Tag Archives: Verizon Fios

Verizon FiOS Growth and Verizon’s Streaming Video Service

Combined Verizon and AOL logos.

Analysts remain conflicted over the potential growth of Verizon FiOS as 2015 continues. New subscriber projections suggest there will only be around 90,000 additions during the second quarter, which are 25,000 fewer than had been anticipated. To put these totals in perspective, for the same period of time in 2014, FiOS subscribers increased by over 135,000. However, despite these underperforming totals, the expansion of Verizon FiOS, especially in parts of New York, Texas, and New Jersey, is expected to increase substantially over the next eighteenth months.

 

Even if FiOS numbers remain down, one of the reasons that observers are optimistic about Verizon’s financial growth over the long haul is that it plans to release its own video streaming service by September 2015. Over the past few months, Verizon has reached agreements with a number of content providers and is continuing talks with even more. While the initial target is to provide around 25 channels to subscribers, including content from Comedy Central, MTV, Food Network, HGTV, and the Travel Channel, the yet-unnamed service will also include video shorts produced by AwesomenessTV, a subsidiary of DreamWorks. While these offerings will whet the appetite of many consumers, Verizon has made clear that it is especially interested in a younger demographic. As a result of this focus, it has established agreements with ESPN, the ACC Network, CBS Sports, and 120 Sports. Content from these networks will include some NFL, college basketball, and college football games, but broadcast restrictions will apply.

 

Although complete details of the Over the Top (OTT) streaming service have not yet been announced, it is clear that Verizon plans to have an ad-based model, similar to what Hulu Plus does, compared to the pure subscription model used by Netflix. While Hulu Plus has not enjoyed the same subscriber growth as Netflix, Verizon hopes to change this by benefiting from its recent purchase of AOL. Since its days of providing users dial-up internet access, AOL has transformed itself into a leader in online advertising. Survey results produced by the advertising industry have shown that AOL is successful in reaching a target audience more than 55% of the time, a figure that is the envy of all advertisers besides Google. Another aspect tied to the success of the ads on the new Verizon service is that the company hopes users will enjoy the content not only at home, but also on their mobile devices. This means streaming over Verizon’s existing wireless network while consuming a lot of data. However, realizing that the threat of data overage fees may turn off some consumers, Verizon has established an agreement in which the advertisers will help subsidize part of the cost for data used while viewing video content.

 

CUSTOMER DISSERVICE: Can cable hold off the demand for a la carte?

Don’t look now but your cable television bundle is breaking your bank. That sizable bill that tips the scales at or around $200 seems like the status quo when it comes to cable television, phone and internet service through your local provider. Sure, some companies will give you a decent promotional deal if you start new service or switch, for example, from Comcast to Verizon FIOS or vice versa. Beyond that initial special buy or introductory offer, the cable industry is loving life, and some would argue at your expense. Literally.

The slow and steady rise of alternative methods of television from the likes of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and specialized programming from the WWE Network or Major League Baseball haven’t usurped cable’s stranglehold on the communications and entertainment industry, but it has given customers a reason to start rethinking how they spend their money on cable TV and internet. The savvier and less complacent crowd isn’t afraid to start shopping around and mixing and matching services, like perhaps going bare bones with cable, adding internet and then buying the $8 per month Netflix as a means to enjoy movies. The consumer is starting to realize that with great buying power comes great responsibility to their own bank account. In short, they’re slowing starting to ask cable to listen to their demands.

Perhaps the most common discussion from customer to cable is the need to break up these bothersome bundles and start selling television the way a vendor sells hot dogs: one at a time. Realistically, the cable industry would likely lose way too much money to start giving customers free reign over how they buy. That doesn’t mean the consumers who are asking for this can’t dream, right? It would be quite the welcoming change of pace if the average customer would tell their cable company that all they really watch is network television, and throw in an ESPN and USA Network, and a little Lifetime for the wife and Nickelodeon for the kids. Any chance you’ll see the cable a la carte system? This probably won’t happen in our lifetime, but the mounting pressure from satellite and streaming services might expedite this process.

