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Comments on news posted 2014-03-14 12:34:45: As we've frequently discussed, AT&T and Verizon are in the process of going state by state gutting consumer protections on DSL and landlines in preparation of hanging up on users they don't want to upgrade. ..


buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME
Reviews:
·Vestalink
·Pioneer Wireless

3 recommendations

I understand why

I know why phone companies want to give up on copper.
However, not replacing it with FIBER is where I get confused.

PROs
Its got a long lifespan
The Fiber portion, won't need to be upgraded, just TX/RX and related equipment
Fiber scales up for DECADES to come
Wireless CAN'T handle the demand of home internet users
Lower maintenance costs
Can lease LAST MILE for added revenue

CON
Investors don't want to wait for the return

jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

Re: I understand why

CON (for AT&T)
The technicians that maintain the lines are often in unions.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

1 recommendation

Re: I understand why

Unions have nothing to do with ATT's problem. They are a highly profitable company.

Perhaps if the company was losing money due to labor I could understand. But its not...
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: I understand why

said by DataRiker:

Unions have nothing to do with ATT's problem. They are a highly profitable company.

Perhaps if the company was losing money due to labor I could understand. But its not...

That high profitability is coming from their union-free wireless, not their wireline.

CaptainRR
Premium
join:2006-04-21
Blue Rock, OH

Re: I understand why

There wireless is not totally union free. You might be thinking about Verizon wireless is non union.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: I understand why

Much of AT&T Mobility is union free. Very little is union.

attrsc

@mycingular.net

Re: I understand why

Actually over 60% of att wireless employees pay union dues
WhatNow
Premium
join:2009-05-06
Charlotte, NC

Re: I understand why

The outside wireless techs doing the exact same job may be union in one state and management in the state next to it.

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
"Unions have nothing to do with ATT's problem"

You must not have to work with them on a daily basis.
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.

JakCrow

join:2001-12-06
Palo Alto, CA

Re: I understand why

How can unions be a problem for at&t when the CWA has been a mouthpiece for the telcos while throwing their members under the bus for years now?

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

Re: I understand why

The problem is with AT&T and the CWA.

JakCrow

join:2001-12-06
Palo Alto, CA

Re: I understand why

I can agree with that. I've worked with both. Never again. CWA is a poor excuse for a union. My mom was a nurse and belonged to a union which stood up for its members. The same can't be said for CWA.

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2

Re: I understand why

You really have no idea what youre talking about.

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

I agree, all to often, the orgainized labor is the target for the blame when years of old school management and/or regulatory "overburden"* are more likely the cause.

*layer after layer of patchwork rules that no longer serve any current purpose or even conflict with current best practice.
unraveling the tangle is a difficult process.
WhatNow
Premium
join:2009-05-06
Charlotte, NC

1 recommendation

Re: I understand why

Craft keeps management from looking even worse then it does.

cb14

join:2013-02-04
Miami Beach, FL
Reviews:
·callwithus
·T-Mobile US
·localphone.com
·Google Voice
·Callcentric
·AT&T U-Verse
said by tshirt:

I agree, all to often, the orgainized labor is the target for the blame when years of old school management and/or regulatory "overburden"* are more likely the cause.

*layer after layer of patchwork rules that no longer serve any current purpose or even conflict with current best practice.
unraveling the tangle is a difficult process.

I will, rather exceptionally, agree with you. The problem is though that in the current anti regulatory environment there is no way to establish a set of new, meaningful rules and regulations, so we are stuck with antiquated , watered down, teeth less and increasingly nonsensical regulation. Which creates a demand for further regulatory break down- as we can see in the article.

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

4 edits

1 recommendation

100% agree.
Lets rewind the clock 10 years and put ourselves in former VZ CEO Ivan Seidenbergs shoes.
This man was OBVIOUSLY able to read writing on the wall. Billions of yearly telco profits slowly eroding away due to an assortment VoIP companies, including cable incumbents themselves, AND the obvious skyrocketing use of cell phones.

Instead of watching his entire wireline business go extinct, he and their board had the courage to create a FTTP product which today Im guessing covers about 50% of their wireline footprint.
Why was it courageous? Because they decided to build this thing AND continue their responsibilities as an ILEC, meaning, maintaining the copper network as well as the building and maintaining the fiber.

