When Verizon began rolling out trucks to run fiber optic cables through nearly half its territory, critics were skeptical. Rightly so. The cost to install fiber optic cables for Verizon's FiOS system was close to $23 billion. Billion. Doing the math, that's a cost of about $4,000 for every customer.
Skeptics pondered if old copper telephone wires that AT&T is sticking with would be sufficient for consumer needs, or if existing cable television lines were good enough for now. Will we all be better off selling the copper wires for a profit?
The smart money argues that Verizon might spend quite a bit up front, but unlike the other technologies, won't need future upgrades for faster data speeds or more HD content.
Verizon pushed on, and might have the last laugh.
A fascinating article in The New York Times reports that while people aren't flocking to FiOS, it's still a better option for many. Internet speeds can be significantly higher than with cable or copper wires, and the capacity for HDTV is also higher.
In a race between AT&T, cable, and Verizon's FiOS, the biggest losers might be those who wait for something better. If Verizon's FiOS is running past your home, why not jump on board? —Leslie Shapiro
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