past ten years. The FiOS kid can only respond by making more magic FIBER signs in the air. After Time Warner dude thorughly defeats FiOS boy with his low prices and great service, he offers a bowl of fiber cereal to the grimacing boy, whose magic red light is now smoking and spluttering. “Ooh, you’re looking a little bunched up,” says TWC Man, “need some help?” We LOLed. Too bad there’s a big difference between having a fiber optic backbone (TWC) and fiber optics that plug directly into your house (FiOS, faster). Full transcript, inside…

SFX: Doorbell rings 3 times.

VERIZON: Good morning! Have you heard about THE FIBER?!

HOMEOWNER: I think I’m taken care of in that department.

VERIZON: But I’m talking about Verizon’s kind of fiber!

HOMEOWNER: And I’m talking Time Warner Cable. They’ve been using fiber optics for over a decade. Welcome to the program!

ANNOUNCER: Call 1-888 TWCABLE today and get roadrunner highspeed online and home phone service for as low as $29.95 each for the first 12 months.

HOMEOWNER: Ooh, you’re looking a little bunched up. Need some help?


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  1. Jaysyn was banned for: https://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    Time Warner has all this magic bandwith, but yet they are about to start (or already have if you’re in Texas) charging you by the Gb for service. So much for streaming movies or using Steam to download games.

    Time Warner sucks.

  2. riverstyxxx says:

    Old commercial. Very old.

  3. Balisong says:

    When he first waved his hand of magic sparklys it reminded me of those “The More You Know” commercials.

  4. Corydon says:

    @Jaysyn: BroadbandReports says the program is just a trial, and is speculating that the firestorm over the trial may already have caused them to drop the idea.

  5. Xerloq says:

    @Balisong: I wish some GI Joe would shoot both of them, run out and shout, “Knowing is half the battle!”

  6. Bix says:

    I really hate the FiOS attack ads. There’s a difference between having a fiber optic network and running fiber optic connections to homes.

  7. TurboWagon00 says:

    Well around these parts, consumer FIOS is 16 Mbit, and Comcasts best is 6Mbit, and theyre both about $50/month. This ad is intentionally misleading, yes its all fiber-optic upstream, but the “last mile” is still coax/copper for TW or any cable provider. Real classy with the poop jokes.

  8. rmz says:

    @Bix: This.

    Yes, TW has been “using fiber,” but they haven’t been running it to subscribers’ homes. OOPS

  9. DMDDallas says:

    Time Warner executives must be eating lots of fiber to spew out this sort of BS.

  10. madanthony says:

    A coworker and I were on a business trip into an area that had TWC and saw this ad on TV and started cracking up. Not because it was funny, but because of how misleading it is.

    The advantage of FIOS is that it is fiber TO YOUR DOOR, not that there is a fiber backbone somewhere. It’s that “last mile” of cable that is old copper, and that’s the advantage of FIOS.

    But given the number of people who can’t understand the HDTV transition, lots of people will probably get suckered by these ads too.

  11. TurboWagon00 says:

    Oh, and if they were serious about competing, all the providers have to do is unlock their services to the full DOCSIS 2.0 speed (30Mbit or so). But of course, that would require massive reinvestments in back-end infrastructure to support. I guess its easier to make stupid TV attack ads.

  12. Ken says:

    I wish I had FIOS! I would ditch TW or Charter Cable anyday

  13. Dancing Milkcarton says:

    The day FiOS comes here to Cincy (if ever), I’m personally taking this piece of shit SA8300HDC box with TW’s new craptastic Navigator software down to their offices and telling them to stick it.

    C’mon Verizon – spread the love!

  14. sgodun says:

    I just got FIOS about a month ago. 5 downstream, 20 upstream. Don’t much care for the FIOS set-top box interface but I’ll take the speed any day.

