Orange County residents were some of the first to get Verizon’s fast FiOS Internet and TV service that is on par with cable companies. But still, I hear, “When is FiOS coming to my city?”
Time for an update. I asked Verizon FiOS for detailed launch by city. Of course, they didn’t give that to me. Too many unknowns (city permits, construction schedules), they said, not to mention that they dont’ want their competition to know.
But here’s what they could tell me:
Right now, FiOS is available in parts of Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Westminister, Stanton, Fountain Valley and some unincorporated areas. In the next month, the first Seal Beach residents will be able to order FiOS.
Earlier this year, Verizon announced a long list of cities that it was given the go-ahead to launch FiOS. In Orange County, those cities include Brea, Dana Point, La Habra, Laguna Beach and Laguna Niguel. A complete list of Southern California cities is available HERE.
Verizon has the state’s approval to serve those cities with video. But as of Dec. 5, 2008, none of those cities can get FiOS yet, said Jon Davies, a FiOS spokesman.
“We haven’t built the network in all these areas and it’s too soon to say when we will get to cities like Dana Point, Laguna Beach and Laguna Niguel,” he said.
Verizon continues to focus first on cities that are in its telephone territory. Plus, another group is targeting apartments and condos that just need to give Verizon permission to lay down fiber optic cables (Read my earlier report, “Verizon FiOS TV heavily targeting apartments, condos in O.C.”
But even in the cities where FiOS is available, many readers still can’t get it. Davies said he could not offer consumers any insight on when it would be available. I asked what percent of households within those cities could order FiOS. Again, he said, this is another question that is difficult to answer because of competitive purposes.
“We’re not giving out specific sales penetration figures by region but in areas where we’ve been offering FiOS for a while (and, as you know, OC was the first in California) the local numbers reflect the national penetration rates,” he said.
So, not quite what I asked for, but Davies offered this statistic: In the U.S., 24.2 percent of households that can order FiOS Internet do. The penetration rate for FiOS TV is 19.7 percent.
For customers interested in ordering FiOS, you can check if it’s available at your home address on the FiOS checker. But my problem with the checker is that if FiOS is not available, you have no idea when it will be or if your address is even close to getting it.
Davies said the uncertainties of city permitting and construction schedules made it difficult to provide accuate forecast for specific address. And Verizon doesn’t want to tip off the competition.
“Another problem we face is that if we announce our plans too far in advance, the cable companies step up their local marketing efforts in the areas where we’re going to offer FiOS and they try to lock customers into long-term contracts with very aggressive introductory prices,” he said.
“So, we’re looking for a way to give customers as much accurate information as possible without giving too much away to our competitors. It’s a fine line.”
In other words, who knows when FiOS is coming to my city?
I will continue to follow FiOS’ progress and report right here. I have set up an e-mail alert for anyone who’s interested in the latest FiOS news in O.C. Just click this: Subscribe to Verizon FiOS news from Gadgetress.com