Chewing Through FiOS Margins

Andrew Schmitt tells a hilarious story about his FiOS connection, which suffered at the teeth of an overeager squirrel. Andrew points out that Verizon engineers (two) spent nearly 12 hours trying to fix the problem when his service went down. After working overnight they found the problem.

Turns out the fiber had chew marks on it, most likely from a squirrel. The tech had never seen anything like it. They swapped my house onto another fiber drop from the splitter until a crew can come out and replace the entire bundle. The tech duct taped his gloved to the fiber to mark the failure.

While the episode (or the ordeal, which ever way you might want to look at it) paints Verizon and its customer service in good light, it also raises some serious questions about FiOS vulnerabilities, and how non-technology issues can create havoc on Verizon’s financial case for fiber to the home. The operation costs of the “connection” must be totally out of whack. Of course, this is another reason why Verizon should not remove copper lines away from people’s homes when installing fiber connections.

One thing fiber doesn’t come with, however, is the choice of non-Internet based phone carriers that is available under regulations that govern copper lines. Competitors are free to “resell” Verizon’s fiber service to homes, (Verizon spokesman Cliff )Lee said, but adds that the situation hasn’t come up yet. Verizon is not obligated to lease the optical lines at wholesale rates. [The Buffalo News]