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Verizon Copper Cutoff Traps Customers

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the my-way-or-the-dirt-path dept.

Communications 269

theodp writes with more mainstream attention to an issue discussed here a month back: "As it hooks up homes and businesses to its FiOS fiber-optic network service, Verizon has been routinely disconnecting the copper infrastructure that it was required to lease to other phone companies, locking customers into higher broadband bills, eliminating power outage safeguards, and hampering rivals. A Verizon spokesman argues customers are being given adequate notice of the copper cutoff, which includes this read-between-the-lines fine print: 'Current Verizon High Speed Internet customers who move to FiOS Internet service will have their Verizon High Speed Internet permanently disabled after their FiOS conversion.'" Customers are supposed to be informed by both the sales person and the installer that their first-mile copper will be cut, and this is not happening.

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269 comments

Makes me wonder (0, Troll)

Meor (711208) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791039)

This constant trumpeting of how terrible Verizon is makes me wonder what Slashdot editors have to gain through constantly posting these articles. Every other story posted here has some sort of editorial ulterior motive but I haven't been able to figure out the motive for hating Verizon yet. Any thoughts?

Re:Makes me wonder (5, Interesting)

Ai Olor-Wile (997427) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791085)

Well, telecom companies have the unique property of being unreasonably bloated bureaucratic beasts with a very naughty agenda that make the 3v1l [MP|RI]AA gang look like really angry little kids throwing a temper tantrum. Indeed, pretty much all American phone companies spend their free time trying to figure out how they can squeeze out more profit--does the name "Ma Bell" and what happened to it ring any, er, bells? I think this is less "omg! liberal media bias!" and more "Yes, corporate interests really are that malicious, and they've probably got lobbyists changing the definition of common carrier status to make this all legal."

Re:Makes me wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19791093)

Every other story posted here has some sort of editorial ulterior motive but I haven't been able to figure out the motive for hating Verizon yet. Any thoughts?

The readers of Slashdot have a strong anti-corporation bent. Slashdot's system tends to cater to this by its very nature.

The reality of this "first mile cutoff" I think is much simpler and less onimous than these posts want to make out, but I don't have the link handy. I'll find out first hand myself soon, getting FIOS by the ned of the month.

Re:Makes me wonder (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19791945)

less onimous than these posts want to make out

Good luck selling your house to someone who just wants plain old phone service, unless Verizon's going to put the copper back in or charge normal phone rates for people not using the internet stuff.

Re:Makes me wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19791127)

Whether Verizon is doing these things or not is
independent of whether the editors have anything
to gain.

Re:Makes me wonder (1)

Meor (711208) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791217)

It just doesn't make any sense. They're trying to put fiber in to homes, something that is not very profitable and companies have failed many times in the past. This is something all nerds would love, unlimited bandwidth to the home but the only article I see are about how they're cutting copper off and replacing it with fiber? Who cares?

Re:Makes me wonder (4, Insightful)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791955)

they're cutting copper off and replacing it with fiber? Who cares?

FCC regulations require them to lease the copper to other broadband providers. They have no such obligation with the fiber. Once the copper is gone, you're locked into Verizon broadband (unless you switch to cable). At that point, especially for those households without cable available, Verizon has no reason not to jack up your prices and/or provide shitty service.

It's the same thing we always see from the telcos, and which explains the terrible Internet, cellular, and POTS service we have in the U.S. Instead of competing, they run whining to either Congress or the regulators for special protection. Because there is no way for consumers to counteract well-funded political interests, Congress gives them whatever they want, and they don't have to compete anymore.

Re:Makes me wonder (3, Insightful)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791971)

This is something all nerds would love, unlimited bandwidth to the home but the only article I see are about how they're cutting copper off and replacing it with fiber? Who cares?

The next tenants/home owners who move in. While a nerd/geek may be happy paying tens of dollars each month for cable/broadband/telephone service, the next tenants may resent being forced to pay for a whole load of services they don't want. This might even affect the rental/property price of the location in question.

Having freedom of choice is far better than having no choice at all.

Re:Makes me wonder (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791143)

Every other story posted here has some sort of editorial ulterior motive but I haven't been able to figure out the motive for hating Verizon yet. Any thoughts?

If a company acts in a manner that a semi-informed reader base finds repugnant, wouldn't you expect to find us calling foul? Verizon just makes it a little easier by painting a huge bulls-eye on their back.

...and in advance, I'd like to apoogize for bein' an insensitive clod at those who've lost their family to a bull...

...or to Verizon for that matter...

you have not much imagination then (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19791295)

Maybe it is news because verizon and the other telcos and cable companies keep coming up with new (which makes it "news") shaft the consumer things? I'd go as far as saying cutting the copper is deliberate sabotage of critical national infrastructure and a violation of the implied trust the telcos got when AT&T was broken up and they were allowed to take over parts of the publicly paid for copper infrastructure. Yes, that's right, the public paid for every penny of it, and the telcos got free eminent domain seizures for running it over private property, something rather valuable in today's world. They've also gotten billions of dollars to maintain it, with those frakking service fees you see on your bill that they asked for and received.

    The copper built this nations telecommunications and cutting it is at a minimum consumer unfriendly and is destroying quite decent backup that is already there and works. They could like, just leave it the fuck alone when they install the fiber in case the customer wants to use it for something else or have a backup connection, perhaps from another company. And if verizon doesn't want that copper, it should be taken away from them with no recompensation whatsoever, just like any other abandoned property on the street, and given to someone else who would actually use it after being held and auctioned off by the local marshals or sheriffs, just like they do with abandoned cars or abandoned buildings.

Re:you have not much imagination then (2, Insightful)

HouseArrest420 (1105077) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791503)

I'd go as far as saying cutting the copper is deliberate sabotage of critical national infrastructure and a violation of the implied trust the telcos got when AT&T was broken up and they were allowed to take over parts of the publicly paid for copper infrastructure. Yes, that's right, the public paid for every penny of it, and the telcos got free eminent domain seizures for running it over private property, something rather valuable in today's world.
And who do you think is paying to remove that copper? The consumer. And who do you think is paying for the FIOS replacement to that network? The consumer. And who do you think will pay to remove the FIOS/Cable lines in 20-30 years (possibly sooner) when EVERYTHING from your computer to your refrigerator to your TV will run off a wireless network? The consumer. And who do you think wll pay for the set up of that global wireless network? The consumer.

