News tagged: Verizon Online DSL
Some Verizon shareholders have started more vocally complaining that the company's war on net neutrality is harming the company's long term value. Verizon investors at the Nathan Cummings Foundation and Trillium Asset Management LLC have started making their displeasure more loudly known
, filing a new proposal
requesting more company analysis and reporting on the potential business risks of waging an endless war on net neutrality.
The proposal claims the company has been frequently inconsistent in public statements, and is taking risks with the company's reputation and future success:
"The shareholder proposal argues that “open Internet policies help drive the economy, encourage innovation and reward investors. Network neutrality principles may help Verizon financially by bringing new products to its platform, attracting customers and creating opportunities to share revenue with developers.” At the same time, the proposal says, “there may also be reputational and commercial risk in not providing customers with evidence of open Internet policies that apply to wireless communications and preclude business models based on paid prioritization."
They're not wrong of course; most ISPs were perfectly happy with the FCC's initially quite flimsy net neutrality rules that Verizon actually helped write hand in hand with Google
to ensure lots of wonderful loopholes.
But Verizon chose to sue anyway in the hopes they could permanently damage the FCC's attempt to regulate broadband providers. That obviously backfired, resulting in the FCC now considering far more meaningful Title-II based protections. Investors aren't the only ones that are annoyed -- AT&T and Comcast, both fine with the initial rules, also weren't too happy with Verizon
I've seen a number of these investor efforts previously and they never go very far. Neutrality investor supporters tend to be a minority and lose important votes; the majority realizing that predatory, anti-competitive behavior is far more profitable than agreeing to rules that benefit consumers at the expense of billions in additional revenue. The longer term impact of neutrality opposition on a company's reputation and brand aren't meaningfully considered.
Netflix today released their ISP streaming performance ranking for December
, which offers performance data based on the 53 million global Netflix viewers and the two billion hours of content they watch each month. There wasn't too much of a shake up in this month's ranking, with Verizon FiOS continuing to top the list after they struck an interconnection deal with Netflix last year.
As Verizon and AT&T look to offload DSL markets they don't want to upgrade to focus on wireless, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam made another comment this week suggesting that more of the company's DSL and POTS markets could be sold. Speaking at the Citi 2015 Global Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference McAdam stated
that the company still has some fixed-line assets that would geographically make more since if sold to another telco.
Earlier this year we noted how some New Jersey residents have been complaining that Verizon never delivered the 45 Mbps to 100% of the population the company promised back in the 90's
as part of an agreement with the state. Verizon (then Bell Atlantic) was given billions in tax deductions in exchange for fixed-line broadband the company never delivered.
Earlier this month a blog post by Verizon indicated that Verizon would sue
the FCC if the agency tried to pass anything other than the flimsy, Section 706 rules the FCC already tried to implement once. As noted at the time
, Verizon would prefer it if readers of their missives ignore that it was Verizon that sued to overturn the FCC's original Section 706 rules, bringing us to the current Title II debate in the first place.
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.
While consumer advocacy groups and the EFF have been far from impressed
, so far the mega-ISPs had yet to comment on the FCC's leaked proposal to take a "hybrid
" approach to net neutrality rules. That approach would leave residential broadband connection classified as is to avoid a legal skirmish, while classifying the connections between ISPs and edge providers like Netflix as "information services" under Title II.
Verizon's latest earnings
were released this morning, the company seeing a net income of $3.79 billion on revenue of $31.6 billion. While Verizon slightly missed Wall Street estimates, competition from T-Mobile didn't dent big red much: the company added 1.5 million wireless customers in the third quarter, 1.1 million of which were tablets.
Back in 2012 Verizon and RedBox proudly joined forces to launch
the creatively-named Redbox Instant by Verizon
, which was supposed to be a significant competitor for Netflix. This year however reports began to emerge that the service wasn't doing very well
, and I've noticed that Verizon hasn't worked very hard to promote the partnership.
Baltimore is one of a number of cities that Verizon skipped over when deploying FiOS
, leaving most city residents with only the uncomptitive option of either sluggish Verizon DSL or Comcast (if they're lucky). They're also one of the countless cities who begged for Google Fiber attention to no avail.
Baltimore's now hoping to take matters into their own hands, and have hired a consultant to explore
a number of possible ideas ranging from reworking their protectionist citywide franchise agreement with Comcast, to possibly building some or all of the kind of network nobody else wants to:
"Baltimore is still in the exploratory stages of the initiative but the city will likely build out some of its own fiber infrastructure that it will use to lure new competitors to the area. Jason Hardebeck, the executive director of the Greater Baltimore Technology Council, tells the Business Journal that the city may also consider making its own municipal Wi-Fi network that will be run more like a public utility."
Of course paying a consultant $157,000 is certainly no guarantee anything gets accomplished, but it's interesting how the one-two punch of Google Fiber and Wheeler's criticism of state protectionist broadband law
has seriously reheated a subject that for a decade had largely flown under the radar.
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. story continues..
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.
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