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Verizon Copper Cutoff Traps Customers 269

Posted by kdawson
from the my-way-or-the-dirt-path dept.
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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Verizon Copper Cutoff Traps Customers

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  • Not true (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2007 @01:15PM (#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.

    • by GizmoToy (450886)
      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.
    • Actually in seriousness, I did the research and was sort of informed that my copper would be shut off. I told them that I didn't want the service unless they left my copper lines alone. The Verizon folks agreed. However, to them copper left alone, meant converting my phone lines to fibre anyway and taking the phone company box with them!!! I called and complained and they said my copper lines were still there. Yes, soft of true. I was extremely pissed off to say the least.

      There are 2 problems with hav
      • by mjpaci (33725)
        The phone still works in a power outage is not as important as it used to be*. A lot of people with POTS are still up a creek because they have cordless phones which don't all work so well when the AC is gone. Also, with the advent of Cell Phones, people don't really need the copper to still work when there's a blackout.

        --Mike

        * I will agree with the parent that it was, at some time, REALLY REALLY REALLY important that the phone still worked during periods of blackout.
        • by Shakrai (717556)

          lot of people with POTS are still up a creek because they have cordless phones which don't all work so well when the AC is gone

          Yes, but most people with a clue also have a wired phone for backup. So POTS is still valid here.

          Also, with the advent of Cell Phones, people don't really need the copper to still work when there's a blackout

          Granted, if the cell site that serves your house has batteries or a generator. Most large rural sites do but in many urban areas they lean towards smaller micro and pico cells that may or may not have a provision for backup power. And when the micro and pico cells go down you can count on the macro cells (i.e: the ones large enough to justify generators) being too overloaded to use.

          As a healthy person

      • by Shakrai (717556)

        since Verizon bought Sprint

        You mean MCI? Verizon doesn't own Sprint....

        Apparently, they then have to bill your credit card

        This is probably just a misinformed CSR. I was able to get invoice billing for dry-loop DSL. Don't see why FiOS would be any different. Of course I dropped their DSL and went back to Time Warner after they raised my price $10/mo and informed me that I had to have dial-tone service to get the best deals. Yeah, like I'm going to play for a landline that I'll never use (cell only here) just to save a few bucks on DSL.

  • 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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by pavera (320634)
      Wrong. Fiber is a whole new animal. If you roll out fiber, the FCC turns a blind eye, there is no regulation. In fact, the FCC ruled that you don't have to allow competitors access to fiber that you roll out. Fiber for the telcos is just like cable networks which people have requested access to multiple times, and the FCC has consistently ruled that the cable cos don't have to allow access.

      • by Shakrai (717556)

        In fact, the FCC ruled that you don't have to allow competitors access to fiber that you roll out

        I'm all for allowing them exclusive access to their own network. Just as soon as they stop lobbying against competitors (wireless and cable last mile solutions) and stop buying off Governments (the entire state of Pennsylvania) to outlaw competition. Until then they should be forced to share the damn network.

        the FCC has consistently ruled that the cable cos don't have to allow access

        Which is bullshit, seeing as how most areas franchise cable companies and specifically disallow competition. Even if you had the money to roll your own cable plant you probably would be barred

  • by Scyber (539694) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @01:20PM (#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.
    • by tgd (2822)
      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?
      • by AlphaOne (209575) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @02:11PM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dabraun (626287)

          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

          • by quanticle (843097) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @02:28PM (#19791573) Homepage

            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.

            • 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.

              Comcast has had that kind of monopoly here for years on TV, and yet Verizon, despite being required to lease their copper lines to competitors and having Comcast compete with VoIP a

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ryanov (193048)
            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: (Score:2, Interesting)

              Those CLEC providers will submit workorders with Verizon to reconnect them to the copper grid. Its the same as if a person elects for a CLEC provider in a new home without ever having had previous phone service. Verizon will come out and bury the lines if necessary, and install the SDU on the side of the home, and usually punch it down to activate the customer.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Tmack (593755)

                Those CLEC providers will submit workorders with Verizon to reconnect them to the copper grid. Its the same as if a person elects for a CLEC provider in a new home without ever having had previous phone service. Verizon will come out and bury the lines if necessary, and install the SDU on the side of the home, and usually punch it down to activate the customer.

                And then bill the CLEC for this "service". If they can get away with an arial run, you are lucky, as the digging adds time and lots of money to the bill. Every time we get rejects based on no facilities available to the prem, need customer build-out, its at least $500, digging runs into the thousands and generally causes that account to be canceled, further locking them to their old provider, since the cost goes directly to that customer. The ILECs have many dirty tricks up their sleeves to try to keep th

          • by sumdumass (711423)
            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 woul
        • 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 d

        • 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.

          • So, it's OK to allow Verizon to limit you to TWO choices (FOIS or cable) rather than the 30+ possiblities if you keep the copper?

            Spoken like a Verizon telemarketing script.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              I would love to see that kind of flexibility. When I had copper service here in the D/FW metroplex, I found out that Verizon was the only local service provider which serviced my area. My last-mile copper came from Verizon. And while I could have any of a number of ISPs for Internet service, they were all peered into the VZ DSL Switching network, and their peer bandwidth was generally a lot less than that of the VZ uplink I was tied to- making VZ the only choice for anything faster than 54mbps split over ev
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by zachdms (265636)
        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.
    • by gruntled (107194)
      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.

