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Is Verizon a Network Hog?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the their-pipes-their-rules dept.

The Internet 310

pillageplunder wrote to mention a piece in BusinessWeek asking whether or not Verizon has the right to set aside bandwidth for its own projects. They're planning a television service, and have allocated a swath of their bandwidth (which could otherwise be used for net and phone traffic) to back this service. From the article: "Leading Net companies say that Verizon's actions could keep some rivals off the road. As consumers try to search Google, buy books on Amazon.com, or watch videos on Yahoo!, they'll all be trying to squeeze into the leftover lanes on Verizon's network. On Feb. 7 the Net companies plan to take their complaints about Verizon's plans to the Senate during a hearing on telecom reform."

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310 comments

LOL FAG (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Niggard (657484) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627587)

LOL jews. Discuss.

Verizon's recent purchase makes this subject moot. (5, Interesting)

jhill (446614) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627605)

Since Verizon's recent purchase of MCI, they have more bandwidth, both lit and unlit, than they know what to do with. Making the whole point of squeezing anything totally a non issue.

Re:Verizon's recent purchase makes this subject mo (3, Interesting)

tdemark (512406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627697)

Is it just me or does this article appear to be confusing two issues?

(1) Pay-to-play - ISP's charging content providers so that traffic to and from their site is not delayed (Internetwork traffic)
(2) QoS - ISPs doing QoS to reserve bandwidth for specific applications they themselves offer their own customers (Intranetwork traffic)

- Tony

Re:Verizon's recent purchase makes this subject mo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14627722)

Bigger story that /. missed (Digg got it):

The End of the Internet? [thenation.com]

Re:Verizon's recent purchase makes this subject mo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14628077)

Offtopic? This is bang ON TOPIC to anyone with more than 3 brain cells. Unfortunately, you don't need to make that hurdle in order to accrue mod points.

Re:Verizon's recent purchase makes this subject mo (4, Interesting)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627929)

I don't believe this is about the long-haul backbones, this is probably about the local POP / loop, and the POP connection to the regional backbone. If a Verizon FIOS "hub" has a total of 1G bandwidth, and verizon is taking 800M of it, then all the other internet traffic can only use 200M split over who-knows-how-many end users. Furthermore, the POP to POP links may be allocated the same way. VOL will probably end up doing some massive video on demand system that will suck down most of the total bandwidth.

This would put any video on demand service that Google may (will) have at a severe disadvantage.

Even if a gob more dark fiber is available for all these pipes, it costs serious amounts of money to light them up. Obviously if VOL can "reserve" a big portion of bandwidth on the existing links to the point where they can offer all their value-add services, they don't have an incentive to light up more fiber.

Re:Verizon's recent purchase makes this subject mo (3, Interesting)

tmu (107089) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628240)

Ummm, no. In short, no. Also, no. :-)

Seriously, capacity is not some monolithic thing that you "have enough of" or "have too much of". Capacity is from a place to a place across a set of resources. VZ can have plenty of capacity from NY to VA but not enough peering to AS3356 (level3). Or They might have plenty of cross-country capacity until a train derails in Colorado causing a 3-4 day outage of the middle path and congesting some other paths. It all depends and the devel is in the detail.

Even using generous estimates of multicast efficiencies, video over packet (or IPTV) is going to consume a *lot* of resources. ~20-25Mb/s per channel. Right now, virtually no one has "enough capacity" for that.

They Paid For It (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14627613)

Why shouldn't they be able to do what they want with it?

Re:They Paid For It (1)

eldoo77 (817524) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627690)

You could make a case that their customers paid for it...

Re:They Paid For It (2, Interesting)

leonmergen (807379) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627935)

No, they paid for the networks, the customers paid them... if the customers don't feel like they get the speed they think their money is worth, a competitor will step up and the customers will go there...

Re:They Paid For It (0)

captain_craptacular (580116) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628097)

Bingo! It's called a "Free Market", and it's the next best thing since sliced bread. Verizon owns the pipes (arguments about subsidies and eminent domain are moot, unless you can convince the courts) and they can do whatever they want with them. If they want to shoot themselves in the foot by alienating a large percentage of their users. So be it. As the parent said, another player with will step in to meet those needs.

Re:They Paid For It (4, Insightful)

OneBigWord (692129) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627693)

Some people would say that we paid for it [muniwireless.com] .

Re:They Paid For It (4, Interesting)

blamanj (253811) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628033)

Amen. If you look at your phone bill, you'll see a variety of charges that the carriers have gotten the government to allow them to charge. There's the Federal Access Charge, the Federal Universal Service Fund, and a number of others that vary from state to state (e.g., see Colorado [state.co.us] ).

The money from many of these fees goes directly to the phone company to "enable them" to build networks to outlying areas, improve their infrastructure, etc. These fees are basically taxes and as such we the people have been paying for their expansion.

Re:They Paid For It (5, Insightful)

IAmTheDave (746256) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627833)

They Paid For It... Why shouldn't they be able to do what they want with it?

Because I paid for it and that's not what I want them to do with it.

Re:They Paid For It (0, Flamebait)

brontus3927 (865730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627970)

Then don't buy their services. ONce you gave money to Verizon, it was not longer your money, it was theirs.

Come on people, a telecom is trying to be innovative and provide more services, and /. is complaining?

Re:They Paid For It (3, Insightful)

Zoidbergo (751725) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628156)

You could say that about public projects. You pay taxes for future projects, and you might have a say in that.

