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Verizon, Fiber Or Die?

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the copper-kiss-off dept.

Communications 291

dynamator writes "I live about 550 meters from my Verizon central office. I pay for their higher-tier 'Power Plan' DSL service, which boasts 3 Mbps down and 758 Kbsp up. For the past year, I've enjoyed excellent performance on this line. However, this past month Verizon has been hooking up my neighbors with FiOS, their new fiber-to-the-home system, and guess what, my connection speed and dependability have taken a nosedive. What can I do to build the case that this is really happening? Will anyone, least of all Verizon, care? Are they making me a fiber offer I can't refuse?" We discussed a few times last year what Verizon may be up to.

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You do not deserve fiber! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22690366)

I'd LOVE to have FIOS, but no... DSL is the only choice. Take it and love it.

Re:You do not deserve fiber! (3, Interesting)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690530)

not where I live it isn't. Road Runner just went to 8 up 0.5 down. That's not a typo. 8 megabits! DSL is a joke compared to that. Even fiber isn't that much better. Do I want the file in 10 seconds or 5? Anyway, I've never seen that because I'm in a similar situation. Either they're throttling me for using about 250+ megabits this year in p2p traffic, mostly legal btw, or they screwed something up when they were building the new neighborhood behind me and wiring in the cable cuz that's about when the slowness started. I get about 1 megabit now and it pisses me off. It's always that limit at 5:00 PM or 2:00 AM. And if I use a multi-source downloaded like leechget I get the full 850 KB/sec from really, really good sources. So yeah I think they're throttling me or maybe they're pulling some similar scam or something.

Re:You do not deserve fiber! (-1, Flamebait)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690656)

Ahem...

FAIL!
That is all.

Re:You do not deserve fiber! (0, Flamebait)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690754)

that's funny, I didn't know 13 year olds had accounts on Slashdot

Re:You do not deserve fiber! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22690784)

[statement] [playful insult] [comment about one's age]

Re:You do not deserve fiber! (0, Flamebait)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690832)

This from the man who produced the barely readable post with random capitalizations, horrendous punctuation, significant errors and the chain of thought of a gerbil or speed?

Re:You do not deserve fiber! (4, Insightful)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690872)

Emphasis mine, words yours:

Road Runner just went to 8 up 0.5 down. That's not a typo.
So the way to cover your stupidity is by lashing out at someone else?

There have got to be younger than 13 here. (0)

gd2shoe (747932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690984)

Uh, yeah. No duh?

I would have enjoyed Slashdot at 13.

Re:You do not deserve fiber! (1)

SScorpio (595836) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690908)

8Mbps isn't anything to brag about, many cable companies offer that. FIOS on the other hand offers 15/2Mbsp service or even 15/15Mbsp. That right 15 down and 15 up. I'd also recommend search for a new ISP if they are throttling you for downloading 31.5MB+ in P2P traffic.

Re:You do not deserve fiber! (2, Funny)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691026)

You should take off your fanboy hat and blinders long enough to realize how wrong you are.

8Mbit? Come on... Verizon is offering 20/20 symmetric service for less than Comcast's pathetic "PowerBoost".

But wait! Then you go on to say you can't get the full 8Mbit? Why are you still on the bandwagon?

Re:You do not deserve fiber! (4, Funny)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691066)

You should take off your fanboy hat and blinders long enough to realize how wrong you are.

HAH! My speed is faster than your speed, and my modem is bigger too. And don't let me get started on the size of my hard drive, it's really, really big!

Ok, when I was little it was all about the size of your carburetor.

Get off my lawn.

Get a neighbor to help test your connection? (5, Informative)

Michael Spencer Jr. (39538) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690370)

I don't know what your relationship is with your neighbors, so this may not be plausible:

Could you see if you can use a program like Netcat to stream a large amount of data from your system to theirs, and see what kind of throughput you get? If Verizon is really not giving you the bandwidth you're paying for, this may be one way to prove it.

There are some kinds of connection shaping that this test won't detect, but at least it's a start.

Re:Get a neighbor to help test your connection? (4, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690410)

Iperf [nlanr.net] is excellent for this, especially if you want to test details like packet size, port number, UDP vs TCP...

Re:Get a neighbor to help test your connection? (5, Informative)

Mozz Alimoz (245834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690660)

As you know from the fine print, Verizon (or any other ISP) never claims to give you any guaranteed speed. It's an industry-wide practice and for good reason. The Internet is a best effort service with many factors beyond Verizon's control. Their web site [verizon.com] says for their "Power Plan" service offering (my emphasis added):

Connection Speeds Up To ... 3 Mbps/768 Kbps (53x faster than dial-up*)
*Speed comparison based upon performance with a 56.6 Kbps modem. Actual speed may vary. Actual throughput speed will vary based on network and Internet congestion among other factors.
And in their FAQ [verizon.com] says:

Technology
What affects my connection speed?
When you connect to the Internet using Verizon High Speed Internet, the speeds that you will experience will vary based on a variety of factors, including the following:
  1. Distance of your telephone line from a Verizon Central Office
  2. Condition of telephone wiring inside and outside your location
  3. Computer configuration
  4. Network or Internet congestion
  5. Server and router speeds of the Web sites you access
  6. Other factors
So you don't really have a good way to test your service. And if you did and it only showed 56kbps, the Version is still within the range the promised.

