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Groundwork Laid For Superfast Broadband Over Copper

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the now-your-plumbing-can-double-as-ethernet-wiring dept.

Networking 93

itwbennett writes: Telecom equipment vendor Adtran has developed a technology that will make it easier for operators to roll out broadband speeds close to 500Mbps over copper lines. Adtran's FDV (Frequency Division Vectoring), enhances the capabilities of two technologies — VDSL2 with vectoring and G.fast — by enabling them to better coexist over a single subscriber line, the company said. VDSL2 with vectoring, which improves speeds by reducing noise and can deliver up to 150Mbps, is currently being rolled out by operators, while G.fast, which is capable of 500Mbps, is still under development, with the first deployments coming in mid-2015. FDV will make it easier for operators to roll out G.fast once it's ready and expand where it can be used, according to Adtran. Meanwhile, Ars Technica has an article about how Verizon is letting its copper network rot in order to passively encourage customers to switch to fiber.

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In other news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47681771)

JC Penny has announced that they intend to start selling reversible underwear in an attempt win back customers who have converted to yoga pants.

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47682161)

JC Penny has announced that they intend to start selling reversible underwear in an attempt win back customers who have converted to yoga pants.

Nice pants! [aliexpress.com]

Re:In other news (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#47683323)

Sorry, doesn't work for people who wear their underwear on the outside.

In other news (3, Insightful)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47681831)

Users can now go through their monthly cap in under ten minutes.

Re:In other news (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 2 months ago | (#47683239)

Nah. AT&T will have customers so over billed and locked down, until the pay for U-Verse too, they'll never a full speed connection.

Re:In other news (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 2 months ago | (#47683351)

Not to mention this technology will likely not fair so well over 50 to 100 year old copper.

Why bother (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47681851)

They keep coming up with faster and faster methods to deliver data and the ISPs keep artificially lowering speeds and data limits. As long as Comcast and the like run the show none of this will go to use for the end consumer.

Fibre optic is almost her (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47681855)

Why are we still flogging the dead horse?

FTTH will always outperform copper, without exception, and it's gaining traction quicker than the telco would embrace G.Fast

Fibre optic is almost her (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47681899)

Because copper is already ubiquitous. It's literally deployed to every home in America. And outside of dense large municipalities (think small to mid-size towns), comprehensive FTTH deployment is not financially feasible. A copper-based broadband solution is the only short-term means to bring universal broadband to most places, and it shouldn't be overlooked.

Re: Fibre optic is almost her (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47682907)

It may be deployed, but is in such a sorry state of disrepair that you're lucky to get a noise free phone call across it.

Most Telco's are doing everything they can to distance themselves from the copper plant as the costs to maintain it far outweigh the benefits ( and potential profits ) of keeping it.

For the rural folks, they'll just use wireless. Cheaper to put up towers and run a fiber to it than it is to maintain the copper.

Re:Fibre optic is almost her (2)

Bengie (1121981) | about 2 months ago | (#47682995)

But to get those speeds, they need to install a lawn wart, which costs more than just installing fiber. $200 of equipment can send 1gb/1gb over 80km of fiber. But instead we talk about $10k of equipment to send 500mb over 100m of copper. It's faster to deploy and a more familiar tech, but it's slower and more expensive.

Re:Fibre optic is almost her (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47683375)

You neglect the cost of the actual fiber, of course, which is not in place yet. I doubt 80 km of fiber costs $200.

Re:Fibre optic is almost her (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 2 months ago | (#47685815)

Per unit of distance, fiber is much cheaper than copper. 144 strands of fiber in a single cable for about 1/4 the cost of a single coax. Not sure about RJ11. Anyway, fiber itself only makes up about 1% of the total cost of a full fiber ISP. Trenching the fiber from the CO to the house is only about 30%-40% of the cost. All of the computer equipment in the CO and the homes is about 10% of the cost.

If you were starting a new ISP with absolutely no infrastructure, fiber is drastically cheaper for initial capital cost and about 20% cheaper for the ongoing costs. The only place copper wins out is that it's quicker to upgrade existing copper infrastructure, but it is NOT cheaper. Not by a long shot. Comcast paid about 8x more per customer to upgrade from DOCSIS2 to 100mb DOCSIS3 than Google fiber paid to create a whole new 1gb fiber network from scratch. On average, Google Fiber is paying about $700 per customer to get fiber to the house, but not install it; About double the price to install it. Comcast paid almost $10k per customer to go from 2 to 3.

Re:Fibre optic is almost her (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47686711)

But the copper is already there! That's the whole point. We're talking about utilizing existing infrastructure into the home, so if copper is used for this purpose there is NO cost to run wire to the home. If you want to talk about at the ISP plant, or to neighborhood cabinets, then I agree fiber is the way to go, but that's not what we're talking about.

Re:Fibre optic is almost her (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 months ago | (#47682013)

Yeah well, let's see if fiber doesn't develop a serious case of cataract in 20 or 30 years. The stuff is still too sensitive. What was good enough for grandpa, and when you need robust.. and, when you want to transmit power over the same line, you have a hard time beating copper.

Re:Fibre optic is almost her (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 months ago | (#47683817)

It was good enough for grandpa but that was before those same wires that have been there too fucking long corroded. Nearly every time it rains I lose voice and dial tone and have a lot of ADSL dropouts.