Truthfully, cable needs to broaden their thought process and think about how consumers ultimately would buy channels if they could pick and choose at their convenience. Who knows, maybe if cable simply offered paying per channel as an option, consumers might be so overjoyed they’ll end up buying just as much, or more, than if they didn’t have this as a choice? That’s called giving customers what they want and them returning the favor in the form of loyalty to the product. Maybe if those same consumers look at cable through a different set of eyes, they’ll be more inclined to stay put or return as customers.

Verizon Broadband Hits a Cord with FIOS

Verizon is continuously providing the world with advanced communications systems that far exceed the quality of its competitors. The company currently offers premium cell phone services as well as broadband services.

Before Verizon rolled out its new Fiber Optic FiOS Internet technology, its broadband services were capable of providing data speeds of up to 75 Mbps. The company has hit a cord with its FiOS product, which offers speeds of up to 500 Mbps. The blazing speed of FIOS Internet services is unmatched throughout the nation.

Verizon FiOs Television Services
Verizon FiOS television services offer a multitude of features over cable services. The company uses fiber optic cables for its connection instead of the traditional copper wires that cable companies use.

The difference between viewing television with a fiber optic connection instead of a copper wire connection is quality. The FiOS system delivers an extremely sharp and crisp picture as compared to a cable pictures. Some consumers claim that the fiber optic picture has the same quality as a movie theater. Additionally, a FiOS connection can sustain more congestion than a copper connection can. Cable pipelines tend to clog when too many people are using the system. FiOS offers a huge advantage over cable services in this aspect.

FiOS Expansion Over the Years
Verizon is quickly rolling out its FiOS services in the United States. The services are currently available in at least 16 states, and the company is continuously working to broaden its reach. Some of the states that have the services are states such as Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey and Texas. States such as Michigan, Maine, Kentucky and North Carolina are on the list for future expansion. Verizon’s goal is to provide every home in the United States with a blazing and unforgettable entertainment experience.

Verizon FiOS Deals for Consumers
Verizon offers amazing options for consumers who wish to try their elite services. New customers can receive three FiOS services for under $100 per month. One of their specials gives customers access to home telephone service, Prime HDTV and a 15 Mbps Internet connection. The package also comes with free installation, a wireless router, and a Visa prepaid card. This deal gives customers a $59 monthly discount as well as money on a card that they can use for any purpose.

It is no wonder that millions of customers are switching to FiOS services as soon as their neighborhood has them.

POWER BUTTON: When it comes to cable or dish, you call the shots

Do you think you could live without your cable or satellite television? In this day and age, it seems the question should be flip flopped: Can cable and satellite dishes live without you?

It’s no big secret that the cable and satellite sector is somewhat concerned for their business profile. Cable and satellite dishes once ruled the world when it came to how you watched your favorite weekly shows or engaged in a two hour movie, but their reign is waning thanks to the influx of alternatives when it comes to how you spend your entertainment dollar. Heavyweights like Comcast, Verizon FIOS and Direct TV probably aren’t going to posting an “out of business” sign on the door any time soon, but the arrival of streaming video has vaulted the likes of Netflix and Hulu into the discussion alongside cable and dish, thanks mostly to the cost effective business plans of both.

Both Netflix and Hulu check in at less than $10 per month, and cable or dish simply can’t win a price war. Cable relies on the now famous marketing campaign called the “bundle,” which allows consumers to package television, internet and phone into one triumphant, tantalizing low price, typically under the $100 mark. But the savvy sector of buyers aren’t necessarily saying so long to cable and dish, but rather incorporating the best of all parties involved.

Killing cable completely or uprooting your satellite dish doesn’t have to be your end game, but rather keeping only the essentials from each entity. Maybe you only want local channels from cable, along with the internet, and you’ll leave Netflix as your first choice for films. And with Netflix, you can catch up on all television series that you may have missed. The bonus with Netflix is that they’ve also dipped their toe in the water with their own first run television shows to rave reviews. As far as dish, you can always opt for the less expensive package and build your own entertainment bundle from there.

If you have cable or dish, you probably tell yourself on a daily basis that you only watch a few channels out of the hundred or so that are offered. That might be the first inkling that it’s time to tackle cable, satellite or streaming services from a different, more streamlined angle. Not only can you carefully craft the perfect mélange of media but you’ll ultimately cut your bill in half. And the cable and satellite companies are just going to have to live with that decision, and whatever incarnation of their services you eventually opt to choose.

