Correction: I inadvertantly called Jerry Vasquez, the guy in charge at Verizon’s FiOS hub in Pomona, Jesse. I’ve corrected below. Apologies to Mr. Vasquez!
In the beginning, someone at Verizon said, “Let there be FiOS.” And there was. And it was good. At least for the people who can order the TV service.
In Orange County, we are among the lucky areas where FiOS TV is offered, although it’s only available in limited parts of the county. The TV service, which rivals cable’s channel offerings but adds interactivity and much more, continues to get gushing reviews from customers and praise from industry followers.
As I continue to answer the question for readers “Where is FiOS,” Verizon invited me to tour its Pomona facility to see the only FiOS TV hub in California. There, Jerry Vasquez, manager of network engineering, showed me why FiOS could conquer the market for paid-television services.
“Our customers don’t care, they just want to make sure NFL Networks is on. How we make sure that happens is what we specialize in now,” Vasquez said. “Where Verizon specialized in telecom years ago, now it’s video. And we have the talent and the deep pockets to achieve that.”
But before I get into what happens in Pomona, let me backtrack and explain how FiOS TV gets to a customer’s home.
TV service starts with, of course, the TV networks, which upload their programming to satellites. Verizon has two “satellite farms,” located in Bloomington, Ind. Illinois (thanks “A V Rabinbowitz for pointing out my error), and Temple Terrace, Fla. The two locations, also called the super head ends, have a ton of satellite dishes on the roof, which receive signals from TV stations nationwide. Verizon didn’t have a photo but Google Maps did:
Each provides Verizon FiOS with the same exact thing. Verizon uses two sources so one backs up the other in case there’s a bad hurricane in Florida or snowstorm in Illinois. From here, the TV signals are sent out on Verizon’s “fiber long-haul network,” which is the giant fiber-optic pipe Verizon built across the country. A constant stream flows past FiOS’ 15 hubs nationwide, with each hub grabbing what it needs from the main stream at a rate of 10 gigabits per second, according to Vasquez. Read the rest of this entry »