The consumer will ALWAYS, and has ALWAYS, been the provider for ANY change in ANY thing. There's no use crying/complaining/wiching things will change, they won't. That's how this world was built, on the money of those living in it.

consumers (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19791587)

I think I said that, and it is the consumers-the publics-copper after all. If verizon doesn't want it, it should be taken away from them then and someone else can use it. In fact, I'd go as far as saying all the damn copper should be reseized from the telcos so they can't pull any bogus additional fee nonsense on the public. They keep saying it is "their" wire,pure horse hockey, they just sort of gradually assumed ownership of it, it's always been the publics wire with a limited granted monopoly to maintain it. If they cease maintaining it, they have given up any claims to control over it and should leave it alone.

No maintenance means they have abandoned it, back to my original point, the sheriffs take it and auction it off and their workers stop touching the stuff.

As to the wireless everything, I'll believe it when I see it. At best wireless today is half assed and half working and still pretty insecure and flaky. How long have we been waiting for wimax for instance?

    Until then, they shouldn't deliberately destroy that which is still working, at least leave it intact for backup purposes.

Re:you have not much imagination then (3, Insightful)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 6 years ago | (#19792011)

when EVERYTHING from your computer to your refrigerator to your TV will run off a wireless network?

Please, God, no. I'll shoot myself. Let me keep my anti-competitive and extortionate, but wired, network.

Have you ever lived in an apartment building full of MIT geeks? I have routinely had up to 41 802.11g networks visible in my apartment, operating on all 11 channels, over the last year. The interference is so bad during peak times (anytime in the evening) that sitting 3 feet from my WRT54G I get transfer rates as low as 500b/sec with 90% packet loss. (At 3 am my network works perfectly.) I understand the higher signal strength of 802.11n will make it worse. Wireless technology is just not yet ready to be deployed in physically dense environments.

Re:you have not much imagination then (1)

acciaccatura (790971) | more than 6 years ago | (#19792125)

I also notice that there is no talk of environmental costs here. When you waste an old system you are throwing away a lot of energy. Fiber is great, and very fashionable, but we need to keep using everything we already have for as long as possible, otherwise we won't be able to afford to live on this planet for much longer.

Re:Makes me wonder (2, Interesting)

artisteeternite (638994) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791467)

What do they have to gain? What every good editor wants, eyeballs. The more eyeballs the more they can charge for ads. To do that, editors post what people will read. The Slashdot readers hate Verizon, so they want to read articles giving them even more justification for hating Verizon.

Also, though, I think they keep posting articles about how crappy Verizon is because there's no such article about good things Verizon has done. The editors "motive" for hating Verizon is probably for the same reason as the rest of us, they've dealt with Verizon.

From personal experience I will say that Verizon is worse than the IRS. A couple years ago I had to deal with both the IRS and Verizon at the same time. I forgot to send in a worksheet with my taxes, so I had to spend time on the phone trying to get that worksheet to the right location so they could give me my credit. Don't get me wrong, the IRS is a pain and the left hand doesn't know what the right hand was doing. But everyone was nice and did everything they personally had power to do. We finally got my taxes straightened out.

At the same time, I was moving and signed up with Verizon for telephone and internet service. I signed up about a month ahead of time and asked them to activate my land line phone service and DSL the same day I moved in. That was a nightmare. First, the phone service connection was a couple days late. Then, when I went to hook up to the internet I discovered they had never actually set up the DSL. I found the email with the confirmation number and called about the problem. The service rep asked me for my phone number and then told me there was no record of ordering DSL. When I asked her about my confirmation number, can she try looking up my order through that, I was told that she couldn't look up anything with the confirmation number. Basically, the confirmation number does NOTHING except make me feel good, until I call and try to use it to prove confirmation. So I spoke to higher-ups about the problem and was told, "Oh, we're sorry, we'll have it set up in a couple days." A couple days go by and still no DSL. I call again and am told there was a communication problem and it will be just a few more days. Still no DSL! The last person I talk to says, "What? It's impossible to get DSL set up that fast. The last person you spoke with lied to you [yes, he really said "lied"]. It takes about two weeks to set up DSL." So, I finally got DSL about a month after the originally "confirmed" installation date.

Then, to finish it off, when I moved from my apartment after I year I had them disconnect the phone line. Well, the line got disconnected (I tried it, I couldn't make a phone call) but the next month I got a bill for DSL. For the month AFTER the phone line was disconnected! It actually took some time to convince the service rep that I couldn't have DSL after my phone line was disconnected, but FINALLY, they agreed to "refund" us. Yes, after all that, we still had to pay the stupid bill and wait for them to send us a reimbursement check!

I have sworn off Verizon for good. THAT is why people hate Verizon.

Re:Makes me wonder (1)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 6 years ago | (#19792071)

From personal experience I will say that Verizon is worse than the IRS.

I've had similar experiences with Comcast.

I don't know how the telcos can argue with a straight face that they're engaging in ordinary market competition when they are providing worse service than the one entity that by definition doesn't have to compete.

We should have built latest-generation network infrastructure publicly, and then allowed any network service provider to provide service over it. Then the problem of enormous capital costs, which is the one semi-cogent argument Verizon has to justify its noncompetitive behavior, would have been a non-issue. And telco service might even be as good as... airline service. (I'm not asking for much, here...)

Re:Makes me wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19791673)

Because Verizon sucks.

I had to pay $3/month to have my number not listed the phone book and be "unpublished". I also had to pay $5/month to block long distance calls. I could pay $2/month to not a have long distance carrier instead but it never failed that some person in my house or myself would make a long distance call and I would pay about $3/minute. Don't dial long distance calls you say? Well I live in a suburb next to a big city but I'm in a different calling "zone" so calls outside of my county are long distance even though it is only a few miles away and you do NOT have to dial a "1" first for these areas so unless you knew all of the three digit exchanges in the area, you would not know if it was long distance or not.

So... I had to pay an extra $8/month for that lack of services on a monthly basis for every single month I had Verizon phone service so I could remain off of calling lists [1](unlisted and unpublished) and prevent being slammed with excessive long distance charges.