Re:Fibre optic is almost her (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47683861)

Yeah well, let's see if fiber doesn't develop a serious case of cataract in 20 or 30 years. The stuff is still too sensitive. What was good enough for grandpa, and when you need robust.. and, when you want to transmit power over the same line, you have a hard time beating copper.

If by robust you mean, possibility of it being unreliable in the rain, copper is a metal so chances of corrosion is very real compared to fibre, and we also need to know, are we replacing copper phoneline with VoIP or just laying a fibre optic cable alongside to boost internet speeds?

Re:Fibre optic is almost her (3, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about 2 months ago | (#47682403)

Because for many, fiber is like hot fusion. It's been right around the corner for decades now.

Re:Fibre optic is almost her (1)

Sarius64 (880298) | about 2 months ago | (#47683541)

As long as the local governments continue to allow legal bribing from cable companies the consumer will continue to suffer.

Re:Fibre optic is almost her (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47683871)

Because for many, fiber is like hot fusion. It's been right around the corner for decades now.

If you haven't noticed by the spelling of 'Fibre' I'm English and as such we have FTTH being deployed pretty quickly in this country, I forget that this site is primarily US and have to think of the Americans who are suffering under Big Cable bribing officials as Sarius64 has pointed out in the post above.

Re:Fibre optic is almost her (1)

allquixotic (1659805) | about 2 months ago | (#47684795)

What world do you live in? I want some of what you're smoking. Fiber isn't "gaining traction"; major players in the fiber market, such as Verizon, are sitting on their hands, intentionally stopping their deployments. If you don't have Fiber today where you live, don't hold your breath for getting it any time in the future, unless there is a major regulatory upheaval that ousts the lobbyists from having a stranglehold over the organizations in government that are supposed to be regulating them.

Assholes. Verizon pocketed millions in public funding; spent it on executive bonuses and the rollout of their overpriced and extremely restrictive LTE that you can hardly use unless you're grandfathered unlimited; while talking out of both sides of their mouth that they are simultaneously a Title II carrier when it benefits them, and a Title I carrier when that benefits them more. Meanwhile they only paid token lip service to the folks who are actually demanding a fiber rollout, by serving about 20% of the customers that they currently offer ADSL to. And rather than at least upgrading their ADSL to something a wee bit faster than 7 Mbps, such as VDSL2, they've left the remaining 80% of their customers completely in the dark, stuck with an internet connection whose speed would be acceptable in about 2002.

Maybe things are better where you live, but I know Australia's telecoms are behaving the same way as Verizon and AT&T in the US. Fast access to the Internet is an on-ramp to the modern global economy; those without are basically living in the 20th century. And the term "fast" constantly changes; the bar is being raised year over year by increasingly large software downloads and media sizes. You can't simply sit on your laurels and reap the profits of the previous decade's investment; you have to constantly upgrade. But in many of the supposedly first-world countries with supposedly advanced industrial economies, lobbyists and lawyers have hamstrung the country's potential to participate in the global economy by making consumers' internet access options all but worthless. Fiber to the premises is a fantasy for the vast majority of the people on the planet, both those in industrialized countries and those in developing nations (though for different reasons). Hell, even 20 Mbps VDSL is a pipe dream for many people.

Re:Fibre optic is almost her (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47690463)

What world do you live in?

I live in the UK so your point is moot.

Re:Fibre optic is almost her (1)

Cyberdyne (104305) | about 2 months ago | (#47689077)

Why are we still flogging the dead horse?
FTTH will always outperform copper, without exception, and it's gaining traction quicker than the telco would embrace G.Fast

In the long term yes - but the economics are very different short term. A couple of telco engineers could install VDSL2 (or, presumably, G.fast) for a whole wiring cabinet - a hundred or more households - in the time it would take to run fiber to a single one of those premises. Apart from anything else, it seems right now all the engineers are busy installing those FTTC services; switching them to putting in more FTTP/FTTH would not only mean more expense, it would take longer, leaving everyone else on ADSL for longer. I suspect things will be different in a few years, once that FTTC rollout is complete and manpower is freed up.

I actually have the option of FTTH right now, if I wanted: 330 Mbps down, 30 Mbps up, using GPON. The problem is, I'd have to pay heavily for it: high three figures installation, then a three year contract lock-in at GBP 100 per month - just for the line to the exchange, that doesn't include any actual Internet connectivity! Needless to say, I'm staying on FTTC (VDSL2) for now: 80 Mbps down and 20 up, for a fraction of that price.

Now, when it comes to new housing, it's another matter: if you've got to go and dig up a road anyway to put in the wires to a new housing development, it's much the same cost whether it's copper or glass you put in (or both). So, you can sometimes get a fiber connection for the price of VDSL2!

Or you could quit fucking around... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47681973)

...and deploy all of that fiber you've been getting paid for since the 90's.

distance, please (4, Interesting)

swschrad (312009) | about 2 months ago | (#47681989)

ALU's "10 gig copper" technology is something like 10 meters length. that's way out on the tail of the straight line of speed vs distance that's been pretty much unchanged since the days of ADSL 7 meg. if you can't get out of the shadow of the field cabinet, what good is it?

show me 150 mbps at 7000 wire feet, and I will pester my engineers to buy a trainload of it. it's got to be pretty clever to beat what appear to be the laws of physics.

Re:distance, please (2)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 2 months ago | (#47682057)

This. Here, 100 Mbps VDSL2 has been a reality for a few years, but only for the lucky buildings that have fiber to the basement.