There are these problems when testing speeds to your neighbor.

  • Upload speeds are lower than download. So you can only test upload speeds this way.
  • Your neighbor needs to be using the same ISP.
Better ways could be to download large files from your ISP. But you'd have to find a file where a traceroute (tracert cmd from your computer, not from a public server) shows the path to that server is fully with Verizon's control, has single digit milliseconds of latency, no packet loss, and not too many hops away. Otherwise use a public speed test service [dslreports.com] .

Maybe one day we'll see a class action lawsuit on various ISPs that claims they intentionally lied about the average speeds customers should see, But I'm not holding my breath.

Re:Get a neighbor to help test your connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22690986)

Where I live, my ISP (TELUS) recently added webTV to their offerings, pushing tv channels over the network. Bandwidth has been up and down (but mostly down) for a long time. Service was good, then turned to crappy. Just before rolling it out, it turned to super-ultra-crappy verging on craptacular (Thanks Bart Simpson, for adding that word to our world). I'm talking analog modem speeds over DSL (5-21 kB/s). Borked and broken sure don't describe it! Things have gotten a bit better lately, but they sure aren't what things were like when I first signed up, but as prices upped, service dropped. Bastards!

oh yea (-1, Troll)

play with my balls (1253180) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690378)

I'd let Verizon nestle its balls in my mouth.

If I were you... (4, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690388)

I'd cancel my Verizon DSL and just connect to the neighbor's wireless.

Re:If I were you... (2)

Lewrker (749844) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690532)

Too many of those switches come with default encryption and/or key protection now, although logging into 192.168.1.1 with admin/admin usually works anyway.

Puff Daddy... (-1, Offtopic)

poormanjoe (889634) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690396)

might care. It just depends how busy he is this election year.

Fiber or Die (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22690406)

Well, if by die you mean have to go at weird hours, than die.

They won't care (5, Insightful)

fernir (1007503) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690414)

I worked for Verizon as a level 2 tech in their call center located in Columbus, Ohio for 2 years. They will not care you can keep complaining and complaining and nothing will ever happen, mainly because no one really gives a shit about the customers and all they care about is how fast you can finish a call.

Re:They won't care (1, Offtopic)

BvF7734 (1181911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690506)

With how many times I have called and have had people come out and blame every other tech and such it does not even phase me with what you said... Still better than Comcrap!

Re:They won't care (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22690508)

Actually Verizon has a slow throughput hotspot team, that continues to monitor the DSL equipment for slow throughput issues due to congestion, and see what areas need upgraded equipment.

Frontline phone techs are not made aware of these issues, however if you call and make a ticket for slow throughput (and the agents do thier job properly), if others in your area are having similar problems is will be picked up and noticed (if you call in and report it)

P.S. guy from Columbus say hi to JA for me.

Re:They won't care (5, Interesting)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690792)

I can confirm that. My SO worked at the London, Ontario office (yay outsourcing) that handled Verizon calls and the single most important metric was call handle time. If you weren't operating under a certain amount of time you didn't get bonuses and were seen as an incompetent tool. It doesn't matter that the person on the other end may be elderly and not follow instructions quickly - rush them and get them off the phone. They've got a complaint? Placate them with a bullshit story and get them off the phone.
Rogers and Bell are just as bad up here as well. I've spent 7 hours on the phone (15 minutes total talking, rest of the time on hold) with Bell resolving billing issues. With Rogers I lost service in Toronto for 10 days, and the rep actually accused me of lying that my modem wasn't online - he claimed he was pinging it - and became abusive. I hung up on him. The next day Rogers discovered subway workers or someone else had cut a line that caused my outage. Why they didn't figure something was up when the rest of the neighborhood was complaining, I don't know. It certainly couldn't have affected just my place.

Re:They won't care (5, Interesting)

DraconPern (521756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691000)

It's not Verizon that is pushing that metric. It's the outsourced company that is trying to make a buck off Verizon. Not saying that Verizon's own people is better.

Re:They won't care (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690932)

uh, that's not Verizon... that's Ohio.

Re:They won't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22690970)

Thank you, Jeff. You can pack your things and be out on Monday.

Fishers center! (4, Insightful)

Durrok (912509) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690994)

Yes, I was a manager at the fisher's center. I used to take negative escalations all the time for this. In short, we can't do anything for you besides schedule a tech between 8-5, M-F. Oh you can't take time off work? Guess we can never get it fixed then! Oh, you took time off work to be there but the technician didn't show? Better take another day! Ridiculous...

Have you called them? (5, Interesting)

Port1080 (515567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690416)

I know it really depends on the area what kind of service you get, but it might not hurt to just, you know, call them and ask them to send a tech to check the line. My wife and I bought a house last year and we had to downgrade from FIOS (tell me again why you won't upgrade?) back to DSL. When we first moved in we had some issues with the service dropping fairly frequently. After a couple service calls they eventually sent out an actual line tech who looked at the line and found there was a minor fault, which he fixed. Since then everything's been flawless. Maybe it really is just a coincidence, and if you can get someone to come take a look at your line you might get somewhere. Or, you could just post bitchy complaints on Slashdot and hope the CmdrTaco Fairy will come fix your line. Either way, can't hurt to try, right?