[1] being unlisted and unpublished almost eliminates unsolicited calls. You phone number never ends up on lists because it is not published. The national DNC registry may work but from experience I can tell you that unlisted and unpublished works much better. I pay nothing to be unlisted/unpublished now because I canned Verizon for VOIP.

Not true (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19791043)

Customers are supposed to be informed by both the sales person and the installer that their first-mile copper will be cut, and this is not happening.


That's not entirely correct. We tried to call them, but couldn't get through. Not our fault.

Re:Not true (1)

GizmoToy (450886) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791181)

It's probably bad that I wouldn't put it past Verizon to pull a stunt like that. That sounds like the kind of excuses you get every day on Verizon's support lines.

Verizon has learned (-1, Offtopic)

SpiffyMarc (590301) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791045)

If you don't like the rules of the game, play a different one.

Re:Verizon has learned (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19791483)

...sounds like George Bush. I wish I could get my sentence commuted after committing a felony crime.

MaBell never learns, really.. (5, Interesting)

mother_reincarnated (1099781) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791787)

And maybe everyone will forget you invented the rules in the first place...

1996 "Let's make everyone pay each other for calls from their network to another network..." rule to keep CLECs from being a viable business (oh wait dialup ISPs are all inbound calls, D'OH!) followed by the
1999 "The Internet is not the telephone call so we don't have to pay those competitors the BILLIONS of reciprocal compensation for all our customers dialling up to d/l pr0n" rule which made
2004 "Packet based voice not subject to the same regulations as POTS" rule

Which means that now Verizon is rolling out a pure packet switched network that they don't have to share... Oh yeah and practicing a scorched-earth policy it seems.

Re:MaBell never learns, really.. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#19792045)

The packet based network isn't the problem. It is isolating the consumer from the coper network to avoid any chance of competition without properly informing the consumer it is a one way street that is the problem.

Verizon should at least have both services available (copper and FIOS) or fully disclose that they won't be able to get another service from another provider even if it is an ISP or some cut rate Telco. The reason Verizon exists in the state they are in is entirely and only because the FCC and states had gave them a monopoly to carry the phone service. Switching to something that isn't regulated means they aren't fulfilling their obligations and commitments that have allowed them to work in a monopoly situation to the point where they got as big as they have and are able to do what they are doing.

Further more, I think there might be some problems about this after the FCC has given them money to make sure their was normal coverage in remote locations. I think this is not only implied but required that they have the equivalent of the copper service available to these customers. I will read through the regulations to see, but I don't think Verizon can cut people off like this after they have taken the money to make sure they were connected in that way.

Are competitors allowed to compete in the area? (1)

dattaway (3088) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791071)

I'm not from there, but isn't their cable service in the area? Do the cable service offer BASIC TELEPHONE SERVICE AT NO EXTRA CHARGE? If not, then Verizon is violating the law.

Well they told me when I signed up (2, Interesting)

Scyber (539694) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791079)

Also it is stated numerous times if you do any research on the internet. I also heard that if you request it, they will keep the copper lines intact. I didn't really care, I never used the copper lines in the 2 years I had been in my house anyway, so they can disconnect whatever they want.

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19791193)

Because of the cost and apparent Verizon last-mile hegemony, no competitor will EVER replace them.
Over short distances they might have been used by a competitor who brought fiber to the
neighborhood. Now Verizon has you and future occupants of your house.

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (1)

rednip (186217) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791715)

Now Verizon has you and future occupants of your house.

And I say this seriously for once, I for one welcome our new fiber installing overlords. Copper lines might have meant something 10 years ago, maybe even 5, but between cellphone and VOIP services, I think the competitive market for voice communication has expanded well. Eventually fiber will be the only backbone into the house, and at that point they would need to open it up to competition. If I were a copper line service competitor of Verizon, I would be pushing for 'fair access' today of the new line rather than bitching about losing the copper base.

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (2, Interesting)

ryanov (193048) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791869)

What about the price? If I move in there and decide "I'm not paying for this expensive shit since DSL is good enough for me," what are my options? I can't make them install a phone line, can I? They're ultimately locking me into paying for something that may or may not be affordable, or opt to not have a phone in my house at all?

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#19792097)

Technology changes. You're certainly by no means obligated to have a landline (I know tons of people who don't have one anymore, in favor of a cell). Likewise, you can't choose an internet connection speed half of what's offered at half the price because that's good enough for you. When fiber is rolled out and has replaced copper, I don't see why it wouldn't allow for upgraded services at the old copper-based prices (adjusted for inflation). In fact, I think it's a legal obligation for them to do so due to all these odd government subsidies and public land use laws.

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (2, Informative)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 6 years ago | (#19792107)

Like everyone else is saying, the problem isn't that they're replacing copper with fiber. It's that you no longer have any prospect of enjoying the benefits of telco competition. Verizon has you, and whoever moves in, by the short hairs.

Dream on if you think Joe's Coalition of Tiny Phone and Internet Startups has the lobbying muscle to require Verizon to open up that fiber.

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (1)

Greventls (624360) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791863)

What would be interesting would be for infrastructure companies to pay landlords to remove competing services from the houses. Verizon could pay to cut the copper and put in fiber. The electric company could remove gas lines to force tenants onto electric heat, etc.

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791287)

They told me it over the phone. The guys who came out and installed the fiber to my house told me. The installer who did the work in he house the next week told me. The paperwork told me, and so did the intarweb.

On top of that, I don't care, nor I imagine would very many people.

So whats the story getting whipped up about?

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (4, Insightful)

AlphaOne (209575) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791451)

So whats the story getting whipped up about?

Let's say Verizon decides to raise the rates on the FiOS service by 800%. What are you going to do then?

Your first instinct would be to switch providers, but you can't do that because you don't have infrastructure the competitors can use going to your house.

The million dollar question was asked earlier: is Verizon obligated to wholesale access to the fiber to competitors? If the answer to that question is yes, then this is much ado about nothing... go buy a battery and plug your FiOS stuff into it. If the answer is no, then this is a new monopoly forming and it's pretty underhanded (and typical) for Verizon to lock competitors out.

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (2, Interesting)

dabraun (626287) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791521)

Let's say Verizon decides to raise the rates on the FiOS service by 800%. What are you going to do then?