Re:distance, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47682181)

The technology is getting there. Maybe another 5 years?

Here's a pic from Sonic.net CEO Dane Jasper showing 50Mb/s at 1700 feet.

https://twitter.com/dane/status/475868621801914368

Bonded that will give 100Mb/s. Bonded Sonic.net Fusion service runs ~$90/month (plus taxes = ~$120, because you're paying excise taxes on two phone lines).

But the real solution is FTTN: fiber to the street cabinet, rather than the current status quo of fiber to the Central Office. That will have the effect of moving you to well within a few thousand of feet of a fiber converter.

Re:distance, please (3, Insightful)

phizi0n (1237812) | about 2 months ago | (#47682719)

But the real solution is FTTN: fiber to the street cabinet, rather than the current status quo of fiber to the Central Office. That will have the effect of moving you to well within a few thousand of feet of a fiber converter.

As Dane has said before, if you're going to the neighborhood you might as well go to the home. The cost difference is minimal and by going to the home it will be easier to upgrade the network later by swapping in better optical equipment. Sonic already has a few FTTH rollouts and collaborated with google before google fiber was ever a thing.

Re:distance, please (1)

mcrbids (148650) | about 2 months ago | (#47683307)

As Dane has said before, if you're going to the neighborhood you might as well go to the home. The cost difference is minimal

Poppycock.

While FTTN entails a fiber optic cable passed around public easements, coming to the home means setting up appointments for each home within the neighborhood. If it takes only 3x as much to do the houses too, I'd be surprised.

While the equipment involved might still be expensive, the cost of the personnel to install them is nothing to be trifled with.

Re:distance, please (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 months ago | (#47683365)

Back in '00 or '01 a buddy of mine wired his entire town in northern Sweden with fiber, I think it was covered on /. at the time. It was no more expensive for them to do an entire city population 2300 at the time. And the reason they did it was because none of the ISP's, telcos or cable co's were willing to run a line that far north for broadband. I realize things are slightly different depending on where you are, but it took them under 3 months to do ~1100 houses once they had their private link up.

Re:distance, please (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 2 months ago | (#47683609)

Here in America, we give monopolies to companies that provide shitty and expensive service.

Re:distance, please (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 months ago | (#47686833)

Here in America, we give monopolies to companies that provide shitty and expensive service.

This I know, I have a place in zephyrhills, florida. The only broadband I can get there is from brighthouse. Even though there's a FTTN link at the outside of the complex.

Re:distance, please (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#47683343)

The cost of going from the neighborhood to the home is ANYTHING BUT minimal. It's arguably one of the largest expenses.

Rough comparison: cable (or fiber) to the neighborhood from the local station: 2500 feet. Cable from the neighborhood hub to each of 50 homes: 5000 feet. And often the latter has to be underground.

Hint: that's the real "last mile".

Re:distance, please (2)

phizi0n (1237812) | about 2 months ago | (#47683479)

The cost of going from the neighborhood to the home is ANYTHING BUT minimal. It's arguably one of the largest expenses.

Rough comparison: cable (or fiber) to the neighborhood from the local station: 2500 feet. Cable from the neighborhood hub to each of 50 homes: 5000 feet. And often the latter has to be underground.

Hint: that's the real "last mile".

Only when you look at it from an immediate perspective. Yes it's a big investment but doing incremental copper equipment upgrades every few years is too, the small upgrades just allows them to pass the cost onto the customers over a long period of time. Monopolies don't have any incentive to change but it is well worth it for an independent ISP like Sonic to rollout fiber because they are able to disrupt the incumbents' marketshare with a superior product at equal or lesser prices and recoup the costs in a short time. Dane Jasper is very open about Sonic's business and is constantly criticizing monopolies, he has shared that it costs them around $500 per home passed. They charge $40/mo for gigabit service or a one time $300-400 charge for 5mbps service for 5 years. ie. if you want 5mbps service then you are paying them about what it cost them to roll the fiber to your house, otherwise they recover the cost after about a year of your service.

Re:distance, please (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#47683853)

Only when you look at it from an immediate perspective. Yes it's a big investment but doing incremental copper equipment upgrades every few years is too, the small upgrades just allows them to pass the cost onto the customers over a long period of time.

No, and this is the crux of the point. What do you consider "every few years"? Cable around here hasn't been upgraded in any significant way for AT LEAST 10 years, and I know damned well that the (big name) ISP has no plans to do it soon.

BECAUSE it costs so much.

Re:distance, please (1)

phizi0n (1237812) | about 2 months ago | (#47685785)

By "every few years" I mean every new docsis/dsl version. Even the worst monopolies have been adopting the latest docsis/dsl protocols over the years albeit at a slow pace. The cost of staying on copper is lots of maintenance and minor upgrades in the future, the cost of switching to fiber is an initial investment and then smooth sailing for a long time because it's more reliable and such a significant jump in speed that you won't need to upgrade equipment for decades.

Re:distance, please (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#47686397)

By "every few years" I mean every new docsis/dsl version. Even the worst monopolies have been adopting the latest docsis/dsl protocols over the years albeit at a slow pace. The cost of staying on copper is lots of maintenance and minor upgrades in the future, the cost of switching to fiber is an initial investment and then smooth sailing for a long time because it's more reliable and such a significant jump in speed that you won't need to upgrade equipment for decades.