However, you paid Verizon for services that Verizon had already rendered. The contractual obligation they have, is to give you one month of ____ service (whatever it might be) in exchange for your payment. They provided the service, you provided the payment. After that, you can't say fuck-all about what they do with THEIR MONEY. It was your money before they gave you a service for which you handed your money over to them.

If you shoveled my walkway for snow, I paid you $20 for it, and you decided to go buy a videogame with that money, do I have any say in what game you should buy? I don't think so. Verizon earned that money. This isn't a tax you paid out of necessity.

The ONLY clout you have in this, is by transferring to another company.

Don't confuse government accountability for private accountability.

Re:They Paid For It (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627849)

Guess they were a bit stupid to build it on US soil then. I'm sure they can find some uninhabited islands out in the Pacific where they may be allowed to use their bandwidth however they want.

Re:They Paid For It (5, Insightful)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627858)


Common Carrier Status

Re:They Paid For It (2, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628171)

That only really applies if they're looking at the traffic. I would argue that they do indeed have the right to reserve bandwidth for their own applications if and only if they are not a monopoly. If they're not a monopoly, customers can choose another provider. But if they control all the internet traffic in a certain area (i.e. the backbone), then I'd argue they're illegally using that power to gain an advantage in another market, which opens them up to huge antitrust liabilities. (IANAL)

Re:They Paid For It (5, Interesting)

$1uck (710826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627895)

Did they pay for it? I mean really did they pay for all of it? All companies that lay wire/pipe/cable/radio frequencies etc they all make use of emminent domain (AFAIK) when they run things through your property do they ask your permission? do they pay you rent? Most of these companies are effectively monopolies (at least in the areas they server) or were at one time. I think when it comes to things like pipes/roads/canals and most other conduits the evil-hated socialist word applys. You can't make a useful network/roadwork radio communication with out going through almost everyone's property, so the resource should belong to everyone. Power company's shouldn't own the power lines (maybe we could actually shop/compete for where to buy energy -this happens to a limited degree now). People should be able to pay for the channels/shows they want and not have to buy the service from the cable company.

Re:They Paid For It (1)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628166)

I agree with your comments. As an aside I'd like to add that I think there will be significant resistance to the a la carte style services you advocate. Phone companies, power companies and the like have operated for a long time with guaranteed income because of their monopoly status and as such now operate with the attitude that they are entitled to it. Which they are not, of course. Verizon assumes that its subscribers will pay to have access to the pipes because they always have. They will fight to maintain this staus quo, and they have bags of money to subsidise the fight. Lat's hope its all resolved quickly.

OUTGOING (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14627616)

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22152 22152 49180 49180 63928 63928 71502 71502 50550 50550
04545 04545 76202 76202 17173 17173 43075 43075 26655 26655
33444 33444 82127 82127 69400 69400 99141 99141 14404 14404
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K-BYE

If it's their network... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14627630)

Let's play devil's advocate. It is their network, why shouldn't they be able to do with it what they want? I mean we hear the I own the software I should be able to do anything I want with it all the time. How is this any different?

Re:If it's their network... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14627749)

What am I paying my monthly ISP bill for if they "paid for it"? What exactly am I buying then, the right to access only the content they let me have?

The markets... (1)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627816)

will decide. If Verizon throtles their customer's bandwidth down too much, then they'll lose customers - except where they have a monopoly.

The sucky part is that in some parts of the country, they're still a one horse town and they have to bend over and take it. Which is why the telecom market needs to be deregulated even more! Get rid of these asinine local telecom monopolies! The legislation allowing that needs to be removed.

Re:The markets... (3, Insightful)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627922)

So, if you live in one of the areas where Verizon is the monopoly for access, should they at least have to pay for the lubricant?

On the other point you make of total deregulation, how many sets of wire/fibre should be strung on poles and trenched through peoples yards? I already have four rights of way trenched through the property I own. Now I have to let several other companies trench their infrastructure through my property? No way.

Re:The markets... (1)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627976)

Now I have to let several other companies trench their infrastructure through my property?

Uh, no. Unless something has chnaged in the last year, or you live in a state with some really wacky right of way laws, they have to negotiate with the property owner to do that. Aside from the roadside right-of-way, they can't just dig up your property and lay cable.

Where did you get the idea that Verizon can just dig up your yard?

Re:The markets... (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628099)

I didn't. I was asking if that was going to be the situation if they allowed full deregulation of the telecommunications industry? If we didn't allow other companies to trench in their infrastructure, there would still be monopolies in many many places, just monopolies without regulation. By the way, they have to compensate you, but utilities can and do use eminent domain laws to get governments to allow them to trench infrastructure through peoples property quite often. I'm not sure where you're from, but in the U.S. it's far from an unknown practice.

Re:The markets... (2, Informative)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628243)

In most urban and suburban areas, the right-of-way for utilities is already established and marked on your survey. However, to make use of that requires approval of the local government.

If the local government goes along with it, then they do not have to ask anyone because the right-of-way is already there. It was there when you bought the property.

Try building a subdivision and bypassing all that process. It is a significant pain in the rear because of all of the different players that get involved.

