Switch from Verizon FIOS to Optimum Online

  • Competition is good – if you have two or more broadband options, make sure to switch your provider every so often
  • Port out your landline telephone number to a mobile carrier to make the switching process easy in the future



After 12 years with Verizon Fios (ironically switched from Optimum – read my post from 2011 here), their “Triple Play” package price and taxes gradually went up to $146 per month.

Since our family no longer watched regular TV (instead watched Netflix HULU, DIsney, etc.), there was no need to pay for stuff we no longer needed.

Although Verizon’s service has been rock solid over the years, the Triple Play package taxes have reached a crazy level.

In addition, I like having competition so having Optimum and Verizon being available at my house is a really big plus so that I can periodically switch back and forth to keep the price in check.

If I were to stay exclusively with Verizon, that might force Optimum to leave my neighborhood.


I did contact Verizon and let them know that as a long time customer, I wanted to know if Verizon would provide me with current promos and discounts to make me stay.

As usual, a new customer promo is not available to existing customers.

This is their current promo (Aug. 2022) to new customers for their 1 Gig plan:

  • $90 per month with auto pay
  • 940/880 Mbps download/upload speed
  • One wi-fi router and one extender for free
  • $200 Visa gift card
  • $350 off Stream TV sound bar
  • Free Disney+ for 6 months

As an existing customer, Verizon offered the same speed and pricing EXCEPT the gift card, sound bar discount and Disney+:

  • $90 per month with auto pay
  • 940/880 Mbps download/upload speed
  • One wi-fi router and one extender for free

In contrast, Optimum was offering me (as a new customer):

  • $80 per month with auto pay
  • 1000 / 1000 Mbps (1 Gig) download/upload speed
  • One wi-fi router and one extender for free
  • $200 Visa gift card

Obviously, I am aware that Optimum would act the same as Verizon once I become a subscriber so I am prepared to go back and forth between broadband providers to take advantage of the latest promotions.


Although I was fairly certain about switching over the Optimum, I still had some reservations about their network speed and wi-fi signal strengths so I wanted to conduct a thorough speed tests before making my final decision.

If Optimum service turned out to be poor, my intention was to convert my Verizon Fios Triple Play plan to Verizon Fios Internet plan.

Here is my mini project plan:

Porting OUT a Verizon Landline to a Mobile Carrier

There are many wireless providers but I ultimately decided to go with H2O wireless because:

  • It offered unlimited text and voice for 5 bucks a month (but had to pay $60 upfront for the year)
  • This $5 plan did not include any data which was fine with me
  • H2O Wireless uses AT&T network

Depending on where you are, you may also want to consider Tello or search “no data wireless plans” for more options.

Here are the steps I used to port my Verizon landline to H2O Wireless:

  • Step #1 – Go to https://www.h2owireless.com/ and create a free account. Check your IMEI to ensure that your device is compatible with H2O Wireless
  • Step #2 – Order their free SIM kit
  • Step #3 – Log into Verizon account and write down the 14-digit account number, support PIN, contact name and billing address
  • Step #4 – Once you receive a SIM card, enter a port transfer request at H2Owireless (enter your phone number, VZ support pin, VZ address and SIM number)
  • Step #5 – Wait a day then insert the SIM card into your phone (in my case, first gen Apple SE)
  • Step #6 – Log back into your H2Owireless account and add this SIM number to your online account

I was able to dial out from my new mobile phone within 6 hours from Step #6, but all inbound calls were still directed to my Verizon landline phone. I also did not have the ability to send or receive texts.

Ordering and installing Optimum

Ordering Optimum is as easy as going to https://order.optimum.com/Buyflow/Storefront and enter your address to get started.

There are few of things to keep in mind about Optimum installation (applies to a single family residential house) as Optimum breaks the order into two parts: outside installation and inside installation

Outside Installation

For the outside installation, Optimum’s tech will come by your house a day before your scheduled install date to pull the necessary fiber cable from their junction box to a utility pole that is nearest to your house

If you want the wire strung to your house at the same service entrance location (in my case, my electric wires and Fios wires all come from the same side of the house), there is nothing you need to do

If you want the service entrance to be at a different location (say, the opposite side of Fios cable), you want to request that during your order

Optimum does not like to splice the fiber cable to add distance since this will degrade performance. That means when a technician pulls the cable from the street, they will roll up (i.e. reserve) enough cable to do a “home run” install to Optimum’s main router (i.e. single length cable without a break to garage, etc.).

If you have a special case, like you need the router to be placed in the basement, you need to note this during your ordering (this will be done as part of the outside installation)

Inside Installation

Inside installer will take about 2 hours to complete their job. They will pull the fiber from the utility pole to your house and connect the router (and extender if need be).

In many cases, there will be extra cable length. Ask them to roll it up and not cut them as this will give you the flexibility to move the router around later.

