FiOS, according to its creator Verizon, is a Gaelic word that means “knowledge” in English. It's a telecom service that is offered over fiber-optic lines.
Verizon is known primarily as a provider of mobile phone service. The company is now offering other kinds of phone service, including local and long distance, using traditional fiber-optic cables. Such cables can also carry Internet signals, and the company offers broadband access as well in some locations. With the mention of cables comes the thought of television, and Verizon offers services in that realm as well.
One of the main benefits of FiOS is its speed, which the company claims can reach 30 megabits a second. This is a huge improvement over current DSL lines, which deliver data at up to 1.5 megabits a second. The higher speeds can enable users to download full-length movies in just a few minutes.
Speed is a major incentive for users, since faster connections make possible not only text, but also audio and even video chats that take place in real time, with very small amounts of delay. Another selling point of a super-high-speed connection is the ability to play the latest in extremely detailed video games, especially multiplayer online versions, without experiencing hiccups in service speed.
Television is also part of the FiOS effort, and it takes advantage of wireless routers and Optical Network Terminals to provide fiber-optic network access for TV as well as Internet and phone service. TV offerings resemble those provided by satellite companies, with pricing comparable according to the channels provided.
Pricing is also a factor in the setup. The more advanced the computer operating system in each user’s home, the more possibilities that are available, with pricing comparable in that way as well. This technology works with both Windows® and Macintosh® operating systems.
FiOS is Verizon’s strategy to compete with other providers of similar products. The “triple play” of voice, video, and Internet is currently offered by AT&T and other regional carriers. Verizon hopes to cash in on its mobile phone reputation as it expands into new areas.
The first users of FiOS lived in or near Keller, Texas, and those who live in southern California were next to get access. This service continues to become available in more and more areas, as Verizon spreads its reach across the U.S.