Re:Have you called them? (5, Insightful)

jcnnghm (538570) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690618)

Expanding on this a little, I know when they were installing FIOS in my neighborhood, all services (cable, telephone, electric) were up and down repeatedly because they kept accidentally cutting lines. Chances are, there isn't some great conspiracy out to get you, but the contractor that is installing/installed the fiber accidentally cut your line, then did a half-assed job fixing it. You should probably call the contractor and let them know they made a mistake, and call Verizon and let them know about the problem as well. Again, when they were installing mine they repeatedly left the contractor information as well as the Verizon installation support number on doorhangers and postcards.

How much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22690426)

Might the lowest tier Fios be cheaper than your current premium package?

There's no winning with some people (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690436)

Seriously, you have the option of FiOS and you're complaining about your non-FiOS connection? Upgrade, and consider yourself lucky that you have the opportunity to do so!

Re:There's no winning with some people (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22690466)

Hell yes. I would kill for FiOS. My choices are crappy Comcast or crappy DSL. FiOS has rolled out literally across the street, but there's apparently no ETA for service on my side, which is in a different city. I've been wanting to jump to FiOS for a year and I keep hoping that one day I'll see the Verizon trucks in my neighborhood digging up the place. I don't understand why the response to this situation wouldn't be to call Verizon and refuse to hang up until they upgraded you too.

Re:There's no winning with some people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22690580)

pay for the service for a neighbour and run a gigabit or fibre cable aerially ;\

or maybe a wireless bridge

Re:There's no winning with some people (4, Informative)

TClevenger (252206) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690606)

Check your DSL TOS; Verizon has the option to force you over to FIOS in areas where they offer it. You'll probably have to switch sooner or later.

Re:There's no winning with some people (4, Funny)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691006)

Wow, how dare they? You mean they can force you to accept a faster, less expensive, more reliable service? What an outrage.

Re:There's no winning with some people (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690616)

Seriously, if I could get FiOS I would grab it in a heartbeat, no questions asked.

Re:There's no winning with some people (1)

Gnaget (1043408) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690710)

Seriously! I bought my house in a location specifically because I could get FIOS.

Yes, I bought a house for my internet connection

Re:There's no winning with some people (2, Interesting)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690822)

Hey, this is slashdot, I applaud you for that.

Re:There's no winning with some people (2, Funny)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690926)

You say that as if we are supposed to be surprised or something.

AT&T and Uverse (3, Interesting)

ericdano (113424) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690460)

AT&T is kind of doing the same thing with their Uverse service. Worst service ever. They had shoddy installation, and you can't have DSL AND Uverse coming in the same residence even though they are on different phone lines.

Supposedly it is blazing fast, but AT&T doesn't offer static IP addresses on Uverse......oh well........

Re:AT&T and Uverse (3, Informative)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690502)

...but AT&T doesn't offer static IP addresses on Uverse...

Ever heard of Dynamic DNS [wikipedia.org] ?

I use FreeDNS [afraid.org] and find it be reliable and easy to use. Disclaimer: I have no financial or other interest in the site except that I find it useful.

Re:AT&T and Uverse (-1, Troll)

ericdano (113424) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690526)

Yes, Einstein. That is not what I want to use, thanks though.

Re:AT&T and Uverse (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690634)

Well, those tools should be fine, considering how the Terms of Use for your ISP has a bit in there about how hosting servers is against the rules and will get you cut off.

Re:AT&T and Uverse (0, Flamebait)

ericdano (113424) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690664)

Funny, I've been doing that for nearly 10 years on DSL.........

Re:AT&T and Uverse (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690708)

you didn't say that or give any indication it's not what you wanted. nice work.

Re:AT&T and Uverse (-1, Troll)

ericdano (113424) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690746)

So you assumed something?

Nice work......

Re:AT&T and Uverse (1, Flamebait)

SMS_Design (879582) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690778)

You're really quite a dick.

Re:AT&T and Uverse (-1, Troll)

ericdano (113424) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690828)

Thanks n00b

Re:AT&T and Uverse (0, Flamebait)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690866)

theres been an outbreak of douchebags on /. recently, ive noticed.

Re:AT&T and Uverse (0, Flamebait)

SnoopJeDi (859765) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690888)

Recently? You must have stopped coming around after signing up.

Re:AT&T and Uverse (3, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690672)

Most ISPs have been moving over to dynamic IPs for the last decade or so. Well, the larger ones at least. When we first got a cable modem, back when cable modems didn't suck hard, we had assigned IPs and could count on having one per computer. A few years later without any particular warning, the cable operator switched over to dynamic ones. I finally had to call to find out why it was that I couldn't get one of the computers online, turned out that the IP had been reassigned without them telling me.

I'm not sure how the smaller ISPs are, but most of the time the big guys want to make people pay for the staticness if it is available at all.