CUSTOMER PREFERENCE: Will cable a la carte ever exist?

If cable or satellite TV existed in a perfect world, customers ultimately would have the say in how exactly their service was setup. More specifically, customers might choose to treat their cable or satellite needs more like a cafeteria style buffet, rather than ordering directly off the menu, minus the substitutions.

Traditional cable always came with a centralized package of sorts that included a certain number of channels for a flat fee, with the ability to add additional entertainment and thus changing the price point as you would see fit. But most everyone has paid their cable bill and wondered exactly why they’re paying between $150-200 per month and either rarely watch television or only have a few channels that they actually watch. The key word in that sentiment is “actually,” because the majority of consumers who are paying $50-60 for their basic cable package might only be paying attention to a few of those 100 or so channels that you get as part of the deal. And that fact begs the question: Will cable ever transform to an a la carte business?

That answer almost seemingly will gravitate toward “no,” if you think realistically from the standpoint of the cable and satellite companies. Why would they want to mess with a good thing, even with cable and satellite facing increased competition from streaming internet based services? The cable company most likely is never going to tell customers that they can pick 10 channels that they love and watch most, and can have just those for a lower price. Granted, most cable companies, including the heavy hitters like Comcast and Verizon FIOS, offer an “economy” type package that may give you local channels and a few cable ones, but they’re the ones telling you exactly what’s part of that deal. It’s not your call to piece together the perfect entertainment deal. It’s theirs. But the cable and satellite providers don’t want you to get the wrong idea. They’re not doing this to spite you, but rather make sure you don’t lose the channels that you love most. If cable all of sudden decided to stop bundling channels together, the least watched channels might fall off the entertainment grid altogether, forcing the other basic and cable networks to pay more. In addition, as some concluded, would be elimination of jobs as well as advertising revenue for the networks taking a huge hit. Once you weed through the superlatives of the cable communications and satellite sector, you can draw one simple conclusion: picking your channels as you sit fit isn’t going to happen.

There is too much money to be lost by blowing up the bundle idea and starting from scratch with a pick and pay as you go mentality. Well, at the very least, it’s an idea that won’t ever go away as long as consumers are content on complaining about their cable or satellite bills. It’s that slim to none chance that a la carte might happen that still gives you hope that television viewing may one day change for the better.

FEE BARGAIN: Questioning fees worth the time

Not only $35 or 40 cell phone activation charge has ever directly been linked to a consumer clinging to a credit score or filing for bankruptcy, but those who pay attention to those fees and aren’t afraid to question them certainly find themselves well ahead of the financial game. Between the cable company, your cell phone provider or just a neighborhood plumber or electrician, it seems every new device, upgrade or service call includes a fee that is dubbed anything from “activation” to “assessment.” What these companies, large or small, don’t take into consideration is the amount of competition that permeates through their respective industries. That negotiating caveat is the ultimate variable when it comes to moving forward on a new purchase or project, and saving money in the process.

Cell phones have a particular penchant for putting their so called activation charge on a new phone line, usually between $30-50. They may argue that these fees are set in stone, but that’s a promise they’ll willing to break if you play a little proverbial hard ball. That means telling them that you’re shopping around or you’ll simply take your business to another cell phone provider. Usually that’s enough incentive to get their attention so that the fee will be waived before you wave goodbye to their establishment.

The cable company usually doesn’t hit their customers with an activation fee in the same vein as cell phone providers do, but rather disguise theirs as a service fee or installation charge. This extra money coming directly out of your pocket can be circumvented in two ways: do the installation yourself or, once again, politely threaten that you’ll just call one of their competitors. Most cable related issues and installations don’t need an expert, and come complete with instructions that are remarkably easy to follow. If the thought of uploading or connecting so much as a cable cord is going to drive you crazy, then just tell Comcast, Verizon FIOS or any of the other communications companies that you’d appreciate the fee waived or you’ll be happy to call Direct TV.