Re:If it's their network... (3, Insightful)

maverick215 (713433) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627889)

Yes, as a matter of fact you are paying for what you got. You have a service agreement with company XYZ:
It says they will provide you with service ABC for the period of which you pay for it.
I seriously doubt any 'service company' like this would have a provision that says 'by paying your monthly fee for the service you are getting on a monthly basis, you immediately get to reap the benefit of our company running in the black.
Sorry, this is not communist russia... in communist russia (fill in the blank)
Companies exist to make money, to (possibly use that capitol to roll out new services) make even more money. Unless your Provider is a Co-Op or some such thing.
If your service agreement with the company you are with doesn't suit you, have fun elsewhere.
The only possible arguement against this position would be that through tax breaks etc given on the condition that the company was to deploy HSI with the money saved. If the consumer realizes no benefit from that tax break then it would be valid to cry foul...
But to just assume because you payed for the service you got, that you should get full access to anything they have is quite simply stupid.
Just try uncapping your cablemodem and see how far that gets you.

Re:If it's their network... (5, Insightful)

Old Grey Beard (869804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628013)

As was pointed out earlier, they are a "common carrier" which, according to this definition [cybertelecom.org] must "serve indifferently all potential users". Obviously this doesn't work if you are serving yourself preferentially.

Re:If it's their network... (5, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628285)

Let's play devil's advocate. It is their network, why shouldn't they be able to do with it what they want? I mean we hear the I own the software I should be able to do anything I want with it all the time. How is this any different?

OK, here are a few differences. Does the government grant you a localized monopoly on using the software, enforced by federal agents? Does the government grant you immunity from prosecution for anything you do on behalf of your customers using your software in exchange for you not using your software in the proscribed way? Finally, did the government subsidize the creation of your software and facilitate its construction by seizing land and right of ways via immanent domain?

If you can answer "yes" to all of these, then I think the government should have a say in how you use your software.

Well they will keep doing stuff like this until... (4, Insightful)

perigee369 (837140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627637)

... Like myself, others switch to another company. It's the only way they learn is to lose customers.

Re:Well they will keep doing stuff like this until (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628029)

So in Verizon FIOS territory, just how many competitors do you have to choose from???? In my area, it's VOL DSL (or a VOL DSL reseller) or Cable. That's it. Cable TOTALLY blows, so DSL is the ONLY option. And it's ALL verizon.

Yes, they do (5, Insightful)

garrett714 (841216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627638)

...asking whether or not Verizon has the right to set aside bandwidth for its own projects.

Verizon has the right to do whatever it wants with the bandwidth it pays for. If you don't like it, switch to another service. I'm sure they have a clause somewhere deep in their TOS that allows them to change the bandwidth available to their customers, otherwise they wouldn't be doing this. Anyone with conflicting info care to respond?

Re:Yes, they do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14627731)

So what happens when verizon decides that it does not like VOIP company X and throttles their bandwith into nothing? Is that fair? Does it lead to a fair market or does it lead to monopolistic abuse?

They're not, so point is moot (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627818)

Well, they're NOT throttling specific applications/sites/uses, so your point is moot. Actually your point is unfair precisely because it inspires baseless anger.
Kinda like asking "well, what if you just start punching me for no reason, that wouldn't be fair, right?" Well, you're not - so it really isn't fair to even raise the question, invoking unwarranted emotions. (See implications of "have you stopped beating your wife?")

Re:They're not, so point is moot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14628047)

Hey, have you stopped beating your wife yet? What about molesting your children? You should really give the kids a break....

Re:Yes, they do (2, Interesting)

drakaan (688386) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627832)

If deliberate degradation of service is written into the TOS as something that they're allowed to do, then I guess the "pack your sh*t and go somewhere else" option is the only one that has any bearing.

This isn't an issue of what they're allowed to do (legally) with their network. It's theirs, and they can do what they want with the parts they control, as far as prioritizing traffic.

The interesting issue is exactly how much Verizon thinks it can get away with before they start irritating customers. It's not like it'll be hushed up, and it's not as if people won't explain exactly why it's a bad idea.

Re:Yes, they do (1)

skarphace (812333) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628055)

I agree with you, but that's not what they are doing. They already sectioned off the bandwidth for their TV service. This in no way affects their customers and their 'guaranteed' bandwidth. They customers still get what they pay for.

For instance, I pay for 15Mbps FiOS(FTTP). They have a 100Mbps fiber line to my house. So they have 85Mbps to play with for their TV service, phone service, or better internet access plans. I am not affected as I am paying for exactly what they are giving me.

For FIOS (2, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628167)

For FIOS, you do pay for the amount of bandwidth you want, so that bandwidth would be difficult for them to change.

Now for bandwidth out to the rest of the network, let's be real here... if everything was slow except for verizon services, then people would simply complain and move to comcast.

But the video service that Verizon is offering goes over fiber which has enough spare bandwidth that it won't even affect the IP network. I think it's a non-issue, but I'd love to hear the counter argument.

Keeping promised bandwidth (3, Interesting)

poeidon1 (767457) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627647)

As long as verizon keeps on delievering the 2 MB/s connection bandwidth to me , I donot care about their reservations. But if they cut it to promote their products, its then illegal.

How do you know? (1)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627890)

How do you know if they are delivering the bandwidth promised? If you call and complain that you are getting low bandwidth, they will claim the following:

1. We can't control the internet, we only control our network.
2. It must be your equiptment.
3. It is network overhead.

How can you tell if the slowness is a result of prioritizing packets from a service giving a kickback \b\b\b\b\b\b\b payments for that priority?

I had my DSL at only 3mb down. They made many claims about distance problems, noise etc. When I started losing connectivity, it turned out to be a line problem -- once fixed, I started getting 5mb down.