Re:AT&T and Uverse (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690704)

Well, AT&T does offer static IP with their DSL service. However, if you want the Uverse service, you get dynamic like it or not. AND, you cannot have both DSL and Uverse at the same time to the same address. I got the Uverse thing sold to me that you could, then they, without notice, shut off the DSL. THEN.....calling tech support resulted in them not knowing why it was shut off. THEN, nearly a week later, I was told you cannot have both.

THEN......it took almost a month for AT&T to reconnect the DSL I had........I must have wasted a good 15 hours on the phone with them and in person with their techs (who are nice). Their phone support sucks big time.....

Easy to test, harder to get them to care (1)

grizdog (1224414) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690472)

You can certainly test it using a site like speakeasy, and make a case - maybe not one that will stand up in court, but one that would convince anyone who had an open mind.

That begs the question, will they care? You can only find out if you try, and if they are unresponsive, my next stop would be the Attorney General's aconsumer protection division. In my experience, the office in my state appreciates learning about technology, as they don't have the internal budget to keep up with everything themselves.

If the AG isn't interested, then you really are out of luck, unless you want to mount a crusade, and even that is a long shot. But I would give the AG a try, after you have gathered a lot of evidence via speakeasy, etc.

Tech support on slashdot? Gimme a break! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22690476)

Then post your stats. For example, if your modem does give them to you, get the tech to read off the following to you:

  - Line profile name (this should include what type of profile you are on, ie: interleave or fastpath, or al2 vs. al1, if you were up here)
  - Sync Speed (Kbs) up and down
  - Relative Capacity Occupation (%)
  - Noise Margin (0..31 dB)
  - Signal Power (0..20 dBm)
  - Attenuation (0..60 dB)

Yes, to the ones who have done this thankless job, you can now guess what area of the world I work in and what I do now. Woohoo.

If your RCO is maxxed and you are syncing at less than the profile, your modem is syncing too high and this will cause dropouts. Your profile must be lowered, the line improved, or modem replaced. If the noise margin is under 6 dB (it's nicer if it's above 10 dB, honestly), again, you will have dropouts. Improve the lines or replace the modem. Signal power, don't worry about it too much, although both sides should be somewhat similar, it shouldn't be a big deal. Attenuation you want as low as possible, generally on a clean line, this will indicate your distance from the SLAM, and therefore the maximum speed. If you were capped at 3 mbits, you probably have an attenuation of over 35 db, which means 3+ km from the SLAM. Anything over 56 dB means you're screwed, and you're probably 5+ km from the SLAM. You could try to get the tech to send someone out to hook you up to another remote, if it exists. Good luck with that.

If you're already on interleave, you've probably got interference issues or a bad line, but nobody will care. If you're not on interleave and don't care about gaming, tell the tech to put you on interleave and say bye-bye to the problems.

Yay. That was fun. Next call please!

I'm your neighbor, and I drink your milkshake! (5, Funny)

Firebones (1236508) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690482)

See, it's like you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a very long straw called FiOS that reaches all the way over into your milkshake. I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE! I drink it up.

Re:I'm your neighbor, and I drink your milkshake! (1)

FrostedChaos (231468) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691014)

LOL

Another ISP? (1)

lhaeh (463179) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690490)

Surely there are other comparable ISPs out there, if you think they are pulling something then take your business elsewhere. If you live in an area built up enough to get FiOS, there should be many better ones to chose from. Personally, I have found the smaller DSL providers to be better and cheaper then the one that owns the lines here.

Verizon and high pressure tactics (4, Interesting)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690528)

Verizon is using some pretty tricky things to sign people onto FIOS. And I as a dedicated Verizon hater do my best to counter it.

Example, I've pushed a half dozen people away from Verizon when I explained that their costs for the same service would actually RISE if they switched away from Cox.

In one case the sales droid for Verizon told one former co-worker of mine that Verizon owned all the coax cable that Cox used. That's complete and utter bullshit. Cox owns all the coax.

Re:Verizon and high pressure tactics (4, Interesting)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690594)

I'm no lover of Verizon, but FiOS beats everything. It's insanely better than DSL and noticeably faster than cable modems. It's not the cheapest way to hook up to the internet, but my combination all-you-can-talk phone, basic television, and 20/5 internet is $105/year (and that's not an introductory rate), so it's not bad. And downloading the 2.1GB iPhone SDK in less than 20 minutes or uploading my kids' movies to their great grandmother is what it's about.

I guess it helps my cognitive dissonance that I've been around the block enough times that I've been screwed by all the companies. My favorite story about our cable company was when they held on to our checks for 2 weeks then charged us late fees. So we switch to direct-debit (yeah, young and naive at the time). Anyway, they DEBIT our accounts 2 WEEKS LATE then DEBIT the late fees as well. So while Verizon is evil, they don't seem any eviler than any of the others to me.

Re:Verizon and high pressure tactics (1)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690640)

I only have the Cox high tier net service. It's $50 a month but I get 20/5 service. The cable company you had sounds like real winners, was it Comcast by chance?

That said, you pay only $105 a year? That's a hell of a deal.