Of course I can also get internet access over cable, over the cell network, and quite possibly in time over the power grid - that time will come sooner if Verizon raises their rates 800% (most customers would drop their internet access before they would pay 800% more, and even if *you* consider it essential enough to still pay for it doesn't matter because they would lose money with 90% of their customer base drops it, so they won't do it).

The market is extremely adaptive, up and coming technologies which could replace Verizon's offering will move faster if Verizon handles things badly. Verizon knows this, and they aren't going to handle things that badly.

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (4, Insightful)

quanticle (843097) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791573)

So 800% is a bit extreme. What about 50% then? Or 25%? Even a moderate increase in the rate will net Verizon significant profit, while not significantly impacting their user base. And, if they don't have to open up to competitors, Verizon can slowly crank up rates, netting huge profits for themselves without spooking the users.

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791999)

Verizon can slowly crank up rates, netting huge profits for themselves without spooking the users.
It's worth pointing out that as one service provider cranks up rates, their competitors have less to fear from defecting customers, and so are free to raise their rates accordingly.

In short, inflation. :-)

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (2, Insightful)

ryanov (193048) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791885)

What about TELEPHONE service? Currently there are a number of local providers you can use. If they can't use the fiber, you are stuck with Verizon.

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#19792123)

You can get it from other areas. I have two reliable options, Verizon DSL or dialup. The neighbor's trees block satellite, cable doesn't run to me because the 200 yards to the run isn't economically feasible for Time Warner to mess with (even if I pay the costs of the run), and cell service is hit or miss out here.

And no, I'm not in the boondocks by any stretch, I'm 4 minutes from a small city with cable, good cell reception and all and only 12 minutes from another city that has everything a large city would have except th only wireless Internet carrier folded up because they had to pay something like 85% of the bill to the towner owners per connection to their antenna and the local government won't let them install their own tower. But this is pointless because the signal didn't reach me anyways.

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (1)

JAFSlashdotter (791771) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791597)

Let's say Verizon decides to raise the rates on the FiOS service by 800%. What are you going to do then? Your first instinct would be to switch providers, but you can't do that because you don't have infrastructure the competitors can use going to your house.
Hmmm. I guess that'd be possible, though if they upped the rates 800%, I'd invite the Comcast people back in (dropped them for FIOS when the TV service became available) and get phone service from them, or by VoIP on top of their internet, or maybe drop land line phone altogether. I know not everyone has those options, though.

Honestly, I'm seeing Verizon (here in SE PA) as finally taking on the effective monopoly of Comcast, just on TV service instead of phone. And, I'm hoping that the two of them remain competitors fighting for my business for a long time. I hope that will keep either one of them from thinking 800% increases are acceptable.

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791845)

Your first instinct would be to switch providers, but you can't do that because you don't have infrastructure the competitors can use going to your house.

Sure he does. The coaxial cable will work just as well -- maybe better -- than the copper wire as competition for Verizon's fiber.

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (2, Interesting)

zachdms (265636) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791853)

They told me they had removed the copper AFTER they did. That was fairly jaw-dropping since I had just wanted to try FIOS for a while. The joke was on me.

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (1)

gruntled (107194) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791495)

I stated repeatedly that I did not want the copper removed. First at the time of my initial contact, then when the called to make sure the schedule was still good, and then when the guys showed up for the install. Installer checked with supervisor, supervisor said no installation unless the copper was removed. I needed it, so I took the terms. So far, no negative repercussions, but I do worry about it.

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (2, Informative)

JAFSlashdotter (791771) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791507)

Also it is stated numerous times if you do any research on the internet. I also heard that if you request it, they will keep the copper lines intact. I didn't really care, I never used the copper lines in the 2 years I had been in my house anyway, so they can disconnect whatever they want.

I don't recall the sales people telling us this was the standard procedure, which is bad. But like you, I researched on the 'net before making the switch and I saw it mentioned everywhere. Then, when the installers came, they noted the second line that was present (but not in use) and asked me about it. When I said it was inactive but used recently by my roommate, they said they'd leave the copper, just in case. It seems they can't provide two separately billed residential POTS lines on one FIOS account right now. No argument from them, and I expect I can switch back if I want, though I have no incentive to do so right now. So far, FIOS has been great across the board. Their POTS sounds even better than on the old copper, has no 911 issues, and they install a battery backup for it. In the event of an emergency with a power outage longer than the battery life (extremely rare, at least around here), I guess I can plug the battery backup unit into the cigarette-lighter inverter ( $20) in my car to make any calls that don't work on my cell phone. That's no worse than the fact that I have to plug the cordless phone base station in, too -- or dig through the basement to find the one old corded phone I still own.

Re:Well they told me when I signed up (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791941)

re:"so they can disconnect whatever they want."

That'll make a fine appendum to the sell-sheet when you're looking to sell the house.

Oh - and the plumbing's disconnected too. And electrical grids? We don't need no stinking electrical grid!

terms of the lease? (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791099)

I have no idea what the lease terms are, but I'm very suprised there isn't either a guaranteed renewal or option to buy for the leasee. How could you build a business on something that could be yanked out from under you without recourse?

Duhh (3, Insightful)

Joebert (946227) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791101)

Customers are supposed to be informed by both the sales person and the installer that their first-mile copper will be cut, and this is not happening.

From a sales point of view, why would you want to tell someone "Oh by the way, there's no turning back, if you decide you don't like FIOS, you're fucked because we're going to cut the old line as soon as you switch" ? Alot of people are going to be disturbed by that & it could be the deal breaker in alot of cases.

From a Verision point of view [font size="0.002"]maintaining both networks must be pretty expensive[/font].

It's like polar bears going to a new iceburg when they realize the one they're on is about to rollover. Some polar bears are going to have a shitty time making the swim to the new iceburg, but the quicker everyone gets over there it better.

Verizon FiOS in Cedar Park, TX (Austin)? (0, Offtopic)

Runesabre (732910) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791115)

Anyone know if Verizon FiOS is going to ever be available in Cedar Park, TX? Or something equivalent from AT&T/SWB?

