News tagged: Verizon FiOS
As we've often noted
, more than a few cities are annoyed that Verizon ignored them when they deployed FiOS, including Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Alexandria and Albany. Those cities frequently complain they weren't told why they were left out of the upgrade loop, or when (if ever) Verizon will get around to upgrading them. Albany, New York is the latest to complain, State Senators speaking at a rally last week accusing Verizon of "redlining"; something Verizon didn't appreciate
"Albany cannot be redlined," Breslin said. "I urge them to reconsider and come to Albany and other upstate cities." Verizon is adamant that its decision not to build a fiber-optic infrastructure in the city of Albany at this time is not motivated by any concern about the financial viability of some parts of the city. "Frankly, someone suggesting that is an insult to us and how we do business," said spokesman for Verizon John Bonomo.
Verizon continues to state they're busy expanding FiOS only in regions they've struck existing franchise agreements, but refuses to state if there will ever be a serious new FiOS expansion effort beyond that.
Verizon appears to be the latest to join the rate-hike season festivities, with a notice being sent out to some FiOS subscribers
that the company will be bumping FiOS rates over the next few billing cycles (I've dropped a line to see how broad these hikes will be).
According to a message being sent to some subscribers, Verizon's increasing the cost of TV programming and bundles around $8 a month. The company also says they're increasing the regional sports fee tacked on to bundles with sports programming from $2.42 a month to $3.48 a month.
Verizon started charging the regional sports fee back at the beginning of the year
, around the same time they started offering new channel bundles (like FiOS Select HD
) that pull sports programming out of the lineup entirely.
AT&T is sending an e-mail to customers
) informing them that the company will no longer allow Xbox 360 users to use the game console as a video set top box starting December 31. The company stated that they will be issuing a credit for impacted customers that needed to get an Xbox Live Gold subscription to make the service work. Numerous companies including Comcast and Verizon (FiOS) had allowed the Xbox 360 to be used as a set top, albeit with limited video quality and channel lineups to prevent cannibalization of set top rental revenue. There has been no word of similar Xbox One support from AT&T or Microsoft, though Verizon has announced
their FiOS TV app is coming to Xbox One.
Less than a week after Charter CEO Tom Rutledge publicly admitted that their current TV service offerings are rather crappy
, Charter has announced plans for a brand refresh for the company's broadband and TV services. Like AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS, Comcast Xfinity, and Cablevision Optimum, Charter has announced they'll be re-branding the company's broadband and digital video services under the name "Spectrum" in the hopes of changing public perceptions.
Verizon has ceased deploying FiOS to new areas (unless you're in a major city that's part of a previous franchise obligation), with their focus being on converting "stubborn" DSL users in their FiOS footprint to the company's more reliable and cheaper-to-maintain fiber network. According to statements made by Verizon this week, the company converted 250,000 homes to fiber so far this year -- on pace to reach 300,000 by year's end. story continues..
With all the quarterly earnings reports in, telecom analyst firm MoffettNathanson notes that the Pay TV industry lost about 113,000 subscribers on the quarter
. Cable operators lost 687,000 subscribers in Q3, and while telcoTV and satellite providers added 574,000 subscribers, it couldn't prevent the industry from seeing a net loss -- attributed to the slow and small but steady growth of cord cutters.
Netflix has updated their rankings of ISP Netflix streaming performance
with October data. The Netflix ISP Speed Index pulls data from more than 37 million Netflix members viewing over 1 billion hours of TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix per month.
As most of our readers know, you still can't just get HBO's streaming service without subscribing to cable TV, a caveat that doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon
. From the kind-of-weird story department comes this story from the Wall Street Journal's Martin Peers
who proudly proclaims he "achieved the impossible": he was able to order an HBO and broadband package from his ISP (Verizon) without having to subscribe to cable.
As we've covered in detail Verizon has taken a lot of heat by telling Sandy victims, a year after the storm, that they will never see their POTS and DSL lines repaired
. Instead, Verizon foisted a wireless service called Voice Link upon those customers, a service that didn't include data, suffered from numerous feature shortcomings, and generally wasn't much of a replacement for DSL and POTS whatsoever.
The government's Obamacare website (Healthcare.gov
) has come under well-deserved fire the last few weeks for being quite a mess, the estimated $600 million price tag on the website coming with an ocean of glitches and other issues
earlier adopters have been struggling with since launch. As part of the President's effort to get the website working again, an anonymous source tells USAToday
that Verizon will be among those brought in to help get the website working properly. "Our team is bringing in some of the best and brightest from both inside and outside government to scrub in with the team and help improve HealthCare.gov," an HHS blog post said on Sunday in describing a "tech surge" planned by the government to resolve issues.
The entertainment industry's "Copyright Alert System" (aka "six strikes) was launched back in February
with the cooperation of major ISPs including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable. While the program integrates "educational" material and a variety of short-lived punishments ranging from throttling to click through warnings, early indications are the program hasn't had much if any impact on BitTorrent piracy traffic
for a variety of reasons (users hiding behind VPNs or proxies, no punishment after the sixth "strike").
You might recall that in 2011 Verizon struck a deal with the cable industry to not only obtain $3.6 billion in cable industry spectrum
, but to cross-market one-another's services, with cable ops not pushing Verizon Wireless as a bundle option. As part of that deal, Verizon and companies like Comcast also promised that they were cooking up "magical experiences
" that would involve video services that worked across both wireless and wired platforms.
A few months ago Verizon performed a complete 180 and proudly announced they'd be bringing FiOS to the 600-person community of Fire Island, New York
, after previously telling the Sandy-ravaged locals (with no other communications options) they'd never have DSL lines repaired. Verizon had tried to argue that the Verizon Voice Link wireless service they foisted upon residents was good enough, despite the fact the service was less reliable and functional than a fixed line, and didn't include data connectivity.
When Verizon signed their franchise deal with New York City back in 2008, the company promised to deploy FiOS to "the entire city by mid-year 2014
." However, as I noted at the time
, leaks suggested their deal (negotiated entirely in secret and to this day not fully viewable by the public) came with a number of loopholes, phrasing and caveats guaranteeing that Verizon could either buy or wiggle their way out of their "entire city" promise.
As 2014 nears, people are remembering Verizon's promise, noticing that many New York City residents (even in affluent areas of Manhattan) still can't get service, leaving many NYC residents under the monopoly control of Time Warner Cable, despite the city's repeated professed dedication to cutting-edge technology.
A new Verizon ad for FiOS
uses Boston as a backdrop -- despite the fact that Verizon has refused to upgrade the city with FiOS. The new commercial, named "Here’s The Truth about FiOS in Massachusetts,” features Boston native and one time teen pop idol Donnie Wahlberg, who informs viewers that "this is New England, where people tell it straight," and where there's "no phonies, no fakers, no shortcuts."
It's ironic that Verizon would use Boston as a backdrop for PR effect, given that Boston's one of numerous Eastern cities that were left unupgraded by Verizon.
While FiOS is considered cutting edge, Verizon's provisioned Wi-Fi gateways have long been considerably less so. For some time the only way that FiOS customers could even get anything faster than 802.11g was to buy a 802.11n router from somebody else. story continues..
As noted previously, Verizon's FiOS expansion has been over for several years
, with the exception of franchise build out promises for major cities (though some of those deployment promises, like in NYC, probably won't be met
). Still, some of the forgotten regions in Verizon's footprint (like Alexandria, Baltimore, Buffalo & Boston) continue to hold out hope that the company will eventually decide to extend FiOS a little bit further.
Verizon today unveiled their new 4G LTE Broadband Router with Voice
, which as the name creatively implies provides users with a home router for voice and data powered by Verizon's LTE network. The Novatel-made device features a backup battery, one jack for a home phone and three Ethernet ports, with the ability to connect up to ten devices simultaneously.
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