Re:Verizon and high pressure tactics (2, Interesting)

eli pabst (948845) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690802)

my combination all-you-can-talk phone, basic television, and 20/5 internet is $105/year

Did you mean per month? $105 a year would be insanely good for DSL just by itself (that's under $10 month).

Re:Verizon and high pressure tactics (1)

mdd4696 (1017728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690950)

It's not the cheapest way to hook up to the internet, but my combination all-you-can-talk phone, basic television, and 20/5 internet is $105/year (and that's not an introductory rate), so it's not bad.


Wait... what the hell? You pay less than $10 a month for internet access? I don't believe you.

Re:Verizon and high pressure tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691024)

It's not the cheapest way to hook up to the internet, but my combination all-you-can-talk phone, basic television, and 20/5 internet is $105/year (and that's not an introductory rate), so it's not bad.


Did you mean $105/month? For a year, that's less than $10 a month, a steal.

Re:Verizon and high pressure tactics (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691028)

It's not the cheapest way to hook up to the internet, but my combination all-you-can-talk phone, basic television, and 20/5 internet is $105/year (and that's not an introductory rate), so it's not bad.

Um, less than $9 a month for phone, TV and freaking 20/5 fibre is "not bad"? If that's a typo and you meant "month" - hell, I still pay more than that just for a lousy 6/768 DSL connection.

Horrible Customer Service (5, Insightful)

mduckworth (457088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690550)

You know I read all of these comments about how people would kill for FIOS. And I've also heard bad things about comcast, but I'm here to tell you, Verizon's customer service and billing is THE WORST! I ordered fios a year ago, got it put in and all was well. Then I move to a new home where fios is also available. They charge me a $90 "installation charge" that 3 reps insist is right, but the 4th rep says is wrong and that it should be $30. They screwed the activation so I called to get the order number to do it online and the rep sent me a new router and added a $140 charge. So they autobilled my credit card something like $280 this month... FOR FIOS INTERNET ONLY! Both verizon tech support and billing were supposed to send me a return label to return the new router and NEITHER SUCCEEDED! They are AMAZINGLY incompetent. They will transfer you around time after time to the wrong department. They don't listen to a word you say. The hold times are better now, a month ago I was holding over an hour to get through to anyone. For what it's worth the installation was top notch at both homes as has been the service. Just hope you never need to call them for anything... ever. You'll be sorry.

Re:Horrible Customer Service (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690752)

They probably hope you'll give up and just pay the extra charges.

Re:Horrible Customer Service (5, Interesting)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691050)

Call Verizon and switch to FiOS for business.

Here's what will happen:

They'll come install a second ONT on your house. You'll get 20% faster speed. You'll pay about 5% less. You won't have PPPoE and the associated latency anymore. You'll get 24/7 access to live, helpful customer service reps. Plus you'll have the option of static IPs for a fee should you decide you need them.

At least you can get FiOS... (5, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690552)

...because in Boston, which just so happens to be the silicon valley of the east coast (and has been for decades), I can't get FiOS.

Why? Verizon is holding the entire city hostage and refusing to do a fucking thing until they get a state-wide cable TV franchise license so they don't have to play on the same field as the cable operators (who have always had to negotiate per-town.) Look at the verizon deployment maps; it's a sea of blue and green, except for a giant void near Boston.

They've fed all sorts of bullshit to people; at one point, they were claiming that they were not doing "metropolitan areas." Funny: I guess New York City and DC aren't metropolitan areas? Everyone in the burbs and even the boondocks in eastern MA gets FiOS, but no, not Boston...

Re:At least you can get FiOS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22690590)

Boston is supposedly the 13th "most wired" city [forbes.com] in the country behind plenty of those on the East Coast including NYC, Raleigh and Charlotte, and Baltimore. If you were such a "Silicon Valley-alike" you'd have a better ranking.

Stop fucking whining. Minneapolis is the 11th most wired city in the country, according to that list, and from what I have read Verizon has absolutely no plans on bringing FiOS here.

Re:At least you can get FiOS... (5, Funny)

paul248 (536459) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690650)

Don't feel bad, I live in the Silicon Valley of the West coast and can't get FiOS either.

Re:At least you can get FiOS... (4, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690654)

I'm in the silicon valley of, well, the valley (ie, the real deal, mtn view/sunnyvale/san jose).

and no, we don't get FIOS either.

technology center of the US and we can't get fiber.

I see many roads are torn apart. not sure what they are digging up and doing but they are NOT planting fiber, that much is clear.

(at least not consumer or customer fiber. maybe they think terr-a-wrists are underground so they keep digging up our streets...)

Re:At least you can get FiOS... (1)

davidu (18) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690680)

You think Boston is bad? Here in the "Silicon Valley" of well -- Silicon Valley, we don't even have FIOS.

SF and the whole bay area have no FIOS service. The best I can get is 16mbps from Comcast. And it ain't comcastic.

Re:At least you can get FiOS... (1)

Gutboy (587531) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690682)

Same thing in Portland, Oregon. Every little tiny town around Portland has FIOS, but in the biggest city in Oregon, can't get it and they don't know when, if ever, they will.