Re:Keeping promised bandwidth (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627909)

Of course, their agreement with you probably makes no guarantee about throughput. So you have 2MB/s to your first hop... no guarantee that you will have that throughput to a server elsewhere on the internet though. That's the way the internet has always been, and probably always will be. I generally have to do several things concurrently to max out my 3MB/s connection.

Re:Keeping promised bandwidth (1)

Soporific (595477) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627924)

I think verizionfios.com has lines up to 30Mbps and the entry level 15Mbps ones are like $50 bucks.

~S

Re:Keeping promised bandwidth (3, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628094)

You are almost certainly not getting 2 MB/s (16Mb/s) unless you have VDSL and live within about 1kfoot of the central office or a remote terminal, and you're almost certainly not even getting 2Mb/s at all times of the day. The first hop in your path through their network is an aggregation step with your neighbors. Small DSLAMs have something like 40 customers on an OC-3, large DSLAMs have something like 500 customers on 4 OC-3s.

They don't promise you bandwidth, just service. You share your bandwidth with other customers and now, their whim.

Most likely, and I've been out of telecom for a year, they'll upgrade your DSLAM with a gigE connection, but enable priority queueing. What they're going to do is put video on a higher priority queue, thus your internet packets may be held up (or dropped during high traffic hours) in favor of ensuring video packets get through within so many milliseconds of arriving in the queue. You probably won't see a loss of bandwidth (except at peak hours), but if you play real time games, or run real time traffic (IP phone), you will experience additional round trip delays or maybe more lost packets.

Networks do need some real time capabilities, but letting Verizon/ATT proxy those is not the right thing to do. These companies do not work and play well with others. There are better ways of adding those services without allowing monopolies to grow their scope of control.

I'm kinda confused (4, Insightful)

rob_squared (821479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627656)

Isn't the IPTV which they're offering meant to be largely handled by their FIOS service? I understand at some point they have to connect to a larger pipe to serve that, but really, do you expect a company that serves so many users NOT to think of things like this beforehand?

Re:I'm kinda confused (1)

skarphace (812333) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628127)

Isn't the IPTV which they're offering meant to be largely handled by their FIOS service?

Sort of. Their Fiber Optic Service consists of Internet access, phone service, and soon to be, TV service. Where I live, they run 100Mbps lines to each house. So they section off a portion for internet service, 15Mbps let's say. Now they have 85Mbps to use for the other services

So yes, it's handled by the same network but it's exactly the same as a cable company's setup.

This seems a little off. (5, Insightful)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627662)

FTFA: Verizon argues that it needs to take such measures to earn a return on its network investments.

yahoo Finance: Notice the 5.92% return on assets and 22.19% return on equity. [yahoo.com]

I don't about you, but I think they're getting a real nice return. Unless, their management is comparing their returns to cocaine cartels, then they're doing pretty shitty.

Re:This seems a little off. (1)

absinthminded64 (883630) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628297)

Verizon is the only service provider that has never pissed me off! Sprint, and Comcast for example will never get another penny from me ever again. Sprint's ability to define by example the poorest of customer service, and Comcast's piggish fees are all it takes for me.

Like anyone else I go with whoever I deem best.

In my book Verizon is clearly the winner and i'm on their side. Still fun to watch the other players sqirm though.

Sure than can - provided they keep speeds up (4, Interesting)

us7892 (655683) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627664)

It's simply a matter of competition. If Comcast or another local cable provider can provide better bandwidth for a similar price, then go with the competitor.

I'm supposed to get 768/128 throughput. I actually get more like 640/100 with my Verizon DSL. If Verizon can't maintain something close to this even with their pipe-grab, then I would simply switch to broadband from 1 or 2 of the other options available.

If it's a matter of shared phone lines and other DSL providers being choked out too, then that's a good reason to go with cable or over-air altogether.

Re:Sure than can - provided they keep speeds up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14627948)

Just so you know, getting 80% of your stated throughput is about the best you can get. The 20% that is 'missing' is called overhead. This happens on EVERY type of network connection. Really.

Re:Sure than can - provided they keep speeds up (1)

muszek (882567) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628089)

Yeap, I'm getting max 243kB/s on my 2Mb/s line (instead of "full" 256 kB/s). also, my admin-roommate has capped our upward transfer (256 kb/s) at 31 kB/s (not sure why exactly, he said something about transfers being much more stable this way).

Re:Sure than can - provided they keep speeds up (1)

ArchAbaddon (946568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628041)

What the AC said. Your missing bandwidth is overhead. That happens on any network (even Ethernet and Fiber networks). If you want decent bandwidth (in the US), you have to pay more than $20 a month. If you live in Korea though, more power to ya :)

Re:Sure than can - provided they keep speeds up (1)

6*7 (193752) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628049)

Let me guess, it's 768/128 at the ATM level (or whatever transport is used). That should give you about the numers you mention with IP.

Re:Sure than can - provided they keep speeds up (3, Insightful)

rblum (211213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628085)

The "other options available", as far as DSL is concerned, all use the same basic lines. I'd love to go with somebody else but Verizon, but all the other providers just lease the line from Verizon. There is no competition.

That leaves cable or over-the-air. Not a lot of choices.

It's even worse when you have cable and want to switch to DSL. Verizon refuses to tell you what bandwidth you can get until you order a phone line from them. I.e. using their monopoly to force other services down your throat.

I've talked to competing cable providers - since I really don't like Adelphia - and have heard, verbatim: "That is Adelphia's territory". And it sure like heck feels like they piss on me to mark it.