Re:Verizon FiOS in Cedar Park, TX (Austin)? (1)

b1t r0t (216468) | more than 6 years ago | (#19792001)

Why would they? They are only doing FIOS in areas where they are the ILEC. Which in Texas basically means Denton, College Station, and maybe a few small cities out in the middle of nowhere, where they are surely going to wait as long as they can. Admittedly I hear they are breaking past their ILEC borders in the Denton area, but that is because Charter cable is so crappy.

Meanwhile, five miles south of you, I have a Uverse box 500 feet away that was installed last March and is still dark because they can't get enough bandwidth off of the last mile of copper to everybody after all, and (as I've heard) because the MS-run set-top boxes are junk. Maybe they'd have had better luck with Xbox 360s for set-top boxes?

It might be legal but.... (4, Interesting)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791119)

Wilful destruction of existing infrastructure for no reason exception to "cut off" their competitors? They're going to the special hell.

Re:It might be legal but.... (5, Interesting)

hdon (1104251) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791321)

That "special hell" you mentioned must be the "industry leader" position. In Pittsburgh, Verizon has been engaged in practically illegal (and totally illegal, if you can prove these maneuvers were planned and not lucky coincidence) activities along with its sister company Verizon DSL for a decade.

In fact for the past several years, Verizon has been charging all other CLECs (read: competitors to Verizon DSL) for last-mile piggybacking (which they are required by law to offer) even more money than it costs a customer to get Verizon DSL, and of course the only way Verizon DSL can provide such cheap service is by being the singular DSL company in Pittsburgh who is eligible for the cheapest pricing bracket for last-mile piggyback rates.

For example, while Verizon DSL charges $14.99/month for their basic DSL package, Verizon charges some of its competitors $16/month for each DSL customer they have.

This is of course all legal unless you can prove that Verizon and Verizon DSL have consorted for this to be the case. And it is arguably illegal, still, if you can prove that Verizon's piggybacking rates are anti-competitive. But no one seems to be doing anything about this.

Re:It might be legal but.... (1, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791861)

Verizon has been charging all other CLECs (read: competitors to Verizon DSL) for last-mile piggybacking (which they are required by law to offer) even more money than it costs a customer to get Verizon DSL,

That's complete bull.

Verizon DSL charges $14.99/month for their basic DSL package, Verizon charges some of its competitors $16/month for each DSL customer they have.

Verizon charges $15/month FOR THE FIRST YEAR ONLY. The lowest possible price is $20/month after that. No doubt Verizon loses money on the first year of service, and anyone who really wants to compete will have to do the same. You can charge a fee for anyone canceling early, and/or make-up the loss in the second year, that is assuming your service is good enough that people stay around.

Personally, if I could find somebody providing decent DSL service for $18/month, I'd sign-up immediately, and I bet many, many others would as well... (at least, as soon as their first year "trial" of Verizon DSL ends)

Unfortunately, there is no such competition around here. The only big competitor to Verizon and SBC/ATT seems to be Earthlink, which charges $40/month for DSL service that is worse than Verizon's at $15/20. Every other DSL company is just another small company reselling Verizon/ATT DSL at their normal price/rate, and trying very, very hard NOT to compete...

Re:It might be legal but.... (4, Informative)

Fez (468752) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791973)

Verizon has been charging all other CLECs (read: competitors to Verizon DSL) for last-mile piggybacking (which they are required by law to offer) even more money than it costs a customer to get Verizon DSL,

That's complete bull.
That's not bull. We tried to partner up with Verizon to offer DSL in their territory 3 years ago, and they wanted $22/mo per line for the loop fee, PLUS you had to pay them damn near $1000/mo for the wholesale aggregate circuit. They were charging $19.95/mo direct. We did the math, and to make any money (including compensation for the additional upstream capacity we'd need) we had to charge no less than $60 per customer and that was without marking it up much. Then by the time you're breaking even, you need more capacity. It didn't add up and we ended up pulling out before we even had 15 customers on the line.

Oh, and wholesale Verizon partners were limited to ONLY the 768K/128K or 1.5Mbps/128Kbps speeds. Talk about a hard sell...

And now that the telcos have been deregulated again, Verizon has grandfathered most if not all of their wholesale offerings and has choked the market off even more.

I don't like at&t any better than Verizon, but at least their DSL wholesale pricing is a lot more reasonable.

Re:It might be legal but.... (4, Interesting)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791459)

It's far from 'no reason' -- the FiOS network was designed from the get go to be a REPLACEMENT for the copper infrastructure that would improve performance and reduce costs.

When it was installed at my house, they made us all aware that the copper lines were being disconnected (but left intact).

In a power outage, there is a battery backup that keeps the fiber gateway alive for a few hours. Any outage that lasts more than a few hours usually results in a failure of the copper infrastructure as well. The passive nature of the FiOS network would indicate that it's *less* likely to outages and failures. The pole-top components for routing and switching perform their functions utilizing optics, and require no power -- it's quite a cool system from an engineering standpoint.

The amount of FUD floating around this article is absurd. I'm no fan of huge corporations, but this is a clear-cut case of a monolithic corporation using its large size to actually implement an infrastructure that benefits consumers and reduces costs (and passes some of those reductions off to the consumer). It's a hell of a lot more than the cable company's ever done for us.

Re:It might be legal but.... (4, Informative)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791515)

In a power outage, there is a battery backup that keeps the fiber gateway alive for a few hours. Any outage that lasts more than a few hours usually results in a failure of the copper infrastructure as well.

Funny. A couple of years ago, we had a wicked ice storm that knocked out power for a sizeable area for close to a week or more. In the case of the road I'm on, the power was out for 5 days.

The phones still worked the whole time.

Re:It might be legal but.... (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19792047)

In a power outage, there is a battery backup that keeps the fiber gateway alive for a few hours. Any outage that lasts more than a few hours usually results in a failure of the copper infrastructure as well.
Funny. A couple of years ago, we had a wicked ice storm that knocked out power for a sizeable area for close to a week or more. In the case of the road I'm on, the power was out for 5 days.
Similar circumstances, but in one case it was only three days, and the phones kept working. When I lived in another area, the power was down two days, but even the BRI we had running into our house at the time kept working.

I hope cell towers will be getting better service than residential areas will be. Or maybe I should just get a ham license.