Re:At least you can get FiOS... (2, Interesting)

log0n (18224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690786)

Boston? I thought Silicon Valley East was Alexandria, VA (and surrounding DC tech corridor).

Re:At least you can get FiOS... (4, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690928)

Actually Boston was a center of computer technology when Silicon Valley was just cheap farmland.

The thing that happened was that the Boston area IT firms were largely minicomputer outfits (like DEC and Prime) or special purpose engineering workstations (Apollo, Symbolics), not to mention many spin-offs and laboratories involved in advanced CS work. The thing was the area's IT market got hit by a kind of perfect storm in the late 80s and early 90s: the collapse of the minicomputer market segment, the flagging of investor interest in artificial intelligence, the weakening of the workstation market, and a post Soviet Union drop off in government spending on the ultra-high-tech defense research that was a regular source of business creation in the university rich Boston area. At the same time, continued high property values made it less attractive for young engineers graduating from Boston schools to stay here.

Still, the Boston area continues to grow high tech startups in a variety of technical fields because of the sheer volume of academic research here; it's just that we haven't experienced the next big thing after the informatics boom of the 70s and 80s, and we missed out largely on the Internet bubble of the 90s. When the next thing happens, say if biotech takes off like informatics did in the 70s, we'll probably see Boston as an early hot spot, as it was in the 40s through 80s for computers.

Re:At least you can get FiOS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22690810)

The basic issue here is that the cable operators came through in the 60s and 70s and were given an open ticket to run cable, because everyone wanted it, and there was no competition. Nowadays, Comcast is PAYING politicians to make unreasonable demands of Verizon to slow the halt of FIOS. In my town, the Mayor refused to let Verizon in unless they did major infrastructure work that had nothing to do with running FIOS. He wanted Verizon to pay for crap like sidewalk repair, new roads, etc. The mayor has a show on public access cable.

I guess Verizon finally greased the wheel enough and got the OK to come in. Well, then Comcast SUED Verizon, delaying FIOS rollout for at least a year (Comcast has a big office in our town.). Comcast tried to claim they owned all the conduit that comes off the street to the house, and Verizon couldn't use the same conduit for FIOS. Would have probably worked too, if Verizon copper POTS lines weren't in that same conduit already....

Verizon has been putting up with politicians in the cable companies pockets for a long time now, and they're fed up. So, now they're trying to get a state-wide license to avoid all the bullshit.
They did it in New Jersey. Comcast ran anonynmous ads all through the state for MONTHS telling people to call their state reps to vote NO on the legislation, because it gives Verizon the right to tear up your lawn and destroy your landscaping...

I just got the letter last week that they're going to lay FIOS sometime next week, and they're going to resod any lawn they damage, and even leave care instructions for me to help keep the sod alive.

I can't wait till I can actually sign up.

Re:At least you can get FiOS... (4, Informative)

TKBui (574476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690834)

Ha! I live in Sunnyvale and I have FIBER. I get 20480kbp and I am not on Comcast or AT&T. Paxio.com

no competition = zero customer service (5, Insightful)

jjzeidner (1251424) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690566)

this is what happens when you employ policies that virtually eliminate market competition in favor of granting 'sweetheart deals' in return for the ability to snoop the network whenever you please. Telco is perhaps the most corrupt it has ever been in American history. Joshua Zeidner [joshuazeidner.com]

Line interference or impedance (4, Insightful)

MyBrotherSteve (944845) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690578)

It's possible that if this all started while, or just after, they got done digging up the neighborhood to run the fiber, that they accidentally did something that is causing line interference or an impedance of some sort. In this case, a line technician would be able to determine an actual physical problem with any of the lines. Obviously, a phone call to have them check won't hurt.

Backbone bandwidth oversold (1)

Nick Driver (238034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690768)

I'd most likely suspect that it's simply a case of they have only a fixed amount of backbone bandwidth to their central office that's now feeding both the old DSL and new fiber customers, and now all those newly added fiber customers are simply sucking the life out of the backbone connection's bandwidth capacity.

Go Cable (2, Informative)

Deathlizard (115856) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690600)

If you got a Cable Co. in your area. Jump to it.

Most likely if FIOS is around, the local Cable Co. is probably price matching Verizon's FIOS Service. Possibly beating Verizon's price. Although be warned. Depending on the Cable Co, it could be worse service than what Verizon is giving you.

Verizon's tech service has been going downhill for awile. My first experience with it was they couldn't hook up a friends house for some reason because he's close to a state border. After dicking with Verizon for two months of appointment cancellations and broken activation promises he called the Cable Co. (in this case, Adelphia) and had Broadband in his house in three days. Then when he canceled the DSL service he never received, they charged him for two months of service and a breach of contract for service he never received.

Another example is two weeks ago I was working on a PC who already had Verizon. He was on the basic plan and I recommended that he upgrade to the power plan. He called them and asked for the upgrade from basic to power and they said it would take a few days (Vs Time Warner's and Armstrong's "call to upgrade and get the speed instantly" support) A few days later, he gets an e-mail that welcomes him to Verizon and happily tells him that he's now paying the power plan price for basic tier service. In other words. Verizon happily raised his bill $10 a month for the exact same level of DSL service he was already receiving. Thankfully he got that strengthened out after talking to a billing rep during his work hour since billing closes at 5PM and tech support had no clue what was going on.