I wont say McAdam is a total imbecile, he is looking at a wireless product that is currently faster than DSL technology, and his hands are still tied by these ridiculous sharing rules put in place to spur competition in the local telephone market, when NYNEX / Bell Atlantic was a monopoly. He is short-sighted, ignoring the products that will be available 10,50,100 years from now, and fiber will be the only pipe large enough to deliver them. Today, all the writing on the wall points to the eventual STREAMING of all video, high def, 3D, 4K, who knows what the future holds, virtual reality movies? Whether Verizon delivers this streaming video or not, is irrelevant.

Now, the overwhelming majority of people disagree with their reasons for Verizon to halt their builds, everyone acknowledes that FTTP will always have more capability than wireless, but this company needs some regulatory relief to make it worthwhile.

As much profit that their wireless division makes, it doesnt change the fact that Wireline does not do nearly as well. Every fiber build they make is profitable, its simply not short term cash like every investor wants.

If youre one of those telco monopoly people who believe the telephone companies should somehow build out a FTTP network , and be obligated to share it, then Lobby your politicians to inject 200billion dollars into the telco's , because I can assure you, they wont be doing that with their own money.

A more realistic plan would be to gut the 96 telecom act...

PSC's/PUC's , DOJ, FCC should come up with a plan that removes Verizons (and any other ILEC/RBOC) sharing responsibilities as an ILEC , ONLY as they replace their copper with FTTP. Consumers win, Verizon (and other telcoswin), Wireline Workers win, the Country wins. Losers? The cable companies lose due to actually getting competition, and the wholesale /clecs lose, but hey, feel free to negotiate with Verizon to sell over their fiber.
Simplest plan in the world, and is the right thing to do.

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2
Holy cow, I agree with you for the first time, EVER.
Rakeesh

join:2011-10-30
Mesa, AZ
Reviews:
·Sprint Mobile Br..
·Cox HSI
said by jmn1207:

The technicians that maintain the lines are often in unions.

I wish I could understand for the life of me why anybody has any sympathy for the mafia.
TheRogueX

join:2003-03-26
Springfield, MO

Re: I understand why

I don't know, man. I've never had any sympathy for corporations like AT&T either.

JakCrow

join:2001-12-06
Palo Alto, CA
That was amazingly lame.

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

2 recommendations

quote:
CON (for AT&T)
The technicians that maintain the lines are often in unions.
and thats a CON? , if it wasnt for their Union, they would be doing crap work like most of the local incumbent cable companies, getting paid by the job.
AT&T and Verizon halted Uverse and FiOS due to NOTHING BUT CORPORATE GREED, to essentially rape people with their wireless products. If you snapped your fingers and removed the union, it would not change their plans one bit.

Sick and tired of the anti-union bullshit as if these workers are rich. MOST are hard working people that dedicate 25-40 years of their lives for those corporations. Worry about Randall Stephenson getting $25 million a year.
Thank you for your tiny contribution racing us all to the bottom.

congressive

@verizon.net

1 recommendation

Re: I understand why

Thank you. I, too, am sick and tired of anti-union bullshit. Union workers fight hard for an average 14% higher wage than non-union, and in the process, pull non-union wages up as corporations have to compete for skilled labor. Time to burn this "evil union" strawman to the ground. It's not just stupid and uninformed, it's suicidal and contagious.

Michigan has become mentally deranged. They just passed and are now enforcing rape insurance laws in a state where you can't buy rape insurance. Google it. I'm tired of explaining. Michigan installs dictators while dismantling democratically elected local governments. Michigan voters deserve the hard porking they're going to get, since they keep re-electing representatives that pass this bullshit.

The U.S. Constitution mandates the maintenance of postal roads and offices. Clearly the internet serves the exact same modern day purpose of transporting information securely and affordably for ALL citizens. Time to hand over this duty to the USPS. "Oh, no. Then the US Postal Service will know where I live" I hear an army of imbeciles cry...

jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

Re: I understand why

I'm the person that initially mentioned unions. My point was that AT&T wants to hire the cheapest labor they can find, because they are short-sighted, greedy, and the leadership is emboldened by the needs of the shareholders to make choices that influence instant profit growth ahead of any other solid business decisions.

There are plenty of unions that are shitty and do not act on the behalf of their members. Corruption abounds, and when it does, it sees the front page of every news organization as it is among the most dastardly and egregious of acts. To pretend that you are supporting someone and looking after their best interests, only to be cheating them in reality, is about as bad as it gets.

