We received a couple more emails on Verizon's ongoing trenching and road repair for Verizon's fiber optic system (FiOS), which promises to bring speedier Internet service to the area.
The first email, as with the last couple we received, complained about the quality of the construction work and the tracks left behind on city streets by cars that had to cross the patched areas:
SUBJECT: FIOS Constuction
DATE: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 5:29 PM
TO: Claremont Buzz
So the city thinks by painting fresh stripes will dress up the FIOS construction? The phrase "Lipstick on a Pig" comes to mind. The attached YouTube video is what I think of the construction.
[Here the reader attached a link to a commercial by cable company Comcast lampooning Verizon FiOS and the whole system installation process.]
The reader also sent along a photo of work in his/her area:
Then, we received an email from a very satisfied FiOS customer who works in Claremont and lives in Fontana. This person says that the Fontana experience with Verizon's construction crews has been much better than what are readers are reporting. The correspondent also says that the end product offers superior service to the cable company in Fontana. One thing the reader included was a link to the City of Fontana website, which offers residents there information about construction as well as a very useful Verizon contact number for people with questions about the street work:
DATE: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 9:05 PM
SUBJECT: FiOS in Claremont
TO: Claremont Buzz
I wanted to comment on the recent FiOS comments as they seem out of line with what I experienced when Verizon came through my Fontana neighborhood.
A few weeks prior to work commencing, my neighbors and I received notification from Verizon that they were about to install FiOS in our neighborhood. The notification included the scope of work as well as what we could expect as far as street/yard trenching, sidewalk removal, restoration, etc. The notification went on to include a number to call if there were questions.
The city of Fontana also went the extra mile and put up a web page on their site covering the FiOS deployment within the city. It was a great help as it included expected start/completion dates for each section of the city. Additionally, the site included valuable Verizon contact information in case of questions/complaints (hint: could still be helpful to Claremont residents). It's really a shame that Claremont isn't providing the same.
Here is the link to the City of Fontana FTTH (Fiber to the Home) web page. http://www.fontana.org/main/pr_releases/2007/verizon_fttp2.htm
Back to the install:
A day before the work was to start, a placard was placed on each door outlining what was to happen along with a questions/complaint number. The construction process was a bit of a mess with temporary patches in the street, sidewalks removed, lawns chewed up, etc. It was only at the point that the fiber-optic cable was installed a couple of weeks later that most of the mess was cleaned up. According to the fiber techs, the final clean up and patching isn't done until they know they can get the fiber through the conduits. This saves having to dig up freshly repaired areas to correct a broken conduit.
Once the fiber was in, the contractor came through the neighborhood and patched the street, poured new concrete sidewalks, repaired/planted lawns, and even sand-blasted the dig-alert marking from the curbs/street. Obviously, the fresh concrete and street paving stood out, but after six months, it was hard to tell that Verizon had been there.
All in all, the process was as smooth as any major utility overlay could be. Perhaps the two commenters with issues are only partly through the process and the final cleanup has yet to be done? I took the opportunity to drive down Scripps today (I work in Claremont), and while I could see where Verizon had been, the quality of the patching looked good to me. Hopefully, that's an indication of how the rest will look when it's finally completed.
As for the FiOS service... It will be worth every bit of the current construction hassles. I remember my Time Warner "extreme" Internet service where I could only get the advertised speed at 3 am. At 6 pm, with everyone else on-line, is was the "extremely slow" Internet service. My FiOS Internet (current package is 25/15) is always fast and running at the advertised speeds no matter the time of day. Fontana just got the FiOS TV service, and again, Time Warner's offering now looks weak. Where on Time Warner I had only one HBO in High Definition, FiOS has all the HBOs in HD (14 in total). Oh, and I'm paying must less than when I had Time Warner.
I suggest a bit of patience as the process runs its course, but if there are unresolved problems, have a look at the Fontana link for help.
Fontana FiOS Customer