News tagged: Verizon Online DSL
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. We saw something similar in Pennsylvania when Verizon wiggled their way out of similar obligations after netting huge tax reductions and subsidies
Like in Pennsylvania, New Jersey also decided to let Verizon off the hook; the state Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) recently approving a stipulation agreement that effectively forgot that Verizon ever made any such promises as the company effectively freezes FiOS expansion to focus on wireless.
Annoyed residents have since been complaining to the Public Service Commission, arguing that the telco has intentionally letting DSL and POTS service get worse as Verizon eyes those greener pastures. Hopewell Township residents filed a number of complaints with NJ's board of public utilities in a letter last month
In the letter to the BPU, township Solicitor Ted Ritter requested that Verizon be ordered to repair or replace the township's "deteriorating and unreliable telephone service lines."...On Thursday, the township sent a summary report to the BPU, which included 156 "serious" and "chronic" telephone service complaints that the township compiled from residents over the last three months....Ritter said Hopewell Township has been “barraged for years” with complaints from residents like, “line noise, static, crackling, buzzing, and intermittent service outages often associated with bad weather."
Verizon has since responded
, claiming that New Jersey copper line complaints have actually declined since 2012:
“Hopewell residents reported significantly fewer landline service issues to Verizon in 2014 than in 2012, representing a 38-percent decrease in the number of trouble tickets over that period,” wrote Gregory M. Romano, general counsel for Verizon’s mid-Atlantic region. "In fact," the letter added, "our monthly customer trouble report rate — the best overall indicator of network reliability — has averaged .3 troubles per 100 access lines from 2012 to 2014 in the wire center serving Hopewell.
Of course Verizon's been actively trying to drive many of these unwated POTS and DSL users away
for several years through a combination of price hikes and apathy, so it's likely many of these areas have substantially fewer customers than they did in 2012 (and many customers may have given up calling to fix line noise). Meanwhile, locals argue, had Verizon actually delivered on the fiber upgrades they promised (and were paid for by taxpayers) a generation ago, the current conversation wouldn't be happening.
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.
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.
·more stories, story search, most popular ..
Recent news contributors