That said, there are plenty of great unions, and the basic premise of what unions are supposed to stand for are righteous and necessary.

Still, unions are generally seen as a negative for the telecommunications conglomerates (or any huge corporation), because honest pay for honest work is NOT something that these jackasses want in their business model. They want the cheapest labor they can get that will complete the job. Unions are seen as an obstacle by the leadership in control. A critical factor in AT&T's future is how they can reduce their costs, and non-union labor is definitely a direction they have seriously considered.

Some unions are great, others have been historically not so great. That is an entirely different issue.

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

3 edits

Re: I understand why

Thank you, an expanded explanation is a good idea, because organized labor is not in the best of shapes right now, and such a simple sentence can easily bend a young, uninformed, mind furthering the difficulties labor faces.
Sure every once in a while a union might make a negative headline, but corrupt politicians and corporate upper management scumbags make the headlines 10X's more often.

and PS, the problem is not that AT&T is primarily union, the problem is that a large percentage of their competition is NON-union. If all the wireless employees, all the cable company techs were union, it would be an even playing ground for those various job titles. POS's like James Dolan using non-union labor as a competitive advantage is sickening. Those workers are slowly realizing they deserve better.

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by buzz_4_20:

CON
Investors don't want to wait for the return

Pretty hard to start a big remodel of your house if the bank says no.
And if they are all ready seeing the end of financial viability of fixed line copper, in most of their area, it's not surprising that they don't want to start a MAJOR/complete fixed overbuild be it fiber or any other medium.
fiber backhaul to a few places for wireless voice covers their obligation for ubiquitous voice service.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: I understand why

You can't compare stockholders to banks. The only time a company gets money for stock is when they initially offers it to the public. Any other time it is stock being passed between people. So the stock going up and down on paper means nothing. When it changes hand between 2 different people/entities it still means nothing to the company as those people receive the profit or loss from it.

Your last point is exactly why they should not be allowed to do this. Wireless is by no means a replacement for wired.
WhatNow
Premium
join:2009-05-06
Charlotte, NC

Re: I understand why

I don't know when the last time AT&T sold stock I think it is buying back stock now but some small companies sell more stock after the IPO.

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit

Re: I understand why

Today they are buying back, next year they may need to sell more (depending on Uverse/wireless or fiber expansion.
But besides their legal obligation to maintain or increase value the rate of interest they pay on their non-stock debt is based on how well they do it.
when they start a build out or need new trucks, or order fiber they can't just got mortgage the hanging copper, or some CO.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

1 recommendation

Re: I understand why

You think maybe they can use those billions they have in cash reserves that they are not returning to you stock jockeys or using to roll out the future technology? Now that would be smarter than taking on more debt wouldn't it?

As I have said numerous times and their financials support it 100%: The major ISP's can roll out fiber to every home and business in their service area and pay cash to do it as they would not be able to roll it fast enough to eat through their quarterly profits.

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: I understand why

Those "billions" (or sometimes much less) might start the process, but they'll never see a dime more to finish unless the can convince the investors (current or future) that they can get it back, overtime, on a reliable basis.
And FiOS proved that to be a very risky bet, which is not why people by 'blue-chip' stocks like AT&T (fairly risk adverse group)
if they run the stock price down by starting risky projects as you suggest, the stock tanks and the sell out to centurylink or frontier or XXX, who have ably demonstrated what companies with low investment capital available can do...not much.

••••••••••••

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
Except in return for buying stock the shareholder gets a pledge of responsibility from the management to do their fiduciary duty to increase the value of that piece of the company each shareholder owns.
If you are unable or unwilling to accept the financially realities of that industry, it is not surprising that you are unable to understand the choices it is forced to make.
Wireless can fulfill the ONLY legal obligation that the LEC's have, to provide local voice service. DSL and advantced services while nice are not required and if the shrinking revenue from the local plant can no longer support itself, and subsidies continue to shrink as well the LEC's MUST change with the times, even if it is not the change you desire.

•••••••

gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA
They are limited in expansion by monopoly laws, so if they pick the cherry's and plum's (dense population areas) they can maximize revenue.
They are so slow about this efficiency of making money that Google and Verizon are jumping ahead to carve their own maximum efficiency automatic bank fillers before ATT can get it together.
Looks to be plenty left for ATT, eventually.
--
Let them eat FIBER!

techuser

@sbcglobal.net
ATT only offers dsl where i live , no cable here , there is clear wire but
that's horrible service.

