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Guest Message by DevFuse

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FiOS War Stories (reliability ++)


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#1 OFFLINE   dmurphy

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 09:23 AM

Reliability.  It's at the heart of FiOS.

 

A few quick war stories ...

 

October 29, 2011.  A huge snowstorm wallops NJ and causes massive damage - trees down everywhere, power lines snapped in half, hundreds of thousands of homes without power.  Thankfully, I was spared - our power was out for about 12 hours in total... not so bad.

 

But a good friend of mine who lives close by was not so lucky.  These were the telephone poles in his neighborhood:

 

IMG_0235.jpg IMG_0236.jpg

 

As the temperature in his house continued to drop due to loss of power, I offered up my portable generator.  When I got to his house, it was 49 degrees inside.  We wired up a plug to his furnace, started the generator, and had heat running in no time.  We then added his refrigerator and a few indoor lights.

 

Just for fun, we thought, let's see what FiOS looks like.  We ran a cord to his ONT, and powered it up... after a few blinking lights, it synced up!  Given the damage to the power poles in the neighborhood, we never expected that.... but that then forced us to run more power cords to his Internet router, laptop, plasma TV & DVR.

 

He was the only person in that neighborhood with a warm house, cold beer, Internet & TV!  Life is sweet with FiOS.

 

.... and that brings us to Hurricane Sandy.

 

I cannot begin to tell you how THANKFUL I was for FiOS when Hurricane Sandy came by.  I lost power for 8 days - and throughout those 8 days, the only constant was FiOS.  I have a SmartUPS-1500 hooked up to my ONT, which gives me about 8 hours of runtime.  I was running the generator 8 hours on, 4 hours off for those 8 days.  The Smart-UPS recharged during the 8 "on" hours, so it was more than enough juice to make it through the "off" hours.  I had 24x7 Internet and telephone connectivity, and TV any time the generator was running to power the Plasma & LCD TVs.

 

IMG_0612.JPG IMG_0619.jpg

 

How is FiOS so reliable?  Great design.

 

#1 - The entire "outdoor" part of FiOS is a "passive optical network" (PON).  That means that ALL of the outdoor components need no electricity; this is in direct contrast to the cable company's network, where the outdoor "nodes" require power.

 

#2 - The outdoor cabling is kevlar-sheathed.  They're TOUGH.  We always think of fiber as fragile; not so.  When FiOS gets deployed on the outdoor poles, you'll see extra cable bundled up - that's designed so that if there is a strain on the cable, the slack loosens and allows the FiOS lines to hit the ground without breaking.  Really great stuff.

 

FiOS was our lifeline through Hurricane Sandy.  We stayed in touch with family, had immediate updates and were able to go on "as close to normal as possible".  Kudos to Verizon for building such a robust, reliable product!  It was truly our lifeline to the outside world, since without it, we were completely stuck - trees down meant we couldn't leave the neighborhood, power out meant no other way for connectivity.

 



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#2 OFFLINE   Sixto

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 04:49 PM

You're bringing back some good, and some bad memories ... :)

 

During the storms ... FiOS is great, perfect, that's why I have FiOS TV as a backup.

 

After the storms I usually go back to DirecTV, but during Sandy I did a little bit of both with the limited power that I had access to. It was a little more complicated getting power to the SWiM, so I was on FiOS for a while.

 

In the future, I'm all set, now have a great inverter generator, with hookup for the whole house, so I'm all set for next time, just haven't done the natural gas conversion yet.

 

And you are so right, I've experienced the fiber cabling, have seen it crushed and stretched and still provide a signal. I have the ONT in the house for further protection.

 

Usually the first thing I power is the FiOS Router to get access to the outside world, but now with the new generator, everything that I need will get powered with no problem. The TED gateway shows usual usage as 1000-1500 watts, with peaks up to 3000-4000 watts for short durations (hair dryer, toaster, microwave).

 

In the process of building a generator shelter now. :)


DirecTV: Genie, H25, CCK, GenioGo, SWiM-16 & SWiM-8, DECA to Gigabit Switch with FiOS (75/35)
FiOS: Roamio Pro's (2), Roamio Plus, Mini's (4) with Ultimate HD (My Roamio Thoughts)

#3 OFFLINE   dmurphy

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 05:32 PM

So what kind of generator did you get? As you can see from the pic, mine is a 5500 running watt gas unit - loud, obnoxious but I had power and my neighbors didn't. ;)

I'd love a whole-house Kohler unit, but all told, it'd probably be a $10k unit installed!

#4 OFFLINE   Sixto

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 05:38 PM

Honda EU6500iS ... and it's quiet, barely hear it from inside the house, and you can't hear it from the street.

 

Electric start, clean power, it was expensive but I feel it was worth it, and expect to have it for many years to come, and since it's portable it can go anywhere.

 

And the hook-up to the house was easy ... I worked on it myself over the winter months, and just tested it recently. Ran it for several hours on a Saturday, perfect. Roll it out, 10 foot cable to house, cut the main power, engage the generator circuit, worked like a charm.


DirecTV: Genie, H25, CCK, GenioGo, SWiM-16 & SWiM-8, DECA to Gigabit Switch with FiOS (75/35)
FiOS: Roamio Pro's (2), Roamio Plus, Mini's (4) with Ultimate HD (My Roamio Thoughts)

#5 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 04:29 PM

During that October snowstorm, we had a tree go down on our block, completely blocking one end of the street...but it didn't take any wires down with it because.....