You're talking reason, which doesn't work in this context. They don't want to invest in infrastructure. Instead, they keep traffic slow on purpose, in order to create a fake "shortage" of bandwidth, thereby allowing them to charge more for less service.

It's typical monopolistic bullshit. And they get away with it because they're gigantic corporations that don't really compete in most of the U.S., because they have defined, doled-out territories.

Your argument makes sense in a free-market, business context. But it ain't a free market, and it ain't normal business. On the contrary, it has been government-collusion monopoly.

Re:distance, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47683959)

Doubt it, to get fiber to my home they wanted to dig up my drive way and concrete leading to the house to lay fiber. I was for two years the only person on the street not to have FTTH.

And then one day a different company asked for my permission to allow them to place a fiber line next to the powerline and hook it up to a neighboors house. Instead of having my front yard turned into a construction site, the pulled a fiber cable to the next house about 15m away, installed a fiber-coax converter under my roof.

Cheaper internet, faster internet. The only wiring I had to replace, was leading a new RJ11 from the roof one story down since I couldn't splice the old RJ11, fucking paper wire christ almighty.

Re:distance, please (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 months ago | (#47684119)

As Dane has said before, if you're going to the neighborhood you might as well go to the home. The cost difference is minimal

Actually this last part of the run is an incredible cost only worthwhile if remedial work is done on the exiting copper network. Underground anything is expensive. It's incredibly expensive by the meter. The only thing about it is that it scales really well. There's very little difference to pulling one fibre through a trench vs 10 fibres, which means it's very cost effective to run to nodes and insanely expensive to run to the houses.

How expensive? The NBN in Australia asked that question recently on it's big switch as the political parties changed. It was supposed to the a FTTP project, but turned into a FTTN with any customer willing to pay expenses for installation still offered FTTP. The expenses are around $20k for a typical customer located between 50 and 100m from the node including all equipment and trenching through the premises. How is that money made back if not paid outright by the home? Definitely not with the $60/month service fee. It'll be made back through taxes, rates, and general rape on the consumer wallets.

I'm not sure where you get your figures from but they are so far out of the ballpark we're not even playing the right game anymore.

Re:distance, please (1)

phizi0n (1237812) | about 2 months ago | (#47685867)

The expenses are around $20k for a typical customer located between 50 and 100m from the node including all equipment and trenching through the premises.

That price is so outrageous that it has to be trenching to 1 single house that has no others around it and hiring a crew for the 1 time job. That's your first problem, trenching is expensive but hanging wires on existing poles isn't. If your municipality doesn't have poles then they should have underground conduits laid for you to just pull the fiber through. If you have neither poles nor conduits then there are micro-trenchers that can carve out ~1cm of road to lay the fiber in that costs much than digging up standard trenches.

Here is a blog post where Dane Jasper says it costs Sonic $500-2500 per home passed to run fiber but he often says under $500 so the $2500 figure is probably on the extreme side for more remote houses.

https://corp.sonic.net/ceo/201... [sonic.net]

Re:distance, please (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 months ago | (#47701041)

You're assuming poles are still used. Lots of areas have poles and they are slowly being decommissioned. We have poles outside, and our phone line now comes in underground. Unfortunately the conduits put in for phone lines are somewhat full. It's easy enough to pull a cable through a conduit, but almost impossible to get it out again. Hence the incredible cost of trenching.

The true cost of trenching comes down to people being soft, contractors screwing the government, and regulations driving up the cost of doing any work anywhere. I like your figures, but I only would have considered them realistic about 10-15 years ago. Right now that number would barely pay for a supervisor to stand there staring at the crew through his clipboard adding "value" to the project.

Me? I would get my shovel and dig the bloody trench myself if they gave me that option. But no doubt I'd need some certified barricading to do that and I'm back up to insanely expensive.

As a side note I'm wondering where he gets this "per home passed" thing from. The last mile if fiber is not homes passed, but rather direct connections from the node, and unless your house is outside the node you're not going to get that for $500 unless you have an existing conduit for them to use. You do realise we live in a world where it will cost you $100 just for an electrician to install power to the fibre endpoint right? What makes you think a government / corporate sponsored underground infrastructure project will ever come in that cheap?

Re:distance, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47685957)

> But the real solution is FTTN

Which also enables fixed wireless broadband, bypassing both DSL and fiber to the home.

But the problem with wireless is the current random spectrum allocations.

I thought they were evil for avoiding fiber upgrad (4, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 months ago | (#47682015)

I learned on Slashdot that Verizon is evil for not investing billions in upgrading their network to fiber. Now you tell me they've already upgraded half of their customers to fiber. Since they ARE upgrading their network to fiber, that's now evil. I'm confused.
I'm sure Verizon is evil of course, but are they evil for upgrading to fiber or for not upgrading to fiber?

Re:I thought they were evil for avoiding fiber upg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47682373)

are they evil for upgrading to fiber or for not upgrading to fiber?

Yes.

Re:I thought they were evil for avoiding fiber upg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47683899)

are they evil for upgrading to fiber or for not upgrading to fiber?

Yes.

Answering Yes to that kind of question leaves your reply ambiguous.

Re: I thought they were evil for avoiding fiber up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47686639)

Whoosh.

Re:I thought they were evil for avoiding fiber upg (4, Informative)

Solandri (704621) | about 2 months ago | (#47682395)

I'm sure Verizon is evil of course, but are they evil for upgrading to fiber or for not upgrading to fiber?