Pitting these organizations against one another is no different than calling around department stores and price matching a purse. The goal is to save money, not necessarily make friends with sales associates, operators or companies. Truthfully, these extra fees account for millions of dollars in revenues for these companies but your monthly fees mean more to these corporations than a few dollars initially. Knowing that puts the consumer in control when it comes to having them eliminated and thus saving money in the process.

CONTRACT PLAYER: Consumers get wise when it comes to cable and satellite contracts

Customers have spoken, and Verizon FIOS is just the latest in the cable industry to listen.

Verizon FIOS recently announced plans to forgo its standard two year contract plans for consumers in favor of a pay as you go type business model, similar to that of Comcast.

FIOS did, however, put a deadline on this deal, before April 14, but the idea that the cable communications heavyweight not only considered but implemented a no contract plan shows just how drastically the combination of competition and customers voicing their likes and dislikes plays into business decisions.

Of course, FIOS isn’t totally through with their contractual plans, either. They still offer them and, like any good company with a competent marketing department, reward customers who go that route with some sort of bonus for signing on for the entire two years.

Any company, whether they’re as established and large of an entity as Verizon or Comcast, wants to ensure that their revenue stream will be consistent and able to be tracked. It’s doesn’t take a business pro to figure out that the two year agreement guarantees a company a certain amount of revenue. If you’re projecting one million customers over the course of two years at $79.99, you have a really good idea what your revenue stream is going to look like.

But industry climates change, and companies are forced to alter their business model to support what customers are clamoring for; in this instance, its cable, internet and phone from a company without being locked into a long term deal.

To FIOS’ credit, they afforded would be customers the opportunity to enjoy all that they can offer without a contract involved, while maintaining pricing integrity in the process. FIOS could have easily added an extra $10 or $20 per month to the month by month deal but chose to keep the pricing competitive.

A lot of that decision making from Verizon FIOS, Comcast or any of the other cable or satellite giants likely is driven by competition, along with other entertainment options such as Hulu and Netflix luring customers away with pricing that is less than $10 per month.

Obviously, Verizon FIOS can’t compete from a price point with those options, nor are they going to try. They’ll rely on their additional product features and services to maintain and earn more business. It also helps when they pay close attention to what their customers, and the potential ones, are saying.

BUMP IN ROAD: Netflix hits a snag, then asks for help

Netflix isn’t shy about interjecting its streaming service into the entertainment sector, hoping to carve out more than just a small piece of the lucrative cable television and satellite marketplace. Apparently, they also don’t have a problem asking for help, either.

Netflix recently struck a deal with Comcast, the largest communications corporation in the world, that would allow its customers to enjoy the television, movies and original series offered by the company at a much faster rate of delivery. Slowing down the rate of speed customers enjoy the Netflix programming could easily put the ascending network on a downward spiral quickly. In the end, Netflix may have to reportedly reach out to other broadband networks from other providers such as Verizon FIOS and AT&T to ensure that their service is seamless and a growing customer base stays content versus cantankerous.

Plenty of nervous consumers and industry insiders can’t help but associate Netflix getting cozy with Comcast and others as a sign the budding streaming entertainment company could easily succumb to the corporate conglomerate that is Comcast. That feeling translates into concerns of higher prices from Netflix, which currently offers its product at less than $10. The union between Netflix and Comcast shows two things: Netflix wants to keep customers happy and might not be direct competition to Comcast or other cable or satellite entities.

Truthfully, the latter isn’t exactly breaking news. Neflix is a less expensive, entertaining and suitable alternative to those consumers who can live without cable television or a heaping helping of first run shows and programs. Netflix offers its own blend of movies and TV, some of which has blossomed into remarkable shows that are Netflix originals. Netflix undoubtedly takes a modicum of customers off Comcast’s plate but apparently not enough for the two to reach a deal. Comcast, much like would be partners Verizon FIOS and AT&T, essentially see this pairing as a means to gain that much more revenue. Netflix also has assured its customers for now that the Comcast deal won’t lead to a price hike, but rather was done out of necessity.

Netflix should receive at least more praise than pause from customers for trying to upgrade and, for all intent and purposes, assuming the cost associated with the pairing up with Comcast. So until the price tag changes significantly, Netflix still is the best bargain for your on the go and at home entertainment needs. And it seems like they want to keep it that way.