Verify network speed inside the house

My original setup with Verizon Fios with Actiontec wireless router (basement) and Actiontec extender (second floor) worked great. No matter where I was in the house, I usually got around 160 Mbps down/up (you will not approach 1 Gig speed unless your laptop is right next to the router/extender).

For my new setup wit Optimum, I placed the primary router in the garage (unfortunately could not pull the fiber cable into basement due to obstructions) and extender on the second floor.

The performance was decent but definitely not as strong as Fios as I averaged around 80 Mbps down/up.

I had an old Asus router (circa 2015) laying around so I set it up as an access point in my mudroom (first floor) to boost my performance to around 110 Mbps down/up.

*** NOTE ***

You may have heard the term repeater and access point. Repeater is a wireless device that piggybacks on to your router via wireless signal. An access point provides endpoint wireless signals via ethernet cable connected between it and your router

You can also re-use your old FIOS router and extender with your new Optimum setup (I will post that in another article – TBD)

Deciding Between Verizon FIOS and Optimum Online

The overall performance is definitely better with Verizon but as I said before, I want Verizon and Optimum to continue competing with each other.

Although Optimum’s network performance is not as good as Verizon, I thought it was good enough so I decided to go with Optimum.

After about a year, I will do the evaluation again to take advantage of the new promotions and prices.

Completing the Landline Porting Process

After waiting 5 business days, I received a notification from Verizon about my port-out request.

Within 1 hour of receiving that message, I was able to send/receive voice calls and text messages.


If you end up with very little activity on your ex-Verizon landline, Verizon *may* reclaim this number without notifying you. I had this happen to me when I ported out another Verizon landline to Tracfone. After few years of active service (but with little to no phone activities since this was my backup number), Verizon just took the number back one day without notifying me, causing me to lose the number and all accumulated minutes I had with Tracfone.

Terminating Verizon FIOS

Before cancelling, make sure to log into your https://myfiosgateway.com and update any available firmware to your FIOS-G1110 router and Actiontec WCB6200Q extender as these updates will no longer be available.

Cancelling Verizon service was surprisingly simple and painless.

Just call 844-837-2262 (8am-6pm US ET) with your support PIN (if you do not have it, they will text you a temporary PIN).

No hard selling to try to make you stay so the call took about 10 minutes to complete.

Just make sure to get a confirmation number and the address to drop off the equipment (they text you a link to a drop-off location that did not work). In my case, I was directed to drop off the equipment at a local UPS Store location.

I had purchased my router and extender outright so all I had to drop off were two cable boxes (unit + power supplies; told to keep the remote and HDMI cables).

At the UPS store, they scanned the UPC labels from the devices so there is nothing else for you to bring.

I received a thank you email from Verizon about 30 minutes later, confirming the equipment return.

Selling or Re-using Verizon Network Devices

As of August 2022, you can sell Actiontec primary router for about 20 bucks and extender for about 40 bucks.

If your wi-fi signal is spotty, you can purchase a wi-fi mesh network devices for about $250 (on average) or you can save some money and re-deploy these devices to boost your wi-fi signals.

How to stream HGTV

My wife loves HGTV. If you use a Roku device, you can watch HGTV without a broadband provider in TWO ways:

  • Subscribe to a TV bundle service like Philo, Sling, etc.
  • Subscribe to Discovery Plus (ad-supported plan is $5 /month, ad-free plan is $7/month)

Subscribing to a TV bundle service can be fairly expensive ($30+ month) and defeats the purpose of going with the Internet-only plan so I went ahead with the Discovery Plus streaming service (which also included other channels like History Channel, etc.)

Just keep in mind that in Roku, you cannot use HGTV Go app as that is only if you have a TV service through your provider.

Instead, you need to add the Discovery Plus app from the main menu, then access HGTV from there.


B switching to Optimum, I need to pay for two additional services to accommodate my needs:

  • Landline = We need to keep our landline number so I signed up with H2O Wireless ($5 per month; no data, unlimited text and voice; I had to pay $60 upfront for the annual plan to qualify for the $5 plan); please note that Google Voice does not accept landline transfers
  • HGTV = My wife loves to watch HGTV so signed up for a Discovery Plus streaming plan (ad-supported) for $5 + $0.25 taxes

So was it worth it to go through with all these hassels?

In total, my monthly cost was reduced from $145 (FIOS) to $90.25 (saving of $54.75 a month or $657 / year. Not too shabby.

Of course, with my landline ported out, it will be much easier to switch back to Verizon FIOS to take advantage of their promotions next year 😉


Reddit has a whole bunch of complaints about Optimum (like here or here) when comparing it to FIOS.

Having experienced Optimum’s pre-fiber broadband days, I can certainly empathize but since they switched over to 100% fiber, I believe their network has been on par with Verizon FIOS.

I still have my doubts about their routers and extenders, but overall I am happy with the speed.

As I said before, I need FIOS and Optimum to continue to battle it out in my neighborhood so either one does not become a monopoly.

Besides, who doesn’t like a free $200 gift card every year or so?


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