Re:It might be legal but.... (5, Informative)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791969)

Any outage that lasts more than a few hours usually results in a failure of the copper infrastructure as well.

nonsense. POTS over copper is centrally powered with sizable banks of batteries and 2 diesel generators the size of my car for backup power.

in the event of a total power grid failure, we have enough fuel in the tanks under the main office to keep the system running for roughly 2 weeks (and if we can't get more fuel in that time, the shit has really hit the fan). the batteries alone would power the system for about 8 hours, but the generator starts up automatically if the power is out for more than 20 minutes.

Re:It might be legal but.... (1)

reset_button (903303) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791619)

Some people [associatedcontent.com] think that they're going down to a lower-level hell than that:

Today a follow up commercial was shown where the young boy has gone inside to speak to his unconcerned father who is reading a newspaper inside the house, totally dumbfounded and out of touch as the child rattles off the information about the service told by the stranger. The next scene, the child and father are outside watching the Verizon man running wires to a box and the boy tells the father, "you should see his truck".

It's POTS part of Universal Service? (4, Interesting)

Above (100351) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791129)


As part of the "deal" the phone companies made with the government a long time ago I thought POTS was one of the "Universal Services", which has a federal tariffed rate. My feeble understanding is that obligated the phone company to provide that service to anyone at the federal rate.

So, once the copper is cut, shouldn't you be able to order that service, and make the reinstall cost be on Verizon's nickel? If enough people did that, might they not find it unprofitable to cut the copper?

Who is going to? (0, Troll)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791221)

Seriously? I have not had a land line in five years - and the three years I had it before that was because the dormitory I lived in provided it for free. Cell phones and VoIP are making POTS a thing of the past.

And yes, yes, I know the rural communities don't have good cell coverage and VoIP due to shitty internet connections ... (I grew up in the rural Midwest) but then again, their copper isn't threatened, is it?

Re:Who is going to? (1)

drfireman (101623) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791443)

Cell phones and VOIP are only making POTS a thing of the past for people who have good cell or internet service in their house. I have neither, so this is a real issue for me. If I can't talk Verizon into leaving my copper alone, it'll be a real gut check.

Re:Who is going to? (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791525)

If you aren't getting fiber (about the best internet service there is) installed to your house, then this DOESN'T AFFECT YOU. RTFA. They are only cutting copper when they install fiber service.

Thats why this is much ado about nothing. It doesn't affect anyone except the people who have alternatives like VoIP.

Re:Who is going to? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19791797)

If you aren't getting fiber (about the best internet service there is) installed to your house, then this DOESN'T AFFECT YOU. RTFA. They are only cutting copper when they install fiber service.


For now that may be true. But what about when they do roll into your area and you decline? Now you have 15 houses on fiber and one on copper. How long before that one gets unplugged? How many brow beatings will it take to whip the customer into buying something they don't want?

Re:Who is going to? (1)

drfireman (101623) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791997)

FYI, I did read the original article, and I've read many more on the subject (not Slashdot articles, real articles). I didn't think I would have to spell this out in such excruciating detail to make this trivial and obvious point, but I'll try again.

I am considering getting FIOS. I may get it, I may not. I'm still deciding.

It's not clear to me if the local Verizon guys will let me keep copper for my phones. They may, they may not. I've heard stories about it going both ways.

Your previous post expressed incredulity that anyone would want to keep copper ("Seriously? ... Cell phones and VoIP are making POTS a thing of the past.").

Cell phones and VOIP are inadequate where I live (outside Philadelphia, which is a large-ish city in the US), and probably in many other areas, due to coverage, quality, and reliability problems.

Therefore, it's important to me to know if I can keep copper before I commit to FIOS. I don't know for sure if there's any other way to have reliable high-quality phone service in my house, and I happen to need reliable phone service with better quality than what I get over my cell phone. Reliability of non-copper Verizon phone service in our area is not yet known, reliability of copper appears to be as close to perfect as I could hope for.

I'm glad you're happy without a land line, but I have legitimate concerns about increased phone downtime if they take out the copper. Downtime with our current broadband provider has been extremely bad. They blame squirrels, I don't happen to know if the squirrels like Verizon cables too.

Re:Who is going to? (1)

BVis (267028) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791581)

Cell phones and VoIP are making POTS a thing of the past.
While that may be true for those of us who have options other than dialup for IP access, that's really not the point here.

The point is that Verizon is taking (probably illegal) actions with or without the customer's knowledge or consent. Verizon has a long history of interpreting the rules in their favor, regardless of the ethics or legality involved.

Verizon needs to be forced to comply with the rules, either through legal action or market pressures. They're not above the law, as much as they might like to think they are.

Re:Who is going to? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791891)

Cell phones and VoIP are making POTS a thing of the past.

How are you going to use VoIP? You can't use dial-up or DSL, since the line has been cut. You're stuck with the choice between the ridiculously high prices of the cable company, or the telephone company.

In both cases, they have extremely high fees that significantly penalize you if you don't want their crappy, overpriced TV and/or telephone service.

Re:It's POTS part of Universal Service? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19791243)

So, once the copper is cut, shouldn't you be able to order that service, and make the reinstall cost be on Verizon's nickel?
Oh, the irony!

What about future tenants? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19791151)

Nothing like screwing over any future resident of a house. I guess that's something that would need to be included in a home sale. "By the way, buying this house will lock you into Verizon's broadband." Doesn't seem right.

Re:What about future tenants? (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791473)

that's already the case in most places, you're going to get cable TV from one provider and you're going to get phone service from one provider, and maybe you can get internet via phone or via cable provider.

verizon removes copper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19791165)

This has been an ongoing conversation here in Maryland for almost two
years. You need to be HOME when then lines are connected, or they remove them.
You can insist to keep the lines during your phone order, but it won't
do any good.

ride shotgun on your copper or it goes away !!

And don't believe anything verizon tells you.

member: novalug, baltolug, calug

Yay, deregulation (1)

nysus (162232) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791187)

This can only help those phone companies. Once we're done deregulating the telecommunications industry, we can start getting rid of those pesky traffic light and parking restrictions that regulate where and how I drive MY car.

You can't please the average Slashedotter (2, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791253)

You can't please the average Slashedotter. You guys have complained for years that telecoms are not replacing copper with fiber. Now Verizon replaces copper with fiber, and you bitch.

