said by Bobcat79:
Huh? What? My POTS price has gone up around 30% in the past couple years. More increases are already on the way. Plus, the state legislature has proposed deregulating POTS, which would mean even higher prices.
Well, I did say the POTS rates I've
seen. In any case, I believe you. All states are not created equal.
said by batterup:
The copper is going to go away; they can do it the easy way or the hard way.
Joe Homeowner couldn't care less whether the copper goes away. He probably doesn't even know that all those funny wires up on the pole are made of copper.
What Joe Homeowner cares about are two simple things: what he's charged, and in return for that, what he gets and how he's treated while getting it.
As far as the easy way versus the hard way, I'd like to know what the hard way is considering that the easy way has consisted of:
* Deceptive advertising bordering on the malicious, preying on the vulnerable and the naive;
* Underhanded maneuvers, like promising hassle- and worry-free, money-back-guaranteed 30 day trial periods while simultaneously clipping people permanently off the copper network so they can't actually return to it (solved now, but a huge issue previously);
* Armies of door-knockers crawling through neighborhoods, bugging the hell out of people for weeks following each launch of FIOS;
* Indescribable amounts of postal spam. I literally
received one flyer, and sometimes two, every single day for more than a year
after FIOS was lit up here. It was unlike any marketing campaign I had ever witnessed, and I could only speculate about the astronomical costs Verizon must have been eating to pull it off (costs undoubtedly passed on to us). These days, where I'm located, the local FIOS postal spam torrent has subsided to a trickle -- one or two flyers a week ... plus of course the occasional "SECOND NOTICE" or "URGENT ACCOUNT INFORMATION REQUIRING MY ACTION IMMEDIATELY," etc. Nonetheless, it is a relentless nuisance (and honestly, were I an environmentalist...)
Oh, right. My favorite example of Verizon's FIOS marketing sleaze happened last fall. Back then, they were mailing out most of their FIOS flyers in glossy, laminated, spammy-looking envelopes -- spammy-looking because they were covered in sales pitches and price quotes and "exciting offers" and looked absolutely nothing like official business correspondence whatsoever. Exactly the sort of junk mailers, in other words, that many people simply toss straight in the trash unopened. Well, it was a good thing that I wasn't the average person in that sense. Because one afternoon while opening my latest FIOS flyer envelope, not only did I find the usual FIOS flyer (and FIOS TV channel line-up sheet) inside, but also my Verizion DSL and phone bill
. I stood there with a "what the hell" look on my face for a moment, and even dug the previous day's flyer envelope out of the trash to compare the two -- and found them to be identical. That's when I realized what was probably happening. Evidently they were trying to rack up late payment fees by getting people who didn't open their junk mail (and who didn't track which bills they weren't
writing checks for each month) to throw their statements in the trash. Incredible! I asked around and sure enough, a few other non-FIOS subscribers in town had gotten their bills that month in the same way. To think, I would have killed for an advance warning of what was coming my way. Because I'd have been waiting for the postman at my front door with a video camera, ready to film him putting that still-sealed junk mailer envelope in my hand, followed by me pulling my bill out of it. What a wonderful present that clip would have made for the local media, and for the state PUC.
Anyway. So, you're saying that all of this has actually been a product of the easy
said by batterup:
I still love you people because you people are the reason municipal FTTP projects fail.
Let's be clear. You mean corporate FTTP projects. Municipal FTTP projects, when they're attempted, just result in obstructive lawsuits by the telecoms and cable MSOs.
And as far as the reasons more people aren't subscribing to FIOS, I can't speak for those people (and neither can you). But I can speak for myself and my reasons:Cost.
When FIOS came into my area, I did some hard research into exactly what the damages to my wallet would be. Between scouring official internet sources, asking many questions on this forum, and getting copies of a few of my neighbors' bills, I looked into:
* all the various bundles;
* the various tiers of those bundles and each one's cost;
* the contract discounts;
* when and by how much those contract discounts fell away as time progressed;
* the equipment costs;
* how the equipment costs varied depending on the amount of equipment you ordered;
* how the equipment costs changed depending on which kind of equipment you ordered;
* which channels you got in each video tier;
* how much each video tier differed in price;
* the DVR service fee;
* all one-time fees (service activation, service setup, extra computer setup) in terms of how their costs would detract from one's monthly savings if spread out against them;
* when those one-time fees did and did not apply, so I would only include the ones applicable to me;
* the POTS taxes;
* the video taxes;
* the bonus online ordering monthly discounts;
* the monthly price difference (i.e. the tax break) between POTS and Digital Voice;
* the feature differences between POTS and Digital Voice (including which hard-won consumer rights like Equal Access you lost
with the Digital Voice);
* etc., etc.
I basically had an entire spreadsheet going, with FIOS broken down to the granular level and with my existing services likewise broken down right beside it -- I even threw in breakdowns of alternatives like DirecTV and Dish Network (for TV). As a result of doing all this, something became immediately obvious. FIOS makes most of its money off TV sales.
My needs were simple:
the basic cable channels but without any
premiums, plus one HD DVR and one SD STB -- just as I was getting from my cable company at the time (which I hadn't yet ditched);
(2) basic landline telephony;
(3) basic broadband service (15/5 would have been fine).
And yet (1) became a huge problem for me. In order to get all the same basic channels from FIOS I was getting from the cable company at the time, I would have needed "Extreme HD." The problem with that: it required, at least then, going with the highest triple play tier. Which was very expensive. That triple play tier also meant going with the highest possible internet speed, adding even more to the final monthly cost in terms of (3).
