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No FiOS In Boston? We'll Make an Ad Anyway 202

Zott writes "The Boston Globe has a front-page story about Verizon's FiOS that recounts what many of us here in Boston and some surrounding urban areas know already: Verizon won't invest in the physical plant and actually offer the fiber optic Internet and TV service here in the 'hub of the universe.' This hasn't stopped Verizon from launching a new advertising campaign with Donnie Wahlberg (member of New Kids on the Block, actor, and well-known Boston native) standing in Copley Square and the Charlestown neighborhood touting the product. It goes even further, though — according to the Globe's article, '"This is New England, where people tell it straight," says Wahlberg... "No phonies, no fakers, no shortcuts."' Except for the shortcut in the fine print that's presumably in the ad somewhere: 'FiOS not available in all areas.'"
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No FiOS In Boston? We'll Make an Ad Anyway

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  • A FiOS (Score:5, Funny)

    by smittyoneeach ( 243267 ) * on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @12:52PM (#45071813) Homepage Journal
    A FiOS ad?
    That's mighty sad
    Like the last razor
    Rick Rubin had.
    Burma Shave
    • Ars wrote on this a while ago.

      Boston wants to apply a lot of taxes to FIOS and Verizon decided to pass on the deal. []

      • That is just it even outside of Boston verizon stopped putting in fios. My sister has it I can't get it and I am 5 miles away.

        Verizon just stopped period. blaming it on the taxes is just an excuse. Verizon made a deal with comcast to stop expanding their services.

        • that's nothing. I have a single DSL provider available to me. The cable company won't connect the subdivision until it is fully developed. There are 3 lots that are vacant and have been since the builder went bankrupt in '09. They service the next subdivision which is less than 100' from my house.
      • Re:A FiOS (Score:4, Informative)

        by RealGene ( 1025017 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @05:42PM (#45075643)
        This is, of course, a completely bullshit stance by Verizon. As any FiOS user knows, Verizon just passes any local taxes back on to the user, via the "Verizon Surcharges and Other Charges" section (actual charges from my last bill):
        • Verizon Property Tax Recovery Charge ..... $2.29
        • License Fee ..... $0.11
        • Franchise Related Costs ..... $1.80

        ..and more.

      • Re:A FiOS (Score:4, Interesting)

        by The Second Horseman ( 121958 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:10PM (#45077205)

        They put in just enough fiber in a few states to claim that they tried to put in high-speed networking in exchange for regulatory relief, stopped as soon as they could, and allegedly cut deals with Comcast, Time Warner Cable, etc that they wouldn't push into more areas, as long as the cable companies didn't push into providing mobile service. AT&T did the same thing.

  • Advertising in its purest form: outright lies
  • No Fakers? (Score:4, Funny)

    by jayhawk88 ( 160512 ) <> on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @12:58PM (#45071925)

    But what about doodie-heads? Are there meanies or stupid-faces?

  • Why did Slashdot choose this article? Do they like Marky Mark or something?
    I get turned down for articles far more interesting tan this one...


    ---------------- []

    • by mjpaci ( 33725 )

      Marky Mark is Mark Wahlberg. Donnie is on Blue Bloods.

    • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @01:46PM (#45072677)

      Why did Slashdot choose this article? Do they like Marky Mark or something?

      Because Verizon, a supposed common carrier, is refusing to offer services in a city that is a)one of two major tech capitals of the United States, an area with a long history of computer industry tech b)the largest city in New England.

      There are a couple of factors at play. One is that Verizon wants an exemption from the state's requirements that TV cable providers secure franchise agreements with each town. The state basically forces cable companies to bid against each other. So that's why, for example, many MA towns have a cable studio in one of their schools, or at least some sort of community access station. That's important, but Verizon doesn't want to play ball against Comcast, RCN, Cablevision, etc. They just want to be able to offer TV services statewide.

      The second factor: Verizon has studiously avoided low income (ie minority) areas in rolling out. They can run fiber down a street in Weston and get ~$200/household for internet, phone, and a fat TV package...and not need to feed that connection much in the way of data. In the city, people don't have as much disposable income, don't want phone service, and don't sit on their couch watching TV as much either because they're busy working or they're out taking advantage of more things the city has to there's a LOT more internet connection sharing via wifi.

      The end result is that we have only one real internet service provider in the city: Comcast. There's no competition, in a supposedly free market economy, in one of the oldest tech hubs in the country. Boston is the Silicon Valley of the East Coast; Massachusetts actually used to be as much or more of a tech powerhouse than SV was. DEC, Wang, HP, Sun, SGI, Oracle, Microsoft, and virtually every other major tech company used to have a massive presence here on either the Route 495 or 128 belts (495/128 and the spoke roads...93, 2, 3, 90, etc are why Boston is referred to as "The Hub")

      All the tech elite/execs out in the burbs have awesomely fast internet and a choice in providers, but anyone in Cambridge, Somerville, or Boston don't. Similarly, if you head out to Needham you get 5-6Mbit/sec download speeds on your cell.

