Verizon's FiOS is sweet! Admittedly I'm not an early adopter by any means, but recently I took the plunge and I don't regret I did. After reading pretty extensively on dslreports.com I felt good about ordering up some fiber. I know, I know most cable companies in fact do use fiber themselves to a local break out where they bring coax to your house. Still for an infrastructure geek like myself, the closer the fiber the better! 1Gbit right to my dwelling, how can you beat that?
You can't, but you can screw up the fundamentals. Allow me to introduce you to MoCA (Multimedia over Coax Alliance). MoCA is a foundation dedicated to enabling ethernet data over existing coax. This is a sweet cost saving idea, why not leverage existing cabling to complete a $23 Billion dollar investment? I'll tell you why - cause you just spent $23 billion bucks and you're building a bottle neck in to this shiny new fiber optic system at the end users house. Verizon's MoCA use enables set top boxes (cable boxes, or STBs) to get their network data over coax, but in most cases it doesn't end there. The installer will most of the time (especially if you ordered FiOS Tv) use coax from the ONT (optical network terminal, where the fiber terminates on the side of your house) to your router.
How it works:
Verizon brings fiber optic to your house, to your ONT, which "converts" your fiber in to several outputs, currently used are coax, ethernet and voice. (there's an unused video connection too) Usually your ethernet port is ignored (and turned off), while your TV stations and data network are sent on the coax. So quick point here, coming out of your router is the following traffic on your coax: internet data, lan data, tv stations. Of course they are all at different frequencies on the copper pipe as to not interfere with each other.
Ok, lets review shall we? What's the transfer speed of fiber at it's current spec? 1Gbit, What's the transfer speed of Cat5e at it's current spec? 1Gbit, What's the transfer speed of MoCA at spec 1.1? 175Mbits. I know, I know, current implementation of FiOS, including VOD (which is streamed IPTV, over your data network to your STB) doesn't approach 1Gbit of data. Not even close, so why do I blog?
Because it's stupid, they develop a literal speed of light network and build a potential bottle neck right in to it... Have they learned nothing from cable companies? The ever pushing of DOCSIS which is resulting in more and more compressed (and usually crappier looking) data. Now you CAN get your data installed over the Ethernet port on the ONT, no problem, but if you're not using a MoCA device (such as a NIM100, or an Actiontec router) your STB won't be able to get guide info or video on demand (VOD). Oh, did I forget to mention the FiOS STBs have an ethernet port on them! That isn't enabled!
sigh. Does Verizon really think in the lifetime of the fiber they've hung that we won't be up to 1Gbit speeds?