    TWC loses BIG on this one; they’re saying that they’ve been using fiber for ten years. Probably true, but they’re implying that their fiber is the same as FIOS’s fiber, which it ain’t. FIOS goes to the door, TWC does not.

  15. Rando says:

    I’m pretty sure TWC uses coax and not fiber…

  16. RenardRouge says:

    Reminds me of misleading political ads

  17. dmolavi says:

    they may have fiber backbones, but not FTTP (fiber to the premises). big difference, but one they’re hoping the casual joe doesn’t know about.

  18. warf0x0r says:

    Comcast just lowered rates for new subscribers to 26.99 for a year, but I still have to pay 42.99 for being a customer for 4 years…


  19. Nissan288 says:

    if anything, it just shows how crappy TWC’s fiber has been, if no one’s being extolling the virtues of their fiber for the past 10 years and how it’s only comparable to what everyone else has.

  20. firesign says:

    @bitfactory: good luck. fios will never cme here to cincy. both cincinnati bell and time warner will make sure of that.

  21. asphix20 says:

    The difference with FiOS is that its directly to your house. I may be wrong as I have no experience with TW, but while some ISP’s use fiber out on the street, they’ll drop into your house with your regular run-o-the-mill coax cable.

    FiOS goes directly into your house and plugs straight into your modem via fiber cables… or at least it does in the case of my buddy who lives on Staten Island NY.

  22. DMDDallas says:

    @firesign: Cincinatti Bell != Verizon. Thats why FIOS wont come out.

    Time Warner can’t do anything to stop FIOS other than make silly ads.

  23. ludwigk says:

    When I had a lan center in Maine, we had Time Warner business class. The state, since it is sparsely populated, is a test area for newer TW broadband products. We bought a 1 Mb up/down dedicated line, but it seems that we had our own 10 Mb switch with noone else on it. I remember dloading M$ updates at over 900k/s, and the ping times were fantastic.

    Not that this helps anyone, unless you’re in Maine, and also have business cable.

  24. valthun says:

    That ad is so awful and misleading. That ad is not hilarious, and the person who came up with that ad campaign should be fired.

  25. ndonahue says:

    Fios uses coaxial too…

    Forget the last mile problem and look at the problem of the last 50 feet. One of the two standard installation procedures of FIOS uses coaxial cable to run from the ONT (outside your house) to an Actiontec router (inside your house). The other uses CAT5.

    Having used both cable and FIOS, the primary difference (other than being able to tell people you’ve got a fiber drop into your basement) is that the FIOS cable running down the side of your house is flat as opposed to the coaxial cable being perfectly round.

  26. firesign says:

    @DMDDallas: umm, actually cincy bell repurchased it’s stock from verizon.

    don’t hold your breath for fios here.

  27. firesign says:

    @DMDDallas: sorry, misread your message. yes, i know that cincy bell != verizon (anymore anyway). even if verizon wanted to run it here, cincy bell owns the poles, etc. and i’m sure would make it cost prohibitive for them to bring it here.

  28. kc2idf says:

    I mentioned in another Gawker blog (Gizmodo, I think) that I will personally not sign up for FiOS because they require a two-year contract. I don’t do contracts any more. The cellular providers soured me on it.

    I do use Time-Warner for my Internet access. It is unbundled, and month-to-month; no contract. I am very happy with it.

    I use Dish Network for my television. Again, unbundled, month-to-month. I am very happy with that, also.

    FiOS would otherwise represent a 2X increase in my bandwidth, but that is meaningless when my ISP is almost never the bottleneck.

  29. IndyJaws says:

    Me wants some of that tasty FIOS goodness!

  30. Cratin says:

    I have had Fios for two years now. I have the 15 downstream/15 upstream connection and it is awesome and has NEVER gone down. I had TIme Warner once, but I always wanted to throw their modem through their corporate headquarter’s window, since it was ALWAYS going out!

  31. Empire says:

    @warf0x0r: Have you tried calling them to cancel? They will usually try to talk you into staying by offering you the lower price for 6 months, sometimes even a year.