There is no competition in the telco market. It's a smoke screen maintained by local monopolies. Unless the last mile becomes publicly owned, we'll never get real competition.

Re:Sure than can - provided they keep speeds up (1)

TeamSPAM (166583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628267)

I am a Veriozon FiOS user and before that I was a DSL user. I prefered the DSL over cable because I think it is easier to saturate the cable than DSL. With that being said I never got near the quoted bandwidth and I chalked it up to the 40+ year old phone lines that went from the house to the telco boxes. It was a limitation of the DSL technology.

So when Verizon came around with FiOS installations, I jumped on board because of the better bandwidth and the new lines they put in my neighborhood. I've done a couple speed tests and I'm a lot closer to the quoted bandwidth than I was with DSL. When I feel a page is slow it is either because of bad HTML or degraded response from the website's server.

I'm still waiting to hear more about TV from Verizon, but I'm pretty sure they are planning to provide that to the FiOS customers only. Though your probably right that the perceived bandwidth with go down at your desktop if your using the FiOS to do downloads for your TV. Yet your probably still getting close to your 5Mb/sec. The flip side to this is the fact that with TV downloads, customers will using their pipes a lot more than just normal internet usage.

Competition (5, Insightful)

Perseid (660451) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627669)

I don't see this as THAT big of a deal. If Verizon is foolish enough to throttle their customers' bandwidth down noticeably, there are many other offerings in the ISP industry, and people will not put up with slow Internet, pretty video feeds or not.

So let them try.

It's *their* network (3, Informative)

ip_fired (730445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627700)

It's Verizon's network and if they want to provide a television service, then let them! They can allocate their bandwidth to their own services however they see fit. Now, if they were singling out certain competitors and preventing them from using a part of their network, that would be different. They aren't doing that. If there isn't enough bandwidth on Verizon's network, then the traffic will flow through other networks. And if there is a bottleneck because those networks aren't big enough, then there is space for another company to come in an fill the void.

Don't Cable companies do the same? (3, Interesting)

JFlex (763276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627710)

Don't cable companies do the same thing? A cable modems bandwidth is shared with their TV broadcasting, and it doesn't seem to effect internet use.

Re:Don't Cable companies do the same? (1)

hunterkll (949515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627993)

Not really - the TV signal is analog, the internet is digital... and as for digital tv, it's digital signals sent at many different frequancies - i might be wrong on this though, but that seems about right.

Hog? In what sense? (3, Interesting)

FellowConspirator (882908) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627712)

As far as I can tell, they're the only player lighting up the last mile, and the majority of their video bandwidth will be on segments wholly devoted to their own network. I regularly use 50Mb/sec, but since it's withing my house and on my LAN, I don't think anybody has a right to complain.

I'd like to say that more of the laid fiber is lit, but most of it is just plain dark. So long as we're only using a small fraction of the capacity of the medium already in place, what does it matter how much they use? They pay for it, they light it up, they can use it. If there's more demand, light up some more fiber.

Re:Hog? In what sense? (1)

Secrity (742221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627843)

"As far as I can tell, they're the only player lighting up the last mile"

In my area, Cox lights up the last mile, Verizon limps along with copper. In most areas of Washington, DC, Comcast and RCN light up the last mile and Verizon still uses copper.

NO... (3, Funny)

GoatMonkey2112 (875417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627717)

I can't hear you now. Someone's using all my bandwidth!

wah wah wah (0, Offtopic)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627721)

just bring me fiber to the home.

Re:wah wah wah (1)

LinuxHam (52232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627875)

just bring me fiber to the home

They just shoved it underground at my condo yesterday. My development is littered with these huge machines shoving big orange tubing into a hole in the ground. I asked the workers, and they said it should be ready in about 45 days. Can't wait to give Comcast the finger. Although I am probably going to have a tough time without the Flyers action.

Re:wah wah wah (1)

rcamera (517595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628043)

depending on where you live, they do bring fiber to the home [verizon.com] . i love my 15 down, 2 up service with 5 static ips. now i'm waiting for them to make fios tv available in my area so i can get rid of craplevision

Dont they own their network (2, Interesting)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627726)

And not breaking contracts... they can do as they please in the way of allocating their resources. (not that bullshit bellsouth wants) this is about physical lines how much to use for their products.. tehy are obligated to provide certain quantities of bandwidth for their customers but other than that. why cant they use their networks for different projects?

Welcome to America (4, Insightful)

thelizman (304517) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627733)

Verizon's network. Verizon's decision. And when Google, Amazon, and eBay find their bottom lines impacted by Verizon's reduced network availability, Verizon will find their bottom lines affected.

Not unsurprisingly, people are already screaming for "big gubment" to step in...

Re:Welcome to America (3, Insightful)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628122)

Verizon's network, built on special government position to use peoples' land rent-free. I don't recall the power or phone companies asking me for permission before putting a 40 foot pole in front of my house - they NOTIFIED me that they were going to be doing so. The government has EVERY right to step in because there would BE no verizon without the direct interference of the 'gubment in the first place.

We're the Network Hogs! (4, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627744)

There's a fundamental disconnect at Telco's with consumers. We think we pay our monthly DSL bill for 1.544Mbps down/ 384K up (depending on where you live). They think we're paying for a service that transfers packets, a byproduct of which involves our packets entering and leaving their network faster at some times than others. The reality is we share a single DSLAM with 250-500 of our neighbors that has a tiny little link to their core network, and at many times of the day, we cannot hope to achieve maximum throughput. Thus if they wish to saturate that link with video, they feel we have no say in the matter, as we're not actually paying for bandwidth.