Both. Their evil-ness doesn't stem from whether or not hey've upgraded to fiber. It stems from abusing their monopoly position to slow down upgrades (both fiber and copper) as a cost-cutting measure. If there were a competitor in the market offering DSL/FO/cable service and Verizon dragged their feet on upgrading to fiber or neglecting to maintain their copper, they would hemorrhage customers and lose a lot of money. But in most areas they have a (government-granted) monopoly. They can take their sweet time upgrading to fiber, and there's nothing their customers can do about it. They can let areas with older copper lines rot, and there's nothing their customers can do about it.

Case in point, the city I live in was one of the first which contracted for Verizon to provide FIOS. They rolled it out to half the city, then got into some sort of disagreement with the city and stopped. If there had been a competing cable/fiber service, they would've had a huge incentive to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible and get back to work. But they were the only game in town so they dragged it out. For six years, the houses two blocks down the street had FIOS and I didn't. Then after an election, the city council changed, Verizon got what they wanted, and resumed rolling out FIOS.

Meanwhile, the city I work in has Verizon DSL as the only provider of business Internet. Cable companies provide cable internet to residences, but apparently they're prohibited from providing it to business. So again, Verizon is the only game in town. They have absolutely refused to upgrade or maintain their copper lines. The fastest DSL speed we can get is 3 Mbps down / 768 kbps up. For this "privilege" we pay $100/mo. Most of the phone lines are of such poor quality they can't even get you that speed, and 1.5/512 or 1.5/256 is the best they can do ($50/mo). The service is such a poor value that most companies in the area just get the lowest-tier 1.0/128 service for $40/mo to minimize how much they have to pay for any Internet. Others have signed on to cellular companies' 4G data services and willingly pay per GB for overages - because it beats having to get reamed in the rear by Verizon.

Both are evil.

Stop blaming Verizon when it's the gomen fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47683235)

I'm sure Verizon is evil of course, but are they evil for upgrading to fiber or for not upgrading to fiber?

Both. Their evil-ness doesn't stem from whether or not hey've upgraded to fiber. It stems from abusing their _MONOPOLY_ position

Gotta stop you right there !

Verizon may be abusing their monopoly position but why you only accuse Verizon of evil while not placing the blame on the government which gave Verizon that goddamn _Monopoly_ status in the first place ?

This is America we are talking about where Monopoly supposed to be ILLEGAL !

Re:Stop blaming Verizon when it's the gomen fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47683397)

Monopoly supposed to be ILLEGAL !

Nope, monopolies aren't necessarily illegal (some even natural.) However, how you achieve a monopoly, and/or what you use it for, can be illegal.

Re:I thought they were evil for avoiding fiber upg (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#47683353)

Very well put.

Re:I thought they were evil for avoiding fiber upg (2)

sjames (1099) | about 2 months ago | (#47682415)

Mostly because it's a decade overdue and they seem to be doing their damndest to make sure the fiber doesn't actually benefit the customer.

Re:I thought they were evil for avoiding fiber upg (0)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 2 months ago | (#47682425)

Well that's your problem right there, you're a moron. No one learns anything on slashdot, people just come here to make stupid arguments and pretend this is a source of information instead of a chance to pretend you know more than someone else.

lol (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 months ago | (#47682457)

Lol . That was funny. Even though you just called me a moron, it was still funny.

Re:I thought they were evil for avoiding fiber upg (1)

haruchai (17472) | about 2 months ago | (#47682989)

Thanks for explaining why you showed up; but we already knew that.

Re:I thought they were evil for avoiding fiber upg (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 months ago | (#47682757)

Since they ARE upgrading their network to fiber, that's now evil. I'm confused.

Verizon is evil for lobbying to make their FIOS service excluded from the regulations that covered their POTS lines. Trying desperately to force people onto the unregulated FIOS is just the cherry on-top.

I thought they were evil for avoiding fiber upgrad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47685823)

Of the two, mostly they're evil for not rolling out fiber: for halting the national rollout after winning ridiculous concessions giving them more monopoly power, and for dragging their feet on completing the neighborhoods they committed to roll out. The regulatory concessions they won to roll out the fiber apply both of the old copper network and the new fiber network. One copper concession was to shut down the competing-ISP market for DSL, where vz would hand off to the old-school ISP over ATM. I still have a copper DSL line for backup, and I looked into the price of getting a second and found out it had _doubled_ since I ordered the first line a decade ago.

They are evil for not maintaining the copper network anywhere, including in places where they haven't rolled out FiOS. They're still getting monopolist concessions in exchange for providing "universal" service, but they don't even provide first-world service to all areas of NYC, ex. DSL goes down every time it rains, this surprises no one, and tens of service calls don't get it fixed. They're not herding people from copper to fiber. They're herding them from copper to wireless. Somehow, even though there is competition, the profit margin for vzw is apparently way higher. Go figure that one out, rand-ites.

regulations! (2)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 2 months ago | (#47682031)

Interesting, the VOIP service is not regulated as a utility, and consumers have a bit more rights/protections with the copper service.

Thanks Verizon! Attempting to kill off POTS is showing dedication and appreciation for your loyal customers.

How much public money went into wiring up the country with copper anyhow? It's almost as if the telco's will take every single government handout they can get and will revel in their natural monopoly status. But when it comes to providing a basic service that they can't turn quite as much of a profit on? Drop it asap.

