Tuesday, February 12, 2013

FiOS Comes to My Little Town (I am keeping my landline)

Hey, I admit it. I am old school. I like my land line. Most of the younger folks I know have disconnected their land lines. They view them as redundant, since they talk on their cell phones and use a broadband connection for the Internet. Our neighborhood seems to prefer satellite for TV. However Verizon is just now moving FiOS onto my block. It appears that some of my neighbors are going to give fiber optic cable a try.

I tried to discover how much FiOS really costs. The billing process is so complex and contains so many options determining what FiOS will actually cost once the initial offer runs out is very nearly impossible. Then there is the $20.00 a month in taxes and fees that does not appear in any of the advertisements. My former coworkers who have FiOS universally praise its speed, quality, and reliability when compared to their former cable or satellite provider. Then I ask them, “How much does it cost?” They roll their eyes and make funny faces. Then they give me a number like $125.00 a month. I think I am getting the truth but not quite the whole truth. Given the eyeballs and the facial expressions I expect that number does not include the $20.00 in taxes and mystery charges or their teenagers’ pay for view bill. If they are in the mood to gripe the number seems to go up to $150.00 a month.

I looked on the Verizon web site. They list FiOS options between $110.00 a month and $210.00 a month depending on the speed of the connection. There are also additional monthly charges for cable boxes, digital video recorders, and the like.

I pay $72.99 a month for unlimited local, long distance, and DSL. That is the total price including fees and taxes. I don’t have cable or satellite TV. My land line always has good voice quality except when I am talking to someone on a cell phone. It works when the power goes out. It tells 911 where my house is located (your cell phone doesn’t do that) and I always know where the wall phone in the kitchen is located. While DSL is fine for viewing HULU and Youtube videos, I have discovered it is marginal for streaming University of South Carolina football games. If I ever want to download movies, I expect I will need to go broadband, but for now I am happy.

Again finding hard numbers is a difficult task, but it appears that if sometime in the future I choose to switch to broadband I could keep my landline for somewhere between $20.00 and $40.00 a month. I am not sure it would be worth it if I selected the broadband digital voice option.

Below is an actual FiOS bill from an Internet discussion of (you guessed it!) FiOS bills.

Hey, Let’s be Very Careful Out There!

FiOS® Triple Freedom: Full Month $99.99
FiOS Triple Freedom
- Verizon Freedom Essentials
- FiOS TV Premier
- FiOS Internet

Voice Additional Services $0.95
International Flat Rate Plan TV Additional Services $14.98
Standard STB Rental
High Definition STB Rental

Taxes, Fees and Other Charges $18.04
Federal Excise Tax $0.20
MD Local Tax $2.12

MD Federal Universal Service Fund Surcharge $0.64
Gross Receipts Tax - Long Distance $0.40
Federal Universal Service FundSurcharge Long Distance $0.73
MD 911 Fee $1.00
Telecommunications Access of MD Fee $0.20
Gross Receipts Tax - Long Distance -$0.22
MD Gross Receipts Tax Surcharge $0.55

Federal Subscriber Line Charge $5.70

Federal Universal Service - Long Distance $0.09
MD Tax Surcharge $0.02
- Long Distance
State Sales Tax* $0.90

Video Franchise Fee* $2.83
Surcharge $0.98

Late Payment Fee $1.90 *this one's my fault!

Total Charges $133.96

No comments:

Post a Comment