I agree (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791413)

Keeping copper buried in the ground can't be cost effective. It's also 100 year old technology.

So Verizon is fixing that, and it seems a bit whiny to complain about it.

Re:I agree (4, Insightful)

daeg (828071) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791449)

Not at all. They are replacing it with technology locked into Verizon. With copper, other companies could lease the lines from the line owner. Not so with fiber. It would be one thing if Verizon were using wholly private land for their fiber, but they are putting it on public easements and public property with public infrastructure-improvement subsidies. They should serve the public first -- which means allowing competitors to use the equipment that they install on public land.

If you want a deregulated, private network -- buy your own land to lay your own lines using only your own money. Verizon is doing none of those things.

Re:I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19791931)

Well, the parent point stands. First, Slashdotters bitch, moan, and complain that telcos where not embracing fiber. Now you insist they maintain both copper and fiber? Me thinks you just don't like Verizon and will find anything you can to bitch about them. Maybe they should forget about fiber and just stick with this dinosaur technology called POTS?

fiber lease? (1)

SolusSD (680489) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791267)

Is verizon required to lease out the fiber now that they are 'cutting off' the copper? It seems to me that the copper infrustructure should be the failsafe fallback should something happen to the fiber or if power goes out. People should always have the ability to cal 911 in the event of a power outage

Re:fiber lease? (1)

ahknight (128958) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791419)

Are the fiber COs on UPSes? If so, having your equipment on a cheap UPS should keep your end of the line active. I have my DSL and AirPort on a cheap powerstrip UPS so that when the power goes out the only thing I notice is the A/C and lights are off and the MacBook Pro is no longer charging...

Yanked out? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791269)

Do they actually yank the wires out and sell them for scrap? If they just rip them out of the punch down blocks then the next company can punch them down again.

Why cut the copper? (1)

BlackWind (11057) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791311)

Because Verizon is getting OUT of the copper network business. (Have you looked at the price os copper lately?)
Oh, and those "Reasonable Rates" that the smaller companies insist are necessary if they are going to provide competition? Those are actually LOWER than what it costs Verizon to provide the service to them. Damn straight the rates go up when they lease service over fiber, now they are getting the service at cost. (No profit for Verizon, but not a loss anymore, either.)

Lack of disclosure happens...... however. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19791323)

I work for a small cable company and its basically a 50/50 situation. Either the customer completely forgets what is disclosed to them, or the CSR flat out never mentions it. Often in sales, its the promotional rate the customer is never informed about, they assume that 30$ is what everyone charges for 8mb connections. So they switch to another company, get hooked up on a promo rate for 6-12 months and when it ends they come back to us, wash, rinse, repeat.

When new homes are wired up, it can take 4-6 weeks to have the trench buried (mostly for locate purposes). You explain this to the customer, but if you check the notes on the account, you'll see them calling several times a week wanting an ETA on when someone is going to bury the coax line. You connect them to the field ops manager who repeats exactly what the CSR says, they feel better, but a week later its back to the same routine.

I am neither a fan or opponent of Verizon (technically my company competes with them in certain areas for phone), but its very possible that alot of customers are indeed informed about the loss of copper, they either don't remember, don't care or are so technically retarded they don't even understand the basic premise of copper vs fiber.

I don't mean to belittle customers, most companies get a strong following of loyal customers who both enjoy and understand the service with very few problems (My Qwest DSL has been going strong for years now). Anyone who's worked in a call center for a few years will understand this. I've had some calls where I've had to repeat the same thing over and over again and in the end, I got the feeling they didn't understand one word I said.

Again more complaints over communication companies (0)

HouseArrest420 (1105077) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791411)

I've said it before. Your service related issues (for this instance precisely) are due to the consumers lack of knowledge. Is Verizon required to tell you this information. Yes. Do they? Yes. You sign the paper that proves they told you, and I know you did because Verizon keeps those records to protect thier asses. Yet you expect the service provider to do you a favor and tell you verbally. The industry is only required to provide a contract that you sign at time of service delivery, that says all of this. It's the service work agreement order. They don't have to tell you over the phone, they do as a courtesy to you. They don't have to veerbally tell you at installation, they do it as a courtesy to you. You as a consumer are required to read the contract, fine print, between the lines and everything else. If you don't that's your fault. Countless people complain that the reason they haven't paid their bill is because they didn't recieve one. The MINUTE you sign the contract or installation paperwork, you are agreeing to pay a reoccuring bill. The bill that's mailed to you, is mailed as a courtesy and is not required. Stop complianing and do the work you need to do, and stop expecting everyone in the world to spoon feed it to you. It's all there in the fine print. You just have to open your eyes.

Re:Again more complaints over communication compan (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19791783)

It's all there in the fine print. You just have to open your eyes.

What if I am blind?

Missionary position. (4, Insightful)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791801)

Oh, that's rich.

How do you explain the existence of contract lawyers? You know; people highly trained and well paid to spend their days understanding how to read and write small print. --If every working Joe was fully trained in the reading and understanding of deliberately deceptive small print in deliberately confusing contractual agreements, then why, oh, why do we have contract lawyers and schools dedicated to teaching contract lawyers?

Some people who sign contracts are not the same as you; they might be, say for example, overwrought working parents who may not have the same time and ability to focus their attention that you enjoy. Some people didn't have the proper nutrition or the same educational opportunities while growing up that you did, and so have fewer skills with regard to understanding the technical minutia in contractual agreements. Or are you suggesting the people who are not like you should be punished in some kind of 'Survival of the Fittest' line of myopic thinking? Should people who are not the same as you be fed to the sharks? I disagree, especially when 'Fittest' actually means, 'born to parents who happened to grow up in the right place and the right time with the right skin colour.'

I've met sharp-witted poor people who are among some of the hardest working humans on the planet, and I've met dull as doorknob rich people who are not, so 'lazy' and 'unfit' are piss-poor generalizations against people who aren't as advantaged as you. --That's a pre-emptive, "Don't even go there," in case you were wondering.

There is more than one kind of person on this planet; and thank goodness for that! Otherwise we'd have a world filled with tight-ass conservatives. The world would be missing good sex, 95% of the creative arts, spicy food and automobiles which come, "in any colour we want so long as it's black". In other words, the world would run like a Swiss watch, but there would be little appeal in actually being alive there.