Re:regulations! (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about 2 months ago | (#47682527)

Verizon has a straight path to less regulation. Of course they are going to take it. Less regulation = less overhead, lower legal costs, lower operating costs, etc.

The solution, in this case, appears to be additional regulation, regardless of how the service is provided. Require them to provide a minimum of 14 days guaranteed service during a power outage, if the wire is intact, regardless of how service is provided (this would of course include VOIP modems in homes, a reasonably sized battery could handle up time, and the regulation should only be for "available" not covering excessive use). If the wire is cut then the wire is cut, no service.

Alarm companies have been providing better power outage time service via in-home batteries for years.

Rot? Copper doesn't rot. It corrodes. (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 months ago | (#47682043)

It's all about wanting to get out of the local communications office (CO) business. It's a lot more efficient for them to dump those COs and all the maintenance headaches that go along with it including very expensive lead acid batteries and all the associated real estate that goes along with it. There's also maintaining the phone lines inside your house which can be problematic with rodent damage or house settling. With FIOS based services they drop it off at the house and your wiring inside the house isn't their problem, you also supply the power for their point of presence at your place so they're not footing that bill either. At least that's the case in my area.

If these folks have true power outage concerns with bad weather they should invest in a home generator, ala GENERAC.

Re:Rot? Copper doesn't rot. It corrodes. (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 2 months ago | (#47682235)

Rot? Copper doesn't rot. It corrodes.

From Merriam-Webster:
1a : to undergo decomposition from the action of bacteria or fungi
  b : to become unsound or weak (as from use or chemical action)
2a : to go to ruin : deteriorate
b : to become morally corrupt : degenerate

1b and 2a sound like they fit perfectly what Verizon is doing to their copper infrastructure.

Re:Rot? Copper doesn't rot. It corrodes. (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 months ago | (#47682297)

Same source. More accurate term would be deprecation. 1b, 3a and b seem appropriate.

deprecate
verb \de-pri-kt\

: to criticize or express disapproval of (someone or something)
deprecateddeprecating
Full Definition of DEPRECATE
transitive verb
1
a archaic : to pray against (as an evil)
b : to seek to avert
2
: to express disapproval of
3
a : play down : make little of
b : belittle, disparage
— deprecatingly adverb
— deprecation noun

Re:Rot? Copper doesn't rot. It corrodes. (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 months ago | (#47682435)

Meanwhile, 2b describes the company itself.

Re:Rot? Copper doesn't rot. It corrodes. (1)

Smerta (1855348) | about 2 months ago | (#47682459)

I always thought "CO" was Central Office, not Communications Office.

Re: Rot? Copper doesn't rot. It corrodes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47682953)

They won't get rid of the CO's, they still need the real estate for the systems that carry your fiber traffic. Not as MUCH real estate, but they still need it.

You would be surprised how fast Sonet systems fill up. Even when deploying the serious capacity units ( eg a Flashwave 9500 )

Demand will grow exponentially as the pipes to the end customer only get bigger and bigger. More bandwidth equates to more / bigger network infrastructure to handle it.

They may rip out the copper plant and the switches that run upon it, but they'll quickly fill that dead space up with shiny new toys designed to give you that fat pipe of bandwidth to the house.

Just wait till the Ultra-HD streams start lol.

But How Fast in Reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47682051)

But how fast in reality? DSL speeds begin to drop precipitously past several thousand feet, _especially_ for these newer modulation techniques.

I'm moving to a new house, and despite being in San Francisco I'll still be 12,000 feet from the Central Office. And because San Francisco is an epicenter of NIMBYism, it's taking eons for AT&T (the incumbent telco) and Sonic.net (every Bay Area geek's favorite ISP) to get regulatory approval to roll out FTTN because apparently nobody wants a handful of more utility boxes to ruin their line-of-site across miles of barren concrete sidewalks. (Although, some people suspect AT&T is dragging their feet in order to starve out Sonic.net, because once AT&T finishes the approval process Sonic.net will be able to breeze through.)

My only other option is Comcast, but I'd rather burn in hell then be their customer again. I'd like to try Monkey Brains microwave service, which is cheap, fast, and reliable, but because of San Francisco's hills I don't have line-of-sight to any of their repeaters, and Monkey Brains is a small outfit that is expanding at a snails pace.

Re:But How Fast in Reality (2)

greenwow (3635575) | about 2 months ago | (#47682229)

It's easier in San Fran than it is in Seattle! Here we have the "director's rules" that basically state that everyone in the area has to agree to allow an upgrade or the city will not allow it. Notice I said "has to agree" and not doesn't "disagree." You have to get people to agree. If a house or apartment is empty or you can't find the resident, it counts as a no vote. With all of the foreclosures and normal churn in rental properties, it's just about impossible to meet the minimum even with every person voting yes. Because of that, my building was blocked from getting Comcast TV and Internet, because one of the apartments was empty and without that vote we didn't have a high enough percentage voting yes for Comcast to be allowed to add a pedestal in front of our building. Literally, ever person has to vote yes or none of us get Internet access.

Thus, we're stuck with DSL that is typically less than 0.5 Mbps for most residents. The guys on the top floor can't even get that. They're stuck with dial-up. Seattle is a third-world shithole when it comes to Internet access.

Looks like a mod is a Qwest fanboi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47682263)

You got buried!

But seriously, Seattle is a dump. I don't know anyone with faster than 1.5 Mbps Internet connection at home. I use copper.net dial-up until I moved a couple of months ago. This place sucks and the Democrats that rule here really hate the Internet.