      • one of two major tech capitals of the United States, an area with a long history of computer industry tech.

        There *used* to be technology in Boston. However: of the companies you name:

        - DEC and Wang were based here - and are both bankrupt, dead, and long gone.
        - SUN had a small outpost that did their i386 workstation - both it and the offices are dead and closed (and SUN is no longer a company).
        - SGI never had anything significant outside of Mountain View and Cortalloid - but they're dead anyway.
        - HP/Compaq still has a presence, but it is hardly "massive" - and HP is well on the roa

        • There *used* to be technology in Boston.

          There still is; it's just not the same companies, except for Microsoft, Oracle, and Google, among the big "old tech" companies. Microsoft owns a huge building right on the Charles, for example, and has a huge office on 128; so does Oracle. Google's smack in the middle of Kendal Square.

          Facebook, Apple, Amazon, ITA, Turbine, SCVNGR/LevelUp....that's just who I can think of off the top of my head. Then there's all the pharma companies...

          Boston remains popular becau

      • Verizon got a statewide franchise in New Jersey, yet they seem to have halted build out in the state. Meanwhile, in areas devastated by Sandy, Verizon refuses to rebuild ANY land line network.
        • by jmauro ( 32523 )

          They're replacing the landline POTS service with a fixed wireless system or with FIOS. The wireless service is similar for POTS, but doesn't do DSL.

          Depends on the neighborhood on who gets what.

        • Verizon got a statewide franchise in New Jersey, yet they seem to have halted build out in the state. Meanwhile, in areas devastated by Sandy, Verizon refuses to rebuild ANY land line network.

          Yeah, they pissed me off with that years ago. I saw a verizon tech working on lines on my street corner 2 years back (I'm in NJ), I approached him and asked, "Ooh, we finally getting FIOS?".. He laughed and said fat chance, it's dead.. never gonna happen, they pulled the plug on it; yet those bastards continue to advertise it. Mind you, I have no love for Comcast either.

        • And the wireless solution sucks - WNYC did an interview with a Verizon VP (he was at home), and he was barely intelligible over the wireless link connection that he was claiming was just as good as copper.

          Of course, things like credit card readers in small businesses won't work over them. But hey, who cares, right?

          They really are a shitty, shitty company.

      • (495/128 and the spoke roads...93, 2, 3, 90, etc are why Boston is referred to as "The Hub")

        No they're not.

        It's from Holmes' "The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table" []:

        "Boston State-House is the hub of the solar system. You couldn't pry that out of a Boston man if you had the tire of all creation straightened out for a crowbar."

        Bostonians have long been known for their provincialism, and why not? Everywhere else just isn't interesting, important, or worth going to.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I got a mailer for Verizon FIOS at my house this week. Guess what? They don't have coverage in my area. Who is the idiot that ran that Mail Campaign?

    • I get mailers and ads on local TV/radio stations for any number of services, restaurants, retailers, etc that aren't even in my city... or any neighboring city for over 100 miles. It's not just Verizon.

    • by unrtst ( 777550 )

      The idiot that runs the mail campaign advertising a product you can't buy via a mailer to your house is cut from the same cloth as the submitter who says there's NO FiOS in Boston, when it's really just not in his neighborhood (and many others... but it does exist there).

      Doesn't seem like much of a story here. Should just be, "FiOS rollout seems slow, but they're still raking in enough cash for blanket advertising to people that can't even buy the service yet". Doesn't seem like the worst problem a company

      • And what about dumb consumers that heard that FiOS is fast and just call Verizon to hook up Internet without inquiring any more details? It's true that they're not the brightest customers, but they are possibly being mislead intentionally.

  • Is the next Slashdot article going to complain about having to see Long John Silvers advertisements when there aren't any Long John Silvers restaurants in the area? Because I see those ads pretty frequently...

  • FiOS Is A Sham. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @01:32PM (#45072459)

    Here in Maryland, we received FiOS flyers in the mail; they hung advertisements on our door knob; they put advertisements under our cars' windshield wipers; they made phone calls (because we were current Verizon ADSL customers, I presume, the phone call was legal); they even came out to the house in person at one point, all trying to sell us on FiOS. We still see TV ads on our local TV stations (just over the air; we don't have cable).

    Being that we are big-time Internet content consumers -- video, photos, Linux distros, gaming -- FiOS was a huge deal for us. From the first time I heard the acronym, I wanted it. I couldn't wait to free myself from the unreliability and below-average speed of ADSL.