All things considered, my total FIOS savings over my existing services (Time-Warner cable plus unbundled Verizon DSL and dialtone) would have been just $8.41/mo for months 1-24 and $-11.59/mo for months 25+. In other words, a negligible temporary savings followed by permanently going into the red afterwards.
The only way I could have made FIOS financially beneficial to me would have been by taking the lowest-tier phone + internet double play package (Digital Voice and 15/5) in combination with Dish Network for TV (with its highest basic tier plus a multi-room HD DVR). In that case, and all things considered, my total savings (again over Time-Warner cable and unbundled Verizon DSL and dialtone) would have come to $71.52/mo for months 1-6, $61.52/mo for months 7-12, $46.52/mo for months 13-24, and $21.52/mo for months 25+. (Though had I opted for POTS rather than Digital Voice, that final $21.52/mo saving after month 24 would have mostly vanished.) And yes, these large differences were accurate then; I was as thorough investigating the minutia of DirecTV's and Dish Network's prices as I was Verizon's, and even rounded up copies of some DirecTV and Dish Network subscriber bills from my area to boot.
Now how is it that FIOS triple play is such a great deal if I can beat it by bundling less with Verizon and by buying something unbundled from a competitor? Yeah, true: FIOS TV offers videophile-grade service while the pizza dish companies give you optical dogs%!*. But then again, it's just television. It really isn't that ... valuable.
In the end, I went from Slime-Warner to Dish Network for TV, but kept copper for dialtone and DSL. Why? Well that's where my other reasons for avoiding FIOS come in:No phone during power outages after your ONT battery dies.
And as for those who suggest putting a UPS in front of one's ONT, all I can say is, a UPS that can deliver power for an extended period of time does not
come cheap.Massive financial rape if you ever make an international call.
They don't advertise the fact that unless you subscribe to an international calling package for an extra monthly fee (with the "Freedom Essentials" package you're forced to take with FIOS), one call outside North America could cost you as much as $9.99/minute. Thanks to the internet, I have as many friends overseas as I do domestically. Now and then, it's nice to just be able to pick up a phone and talk to them without firing up computers and goofing with VoIP. But not for 17 cents a second!
»www22.verizon.com/Residential/Ph···alRates/No more analog modems and fax machines and home alarm systems if you go with Digital Voice.
Okay, the BBS is dead, but otherwise...The inability to return to copper with Verizon.
I've already discussed this. If I lose copper, my choices become my local (and awful) cable company, or expensive CLEC DSL.Inflexible ONT installation restrictions.
Due to building code where I live, Verizon must install its ONT on my home no further than 15 feet from its power company ground. (The two must be interconnected.) The problem: my power company ground rod is in my front yard, therefore limiting my ONT's placement to my front yard itself. Something I'm really not comfortable with at all (in terms of the easy access to it). And while I realize this isn't Verizon fault, I did get a technician installing FIOS at a neighbor's place to walk over and look at the situation with me. When he agreed the ONT would have to go in my front yard, I asked about Verizon's indoor ONTs. The ones that only require electrical outlet grounds. His response? They don't do that here. Not unless you're in an apartment. Seriously, how lame can you get...MoCA
. This one has been discussed to death already here, so I won't. What I will emphasize is something that others here have experienced themselves: that the installers in my area won't run ethernet for you even if you ask. It's coax MoCA or nothing. Meaning I'd have to run my own CAT6 under my house. The installers are perfectly willing to go down there with a roll of coax, of course. Just not with a roll of ethernet. More lameness.The billing nightmares.
Always in Verizons favor of course, and so systemic and routine that their billing errors may as well be seen as an intended and premeditated part of their overall money-making methodology. Yes, I have heard that this problem has "gotten better." But "gotten better" does not mean "gone," nor even "gone to the extent that the errors may as well be considered as good as gone." I have read so many hundreds
of stomach-turning accounts here of what happens to people who "disrupt the status quo" of their Verizon FIOS services after establishing them, or who're immediately screwed over the moment they sign up, that this issue alone
practically chilled me to the bone in terms of even thinking about FIOS.Actiontec.
The NAT table issue. The issue with TV subscribers having to go through what's described in this guide
just to use their own routers (and which Verizon won't support and wants you to undo during technical support calls). The ISP CPE maintenance port issue (TCP/4567 hanging wide open to the internet -- at least one person has begun the process of attempting to pwn it on the record: »www.earth2me.com/development/verizon
). And so forth.
I know several of the items on this list, Verizon can't help. Verizon can't help that lossy-compressed VoIP as opposed to lossless 8 kHz-sampled POTS trashes analog modem modulation. Verizon can't help that some states have rigid grounding requirements. And Verizon can't help that fiber can't provide CO power to remote ONTs.
But these things, I could overlook ... if Verizon were at least willing to accommodate me with an indoor ONT. And if I wanted ethernet, it could have said just "sure, anything to satisfy a paying customer." And it could simply operate competent (or perhaps non-fraudulent, depending on your perspective) billing systems. And it doesn't have
to deny me the ability to return to copper. And it doesn't have
to surprise people with 17Â¢/second international calling rates. (In fact it could even include reasonable international fees in "Freedom Essentials" out of the box, like traditional long distance carriers do.) And most importantly, it could actually attempt to make its triple play bundling price-competitive for people who aren't interested in settling for just "lite basic" "Prime HD" level television service.