Passively pushed to Fiber? (2)

clonehappy (655530) | about 2 months ago | (#47682059)

I'd gladly take fiber, if it were available.

The problem is, it isn't for the vast majority of the population.

Verizon and others are just letting the copper rot. There is no alternative. If you're lucky, you have a cableco co come in and provide a usable service. Luckily, I live in a Comcast territory and have had exactly zero service issues in the last 8 years and a speed increase every other year. Copper? Verizon sold this area to Frontier and you're still lucky if you can break one megabit on their DSL. Please, you wouldn't have to passively encourage me to get fiber if it were available. I'd already be on it.

If the telcos weren't so busy spending every last dime on C-level executives, lawsuits, advertising, and slithering out from underneath their commitments, even good old Verizon could have rolled fiber to everyone in their footprint. Even the ex-GTE areas like mine that had a stellar copper network before Verizon consumed them and left them for dead.

Re:Passively pushed to Fiber? (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 2 months ago | (#47683167)

Luckily, I live in a Comcast territory...

I had to do a double-take at that point.

The phone monopolies will never go for it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47682061)

I live in downtown Seattle, and I have a 0.192 Mbps connection. That is the fastest connection I can buy on my block because Comcast doesn't offer service and due to our distance from the CO and the 50+ year-old phone wiring. I still have a lot of friends that are using dial-up here in Seattle. If CenturyLink, the phone monopoly in this city, won't upgrade to give people even 1.5 Mbps DSL why would they upgrade to provide 150 Mbps? No, we're going to be stuck with sub-megabit per second connections in this country.

Screencap of my DSL modem status page:
http://upstate.net/jen/centurylink_dsl.png

Re:The phone monopolies will never go for it! (2)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 months ago | (#47682787)

You will be thrilled to know that way out in Ephrata, WA they have had gigabit fiber to the home for 14 years, and in gritty Tacoma just south Click! Network sells 100mbps Internet - both through the power utility. But in Seattle, no. Not you. Those power utilities were grandfathered in from before the Qwest/Comcast Protection Act was made a stare law. That is why internet technology in Washington is almost exactly backward: high speed in rural areas, dialup in Seattle and the capital.

Incidentally, I caught a guy pulling underground fiber in my neighborhood recently and grilled him. Apparently we are finally scheduled for fiber to the home Real Soon Now. The guy said the company "wanted it done yesterday" and that they were definitely bringing fiber to the homes where my home is. Hopefully it will be with a decent company. I didn't recognize the name of the company but apparently they are going to lease it out anyway.

With the Bush Crime Family's... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47682091)

relationship with the phone monopolies, expect this to never happen. He still rules this country with an iron fist, and his kind doesn't want us to have Internet access so many of us are not allowed to have it. I know where I live in Seattle I am not allowed cable for TV or Internet, and they do not allow faster than 1.5 Mbps DSL. Until we overthrow the Republicans that rule us, these faster technologies mean nothing because they will not allow them to be used.

Happened to us with AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47682195)

We use to have AT&T DSL service @ 6Mbps. Not fast on the grand scheme of things but reliable and consistent, and we always got the bandwidth we paid for. At some point though, we started noticing intermittent connection problems and speeds started dropping like a rock, down to 1Mbps. Just when I was about ready to call and say "What's up?", an AT&T salesperson called me to let me know they were almost finished installing fiber in my neighborhood and would I be interested in switching to U-verse at a special introductory rate and no installation charge. It was pretty clear they were either not maintaining their DSL service or actively killing it to get people to move to U-verse.

That's good, but... (1)

antdude (79039) | about 2 months ago | (#47682331)

... what about distance? I can't get DSL due to 20+K ft. distance with COs. Also, the copper phone systems suck even for dial-up (can never get to close to 53K speeds). :(

Re:That's good, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47682477)

Not even close to 56k! I'm stuck with 26.4 kbps here in Seattle. I'm a bit too far from the CO to get DSL and the phone lines in the neighborhoods here are so old and bad that even voice sounds bad. It's sad that I'm less than a mile from the very center of downtown, but I can't even get DSL. Also, Comcast doesn't offer service to my block. They have the government-granted monopoly here so there's no incentive for them to provide service since no one else legally can.

Re:That's good, but... (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 2 months ago | (#47684149)

You need to call your local Public Utility Commission & complain. It's the only thing that can force a regional monopoly to get off of their ass & do something.

Ars Technia Ranting... (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 months ago | (#47682733)

While I'll be the first to complain that FIOS has a hidden 15W+ tax (could be more than $20/year), which Verizon could easily have solved, the Ars Technica rant seems to be almost entirely about their 8 hour backup being insufficient and nobody having a clue how to deal with it.

Verizon's FIOS ONTs operate on 12V batteries for backup, and even HAVE A JACK ON THE SIDE LABELED FOR 12V AUX POWER.

A $25 (5W) solar panel, a diode, some wire and a few brain cells are the ONLY thing you need to give your FIOS service unlimited runtime during a power outage. Yes, it'll keep working just fine during your 14 day power failure. And these monocrystaline panels will be good for 30 years.

http://www.amazon.com/Instapar... [amazon.com] ®-Black-High-Efficiency-Mono-Crystalline-Solar/dp/B004FWXWGS/

With less time and effort than these people put into their vitriolic rants to Ars, they could have what they claim they desperately want, but can't get at any price.