The Dord
Gamecenter CX
Premium
join:2005-01-06
Belleville, MI

Re: I understand why

Where I am, It will be Satellite Internet (good luck on gaming!) or nothing if this passes. Fuck AT&T.

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

Re: I understand why

said by The Dord:

Fuck AT&T.

The quote of the day!!

While we're at it, let's do the same thing to Verizon also.

Don't trust a single thing I hear come from those 2 s**t hole companies!
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonk ··· amonkey/
psx_defector

join:2001-06-09
Allen, TX
kudos:1
said by buzz_4_20:

The Fiber portion, won't need to be upgraded, just TX/RX and related equipment

Richardson, TX had FTTC for decades. They eventually just gave up on it because they couldn't flip the headend equipment.

Not all fiber is created equal.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
·ooma
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

The problems are these CHEAP & GREEDY companies want to replace copper with wireless and PRICE GOUGE customers there.. even amid the alleged attempts at competition by Sprint and Tmobile. If regulators let this happen they are stupid, corrupt and pound foolish because consumer's won't stand for it... they might be apathetic, but they're NOT that apathetic to let this happen unchallenged.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink
said by buzz_4_20:

I know why phone companies want to give up on copper.
However, not replacing it with FIBER is where I get confused.

Its very simple.

Verizon has demonstrated for seven years that consumers are largely unwilling to pay market rates for fiber optic service, and that's in allegedly cherry-picked "profitable" dense settings.

Lower-density/rural consumers are even less willing or interested in paying market rates for internet service.

Telco isn't about to invest $4K+ (substantially more for rural, low-density) per household, only to obtain a low take-rate, as consumers go with less expensive ... wireless and satellite, and lose their shirts.

•••••••
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
I bet they will cut some people off and then hit them with an ETF because their contract on the DSL was not finished.

Though if they tried that on me I would tell them to blow the ETF out their ass or turn the DSL back on.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports
sparky57

join:2003-05-18
New Bedford, MA
Agreed.

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

Techies argue to keep 100+ year old technology

It boggles my mind that DSLR readers would argue to keep a 100+ year old technology (POTS) or an inferior technology (DSL) rather than replace it with the latest and greatest.

I understand everyone wants fiber, but the business case for that simply isn't there (if you don't believe me, just ask google about wiring rural areas outside of KC or Austin).

•••••••••

gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA

ATT "Hanging up" on Michigan

Couldn't be because of »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detroit_ba ··· nkruptcy making it unattractive for investment?
--
Let them eat FIBER!

••••

jseymour

join:2009-12-11
Waterford, MI

Uhm... Kill DSL...? What About U-verse?

Kill DSL? But U-verse is DSL, for most of "at&t"s U-verse subscribers. So they're going to kill-off most of U-verse, too?

Never mind the fact that I do not live and the hinterlands and all "at&t" offers, on my street, is POTS and DSL.

Mind you: I don't care much if they kill themselves off, entirely. I won't use "at&t" anything, anyway. In fact: I've been trying to get my wife to let me cancel the "at&t" POTS line for years. So, "at&t": Take it. Please!

Jim

••••••••••••••

WhyADuck
Premium
join:2003-03-05
kudos:1

Paul Timmins wrote a commentary on this

See »www.timmins.net/2014/03/12/so-sb ··· ow-what/

FureverFurry
Premium
join:2012-02-20
Wyoming, MI
Reviews:
·Vonage
·Comcast

2 recommendations

Hosing many senior citizens - again !

This will prove to be a nightmare for many senior citizens who rely on their landline. I'm referring to our current elders, age 65+ (emphasis on the "+" age) who just are NOT tech savvy. And many of them just can't AFFORD cell service.

Worse, many of them use those "help, I've fallen" buttons and they - by and large - do NOT work well with VOIP service. Only a couple of service providers offer that with cell service.

Michigan is again showing it's lack of concern/compassion/common sense in hosing senior citizens. Governor Nerd (Snyder) gave massive tax cuts to businesses, while allowing seniors (and others) to foot the bill with tax increases ala lack of property tax credits, taxing pensions, etc.

Bah humbug to AT&T, sometimes known as the All Trials and Tribulations company.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

Re: Hosing many senior citizens - again !

Those seniors vote in republicans and blue dog dems. They will get exactly what they deserve.

