I had a dream that was sort of about FiOS

I dreamt that I was riding in a city bus, looking out the window, when I spotted an advertisement on a phone booth that announced,

At long last FiOS 1 coming to the New York City area on 12/10/2010!

I knew in my dream that December 10, 2010 had already passed. I think it was still March in my dream. I was confused as to why I hadn’t yet noticed that FiOS 1 was now available, seeing as the sign suggested that I could have been watching it for more than three months by then. I was bit angry.

I love FiOS, don’t get me wrong, but I can’t ignore the explicit message embedded in this dream. That is, the logo for FiOS 1 New York that was on the sign in my dream looked exactly like this:

Now, I would never go back to Earthlink for Internet service. Road Runner itself is not available here, but Earthlink was my ISP through some kind of arrangement with TWC. Not that they were unreliable or anything — they were the perfect ISP in nearly every way — it’s just that they hadn’t upgraded the speeds they offered since 2001. If TWC increased the upload speed on their Wideband service here in NYC, I would consider switching to it, even though it’s still more expensive than 35/35 FiOS service, which is still the fastest package available here. In parts of Long Island though I think Verizon has introduced 100/25 service or something like that. At least that’s what those commercials with “real” customers with those dumb Long Island accents seems to indicate. Paying more for Wideband if it had comparable speeds to FiOS is worth it, if you ask me, to get NY1. Wideband upload speeds just aren’t fast enough to compete with FiOS though at this time.

Now, having said that I would never switch to any other ISP as long as they don’t upgrade their offerings, I have to admit that I miss New York One like I miss my first edition holographic Charizard. The several times I had been in homes in New Jersey in which the owners had FiOS, they all had a channel called FiOS 1. I’ve read in forum posts online that some FiOS customers in New York City get the Long Island/New Jersey FiOS 1 channel, but I don’t. As a result, I have no real replacement for NY1. There’s channel 460, which is NBC New York, but that’s not so much a dedicated local news channel as a variety show/elaborate promotion of tourism. They tend to spend entire half hour programming blocks profiling some local fashion designer or visiting “hot NYC restaurants and nightclubs” or some such rot. It’s not a channel that you can turn on for 10 minutes before leaving home in the morning to find out about the weather and what the top local news stories are.

Weatherscan on channel 49 solves the weather problem, but there’s still no dedicated local news channel. I think my dream counterpart and his puzzlement at the lack of a New York version of FiOS 1 (or even reception of the LI/NJ version) reflects my conflicted feelings about the loss of NY1.

Of course, I could always get TWC for cable TV service and keep FiOS for Internet service, but that’s impractical for two reasons: it would be at least twice as expensive as a package deal and TWC cable TV was about the most unstable service around during the last two years or so that I had it. The STBs were rubbish, even after multiple replacements, and would crash like clockwork nearly every day during primetime, taking as long as 20 minutes to turn back on after a crash, every Sunday at midnight the EPG data would run out and it wouldn’t update until Monday night, even after many forced hard resets, Pay per view and even free videos on demand would fail to load far more often than was acceptable, and the picture quality really was inferior, at least to my untrained eye.

One point on which to praise TWC cable TV service though was the fact that there were at least a dozen, perhaps two dozen, free non-English, non-Spanish language channels. There were several CCTV channels, a few Korean language channels, at least one Arabic channel, and quite a few others. I think RTN might have been free too on TWC, though I’m not sure. On FiOS all of those require a subscription, even CCTV, which I always assumed was free with all TV service providers. TWC also had a much better selection of pay-per-view movies on demand. TWC updated their Sundance, IFC and foreign language film sections very frequently; FiOS doesn’t even have a foreign language movies section, let alone an independent films section or a documentary section.

Since well before I even had FiOS here I’ve read over and over again that FiOS 1 is supposed to be coming to New York sometime before the end of 2009. This is getting to be a little bit disappointing.

My Internet connection is so damned fast though. I really can’t even take my own complaints seriously when I think that I actually have a 35/35 Mbps connection. That’s not a lie. In fact, it’s a little bit faster than that. I can download at a sustained 5.0MB/s and upload at a sustained 4.0MB/s. I still don’t believe it. I was on 8.0Mbps/384Kbps on Earthlink cable and ~2.5Mbps/512Kbps on Verizon ADSL before this.

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