And in a pinch, 8xD batteries, connected together with aluminum foil and tape, will keep it going for a few days after the backup battery dies.

The claims about Verizon letting lines fail, to push customers to FIOS seems to be rumors spread by a few unhappy customers (I had my phone line go down for a few days, too, long before FIOS existed!) and perhaps some sub-contracted installers who don't actually have any way to know jack about Verizon's plans and policies.

The pushy and misleading telemarketers working for Verizon certainly deserve a major slap from the FCC or FTC, but the Ars story barely talks about that.

Re:Ars Technia Ranting... (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 months ago | (#47682739)

Slashcode decided the first non-ascii character must be where the hyperlink should end. Bah!

http://www.amazon.com/Instapar... [amazon.com]

Re:Ars Technia Ranting... (1)

swb (14022) | about 2 months ago | (#47683029)

The cheap 5 watt panels barely maintain an unloaded battery charge. In most common angles and lighting you're gonna get maybe 2w.

I use an only slight more expensive 15w panel and over a week it will bring my boat battery up from a mildly discharged state to fully charged. Worth the extra $75.

Re:Ars Technia Ranting... (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 months ago | (#47683645)

The cheap 5 watt panels barely maintain an unloaded battery charge.

That's nonsense. I've got a 1.5W panel quite effectively maintaining and even slowly charging a disused car's battery.

I suppose in the depths of winter, far north, that might have some truth.

Re:Ars Technia Ranting... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47684151)

I'm way, WAY far north. I'm in Australia.

Re:Ars Technia Ranting... (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 months ago | (#47685553)

I'm way, WAY far north. I'm in Australia.

And? I'd bet that solar panels work just fine for you.

Most of the southern hemisphere gets pretty good solar insolation, with only very few extreme exceptions, like Cape Horn and Antarctica. This is unlike the north, where large swaths of heavily populated land-area are sun-poor, like the top-half of North America, and nearly all of Europe.

Street-to-Door only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47683025)

I think this is only supposed to be used for street-to-house connections. It was only a few weeks ago that Slashdot also had a story about this same tech and the G.Fast labs. Don't know where the story is now on the site, but pretty sure they only mentioned street-to-door in that article.

noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47683049)

how can you "reduce noise" (or SNR) without changing the physical parameters or the noise itself ?

Re:noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47683449)

Probably 3D printers or private space tourism, or maybe zero-energy bits. It's hard to keep track of slashdot science, but I'd pick among those three things.

What's the point? (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about 2 months ago | (#47684109)

I don't get the point in these super-super-fast speeds over copper. In the UK right now we're aiming for FTTC which leads to speeds of 20Mbps - 50Mbps. 50Mbps should be enough for anyone. :-)

Cox (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 2 months ago | (#47684135)

I'm currently working on a project for Cox Communications in which they are chemically dissolving the foam inside of the coaxial cable conduit & then air blowing fiber through the newly created space inside the conduit. Pretty cool stuff. This avoids the costs associated with permitting, digging new trench & burying separate fiber conduit & they can use the DWDM hardware they already have on hand instead of buying new systems like this.

Re:Cox (1)

theskipper (461997) | about 2 months ago | (#47684243)

Interesting, do you have a link or search term that goes into detail about the process? Thanks.

Re:Cox (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 2 months ago | (#47693421)

Oddly enough I wasn't given an actual name for the process & this (Arizona) is apparently the 1st system in the US to try this out on a large scale basis.

Re:Cox (1)

Cyberdyne (104305) | about 2 months ago | (#47689185)

I'm currently working on a project for Cox Communications in which they are chemically dissolving the foam inside of the coaxial cable conduit & then air blowing fiber through the newly created space inside the conduit. Pretty cool stuff. This avoids the costs associated with permitting, digging new trench & burying separate fiber conduit & they can use the DWDM hardware they already have on hand instead of buying new systems like this.

Wow, that is neat. (At first, I misinterpreted that as dissolving the foam dielectric inside the itself - which could also be neat at some point, for doing FTTH, but rather more demanding.) I take it this is the "final mile" conduit between the cabinet and individual homes, or is it just pushing the HFC boundary down to street level for much shorter runs of coax?

Re:Cox (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 2 months ago | (#47693415)

It's for both, the distribution to the cabinets will be fiber as well, but not necessarily using existing coax.

Verizon letting its copper network rot (1)

mikeiver1 (1630021) | about 2 months ago | (#47685903)

That would be great if they actually offered Fibre in allot of areas where they only offer copper line service. The fact that they refused to roll out fibre 15 years ago when it became feasible and put the breaks of the monopoly of the cable companies being just about the only credible broadband providers. I call broadband at least 10Mb/sec down. xDSL for the boast part is not really broadband when most of the time you are lucky to get in the range of only 3-4Mb/sec or at best a single HD stream with little to no headroom. NOT BROADBAND! Sad that Google is the one actually rolling true broadband but at the cost of our privacy. AT&T rolled out their hybrid system and it really sucked. Both have milked the consumers best they can with the decrepit copper infrastructure. They now find themselves in real danger of loosing completely the race for the consumers business in areas where they have overlap with one of the cable providers. Cable companies were smart to adopt technologies capable of providing a real and credible broadband service to consumers. I suspect that the horses have now left the proverbial barn and in the next 5 to 10 years we will likely see one or more of the regional bells selling to the cable giants do to a complete lack of ability to compete in any meaningfully profitable way.
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