draft podcast script

May 15, 2007 at 7:14 pm | Posted in Assignment | 2 Comments



Verizon, one of the country’s largest telecommunications companies has been building a fiber-optic network for almost four years and is now bringing it to 16 states, including Washington and Oregon.  The importance of this fiber-optic network – FTTP, or fiber-to-the-premises, is that it covers the challenge of what’s known as the ‘last mile’ before reaching the home.The quest for a high-speed fiber-optic network has gone on for at least 20 years.  In the past ten years, what might be described as the perfect storm has permitted the possibility of a fiber-optic network to take off:  the emergence of the Internet, the demand for bigger and faster data applications, and the drop in the cost of fiber-optic cable.

Ø  SOUNDS of FIBER-OPTIC CONSTRUCTION (boring equipment, booms on trucks rising) and CONVERSATION between EMPLOYEES   :15

Today, more than 200 contractors are building the network that takes the fiber-optic cable into neighborhoods – sometimes attaching to overhead poles and other times, digging up streets and sidewalks to place the cables underground.

(Narrator engages local FTTP construction manager on challenges of project 1:30)


No one’s ever built something of this scope – there are definite challenges.  We constantly have to talk to local public works departments to be sure we are meeting their code requirements, some of which are quite stringent.  In addition, we have to work with our contractors to make sure they stay on top of the situation.  In the end, though, we think we do a pretty good job of making sure that neighborhoods aren’t any more impacted than absolutely necessary.


Do you ever have people upset about their flower beds or their sidewalks?


Well, I’d have to say that in most cases we make the effort to keep the ground in the same condition that we found it.  We start by notifying the neighborhood 1-2 days in advance that we will be bringing trucks into the area to lay the cable and then we try to get our work done as quickly as possible with as little interruption to daily routines as is feasible.The last stage of the process is when we notify customers with doorhangers that their area is open for sale.  After that, if someone decides to order FiOS, then a contractor is called back to connect the fiber from the hub in the yard to the side of the home – again, we make sure this is all done in a way that puts the lawn, flowerbeds, whatever back to its original condition.



I went to the home of  Claire Walker between Bothell and Mill Creek to find out more about why she chose to get FiOS instead of an alternative service and to ask her about the FiOS installation and any technical support help she needed.


Well, I have worked as a medical transcriptionist for the past few years and my office is in Edmonds.  I’d been using DSL/Comcast where we lived before, but when we moved out here into this new development, I checked out what FiOS offered versus Comcast or DSL.  The important thing to me was that I could have increased upload speeds for file transfers and everything connected with Category 6 wiring at home.It’s worked out well.


Does any of this have to do with the distance to Edmonds, or do you just prefer to work at home?


Well, in terms of miles, Edmonds isn’t that far away, but commuting traffic can be a problem.  I’d already done work from home – FiOS just makes it faster and simpler requiring less time in the office than before.


Walker is one of the many people who work from home at least part of the time but, for some, it’s an even better deal – like Jarrod Smith who lives right off the 405 in Bothell.  Smith is one of those young techie types that abounds in Puget Sound and he’s recently become a partner in a mostly virtual IT consulting firm.


FiOS is the best thing to come along for someone like me.  I have to manage two data centers – one in Seattle and one in Salt Lake.  With FiOS, I don’t have to go in to the data centers anymore.  The speeds on this are insane![If time permits, would like to include a gamer to interview, too]


Smith is, without a doubt, a heavy data user.  He has Verizon’s fastest and most expensive consumer package which offers a 30 megabit per second download speed and a 5 megabit per second upload speed.  Verizon says that most customers opt for the basic 5 megabit/2  megabit package though more are going for the intermediate 15/2 offering.  Faster speeds at no increase in price also appear to be on the way.The company says it’s building this network because of competition.


There isn’t a pretty picture to paint in the area of competition says David S. Valdez, the company’s senior vice president in Everett.“The reality is that we’re losing our landline business to all the emergent forms of unregulated technology – wireless, VoIP and cable phone.   The company believes that a major investment in our fiber network is the only way to stem those losses and to turn the game around.  It really is future proof.  There isn’t a technology out their today or on the horizon that can match the capabilities of fiber-optics.


While Verizon builds out its network in the Eastside communities of Redmond, Kirkland and north through Woodinville, Bothell and on to Everett, Internet broadband customers elsewhere will have to rely on DSL, cable modem or wireless technologies, the real one-two punch will come when Verizon is able to offer its FiOS TV product, a competitor to cable and satellite offerings.  The earliest that’s likely to occur is late next year because the company is just beginning the process of negotiating local franchise agreements with the cities in its build area.Will Verizon be coming to your area?  Well, the company has a national plan to pass 18 million homes by the year 2010 and expects to continue its Eastside and Snohomish County build next year.  If you don’t live in those areas, then you are probably out of luck.  The company provides landline service in those areas but not elsewhere in King County, nor in Pierce County and has no plans to build out beyond their traditional landline borders at this time.In the meantime, if FiOS is coming to your neighborhood, get ready to sit down, boot up and hang on!




RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. Reads thoughtful, informative, timely and like a news interview. Nice work!

  2. Read your script, Kevin, and I can see it come to life.

    Re: contractors & FIOS installation. Our neighborhood just went through this, and my husband saw one of the heavy trucks back up my neighbor’s driveway, causing it to sink badly. The neighbor’s fought with Verizon and/or Northstar Communications for a couple months now to get it repaired. They reluctantly patched it after first claiming they didn’t do it (changed their story after they found out there was an eyewitness). But it still looks bad and the neighbor’s not satisfied.

    As for switching to FIOS, I can’t see a compelling reason. They’ve carpet-bombed us with ads, but Verizon wants $10 more/month to upgrade from our DSL. Even tho I do a lot of multimedia stuff online, including uploading/downloading large files, I’m pretty satisfied w/DSL speeds. Waiting to see if the offers get better. . .

    Miss seeing you in class!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: