News tagged: Verizon Online DSL
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:
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:
“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.
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).
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.
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.
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. story continues..
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.
A report in the Wall Street Journal
indicates that the Obama administration is contemplating several "new" options when it comes to storing bulk surveillance data. The options were presented to the White House as part of the government's somewhat-cosmetic reforms proposed back in January
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. story continues..
Just days ago, Frontier Communications proudly let everyone know
that they had expanded broadband access to roughly 176,000 households in West Virginia and seen consumer complaints of their service drop by nearly 70 percent. That's slightly-less impressive once you realize that Verizon was doing little to nothing
to support those users, so you'd expect a significant reduction in complaints even if the acquiring company was doing the absolute bare minimum.
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. story continues..
While a lot of the focus lately has been on the dismal Netflix streaming performance on Verizon, Comcast users would apparently like you to know that their Netflix streaming experience lately has been equally abysmal. Both companies were recently hammered in Netflix's recent ISP streaming rankings
, though Verizon got most of the negative press attention courtesy of the recent (not really substantiated
) claims that they're intentionally throttling Netflix traffic, something even Netflix now says they don't think is happening
Last week we highlighted the seeming neutrality furor caused by a blog post
accusing Verizon of intentionally throttling Netflix traffic. iScan developer David Raphael alleged that because his home FiOS connection and his business FiOS connection received AWS data and different rates, Verizon was throttling traffic -- something a support rep claimed in a chat with Raphael.
The FCC today voted unanimously to begin conducting voluntary trials to ensure a relatively smooth and reasonable transition away from the PSTN and copper networks. The push for such trials began in earnest after Verizon refused to repair the DSL and copper POTS lines of hurricane Sandy victims, instead forcing them to instead use an inferior wireless-based product
known as VoiceLink, which doesn't work with alarm systems, has numerous glitches, and doesn't provide data connectivity.
As had been rumored for some time
, Intel has finally announced that the company has sold their floundering "OnCue" Internet TV service to Verizon
. Intel had promised to revolutionize the TV landscape, but ran face first into restrictive broadcast licensing restrictions -- just like a long line of efforts before it. Financial terms weren't disclosed; Intel originally wanted $500 million for the project
, while Verizon was rumored to be unwilling to pay more than $200 million. Verizon is rumored to be planning to use the technology not only to offer streaming video to existing customers (a la "TV Everywhere"), but also to potentially offer over the top Internet video services outside of their traditional FiOS TV footprint
Verizon has released the company's fourth quarter earnings
, which indicate that big red posted a net income of $7.9 billion on revenues of $31.02 billion. As always most of that money came courtesy of wireless, where Verizon added 1.7 million retail connections (including tablets and other devices) for a grand total of 102.8 million retail connections -- most of them now under Verizon's pricey shared data plans. On the wireline side, Verizon added 126,000 net FiOS broadband lines and 92,000 net TV subscribers for 6.1 million FiOS broadband and 5.3 million Fios TV customers. 46% of users subscribe to 50 Mbps or higher speeds. DSL defections resulted in a net gain of just 20,000 broadband customers.
Verizon and AT&T's silence during the recent NSA Snowden revelations was quite telling, neither telco obviously wanting to risk legal liability (or government contracts) for what numerous whistleblowers have now shown is incredibly deep
and often illegal
(at least until they lobbied to have the laws changed) cooperation with government. In fact, the only time Verizon spoke on the matter at all was to mock Google and Yahoo
for "grandstanding" as the companies fought for the right to disclose FISA court government data requests.
Verizon's FiOS expansion is ended, and the company has switched its current focus toward getting DSL users in upgraded FiOS markets to upgrade to FiOS -- as fiber is more reliable and costs less to maintain. After Sandy one FiOS install tech told us
interestingly that many customers resist these DSL upgrades, instead preferring the reliability of copper POTS (FiOS only has an 8 hour battery backup during power outages).
Last Wednesday, the New York Public Service Commission ordered Verizon to provide the public with un-redacted cost information about providing phone service on Fire Island, New York. The directive denied Verizon’s request to be exempt from disclosing cost documents. story continues..
·more stories, story search, most popular ..
Recent news contributors
, Karl Bode