Verizon could have come up with a better brand name than “FiOS” when it hatched its plan to compete with the cable and satellite companies. Nevertheless, it’s common knowledge that FiOS’ TV picture is better than digital cable’s and that FiOS’ Internet access is faster than what you can get with a cable modem. How do we know this? Our brother’s brother-in-law told us, that’s how, which means that while the name is clumsy, the marketing’s been sharp. The CableFAX staff did some internal polling and came up with these signs that Verizon’s FiOS marketing is connecting with consumers.

1. Your retired mom, who still doesn’t know how to fast-forward her VCR tapes, asks you if she’ll need some kind of converter for her FiOS service after the Feb. 17, 2009, digital transition.

2. Your teenage children are too embarrassed by the anachronistic dish on your rooftop to invite their friends over.

3. The question of whether to switch to FiOS comes up during a painful silence on a first date.

4. When you call your cable company to cancel service, a customer service rep answers on the first ring.

5. When you call Verizon to sign up for FiOS, you’re left on hold for 20 minutes.

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