Don't jump to conclusions (5, Informative)

Dan East (318230) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690602)

A couple years ago when we moved into our current house we signed up for DSL. Things were good for a couple months, then connectivity became very poor and spotty. Throughput was bad, and the line would completely drop from time to time. We had 6 different tech guys come to our house. Each would hook up his diagnostic machine, which would sync up with the office and show really good connectivity and throughput. They swapped out our modem at least 4 times. They said that since the meter showed the line was good, the problem was mine. One guy started screwing around with my computers before I finally told him to stop (throughput was fine on my LAN). Finally, this one guy came out, and he was determined to get to the bottom of it. He at least had the intelligence to say that just because his equipment told him everything was fine, the fact that a modem couldn't sync meant otherwise. He ran a new line from the pole to the house. Then he helped run a new line all the way to my office (even though they're supposed to charge for that). He had a guy at the office switch the node we physically connected into. Still bad connectivity. So he then went from pole to pole from my house to the office, which is at least a dozen blocks. He finally found a splice that was connected with old-style crimp on connectors. Apparently there was some corrosion in them, which increased the resistance just exactly enough that the modem couldn't tolerate it, but the diagnostic equipment could (and the resistance was within tolerable limits). He replaced the splice, and everything has been perfect for well over a year. He gave me his own cell number and told me to call him direct if we ever had further problems.

So my point is not to jump to conclusions. There could be a physical problem with your line that happened about when the FiOS was rolling out. Try hooking your modem directly to your Network Interface Box (usually on the side of the house) with all of your interior wiring disconnected (should just be a little jumper going into a regular phone jack - unplug it and plug your modem straight in). If your throughput goes up, you have a problem with your interior wiring. If it doesn't, the DSL provider is obligated to fix the problem. Make sure you tell them that you hooked your modem up directly to the network interface box, because the tech person should then immediately schedule someone to come out instead of having you try bridging your DSL modem and a bunch of other worthless garbage. They will still probably tell you to hard-reset your modem, but after that then they should send someone out. As in my case, it might take several different techs to find someone that can actually help. Same with support on the phone. Some people would randomly pick things out of some list a computer showed them, and ask me to follow various worthless steps. Other people knew exactly what was not wrong, based on what I told them up front, and so they didn't beat around the bush.

Re:Don't jump to conclusions (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690684)

I had that same experience with Time Warner right after they took over for Adelphia (so, Adelphia staff with Adelphia equipment that had Time Warner stickers over the old Adelphia ones).

Modem kept dropping, cable boxes kept losing connection for the guide and the digital channels. They sent 5 techs, and the last one finally said "Enough with this" and re-ran from the pole to the house, crossing a very busy 2-lane for semis between two local small cities. He helped run some coax in the house, even left us 75' extra in case we moved TVs around. He checked every pole from our house towards town until he found a problem. Turns out that moisture was getting in somewhere and screwing us all up. Problem went away after he finished, and never came back.

And the same thing happened before they sent the tech out. "Everything looks OK from here, the problem must have fixed itself." Took 'em 6 months to figure out that the problem wasn't going away without someone physically fixing it.

Re:Don't jump to conclusions (1)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690840)

I agree, before jumping to conclusion that Verizon is out to get them, be sure to actually check if there is a problem on your end. I had DSL for a few months after FiOS was available, and I had no problems with my connection before I decided to switch once TV came out too.

Re:Don't jump to conclusions (2, Interesting)

leabre (304234) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690952)

I had a similar problem with AT&T (previously SBC, previously Pacific Bell, Previously ... etc). My 3MB Dropped to intermittent connection reliability and then stopped cold. They eventually confirmed (or admitted) that my modem doesn't establish communication. So they came out and spent many weeks trying to find the problem. Finally, a third tech said that it works fine at some utility box 1,000 feet from my house but not at the wall of my house. So they spent a few more weeks digging up the ling through the street, my yard, other yards, until they found a tiny 1mm crimp in a wire that was eroded from the elements and replaced the entire line from that point to my house, and from that point to the utility box (which at this point was about 75 feet from the utility box. Now, my connection is at 1.6 MB because when they activated at 3MB there was a lot of noise that the installing tech should have toned down the speed for reliability, but 1.6 is the most reliable they can get because I'm so far away from the CO (I'm at the last few hundred feet).

Anyway, the point is, anything could have happened and the only thing intentional is the degree of assistance the telco will ultimately provide. Even if it is your responsibility (inside your house) they should at least charge you and happily come fix it.

Thanks,
Leabre

One Big Reason: Cost (1)

Dr Reducto (665121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690632)

Verizon reps have told me numerous times that they want to phase out DSL in favor of FIOS whenever possible, because the costs to maintain a fiber connection are less than DSL. It's not really surprising that they want to push a service that provides a lot more revenue, and has a lower cost overall. Even if it takes pulling customers kicking and screaming

huh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22690674)

500 meters? meters?! Who uses meters? Could I get that in football fields, or preferably, empire state buildings?

