News tagged: Verizon Online DSL
Syracuse, New York is the perfect example of a broken American broadband industry. On the one hand, Verizon has refused to install FiOS in the city itself -- leaving the majority of the city's customers on outdated and very expensive DSL lines. Syracuse actually has it better than some other New York City's like Binghamton, where even the suburbs aren't provided FiOS.
In Syracuse, Verizon's competitor there is Time Warner Cable, who with no competitive pressure from Verizon in the market doesn't work very hard to offer a quality product at reasonable prices. Users in Syracuse may only have a choice of one or the other, and are "lucky" to have the choice of both.
Syracuse isn't alone; there's a bevy of similar cities in New York State and across the nation whose options for broadband are similarly dim. Now, like other cities, Syracuse is planning to do something about it if nobody else will. According to the Syracuse Post-Standard
, the city is eyeing their own broadband network:
Miner, who has expressed frustration at the lack of local broadband options, said a public network may be the best way to ensure that Syracuse has affordable, high-speed service. "I'm putting together a plan that we can do it ourselves, as a community,'' Miner said...But the mayor said her administration is just beginning to research the idea, and many details would have to be worked out before a proposal could be brought forward.
The city is in the early stages of exploring the option, and it's more than a little unclear how a city with financial problems hopes to pay for such an effort. Judging from the story comments
, it's also in the very early stages of the bickering over whether the city should even be getting into the broadband business. Of course the city wouldn't be exploring the option if they were happy with their broadband choices, something that could have been helped by regulators who embrace pro-competition policies.
A few months ago I noted how Verizon had been claiming that we shouldn't have tough consumer net neutrality protections -- because they could harm deaf people and the disabled
. To hear Verizon tell it, banning the creation of "fast lanes" would in turn harm services for the deaf and disabled, though as I noted at the time this was quite the straw man and red herring
(straw herring?) that even the disabled didn't agree with.
Now Jon Brodkin at Ars Technica
directs your attention to the fact that some additional deaf and disabled groups have responded to Verizon's recent claims, and they're not particularly impressed with Verizon's use of their disability as a revenue-protection tool. In comments filed with the FCC
, a number of deaf advocacy groups like the National Association of the Deaf make their positions clear:
"We also take this opportunity to express our concern over the reported contentions of at least one broadband provider that the Commission should facilitate 'fast lanes'—essentially permitting paid prioritization—for the sake of accessibility. While we strongly believe that Internet-based services and applications must be made accessible, we also believe that doing so is possible on an open network and without the need for broadband providers to specifically identify traffic from accessibility applications and separate it out for special treatment."
Not only do the deaf groups disagree with Verizon's bogus contention that Verizon's fighting net neutrality on their behalf, groups ranging from the National Association of the Deaf ranging to the American Association of People with Disabilities also strongly support the reclassification of ISPS as utilities under the Communications Act, something Verizon and other large ISPs have vehemently opposed
writes in to note that Netflix has offered their latest streaming performance rankings for broadband ISPs
. Cablevision, Cox and Suddenlink continue to take the top three spots among the largest ISPs (head here
and click on "expand results" to see smaller ISPs like Google Fiber included in the rankings).
In a blog post
posted to the company's policy website, Verizon today proclaimed that they've had their engineers conduct a thorough review of every part of their network and have concluded that Netflix congestion issues experienced by customers are in no way the fault of Verizon. Companies like Netflix and Level 3 previously suggested
that Verizon was letting peering points saturate in order to force companies to pay last-mile ISPs for direct interconnection.
A consortium of elected officials and consumer advocates have petitioned the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) to investigate why Verizon is raising prices while its wireline infrastructure allegedly deteriorates throughout New York state. To hear Ars Technica
tell it, Verizon's neglecting copper customers in particular while it focuses on fiber and wireless -- yet at the same time they neglect DSL users, they're consistently raising rates on them
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..
As we noted yesterday
Verizon is going to miss the company's deadline for providing FiOS to all of NYC, something that shouldn't surprise you if you actually understood the loophole-filled deal, closed-door deal Verizon and Mayor Bloomberg signed back in 2008
. That agreement allowed Verizon to conflate the terms "homes served" with "homes passed," as well as wiggle around certain deployment obligations with some lawyer elbow grease.
After calling Netflix's new buffering warning that more specifically blames ISPs for poor streaming performance a "misleading PR stunt
" yesterday, Verizon has taken their response up another level with a cease and desist letter to Netflix threatening legal action. In the letter
, (pdf) Verizon blames everyone but Verizon for the mysterious slowdowns that started plaguing customers of only certain ISPs six months ago -- problems quickly and magically alleviated
once Netflix pays those same ISPs for direct interconnection.
This morning, we noted how
Netflix's all-too-familiar buffering warning now specifically blames Verizon when Verizon customer Netflix streams start to struggle. That hasn't made Verizon particularly happy, the company this afternoon penning a blog post
that claims Netflix is engaged in a "PR stunt" that's "deliberately misleading." In the post, Verizon unsurprisingly blames Netflix for network performance issues:
The source of the problem is almost certainly NOT congestion in Verizon’s network.
Netflix may have struck interconnection deals with Comcast
, but the company continues to make it very clear they're not happy about it. Netflix executives have already been ranting
about being forced to sign the deals, claiming incumbent ISPs are letting transit peering points saturate to force content companies to pay them directly for decent streaming performance.
If you've followed this or any other US business sector for any amount of time, you know that many large companies (and their various PR, think tank and lobbyist voices) all claim to hate
government regulation. Unless it's their
lawyers and lobbyists writing and passing awful, loop-hole filled and labyrinthine regulations that screw over the other
guy, or provide companies with endless tax breaks and subsidies, often for doing nothing
Meaningful expansion of Verizon's FiOS services has been on hold for years now -- outside of existing franchise obligations like New York City, and even those appear to be seeing nowhere near the kind of penetration Verizon hinted at
. For years Verizon executives have had sort of a "wait and see" response when asked about possible expansion, but Verizon CFO Fran Shammo this week provided the strongest indication yet that FiOS have nots should not be holding their breath.
Verizon years ago froze any and all FiOS expansion (with the exception of come franchise promises in major cities) in order to focus on driving uptake in markets where FiOS was already deployed. Judging from the company's recent FiOS uptake numbers, they are starting to hit a wall in that regard, with many of their deployment markets saturated. story continues..
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
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
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