Which is to say. . , some people spend their time developing skills other than the understanding of legal fine print and technology. Thank goodness!

Corporations which go to lengths to exploit people, and even create weakness in people which can then later be exploited, should not be held blameless while those they harm are sneered at for not being white and rich and mono-cultured enough.


-FL

Evolution is inevitable (1)

drcln (98574) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791421)

So what? This is like people saying "Oh no, when they installed the new indoor plumbing, they carted off the outhouse. What if the sewer clogs? Now were trapped into higher cost sewer service."

Get with the program people. The copper network is a dinosaur and cutting it off slowly as people willingly convert is the least disruptive way to let it die. Sooner or later everyone will have to convert. Don't like your FIOS, there are plenty of other options for everyone involved.

I just got FIOS (5, Informative)

Nessak (9218) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791531)

I got FIOS installed a few days ago. We decided we didn't want cable TV service and 20/6Mbit for $45 is so much cheaper then the 6/2Mbit we were getting from Comcast for $57/month. From my experiences there seems to be a lot of disinformation about the Verizon install.

1. They didn't cut the existing copper to the house. The installer said they don't do that if there is more then one family or if the customer asks them not to. But even if they had I could still get phone only service over fiber for the same price as over copper. It doesn't matter much as we don't have a LAN lane, only cell phones.

2. They install a battery backup with the fiber that will keep it alive for 6+ hours if the power goes out. But honestly, most people have cordless phones and other phones that require 120v AC so they lose phone when the power goes out anyway. True, if you power goes out frequently and you need to use the phone then FIOS isn't for you. But most places like that are rural areas where FIOS isn't being installed anyway.

3. The worst part of FIOS is that we now need to pay for the 15 watts the transformer uses. This really does piss me off but even with the $30 a year it will cost me it is still a much better deal then Comcast. Oh, and I can still use Comcast for Internet/TV/Phone if I so I have not lost my choice of connections. I would need two separate coax runs if I wanted both at the same time though. The installer asked me if I wanted him to run new coax in the house which I declined.

I'm not overly impressed with the actual speed of FIOS now that we have it but it still is a better deal then Comcast. When Comcast becomes cheaper, I'll probably switch again. We have more competition now then we ever had in the past and it is saving us money.

Re:I just got FIOS (4, Informative)

lancejjj (924211) | more than 6 years ago | (#19792035)

1. They didn't cut the existing copper to the house. The installer said they don't do that if there is more then one family or if the customer asks them not to. But even if they had I could still get phone only service over fiber for the same price as over copper. It doesn't matter much as we don't have a LAN lane, only cell phones.
That's not what Verizon did to me.

I have a two-family rental property. One family recently had Verizon FIOS installed. The other family is cell-phone only (single guy) with four idle copper lines.

Verizon cut all copper to the house.

The 1st unit now has Verizon fiber and lost its copper connection.
The 2nd unit lost its copper, and now has no connection to the street.

Re:I just got FIOS (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#19792053)

This really does piss me off but even with the $30 a year it will cost me

$30? going by the numbers you've said, that comes to 131.4Kwhr per year ((365x24x15w)/1000). current power prices are $0.10/Kwhr, so it should be closer to $13.

double standard, ahoy! (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791633)

Are all the people bitching about this in any way related to the people who bitch about how the US has the most primitive broadband infrastructure?

Just curious.

Re:double standard, ahoy! (4, Insightful)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791775)

The US has a primitive broadband infrastructure BECAUSE of this sort of activity.
With a more competitive marketplace there would be pressure to improve quality, reduce prices, and expand the market.
If Verizon has no competition they charge what they want, provide crappy service, and dont invest in their infrastructure.

Re:double standard, ahoy! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19792031)

A large portion of the copper infstructure was paid for by the public, NOT verizon. Also, is there some technical reason that the old copper needs to be removed to install fiber? No, there isn't a compelling reason other then to lock people into their service.

Good day, my dim witted friend.

I tried to get info about fios (1)

rossz (67331) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791731)

The Verizon website has a page where you can check the availability of fios. After entering my address it just loops back to the same page without any indication of success or failure. At first I thought it was because they were idiots and used Internet Exploder specific extensions, but IE does the same.

I also wanted to know about their Terms Of Use and to see if they have a "business class" package. I insist on running my own server and don't want them blocking or redirecting any ports. I was unable to locate any kind of TOU page. Pay attention Verizon. I'm willing to pay for a damn fast connection, but it's going to be on MY terms. You will NOT tell me how I can use my connection (although I have no problem with you forbidding spam).

Speak to the OSP guys (1)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791735)

The Outside Plant guys at Verizon will tell you that Verizon is trying to get rid of the copper infrastructure. But so far there aren't any buyers.

If they do get rid of it all those OSP guys go with it. I don't think they realize that.

Niiiiice (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791919)

When I was switching to AT&T from Verizon I was getting nothing but "omg - AT&T"!

Now you know the dark side of the force. I'll take my chances with the NSA thank you very much. Oh and Verizon? My iphone links to my computer out of the box. I didn't have to hack it to enable OBEX assclowns!

Just a replay of their optic cable ploy (4, Interesting)

Jerry (6400) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791923)

http://www.newnetworks.com/broadbandscandals.htm [newnetworks.com]

When communities started deploying their own fiber optic cable systems the communications industry was alarmed, even though they had plenty of opportunity to begin laying FOC themselves. They went to congress (lobbied and bribed congressmen) and got a law which forbid local governments from "competing" with free enterprise and paid the companies an advanced "reinbursement" to lay the FOC themselves. The communications companies, including Verizon, took the money but never laid the FOC. By ignoring the companies lack of compliance, even though they took the cash to do so, Congress has given defacto approval to the theft.

What does one expect when "campaign contributions" can be so easily converted to personal use?

What do you expect? (2, Insightful)

mediis (952323) | more than 6 years ago | (#19791989)

they started fios in "green zones", where there was no pre-existing copper. this gave them the work around where they didn't have to share their lines w/ other telcos. its only a logical conclusion to land lock the customer back into their territories by cutting the coper. if you are going to spend the billions in infrastructure and lines then you might as well block all others from access.
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