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Hosing many senior citizens - again !

said by sonicmerlin:

Those seniors vote in republicans and blue dog dems. They will get exactly what they deserve.

Not sure ANYONE deserves what they'll get (or won't get any more, to be accurate.)

bmccoy

join:2013-03-18
Port Orchard, WA

What's new?

Hasn't CenturyLink been doing this for years in rural/suburban areas?

•••
BiggA
Premium
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

1 recommendation

Only if they deploy FTTH

They should only be allowed to cut copper when they get FTTH to each and ever dwelling unit that they want to cut off from copper... that way it's a win-win.

•••

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1

Some people will have nothing

There ARE areas that do not have cable access and do not have cellular reception.

Fortunately I live in a state that won't cave into this nonsense.
63475675

join:2014-01-06

1 recommendation

This company received tens of billions from the TAXPAYER....

....so they OWE those taxpayers unless they are willing to refund most of that money!

Like the earlier poster mentioned...until AT&T provide FTTH to most of their current POTS customers they should NOT be able to stop maintaining those old copper lines.

It is clear that the folks that are SUPPOSED to be representing We The People are only representing the interests the AT&T's though their highly paid lobbyists.

This is tyranny!

•••••••••••••

Samus82
Radly

join:2002-01-29
Alsip, IL

i dont understand why...

i never understood these bills...All of At&ts uverse products are DSL. Different brands of DSL but its still all the same.

Thats also why i don't understand how they have some guys getting paid 35 bucks an hour installing DSL and POTS and guys making 15 bucks an hour installing VOIP on VDSL or ADSL over the IPDSL network. Enjoying none of the same benefits provided by the union to the pots and dsl workers. doing the same thing essentially...only newer and more relevant. You can throw longer hours in there too.

Under it all, that's what these bills are about. Att wants to unload its workforce of guys who have been working for the company for decades as loyal workers so it can bring in more people...to do the same work...for less money.

Its like..owning an car dealership and saying selling a car is a very skilled job. One guy sells a chevy nova that's red and gets paid 60 bucks for doing it...and the other guy sells a chevy nova that's yellow and gets paid 10 bucks and when he asks why, the dealer says you didn't sell a car..you sold a transportation device. The unions are powerless. Dont be fooled. They do nothing about it, and there is no real union that would allow itself to be called a union, that allow worker A to do the same job as worker B for extensively less benefits and money, unless its the thing they call a union at Att...

Its really just a way to funnel money, from the workers, to the union, to politicians, (mainly democrats) along with illegal wiretap favors for the government, so that Att can do whatever they want.

Nothing about eliminating wire-lines or DSL is in the best interest of anyone but Att.

You can pretty much bet, if ANY Att manager, or president or CEO that has ANYTHING to do with corporate Att says he thinks something is a good idea or a great step in some direction...The people are about to get a giant rod shoved up their ass with the only lube being sand and gravel.

--
Opinion is just a word people hide behind to try and justify them believing stupid things. It sure is easy to believe in something completely and totally stupid, say it's your "Opinion" and then everyone has to respect it.

Anon Man

@sbcglobal.net

DSL

What's going to happen to UVERSE...it is IP-based but still uses copper to carry the signal from the VRAD to the premise. Maybe ATT is concerned about the high maintenance of the F1 segment which travels from the CO to the xconnect box. I don't believe for they will vacate the entire market and force wireless on all of their customers as they will loose major revenue. Eliminating the F1 segment and upgrading the last mile will save ATT tons of money....in OVERTIME.
bcltoys

join:2008-07-21
Lost today

What's one to do?

If copper is dead and wireless won't due what going to happen to million's of people that can't get wireless and Verizon and AT&T walk away from their copper network's cause face it it's not a matter of if it's when.

flinchlock
Premium
join:2003-04-25
Augusta, MI

This will happen!

I am over 65 and I do NOT give a . about "super fast internet and crystal clear HD"!

I am on slowest Comcast internet (~3.5M DN, ~1M UP).

I watch a sheetload of TV (over the air and also ROKU) and use VOIP and have never had any speed problems.

Old eyes can not see any difference with "crystal clear HD" and most importantly even care.

It is all about cheap TV (over the air) and cheap phone (in process of switching from Vonage ~$19/mo to Callcentric ~$5/mo).

Can we quit itching about unions/ATT/etc?

Since this will happen, talk about solutions.

Mike