    That was in 2008. But suddenly, a shift happened: instead of Verizon spamming *us*, we found ourselves spamming *them*. We'd call them on the phone and ask if they were offering FiOS yet. "Nope, it's not available in your area yet". Over time, the reps started leaving the "yet" off, as if to imply that it would never be available. Turns out they were right.

    I was making pretty good money at the time, so I called Verizon and asked how much they wanted to connect the fiber from what I assumed was a local switching box to our house. I told them I'm willing to pay an amount they'd typically charge a business. They declined to quote a price, simply repeating that FiOS is not available in my area, over and over again, like a broken record. Meanwhile, I posted on the dslreports forums inquiring about it, and someone who lives about half a mile down the road said they have FiOS, and they thought our entire town was wired up with it. Apparently I'm not part of the town I live in. Who'd have thought?

    Then I read this story:

    It's no wonder FiOS never came. It was a profiteering scam all along. Verizon's plan was basically to:

    (1) Tell the government that they need a lot of money to roll out the next generation internet service to America to keep us competitive with the rest of the world; this convinced politicians sufficiently well that they received a big chunk of change from taxpayers.

    (2) Using money that they'd normally be spending on PSTN (telephone) infrastructure, deploy a *token* amount of FiOS in areas where it's the most profitable and lowest cost / barrier to entry to do so, and tell the politicians, "See? We're doing it!" -- meanwhile they were doubtless placing neighborhoods inhabited by Congressmen and Senators at the top of the priority list.

    (3) Once the government seemed satisfied, stop the deployment entirely, except for finishing off areas that they already promised local or state governments they'd roll out to.

    (4) Keep all the money that the government gave them for FiOS, and hand it out to their top executives as bonuses.

    It's a devious, scheming, unabashedly evil plan, which succeeded with flying colors, as far as lining the executives' pockets. Meanwhile, not only did they screw taxpayers out of their money, but they didn't even follow through with the service they said they'd provide, for the vast majority of the people.

    Meanwhile, through price fixing and industry collusion, even with arch-rivals such as Comcast and AT&T, they have managed to keep a damper on innovation, cloud hosted services, HD video streaming, and other premium internet services in the U.S., by intentionally restricting the internet access of the common man to about 7.1 Mbps, give or take.

    This is all nothing new. Verizon is a shining example of exactly what is wrong with the United States: corporate greed, flying in the face of the government's best intentions, abusing taxpayer money for corporate gain, and preventing Americans from having an equal footing with the rest of the industrialized world on the "Information Superhighway". The first chance we get, we should lock their top executives and investors away in solitary confinement for life. But of course that will never happen, because nobody gives a shit that the crooks get away with this. And they know it, too, or they wouldn't have done such a thing in plain sight.

    • Unfortunately that more or less matches up with my experiences. My parents live in a 2-square-mile town in northeast NJ. Most of the town has FiOS, but their little section does not. It's been about 5 years since the town was "getting" FiOS but it's still unavailable and they've clearly stopped doing additional work.

      Meanwhile, they've stopped doing any work on their older copper infrastructure, you know, because everybody has FiOS and they'd rather put the money into that. I can't blame them for that, but t

    • Interesting claims you make, but I'm not completely sold on your explanation.

      I did hear that Verizon basically halted the FiOS rollout "until further notice", but it's also clearly a very costly service to deploy -- and I don't think you can necessarily fault a business for expanding it slowly or in calculated stages.

      I live in Poolesville, MD myself (population of only 5,000 - 5,500 or so and stuck right in the middle of the Agricultural Reserve area -- so basically a 20-30 minute drive, minimum, to surroun

    • deploy a *token* amount of FiOS in areas where it's the most profitable and lowest cost

      Actually it's the opposite from all the FIOS deployments I've seen or heard about. The big shiny new cities packed full of rich people get utterly left out, while FIOS gets deployed to the cheapest, least-dense areas.

      Though I don't have any first-hand knowledge, it appears that Verizon is deploying FIOS aggressively where population density is lowest, and the POTS lines were substantially more expensive to maintain. Typ

  • by aseth ( 893952 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @01:32PM (#45072471)

    The greater Boston marketing area includes areas other than the City of Boston itself. For example, they also show Red Lobster ads and the closest one's in Connecticut.

    Slow news day, huh?

  • by csumpi ( 2258986 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @01:35PM (#45072517)
    Posted from Boston, plugged into 50MBps Verizon FiOS. It was already installed in the house when we moved in. Also had FiOS at our previous Boston residence, which was over two years ago. It was installed within 24 hours there.

    Later tonight I'll watch the Redsox game, in HD, over FiOS.

    I have no idea what this article is talking about.
    • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @01:52PM (#45072751)

      Posted from Boston, plugged into 50MBps Verizon FiOS. I have no idea what this article is talking about.

      Years ago, Verizon rolled out FiOS to a handful (literally) of customers in Boston, same as they did in Cambridge and other municipalities. It was probably done as some sort of token measure to claim they were offering the service everywhere, or justify commercials like these.

