Verizon FiOS customers now have direct access to an application – the Verizon In-Home Agent – that performs functions such as configuring a new PC to work on a home Wi-Fi network, setting up e-mail accounts, and automatically fixing Internet access or video problems.

"Many service requests, either for feature or function set-up or operational issues, can now be resolved without a phone call," said Bill Foshay, senior vice president of Verizon Telecom regional operations. "Nothing could be simpler – and you need no technical skills whatsoever. In many cases, you just click on the appropriate icon and the system does the rest. It's like assigning one of our agents to each customer's home, and it's faster than any other form of service interaction."

The new tool uses the Verizon FiOS network to provide help with support issues. The home network connects the PC, broadband home router, set-top box and TV in FiOS-enabled homes and links to various Verizon operating systems and information resources.

Subscribers can set up new wireless PC connections and e-mail accounts or initialize their broadband home router, order or reauthorize subscription TV channels, modify phone features and access voicemail accounts, retrieve instructions for phone or e-mail features, and obtain step-by-step instructions for set-up issues, just as if they were being walked through the steps by an agent on the phone, Verizon explained.

If subscribers are having problems, a single click can automatically troubleshoot lost Internet connectivity or maximize Internet service speeds – or for TV service, troubleshoot video problems or restore service.

In addition to the In-Home Agent, Verizon has also introduced a series of "quick codes" on the TV screen that can identify and resolve a customer's FiOS TV problems or subscribe on-the-spot to many video options.

Previously, customers had to call Verizon, have their video issue screened and, if necessary, work with a customer care agent. With the quick codes, each four-digit code is tied to a unique situation, so the proper solutions are identified and applied.

Later this year, subscribers will be able to initiate the support inquiries and solutions by pressing a button on the FiOS TV's remote control, eliminating the need to make a phone call, according to the telco.

More Broadband Direct 08/25/09:
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•  Verizon brings tech support home
•  Sprint Nextel-Virgin Mobile deal gets FTC's OK
•  Cisco edge router leaps to 100 Gbps
•  Pace to use Rovi's set-top tools
•  Ikanos completes $54M takeover of broadband line
•  U.K. says illegal downloaders may lose Web access
•  Microsoft adds app access to non-smartphones
•  Broadband Briefs for 08/25/09