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News tagged: Verizon FiOS


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by Karl Bode 08:31AM Thursday Apr 17 2014
The other day we noted how Verizon was using manufactured astroturf to help the company sneak out of a broadband obligation to wire the entire state of New Jersey with 45 Mbps broadband by 2010. That obligation came with the benefit of millions in tax cuts and other benefits, though it seems New Jersey is perfectly happy to let Verizon forget the promise entirely. Ars Technica has a follow up piece exploring in more detail how folks whose e-mail addresses were used to "support" Verizon's backtracking are saying they never wrote any letters on the issue:
quote:
To make sure it doesn't have to complete the buildout to all of New Jersey's 8.9 million residents, Verizon led an astroturf campaign that flooded the state Board of Public Utilities (BPU) with hundreds of identical e-mails purporting to support Verizon's case. One person who is listed as having written one of these e-mails told Ars that he didn't submit anything, and if he did, "I would've slammed them."
While some supporters appear to be manufactured outright, others were misled into sending Verizon-written form letters to the state BPU. Stop the Cap notes that Verizon used vendors like the 60 Plus Association who were sending people e-mails misleading them on what Verizon was actually doing:
quote:
“I hope you are doing well. I have a favor to ask,” one e-mail read. “I’m working on a project for our client, Verizon, and they need some signatures to an online petition. Verizon wants to expand its offerings in New Jersey, but needs approval from the state. Higher-speed Internet, more FiOS, etc."
Of course by signing off on the stipulation agreement, the people would be doing the exact opposite. This really moves well beyond the usual sockpuppetry and astroturf and well into the territory of fraud, and it will be curious to see if anybody, anywhere has any interest in holding Verizon accountable for it.

18 comments


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by Karl Bode 10:17AM Wednesday Apr 16 2014
Recently the New York Times ran a fairly standard article praising fiber to the home service, while lamenting the lack of overall fiber in the United States. Verizon Regulatory Affairs VP David Young has posted a rather odd blog response, taking the opportunity to pretend that people are somehow stopping the company from deploying more FiOS (even though they've put the brakes on deployment themselves).
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by Karl Bode 12:29PM Monday Apr 14 2014
Netflix has released their monthly ranking of ISP streaming video performance, and not too surprisingly Comcast has seen huge gains in the rankings after signing a new interconnection deal with Netflix back in February. Comcast jumped a whopping six spots in the rankings to number five among major ISPs, and to number 28 if you view the extended list, which includes smaller ISPs.
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by Karl Bode 08:30AM Tuesday Apr 08 2014
Cablevision appears to have responded to Verizon's new Quantum TV DVRs, which can record twelve programs at once. According to Cablevision, they've upgraded their network-storage DVR so that it now records a whopping fifteen programs at the same time.
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by Karl Bode 08:20AM Wednesday Apr 02 2014
Dave Zatz directs our attention to the fact that Verizon has finally started shipping the company's new Verizon Media Server (VMS) under the "Quantum TV" brand. As a new embedded video illustrates below, the new IPTV DVR hub offers 6-tuners and 1 terabyte or storage for $22/month over the price of your HD service. Users can utilize two VMS boxes to obtain 12 tuners and 2TB of internal storage for $32/month on top of existing HD service.

Users in our FiOS TV forum note that some users in some markets have been able to use the new DVR system for several weeks now, and have been giving their product impressions in the full thread.

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by Karl Bode 09:20AM Monday Mar 31 2014
For much of the last year Netflix streaming problems have plagued customers of large ISPs like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. To hear companies like Netflix and Level 3 tell it, the large ISPs are letting peering connectivity intentionally degrade for two reasons: 1, to make services that compete with their own products look bad and 2, in the hopes of forcing content companies to pay significantly higher rates for direct interconnection.
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by Karl Bode 10:32AM Friday Mar 28 2014
Back in 2008 Verizon negotiated a closed-door agreement with NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg that agreed to wire all five boroughs with FiOS by June of 2014 -- sort of. Fine print in the deal allowed 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.
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by Karl Bode 10:48AM Thursday Mar 27 2014
If you'll recall, Verizon worked very closely with Google to help craft the FCC's net neutrality rules which, as a result, contained massive loopholes and didn't really cover wireless. That not being good enough for Verizon, the company then sued the FCC over the rules and won.
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by Karl Bode 06:45PM Wednesday Mar 26 2014
Nearly a decade ago you might recall how we discussed Verizon's effort to nab huge tax breaks and other subsidies from several states for agreeing to deploy broadband to the entire state. Pennsylvania was one particular state where Verizon promised to deliver at least symmetrical 45 Mbps broadband to everyone, but managed to wiggle their away out of the agreement over time -- while still of course retaining all of the benefits government offered.
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by Karl Bode 10:34AM Wednesday Mar 19 2014
You might recall that Level 3 had plenty to say a few years ago when they were engaged in a traffic interconnection feud with Comcast. At the time, Comcast insisted that this was a simple, run of the mill peering dispute, while Level 3 loudly proclaimed that Comcast was effectively violating net neutrality by forcing companies to pay in order to connect to the Comcast network.
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by Karl Bode 09:40AM Wednesday Mar 12 2014
Outside of large city franchise obligations, Verizon's FiOS deployment has been frozen for several years as the company seeks to recoup its investment -- mostly through an endless slate of rate hikes on TV and broadband services. Speaking this week to investors, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo stated that the company might someday push FiOS further, but it's not happening anytime soon. "I am not going to build beyond the current LSAs that we have built out," Shammo said. "We have to generate more cash within the wireline business and once we do that and I feel that FiOS has returned its cost of capital, then we can look at expansion, but at this point we're happy with what we have."