I work for a telco. (4, Interesting)

dadragon (177695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690676)

I work for a smallish Canadian telco. We offer DSL, IPTV, and telephone all over copper. Our infrastructure is all FTTN, and you can pull 10mbps at 600m easy. If you're on our service, 20mbps is possible if you have HDTV. There's one of two things going on here. Verizon is trying to screw you, or there's something wrong with your line.

If it's the former Verizon won't help you. If it's the latter, a tech should be able to fix it. If you're only 550m from the CO you might not have an access cabinet in between you and the CO, but there should be many pairs into the pedestal near your house. A tech should be able to just do a pair change and fix it. The other thing that could happen is a port change in the CO. Both of these are quick, as long as the CO is manned. We have about 25 in this city, and only 1 is manned full time.

Re:I work for a telco. (1)

um_atrain (810963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691020)

What telco would that be?
I've been looking for a new telco, and that sounds great.

How paltry.... (5, Informative)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690692)

Sorry but "which boasts 3 Mbps down and 758 Kbps up"? I wouldn't be boasting too much about that service. If you were to rank the US in terms of their internet connectivity they really are almost a 3rd world country.

$50/month here in Japan gets me 100Mbps (up and down) FTTH with no caps in place. Yes, you can all say "well Japan is such a small and densely populated country so of course they can all be wired up like that", which I hear so often. Well, why can't the US do this for their main cities as they are all densely populated. If they were to take this approach and then build high bandwidth links interconnecting these cities it could be done.

But the real problem here is that the telecoms and politicians are too busy filling their pockets and planning how to spy on you to care about doing anything to improve their networks.

Re:How paltry.... (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690740)

only in large cities like NY are they as dense as japan.

but you are still right, teleco's in the USA are too busy giving the government a handjob to look after their customers.

Re:How paltry.... (1)

B4RSK (626870) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690880)

I just signed up for 1Gbps up and down here in Osaka. $90/month. I have to upgrade my firewall now as it is the bottleneck in the connection!

Re:How paltry.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691044)

most of even major us cities are not what you, as a Japanese, would call densely populated. Housing with a few exceptions consists mostly of one story houses.

So, sign up for FiOS (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690838)

That appears what Verizon wants you to do, rather than have to maintain that crappy old copper network. That crappy old regulated copper network.

As I understand it, Verizon (and others) lobbied and won concessions in the regulation of newer technology networks. If you request new service, supplied by FiOS, they can get you to agree to new terms of service. Terms of service much more to Verizon's liking, no doubt.

Verizon could work their way down the street and switch everyone to a FiOS line, even if only to provide POTS at a fiber to copper interface at the demarcation point. It would be cheaper for them in the long run, not having to maintain two systems along your street. But if they did so on their own initiative, you could expect to receive service under your old TOS and associated regulations.

Things on the copper network will get worse and worse, until you beg to sign away your first born for fiber.

No FIOS for me (1)

PingXao (153057) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690878)

I have Optimum Online from Cablevision. I've been salivating at the prospect of FIOS to enter the picture locally and eat Cablevision's lunch, out of spite as much as for any technical/cost reason. But no. Cablevision has a deal in place with the apartment management company in my complex that prevents FIOS from coming in. We (the tenants) think that should be illegal (and maybe it is), but good luck getting anyone to look into it. Meanwhile, Cablevision happily strings one of their main coax cables through an open basement window, snakes it up through some tree branches and over the roof of a nearby building. All because the apartment complex carelessly cut an underground cable several years ago installing a sprinkler system and refused to take responsibility.

Bottom line: I am not one of the new FIOS customers in your area chewing on the bandwidth.

add me to the list of FIOS haters (1)

sirmonkey (1056544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22690946)

i'm switching back to COX cable in a few months once my contract is up. fios is laggy, flaky at night and worst of all the speed varies through out the day

I'm sure he didn't mean "die" (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691002)

I'm positive he meant "Cowboy Neal to the home".

Oh, it's not a survey!

What are you complaining about? (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691016)

Take the FiOS. It's better in every way. Cheaper, faster, more reliable.

The conspiracy theories that they're trying to pull the copper to make it so you can't go with the competition have been soundly debunked. Why on earth would you want to stay with crappy old DSL when you could have rock-stable FiOS?

For some perspective, my internet uptime with FiOS is going on three years. Your DSL can't do that.

I doubt your neighbors are using the bandwidth (1)

BanjoBob (686644) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691054)

I seriously doubt that your neighbors or even quadrant of the city are cutting into fiber optic bandwidth. OC-192 runs on fibre as do many other extremely high speed networks. 3 Mbps is nothing to fiber. Even 3 Gbps shouldn't be a problem. If it is, then somebody is running low bandwidth gear on a high-speed piece of glass.

I would suspect the issue is like comcast here. They reduced everybody's 6 Mbps cable feeds to 1 Mbps because, as one tech told me, "nobody ever checks their speeds anyway." Another tech said they were reducing the bandwidth for Internet to make room for some other digital services including high-def TV, IP telephony and more. I dropped comtrash for DSL and have been quite happy.
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