  32. mac-phisto says:

    verizon shill day on consumerist?

    it’s different b/c it’s fiber straight to your house! who cares? i don’t care if gerbils carry the 1’s & 0’s that last mile, as long as it’s fast.

    right now, i’m running cablevision: $49.95/mo. (including all taxes, fees, etc.) = 15Mbps down/5Mbps up. i can get 30Mbps down for an extra $9.95/mo. but i don’t need it. that’s $30 less/mo. than the fastest FIOS offering (30 down/15 up).

  33. majortom1981 says:

    MAc-phisto boost is actually 38/5 they uncapped the downlaod a couple of months ago.

    Also I am tired all these trolls with their fake info. The coaxial cable has tons of bandwidth left. Its the technology at either end that limits it. So stop with all this they need to switch to fiber crud.

    Cablevision was getting 100/100 with their beta tests of the narad tech on coaxial cables before narad went under.

    The docsis specs are what limits the speed. not the coaxcial cable itself.

  34. dantsea says:

    Cable companies love their ads full of BS.

    I used to live in a very small town served by TWC. They constantly ran commercials to remind us that satellite TV was the Great Satan and that we’d be fools to choose it over their superior digital cable offerings. Many things to laugh at, not the least of which was that the only offering in town was 48 channels of non-digital service on a system so ancient that if you added HBO to your bill (the sole pay service offered) they had to send someone out to climb the pole and take a filter off your line.

  35. Rachacha says:

    Why I switched to FiOS:
    1) Verizon may suck, but Comcast sucks 100 times more.
    2) I was able to get faster internet and a better TV package for less than I was paying Comcast.
    3) Amazing HD – There is a noticible increase in picture quality when compared with Comcast.
    4) Download speeds of 15Mbps (not the “power Boost” that comcast offers that only kicks in on large files.
    5) UPLOAD speeds of 15Mbps,compared to Comcast 500-700Kbps.
    6) Most importantly, it provided a real competitor to Comcast. Verizon and Comcast have been constantly increasing services/battling pricing to win new customers, and Verizon is offering some interesting features that have a lot of potential for the future.

  36. trujunglist says:

    I can’t wait for TWC to pull their bandwidth pricing stuff here. It should be funny to see TWC vans on their way to uninstalls (aka picking up equipment) causing major traffic jams on the 15.

  37. Rusted says:

    @Bix: Yep. Fiber’s nice if it’s clean. If there’s just a little bit of dirt or dust, it can be bad. Depend on how often the fiber techs maintain the plant.

    I remember issues with dirty fiber. Former NOC monkey.

  38. SacraBos says:

    @TurboWagon: I talked to one of the FIOS techs when I installed FIOS for my office. They actually do up to 30MB/s to the local CO for the video-on-demand and stuff. I don’t need quite that for my business (but it’s there if I need it), and it’s som much less than a T-1. DSL just wasn’t an option geographically.

  39. Bunklung says:

    @ndonahue: Why you can buy a router that has a fiber optic interface based on PON, a TV or STB that has a fiber interface and a phone that has a fiber connection, THEN verizon will run the last 50′ as fiber.

    Verizon is just waiting for TW to institute caps and the FCC to publicize it’s results on Comcast’s “network managment”.

    I can’t wait to see those ads. The little FIOS kid will be chugging a bottle of powered Metamucil while simultaneously taking a dump on a node that consists of 700 customers all sharing a Docsis connection. Talk about over sold, over advertised, over priced, and throttled service.

    The killer app will kill the cable modem.

  40. Bunklung says:

    -Why +When

  41. Ragman says:

    @ndonahue: The difference is that Fios breaks out the TV on coax, phone over the phone lines, and your internet over Cat5 from the box into your house. TWC runs video and internet over coax.