In a better world, we'd of course shift our money from competitor to competitor, settling on the service that offers the best bang for the buck. Of course they know that in most parts of the country, there is only one competitor, and their service sucks in its own unique ways.

Now enter a big business friendly government. Let's not even say friendly, let's say that someone in the government has bent over and offered himself to the monopoly gods. As part of this relationship, the government uses the FCC to ensure that telco's and cable operators get their chance to make insane profits, while the rest of us bicker about Iraq, Intelligent Design, and whether the president has the authority to spy on citizens.

Verizon networks - built with Google's money? (3, Interesting)

cimmer (809369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627752)

As much as I am a proponent for the Good Of All Mankind, I am confused by the idea of a mandate that says Verizon must use their bandwidth in this way or that way. I understand that Verizon (MCI) owns a lot of Internet backbone, but the Internet is a public entity. Verizon is not. The money they spent to build those fiber highways did not come from public coffers (unless I don't know about some kind of subsidy program).

Re:Verizon networks - built with Google's money? (2, Informative)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627940)

"...but the Internet is a public entity."

At the risk of sounding like Saddam's minister of propaganda, "There is no such thing as the Internet!!!" I wish more people would understand this. There are lots of individual networks linked together that have been cooperating in terms of peering and protocols for some time. If you think of it as anything beyond that, you've made 1 assumption too many.

Re:Verizon networks - built with Google's money? (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628206)

The money they spent to build those fiber highways did not come from public coffers (unless I don't know about some kind of subsidy program).
Eminent Domain - a good chunk of the land they laid the lines on has been siezed either previously (RR tracks & highways) or for the actual fiber laying process.
Also a huge chunk of the R&D and some of the equipment is from DARPA projects.
These are some of the reasons that the Telco's in the US are subject to different government regulations than other types of businesses.

Re:Verizon networks - built with Google's money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14628281)

Actually, verizon has common carrier status. They are entitled to collect Universal Service Cost Recovery fees. So yes, just like Bell South and all the other major telcomm companies, they receive 10's if not hundreds of billions of dollars a year in public subsidies to build and maintain their network.

If they DIDN'T accept these subsidies, then your argument would carry weight. However, they do, and in doing so, they accept the burden of being a common carrier, and additional regulation regarding fair and free competition and service standards.

While I dont necessarily see this as a problem in the short term, allowing such a policy to go unchallenged to lead to serious problems in the not so distant future as it sets a precedent that will not easily be rolled back.

Since even the most ardent supporter of Milton Freidman doesnt pretend that modern corporations do or are encouraged to act based on anything but a short term agenda, there is no reason to exect Verizon or any other telcomm to retreat from such a policy when long term consequences become apparent unless there is some threat of consequence in not doing so.

Since they exist in a government sanctione monopoly market, the threat of a real market backlash is not really a viable threat.

Be Serious (4, Insightful)

TPS Report (632684) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627780)

Leading Net companies say that Verizon's actions could keep some rivals off the road. As consumers try to search Google, buy books on Amazon.com, or watch videos on Yahoo!, they'll all be trying to squeeze into the leftover lanes on Verizon's network.


And? Why would this be a reason to sue? If you don't like Verizon's idea, and it bothers you enough, then use a different provider. Also, who's to say that Verizon would have used the additional bandwidth to fuel their web services?

On Feb. 7 the Net companies plan to take their complaints about Verizon's plans to the Senate during a hearing on telecom reform."


Yes, of course! Those other companies are especially concerned about Verizon customers, and are willing to spend their own money to sue on the behalf of customers that aren't even theirs and don't make them any money!. So let me ask you - when was the last time you saw a company act so noble and unselfish? Its very rare, of course.

So basically, Verizon has an idea that they think is cool and will possibly make them a lot of money. Their competitors freaked out because they aren't to the point where they can offer the same thing, so they go on the offense and sue.

Seems like there are three ways to make money in America: work, sue, or steal. I think people who file frivolous lawsuits should have to pay the defendants attorney fees, extra court costs for wasting time, and a percentage of what they originally asked for in compensation to the defendant. This "sue everyone for everything" crap is terrible.

PS: I dont think they ever expect to win this case, either. They just want the bad PR to be out there.

So what choices does Verizon have?

a) build a cool idea on their network.
b) pay Sprint or someone to run their video traffic. (rofl)
c) abandon an idea they feel will make decent money.

Look, if their customers don't like it, they will leave Verizon, and Verizon will have wasted a huge amount of money building this thing out and promoting it. Let the freakin market decide what is good or crap - dont freakin sue over every single thing you disagree with. It's disgusting... :\

Maybe they are or maybe they are not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14627834)

But it sure would be nice if they donated some of that bandwidth to compensate for their massive network of spam zombies with a wide open port 25.

It's their fiber... (4, Informative)

byteCoder (205266) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627862)

It's their fiber, why can't they allocate it as they wish?

There seems to be a confusion in TFA about whether this applies to any backbones managed by Verizon versus the optical fiber that Verizon is supplying to people's homes via their FiOS service.

Regarding the backbones, as long as they are meeting their contractual commitments, why should anybody else have any say over how they allocate any additional bandwidth they may have.