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by Karl Bode 02:31PM Monday Mar 10 2014
Netflix has released the company's latest month rankings of ISP Netflix streaming performance. Not too surprisingly, the results show that Comcast Netflix streaming performance has improved two spots after Comcast and Netflix last month struck a new interconnection agreement that eliminated middlemen like Cogent Communications from their transit routes.
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by Karl Bode 02:26PM Friday Mar 07 2014
Verizon today announced a new promotion that delivers new savings for users willing to bundle FiOS with Verizon Wireless service. According to a company announcement, the new promotion, dubbed Double Up, can save customers who buy both FiOS and wireless services $20 per month ($480 over two years).
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by Karl Bode 11:12AM Wednesday Mar 05 2014
Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference this week, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam again reiterated that Verizon is interested in offering an "over the top" Internet video service outside of the company's traditional FiOS and DSL footprint. According to McAdam, the company continues to be in talks with broadcasters, and the over the top option could be delivered to both fixed-line and mobile customers.
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by Karl Bode 07:46AM Monday Mar 03 2014
The other day we noted how Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam insisted that the "most important" thing that people needed to understand when talking about net neutrality was that heavy users should pay Verizon more. As we noted at the time, the idea that heavy users must pay more -- or that there's some kind of pay inequity in place despite the fact that everybody pays a lot for bandwidth already -- is the cornerstone of justifying low usage caps and per-byte fees, which until now aren't being imposed on FiOS.
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by Karl Bode 02:32PM Wednesday Feb 26 2014
For years we've noted how broadband ISPs have tried to pass off the idea of usage caps as one of "fairness," with it "only being right" that heavier users should pay more money. While logical on its surface, the problem with that rhetoric of course is that when you actually look at the "creative" pricing that gets introduced again and again (especially usage caps), it ends with everybody paying more, regardless of usage.
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by Karl Bode 02:20PM Monday Feb 24 2014
It looks like Verizon won't be too far behind Comcast, who over the weekend struck a deal charging Netflix for direct interconnection to Comcast's users. "I'm not here to pre-announce and I'm not here to change my hand at the negotiating table, but I think there's a good opportunity here," Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam stated in an interview with CNBC. "Both [Netflix CEO] Reed [Hastings] and I have talked about it and we think it's in both of our interests." McAdam revealed Verizon has been in talks about such a deal for much of the last year, as subscriber Netflix streaming performance has increasingly gotten worse.

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by Karl Bode 08:51AM Monday Feb 24 2014
Back in 2008 Verizon negotiated a closed-door agreement with then NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg, one Verizon strongly suggested would result in Verizon offering FiOS to 100% of the city by 2014 -- sort of. Fine print in the deal allowed 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.
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by Karl Bode 12:23PM Friday Feb 14 2014
Several users have written in to note that Verizon appears to be slowly shuttering their FiOS retail stores, on the heels of having largely frozen any significant FiOS expansion. In conversations with Verizon, I've confirmed that the company will be closing their eight "Verizon Plus" stores in California, the remaining five stores in Texas, as well as three stores in Florida as of March 30.
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by Karl Bode 05:02PM Wednesday Feb 12 2014
According to a report in the New York Post (via Multichannel News), a Long Island, NY Verizon employee has been charged with sabotaging Cablevision's lines, resulting in a six-hour TV and broadband outage that impacted 6,000 users in Suffolk County back on January 7. Verizon employee Vincent Gargano was charged with criminal mischief and tampering for the $1,500 damage done to Cablevision lines. "Actions such as the police describe are not consistent with how Verizon conducts business," a Verizon rep tells the Post. "We are assisting the police in their investigation." Gargano was busted by a home security camera, and subsequently failed a police lie detector test, prompting his arrest.

30 comments


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