Spoiler

 

We had a similar experience to dmurphy during Sandy...we had a portable generator and powered up the ONT and router and had wireless internet all through the 7 days we were without power.

 

BTW, we installed a 17kW Generac last month - $8400.00 all in...comes on automatically if utility power is out for 30 seconds, switches over automatically with 2 minutes, and shuts down once utility power is back for 3 minutes.  Runs on natural gas, so no more gas cans (and during Sandy, you couldn't even get gasoline). 


Dish Network Customer from 9/1998-11/2001
DirecTV Customer 10/2001 - 7/2014

FiOS TV/TiVo Customer since 6/2014
Moderator, DBSDish.com 1999-2000
Co-Founder and Administrator, DBSForums.com 2000-2006

Current setup:
DirecTV: HR34-700 (1TB) / HR24-100 (1TB) / HR24-500 (1TB) / HR21-700 (320GB) / HR21-100 (1TB) / 2 H25s / C41-500 / SWiM16 / Nomad / CCK

FiOS: 2 Tivo Roamio Pros (6 TB total) / 5 Tivo Minis attached via MOCA


#6 OFFLINE   Sixto

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:52 PM

During that October snowstorm, we had a tree go down on our block, completely blocking one end of the street...but it didn't take any wires down with it because.....

Spoiler

 

We had a similar experience to dmurphy during Sandy...we had a portable generator and powered up the ONT and router and had wireless internet all through the 7 days we were without power.

 

BTW, we installed a 17kW Generac last month - $8400.00 all in...comes on automatically if utility power is out for 30 seconds, switches over automatically with 2 minutes, and shuts down once utility power is back for 3 minutes.  Runs on natural gas, so no more gas cans (and during Sandy, you couldn't even get gasoline). 

Very nice setup, and it looks like you got a great deal as well. Congrats on the purchase and install, I was seeing quotes in the $12-15K range for the same setup which is when I went for the Honda inverter.


DirecTV: Genie, H25, CCK, GenioGo, SWiM-16 & SWiM-8, DECA to Gigabit Switch with FiOS (75/35)
FiOS: Roamio Pro's (2), Roamio Plus, Mini's (4) with Ultimate HD (My Roamio Thoughts)

#7 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 02:04 PM

Very nice setup, and it looks like you got a great deal as well. Congrats on the purchase and install, I was seeing quotes in the $12-15K range for the same setup which is when I went for the Honda inverter.

Thanks!  We received three quotes...one from a plumber that sub-contracted the electrical work, one from an electrician that subbed the plumbing, and one from a large contractor that did both themselves. The plumber gave the lowest bid ($8200) but wanted to be paid 90% of the total before starting the installation. The electrican was the bid we accepted ($8400), and we'll pay him the second 50% next week. The large contracting firm came in at $13,000. All three were listed as certified dealers on the Generac website.


Dish Network Customer from 9/1998-11/2001
DirecTV Customer 10/2001 - 7/2014

FiOS TV/TiVo Customer since 6/2014
Moderator, DBSDish.com 1999-2000
Co-Founder and Administrator, DBSForums.com 2000-2006

Current setup:
DirecTV: HR34-700 (1TB) / HR24-100 (1TB) / HR24-500 (1TB) / HR21-700 (320GB) / HR21-100 (1TB) / 2 H25s / C41-500 / SWiM16 / Nomad / CCK

FiOS: 2 Tivo Roamio Pros (6 TB total) / 5 Tivo Minis attached via MOCA


#8 OFFLINE   dmurphy

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 08:24 AM

Thanks!  We received three quotes...one from a plumber that sub-contracted the electrical work, one from an electrician that subbed the plumbing, and one from a large contractor that did both themselves. The plumber gave the lowest bid ($8200) but wanted to be paid 90% of the total before starting the installation. The electrican was the bid we accepted ($8400), and we'll pay him the second 50% next week. The large contracting firm came in at $13,000. All three were listed as certified dealers on the Generac website.

 

That's awesome!  I'm looking for a very similar setup... my "issue", if you will, is that the natural gas meter is on one side of the house, and the electrical panel is on the other (ugh)!

 

So I'll need either a really long run of gas pipe, or a really long run of feeder cable... either way, it's going to get expen$ive.......  



#9 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 09:27 AM

At the risk of going WAY off topic...

 

Our gas meter is in the basement, almost dead center of the front of the house.  Our basement is finished, so getting the gas line out to the generator was tricky,  When we finished the basement we did one section (where all the plumbing ran) with a suspended ceiling.  The plumber ran the gas line over that section to the center joist, then dropped below the ceiling and ran the pipe along the corner between the joist and the ceiling.  Then they covered the pipe with a piece of molding.  The total run was about 40 feet.


Dish Network Customer from 9/1998-11/2001
DirecTV Customer 10/2001 - 7/2014

FiOS TV/TiVo Customer since 6/2014
Moderator, DBSDish.com 1999-2000
Co-Founder and Administrator, DBSForums.com 2000-2006

Current setup:
DirecTV: HR34-700 (1TB) / HR24-100 (1TB) / HR24-500 (1TB) / HR21-700 (320GB) / HR21-100 (1TB) / 2 H25s / C41-500 / SWiM16 / Nomad / CCK

FiOS: 2 Tivo Roamio Pros (6 TB total) / 5 Tivo Minis attached via MOCA





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