News tagged: Verizon FiOS
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created a bit of a firestorm late yesterday by unearthing a secret order by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA)
demanding that Verizon hand over records pertaining to phone calls made on their network on a daily basis
. According to the report, the order again highlights how the government is spying on United States citizens en masse -- regardless of whether or not an actual crime has been committed.
This particular leaked FISA order was issued April 25, providing the government unlimited authority to collect national and international call data from Verizon for a three month period ending on July 19. The order allows the government to obtain call location data, unique identifiers, the call duration and time of all calls, and the identities of both callers. FISA orders were previously thought to have been more specific, targeting one or several individuals at a time.
Actual call conversation contents are not covered by FISA, but that shouldn't matter in broader context. Time and time again we've seen both carrier and NSA whistle blowers come forward with evidence of carriers like AT&T, Sprint and Verizon allowing real-time wiretaps that just dump all live traffic in the government's lap
in violation of law (which they simply change when they get caught).
The reality is the spying has been occurring for years, and the laws now governing it (like FISA courts) were erected to "legitimize" this spying after the fact.
As I've been covering in detail
, Verizon has been going around telling many Sandy victims who have been waiting almost eight months for DSL repair -- that repairs will never happen. In its place, Verizon is giving those users "Voice Link," a service that lets users connect home phones to the Verizon Wireless network.
As it stands, Google has been picking low-hanging fruit when it comes to where they deploy Google Fiber. Most of the markets selected so far suffer from the fairly typical cable/phone duopoly, where a lack of real competition has resulted in high prices and sub-par speeds. story continues..
While Verizon has been essentially kicking Sandy victims to the curb, Comcast says it's taking great lengths to get them up and running again. As we've been discussing
, Verizon has been going up and down the coast telling Sandy victims who've been waiting seven months for repairs that they'll never see their DSL lines restored.
According to a company insider, additional Verizon customers impacted by Sandy will soon be informed -- some seven months after the fact -- that they too will never have their DSL lines repaired. As we've seen in New York and New Jersey
, the telco is foisting a service upon those customers called "Voice Link," which connects user home phones to the Verizon wireless network.
ISPs including AT&T, Cox, Bright House and Verizon have filed an appeal
in their ongoing battle against porn copyright troll AF Holdings. AF Holdings has accused 1,058 broadband users of illegally sharing adult movies on BitTorrent, and last year won their initial legal attempt to force the ISPs to hand over the identities behind those IP addresses.
Back in 2008 Verizon negotiated a closed-door agreement with NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg that agreed to wire 100% of the city with FiOS by 2014
-- sort of. Fine print in the deal allows Verizon to back away from that promise if they pay a few small fines and/or aren't seeing the kind of TV subscriber uptake they'd like.
In order to get everyone on board the entertainment industry's recently-launched "six strikes" anti-piracy initiative
, the entertainment industry-run group behind the program (the Center for Copyright Information) repeatedly stated that data collection from the program wouldn't be used for lawsuits. While the MPAA and RIAA so far haven't requested that data, that hasn't stopped copyright trolls from doing so.
Verizon is working with the Bloomberg administration to speed up the deployment of fiber installs beneath the street of New York City. According to Bloomberg
, Verizon will begin testing "micro-trenching" or "saw cutting," which involves cutting shallower-than-usual grooves in the ground for fiber laying (video here
). Verizon will test the installation technology in twelve markets then discuss with the city whether to proceed from there. Verizon signed a franchise agreement in 2008 that is supposed
to bring FiOS to everyone in NYC by the end of 2014 (they're probably currently at around 50% or less). However, the agreement fine print allows Verizon to buy or wiggle their way out of 100% deployment
, which means a lot
of people across the five boroughs are going to wind up disappointed no matter how deeply Verizon digs their trenches.
For several years now the city of Baltimore has been asking
Verizon why they, and several other significant cities like Buffalo, Boston, and Alexandria weren't seen fit to receive FiOS upgrades. Despite half a decade of asking the same question, they still don't seem to be getting any answers.
Mirroring comments made this week by Time Warner Cable executives
, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo argues that the company would offer 1 Gbps connections -- if any of you actually wanted one. According to Shammo, a 50 Mbps connection is the "sweet spot" right now for consumers, and though Verizon does offer speeds up to 300 Mbps, anything more than 50 Mbps is overkill for most households. The company reiterated that they've tested 1 Gbps connections, and unlike Time Warner Cable are actually in a position to really offer those speeds, but claim there's no need to offer that kind of bandwidth yet
Like Time Warner Cable
"FiOS brings a very different perspective to the household with Fiber to the Home," he said. "We actually tested a 1 Gig circuit in New York three years ago so our FiOS product can deliver that but we just don't see the need yet from a household to have that much of a pipe into their home."
, Verizon would prefer you focus on whether or not you need
a 1 Gbps connection, instead of focusing on the value and consumer excitement Google is bringing to the market, or the fact Verizon has been relentlessly raising FiOS rates
over the last year.
Despite the faster speeds now being pushed through fiber and DOCSIS 3.0, there's many users who continue to suffer from the inability to quickly and consistently stream YouTube videos. Spend a few minutes in any of our forums and you'll find this is a universal problem with many carriers, including AT&T U-Verse
, Verizon FiOS
and Time Warner Cable
After several significant delays, the entertainment industry and most of the nation's largest ISPs are set to launch their "six strikes" graduated response anti-piracy efforts starting today. Sources familiar with the plan timetable have told both Daily Dot
and Torrent Freak
that six strikes starts today, and a new Center for Copyright Information website
run by the entertainment industry appears to have been freshly launched for the occasion (see new video, below).
Cablevision has joined DirecTV
in charging a new "sports surcharge" that places the costs of offering regional sports networks into a below-the-line fee. The new $2.98 a month fee will begin showing up on subscriber bills beginning in April.
Verizon is dialing up a new FiOS promotion that nudges users toward the company's new 50 Mbps "Quantum" FiOS tier. Both Cablevision and FiOS have been throttling back on previous deals, slashing promotional offers and raising rates
as their competitive ambitions cool off.
Back in 2011 the FCC began collecting real-world user broadband data from customized routers, then issuing reports on which ISPs were failing to deliver advertised speeds. It's one of the few FCC policies in recent years that has truly paid dividends for consumers. story continues..
Responding to all the attention being given to Google Fiber, Gigabit Squared
, and the FCC's rather hollow recent 1 Gbps challenge
," Verizon's top policy man Link Hoewing proclaims that Verizon is ready and willing to offer 1 Gbps connections
-- as soon as consumer demand warrants. Kind of amusingly, a company that has historically placed all their marketing emphasis on speed, is now trying to argue speed doesn't really tell the whole story.
It has been about half a decade now that I've been pointing out that most of the meters used by ISPs to track and bill consumers for usage aren't accurate. Customers of Canadian cable operator Cogeco have long complained the company's meter is inaccurate when users can load it at all
, and every so often the meter simply goes mad -- like last Spring when the meter was horribly confused by leap year
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