Regarding fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), they are planning on allocating it as follows using three wavelengths (according to John Dix at Network World):

Cable TV providers, he said, typically have a 860-MHz channel to serve each house, and have to divvy up that capacity if they want to add services such as video on demand, Internet access and VoIP. Verizon delivers three wavelengths of light to each house: a 860-MHz video channel; a 622Mbps channel for voice, data and video on demand; and a 155Mbps return channel for voice and data (the 622M and 155Mbps channels are shared by up to 32 households).

In the FTTH case, historically the Telcos have been required to provide fair access to their wires (thus you're not required to use Qwest as your ISP if you have Qwest DSL, for example), I would expect that the fair access rules would apply to FTTH.

The surest way to delay getting fiber bandwidth to your home or internet infrastructure is by taking away the incentives (read: profit) for the corporations involved. Verizon is currently making major investements in having a large share of the next generation networks, their competition is being caught flat-footed and behind the curve and will probably try to make legal challenges to slow their growth.

Ohh, that one is easy (-1)

HeliumHigh (773838) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627863)

Yes. Next?

30 percent is a lot (2, Interesting)

whitelabrat (469237) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627879)

As a FIOS customer, I'll tell you with certainty that it makes sense that 80% of their fibre optic networks would be used for their services. That's because the optic line running into my house replaces my copper based phone line and provides my internet service. Eventually television services will be included. With fibre optics running into my home, 80% usage for phone/tv/etc leaves me with more bandwidth than I'll need for now!

Roads (2, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627888)

Imagine if the government said that all roads will now be reduced by one half of a lane for their 'special projects' (advertising opportunities). Now, we all pay tax to keep the road up, so we're essentially their customers. Now not only are we shorted half a lane and paying the same price, but the roadways just became more congested and much more dangerous. Its 'their' roadways, but we have en expectation of service.

follow the golden rule (0, Redundant)

TTL0 (546351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14627910)

he who has the gold rules !

Same thing as SBC/AT&T??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14627917)

Based on what I just read I don't see a problem with anything that Verizon is proposing. They simply want to utilize more of the fiber that they have paid to install and bring to their customers for themselves.

I think that this is different than what SBC/AT&T is proposing, my understanding is that SBC wants to charge to content providers more money for higher speeds to the customer when both the content provider and the customer have already paid for their bandwidth. That should be illegal and entirely goes against the "best effort" principles of the Internet. If you want better ping times and QoS then buy into an MPLS backbone that can prioritize your traffic from end to end, but this only applies to private networks anyways.

It shouldn't be an issue if Verizon simply wants to bankroll a competitive service to the cable and satellite providers. That sounds like fair competition to me. This may in fact be good for the consumer as it will add another provider of TV content. It could conceivably cause the major players to reduce their rates to compete against Verizon.

Realistically I wish that Verizon provided service in Chicago as I would love to pay one provider for TV, Phone, and Internet while actually getting good service. Unfortunately, Comcast has the worst HDTV signal I have seen and my SBC DSL can not provide the paid for 3MBit service or even stay running for more than a few hours at a time. I am glad that I pay almost $170 for all of these services.

Verizons bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14628011)

Hello people.
We are talking backbone here, not last mile.
I am quite sure that the cable companies reserve
the right to allocate a portion of their backbone
for TV service, so why should Verizon not do the same?
If anyone can show me that the Cable operators do NOT
reserve bandwidth for their own media distribution,
I would like to see that evidence.

BTW I am a Verizon FIOS customer and I am so far very
happy with the service.

It's their fiber (1)

MichaelKaiserProScri (691448) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628032)

Of course they have the RIGHT. They own the cable. Bought it, installed it, paid for it, and maintain the equipment that lights it up. Now, is it SMART for them to do so? Not sure. But do they have the right? Certainly. If you disagree, don't buy bandwidth from them. If enough people agree with you and don't buy bandwidth from them, then they will decide that it is not smart to hold back bandwidth for their own projects.

Verizon? Meet my neighbor Jim (2, Funny)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628034)

Jim is THE ULTIMATE bandwidth hog. He leaves SETI running ALL the time, has four P2P clients on various networks going, runs a "warez" FTP server, and since he's got it all running on a few Windows boxes that have been rooted, he's also unwittingingly spamming everyone in the world as well as scanning for more machines to infect. But not to worry. Jim's got it all under control because he sez, "I'm a computer expert. I've only been workin' with these things for the past four years, but I can do just about anything in Windows. I'm really into webpage development on myspace.com. I've developed about 20 webpages there for my friends and charged them reasonable rates. After all my time is money and I didn't spend my time learning all this PC shit just to give my knowledge away for free". So as you can see, Jim is an expert and we needen't worry about how much bandwidth he's using. Even if it is bleeding Verizon (his ISP) dry. Hmmm... there's a moral in there somewhere. ;P

Re:Verizon? Meet my neighbor Jim (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628290)

OK. I can tell by the mods that this one missed the mark. Let me clarify for the thick:

The end users who abuse their internet connection + the ISPs who oversell their bandwidth = BIG PROBLEM. Verizon wanting to keep some bandwidth for their actual services to run ISN'T the problem. If they stop claiming unlimited internet access at ten gagillion bits per second to people like I was parodying up above, that would take care of part of the problem. The other thing that would help is the enforcement of QoS on their entire portion of the internet. Same with other ISPs. If they can determine levels of priority for srvices and then divvy that up to the customers, the problems become minimal. Grandma doesn't always need ten gagillion bits per second to send normal e-mail or look at the dancing Jesus page. She might need a bit more bandwidth to watch some streaming video but that's about it. However, someone like me who runs multiple servers at home because I don't trust any ISP to manage my data might want a dedicated 1 Mbit line at all times. That's why I pay more for my bandwidth. Is that clearer?