  42. ndonahue says:

    @Bunklung: I agree that you ‘can’ do what you propose, but I’m not sure anyone would… First, It’s tough to pull fiber through walls — Fiber cables don’t like tight bends. Second, why run fiber when copper offers plenty of bandwidth for any single device. I can’t see any reason to believe that fiber is going to emerge as the LAN standard anytime in the near future.

    Given the current (and near-future technology, the probably smart answer is wiring houses with CAT6 for gigabit ethernet to high bandwidth devices and IP phones. Whether the fiber stops at the pole or the external ONT doesn’t really matter.

    As for oversubscribed shared bandwidth, I can’t comment specifically. AFAIK, no residential provider offers guaranteed bandwidth. Cable is more mature, but every provider eventually struggles with similar conflicts between volume and capacity.

    @Ragman: That’s not entirely accurate. FIOS breaks phone, standard video, and data at the box, but currently the ONT can only run one data feed into your house (via CAT5 or Coax). The Actiontec routers then handle data over ethernet/wifi, and VOD/guide info over MOCA. This configuration is what frustrates people that would prefer to use a different router — there are options, but all include giving up the benefit of variable bandwidth allocations so that your VOD doesn’t eat into your data capacity.

    Verizon doesn’t have a national standard for installs, but in New England, older installs used CAT5 between the ONT and the router. Now, in preparation for extended rollout of FIOS video, I believe all installs are coax between the ONT and the Verizon supplied actiontec router.

  43. Bunklung says:

    @ndonahue: My response was to highlight that the last 50′ is specifically not the issue and no where near the same as comparing the last 50′ of a fios install to the last mile of the cable company.

    ex. “Having used both cable and FIOS, the primary difference (other than being able to tell people you’ve got a fiber drop into your basement) is that the FIOS cable running down the side of your house is flat as opposed to the coaxial cable being perfectly round.”

    I’ll play devil’s advocate here. After Verizon has spent $1500 to bring a fiber connection to your house for FREE, going with Moca is saving them a ton of money and time. It’s easier to install since the coax exists in most cases and buying 1 router vs a router plus a NIM is cheaper. The 200mbps spec of Moca and the 400mbps spec of the ONT leaves a ton of flexibility in growth.

    And that’s just the 50′. This 50′ isn’t plagued by Sandvine or a Bandwith cap (or 700 people in a cable node)

    The technologies, advertising models, LIMITATIONS, and capabilities of FIOS and cable are far from similar.

    But I will agree with you whole heartedly about the suckage that goes with the Actiontec. The NAT table BLOWS. The work arounds are not perfect ether.

    “As for oversubscribed shared bandwidth, I can’t comment specifically.”

    Feel free to do some research :) It’s been in the news very recently and cable has a big problem on it’s hands.

  44. Ben Popken says:
  45. Ragman says:

    @ndonahue: My point is the potential bandwidth of your wiring. Verizon > TWC since they split where the fiber ends. Changing the ONT to one that runs simultaneous is easier than burying fiber.

    My install is Cat6 to a DLink router, RG-6 to a Motorola MOCA and both receivers, and Cat3 to phones. Looking around the interwebs, I’m glad I predated the Actiontec. Haven’t had a hardware issue in the year and a half I’ve had Fios. I installed the Cat6 and RG-6 myself – I can’t stand it when they run the cable up the side of the house and drill straight through the outside wall.

    Yes, coax isn’t maxed out yet, but it will get there someday. Of course, the cable companies could start doing what Verizon is now – running only fiber to new construction. Or pushing for Verizon to open up its fiber network to competition.

    In all of my experiences with pay tv, cable is the worst on quality, satellite is second, and Fios is best. Cable’s claims of being more weather resistant than satellite are utter bull – Dish outperformed every cable co I’ve had when receiving in a storm. The flightpath going over my house to DFW was a different story, but the glitch was only a fraction of a second and had to be right in the LOS from my dish to the satellite.