      • I work for Verizon (Score:5, Interesting)

        by potat0man (724766) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @06:02PM (#19793409)
        That's odd. I work for Verizon as a lineman and do lots of FiOS installs in the Boston area.

        My foreman told us a month ago to stop taking down the copper just to improve our install times. Maybe at the CEO level there's a big conspiracy to eliminate common carrier lines but the 1st and 2nd level managers certainly don't care about it. And I know for sure the linemen don't.

        I know when I install I only remove the copper in a few circumstances:

        1. The customer specifically asks me to (usually for aesthetic reasons, they don't care for all the wires running over their lawn).

        2. They have underground conduit so I have to use the old copper line to pull the new fiber through it.

        3. The drops to their house go through thick foliage and rather than try to weave the fiber through a bazillion branches I'll tape it to the old copper line and just pull it through.

        Other than that? Why would I spend 30 minutes cutting the old line, getting dirty gathering it up and then finding a place to dispose of it when I'm all done? I'm not going to do extra work for no reason. Particularly if there's good reason not to do that work. I say just wait for the next hurricane to knock it down for you. Then we can take it away.

        Basically I think it's going to go one of two ways in the future.

        1. Consumer complaints over price and service will ultimately lead to making the fiber network common carrier in a decade or so.

        or

        2. WiMAX, BPL, Cable, Cellular and Satellite will provide enough options for consumers that the number of people calling for the fiber to be made common carrier just won't reach a critical mass because most people will be satisfied with the existing communications options.

        Your scenario's a little strange. I don't know why those guys would risk losing a new customer over something as silly as that. In the Boston area anyway they seem to bend over backwards to save an install.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      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, t

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sumdumass (711423)
        I never thought of that, If you want to keep your copper line, tell them it is for the basement that you rent out or something.

        Anyways, I'm wondering what renters and landlords are doing over this. If you want the service, they will be the ones stuck installing the older service again if it becomes a problem getting everything rented out again.
  • 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 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Joebert (946227) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @01:24PM (#19791101) Homepage

    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.
  • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @01:26PM (#19791119)
    Wilful destruction of existing infrastructure for no reason exception to "cut off" their competitors? They're going to the special hell.
    • by hdon (1104251) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @01:53PM (#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: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by evilviper (135110)

        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 f

        • by Fez (468752) * on Sunday July 08, 2007 @03:22PM (#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.
    • by moosesocks (264553) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @02:12PM (#19791459) Homepage
      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.
      • 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.
      • by compro01 (777531) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @03:21PM (#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.
        • by compro01 (777531)
          and yes, i do work for a phone company, namely, Sasktel.
          • by macdaddy (38372)
            I attended LinkSys One training with a couple Sasktel guys about 9 months ago. In fact Cisco goofed up on my temp badge and printed my name and Sasktel as my employer. I still have that badge some where.
  • by Above (100351) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @01:27PM (#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?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2007 @01:29PM (#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.
  • 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. You guys have complained for years that telecoms are not replacing copper with fiber. Now Verizon replaces copper with fiber, and you bitch.
    • 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 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by daeg (828071) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @02:11PM (#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.
  • 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
    • by ahknight (128958) *
      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...
    • by pavera (320634)
      no they are not required to lease the fiber, and they are not leasing it. The FCC ruled a couple years ago that if you as a provider invest in fiber roll outs, you no longer are subject to the required leasing agreements of the past. So as verizon cuts the fiber, they are creating 100% monopoly service areas.

      As far as 911 they are still required by the FCC to comply with the power outage requirements, which state something like 6-8 hours of uptime in the event of a power outage. They install a battery ba
  • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2007 @01:53PM (#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.
  • I just got FIOS (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nessak (9218) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @02:23PM (#19791531) Homepage
    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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by satoshi1 (794000)
      Land line, Land line. Not LAN line.
    • Re:I just got FIOS (Score:5, Informative)

      by lancejjj (924211) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @03:32PM (#19792035) Homepage

      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.

    • by compro01 (777531)
      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.
  • 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.
    • by Shatrat (855151) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @02:54PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • by Jerry (6400) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @03:15PM (#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?
  • by mediis (952323)
    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.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @04:12PM (#19792397) Homepage
    But I'm very sad to hear this about Verizon. This is the final nail in the coffin of the ultra-reliable count-on-it-in-emergencies service that Theodore Vail, AT&T, and the Western Electric engineers brought into being. Through pure self-interest, and I know that the days of Ma Bell had their downside, but it was one of the wonders of the world. The phones always worked and in the extremely rare occasions when they didn't, the phone company acted as if they had a responsibility to make them work.

    Now we're slowly getting pushed back into cheap service that works except when you really need it. Because it's easy to evaluate what your phone costs, and it's easy to look at the list of spiffy features, but it's very hard for Joe Consumer to know how reliable the service is... so the free market can't put a proper value on reliability.

    Six months ago, the company I work for installed spiffy VOIP telephones. Because of some issue or another, they kept the old I-know-it's-not-Centrex-but-whaddaya-call-it system connected for a while. And there were also about three individual plain old lines for some fax machines.

    A few months ago there was a power outage that started around 9 a.m. and lasted into the early afternoon.

    The spiffy VOIP phones went dead immediately.

    The old company phones kept working for about an hour.

    Apparently the local cell towers don't have much in the way of battery backup because a few hours later nobody's cell phone could get a signal.

    But the three plain old phones were still working six hours later, and based on past experience I believe they would have worked for a couple of days.

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