Inaccurate report (2, Informative)

NullProg (70833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628050)

Verizon's FIOS is a private network just like the cable companies COAX. There are four fiber lines in the cable. 1 for video, 1 for voice, 1 for internet and 1 for future use. Unless the author means Verizon is hogging the public internet bandwidth (backbone), then this article is completely false. Even then, I believe Verizon is streaming the content from thier own equipment on the FIOS network, not the public BBN.

Article on FIOS here - http://news.com.com/Verizons+fiber+race+is+on/2100 -1034_3-5275171.html [com.com] .

Enjoy.

If its a private cable.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14628112)

Can I dig up the section of coax my cable co. buried in my backyard without my permission?

Simple (1)

T3kno (51315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628086)

if $demand > $supply then build_more();

FiOS (1)

urbaneassault (233554) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628125)

Additionally, these fears really are unfounded as these specialized services are almost assured to only be available to the new FiOS customers as they roll out. If I'm verizon, am I going to throttle a 1.5mbps dsl line to squeeze more bandwidth out of my giant 30mbps+ fiber pipe? doubtful.

The Broadband Scandal (1)

jellings (199721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628134)

It seems as though this is only a small part of a bigger issue that is only recently being examined:
http://muniwireless.com/community/1023 [muniwireless.com]

Same issue as the SBC "make google pay" issue (1, Insightful)

tmu (107089) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628192)

This is the exact same issue (from the exact same source) as the interview with SBC Chairman Whitacre last fall. I covered the dispute [renesys.com] in my blog [renesys.com] last month. It doesn't seem to die.

The issue is clouded by fuzzy-headed thinking. Cable companies already do this. They "reserve bandwidth" (i.e. channels, frequencies, capacity) for their video content and only make a small amount of space available for Internet. The idea that ILECs would do the same when they roll out IPTV or other video-over-packet strategies, is so shockingly unremarkable as to not be news.

The only interesting issue here is whether VZ or SBC or others will restrict or degrade their existing Internet service in the process. I seriously doubt they will--the market would punish them for that. But if they were to, that would be interesting.

what makes it intresting (1)

digitallysick (922589) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628195)

I read in the above comments " if you dont like it switch carriers" may i ask to who??? since its all almost MA bell all overagain, you almost have no choice but the LEC, unless you go VOIP, which is ok, until the power goes out. Now that the FCC has ruled that the LECS can charge as much as they want , to CLECS, that put most of them out of business, because now they cant make a profit, for beat the LEC in prices. Choices are getting slimmer each day. And by the by what happened to the "naked dsl" from verizon? or did they decide to force you to have there phone services to get dsl?

Java CodeMonkeys are screaming for attention (0, Offtopic)

FoxyFox (946748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628215)

I am very sorry for this comment, but I choose to tell my opinions about this forum. I see little discussion. Most of the time there are people that only want to listen to their own boring subjective point of view. I signed up because I wanted to learn more about new technology and discuss it, but "you" are competing to be the most negative Java and C# code monkey screaming for attention. When I am reading here, I often think I choose the wrong profession. Again, I am sorry, but I think Slashdot deserves this critics.

So what? (1)

zpeterz63 (851922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628234)

Like other people have said, it's their bandwidth to with as they like. If you as a customer become dissatisfied, stop using Verison. They need your money! If people voice their dissatisfaction by switching services, Verison will change their ways. However, if it's not that big of an issue that people are willing to switch, then I fail to see the problem. In fact, why is it a bad thing that they would do this at all? By allocating their bandwidth for different tasks, they assure that heavy traffic through one service does not effect service in another area. For example, just because there are a googelplex of people talking on the phone at once and internet traffic is bogged down because everyone's downloading the current season of 24 does not mean that the TV service will be rendered useless. Sounds like a rather good idea to me.

Verizon (1)

webcrawler (765242) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628237)

Unlike some people, I am locked into using Verizon for my high speed service, unless I want to pawn up three times the amount for an equivalent service from a local no-name. My apartment complex is not on the cable grid because they provide their own cable services. So I am stuck with 768/160 kbps DSL from Verizon while living in a 1.5 million metropolitan area in southern VA. I need my FIOS damn it!!!

Sounds like (1)

qa'lth (216840) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628254)

someone doesn't understand basic Internet topology.

Repeat after me:
The Internet is a -quilt-, not a singular fabric.
You are NOT entitled to have anyone carry your traffic. NOT entitled.

Anyone can do whatever the hell they want with their own bandwidth.

Why the hell is it companies feel that they are entitled to have other networks carry their traffic? Why the hell is it that basic Internet topology is so ignored?

I think a lot of people are missing the point (1)

nooneiknow (943245) | more than 8 years ago | (#14628301)

Its not just Verizon customers that are affected. Its a good chance that no matter who you use, your traffic goes over some other companies network (probably several) before you get to the destination server. So this affects everyone, and changing services won't help. If you can run a traceroute (probably blocked for you now), you would see a bunch of different routers in your path to your destination server. Those routers could be owned by several different companies. Now if one of those companies decided to affect the type of traffic going through those routers, then everyone traversing those routers is affected. Now whether those paths will be too congested, and whether those companies have a right to change the ammount or type of traffic flowing on those paths is up for debate.
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