      For all practical purposes Verizon does not, and has not ever, offered FiOS in Boston, Cambridge, or Somerville. If you don't believe me, plug in a friend's phone number and address into their "can I get FiOS?" tool. You won't succeed.

      This is well documented in discussions on DSLreports and other forums if you just bother to plug in "Boston FiOS coverage". Go look at the DSLreports maps for self-reported service coverage. There are a couple of dots of FiOS customers in the Boston area, and a sea of them elsewhere.

      • by tgibbs ( 83782 )

        Not available in my Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain.

    • by mrnick ( 108356 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @01:54PM (#45072777) Homepage

      I live in the Boston area, Marlborough, and FiOS is still in business and selling FiOS. What they won't do is run new fiber to a building that doesn't already have it. They still advertise trying to get people to connect that do have the fiber already ran.

      I have moved twice and have been able to purchase FiOS is both locations.

      So, unless the commercial talks about running cable the argument doesn't make much since.

      • I live in the Boston area, Marlborough, and FiOS is still in business and selling FiOS. What they won't do is run new fiber to a building that doesn't already have it. They still advertise trying to get people to connect that do have the fiber already ran.

        I have moved twice and have been able to purchase FiOS is both locations.

        So, unless the commercial talks about running cable the argument doesn't make much since.

        I think you know this, but Marlborough is not part of the City of Boston, which is what the article is about...

        FIOS was rolled out to a number of communities in a patchwork fashion and they skipped the dense cities. For example, I live in Lowell and can't get FIOS but most of the communities around Lowell, such as Chelmsford, Tewksbury, ect., can.

    • It's not that nobody can get Fios in Boston, it's that most people can't get Fios in Boston. Fios, RCN, and Comca... ::ahem:: "Xfinity" are all available in Cambridge... but 1/4 mi from MIT towards Central, and I can't get Fios or RCN.

      • by Shados ( 741919 )

        Kendall Square can get FiOS, and using a Roku I can watch anything I actually care about, so the lack of TV service doesn't matter to me.

        Now the catch: FiOS actually kindda suck here. The Youtube edge cache servers are intermittently terrible (for the last few months they've been working ok, but before that I couldn't stream in 360p even though i had 65mb down...), several online games use terrible routes (which isn't technically a FiOS issue, but people using comcast in the same building have no such issue

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      Are you in Boston Metro, or Boston City?
      • Are you in Boston Metro, or Boston City?

        Or Boston proper?

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
          I'm not from Boston, but I noted that people mentioned confuse the city from the metro area (like L.A.). "I live in LA" is common. But most saying that live in a suburb. That's common with cities that have a small city-proper, but a large metro area. Areas like Dallas, Chicago, and Denver are more likely to get an answer that is the suburb, if they aren't in the city proper.
          • Well, Boston started out small and the two ways that it grew were 1) to fill in water areas, and 2) annexing surrounding towns.

            So Boston Proper usually refers to the core of the city that either was part of the original settlement or at least wasn't part of some other town that got annexed and turned into a neighborhood. There's a good map here [] where you can see the outline of the Shawmut Peninsula shaded in, which is the original city, surrounded by made land, as well as surrounding towns and neighborhoods

  • Really no short cuts in boston? Is that what his driver tells him?

  • There's more to be annoyed about with this ad (which I have not seen, but I read about in the Globe). If the ad has Wahlberg saying "This is New England", then by "New England" they mean Massachusetts (Boston excluded), Connecticut and Rhode Island. Verizon abandoned northern New England (Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont) years ago, selling off their business to tiny Fairpoint Communications. Fairpoint, which has finally got most of their accounting issues straightened out, have admitted that while they wil

  • So you musta ment Hubbotha univers , then

  • Chuckle, gives me a good excuse to relate why I jumped ship to the local cable provider 3 or 4 years ago.

    I had a damned slow (80kb/sec) adsl, and my phone on VZ copper for years.
    Late December, the phone goes out, but the net remains, which I guess it can when only one side of the copper opens up and the other side, due to 50 yo paper insulated cable being soaking wet, might as well be ground.

    Call VZ on my cell phone, they promise they'd get to it in about 4 days. Really? Week later I call again, and told

    • AFAIAC, VZ still owes me about $300 for services billed and not delivered.

      Maybe I should start paying bills like that via credit card. Then I at least have another channel to raise my dispute and earn my money back if something like that ever happens.

      But to get a pro-rated adjustment the normal way, you usually have to do quite a bit of diligence on your own part. Call each time the service goes down (it's assumed fixed after a tech comes out - even if the tech tells you its not fixed yet). And then call in customer service when the whole matter is resolved and have them verif

      • But first, before you can do that, they must have a _working_ Customer Service dept. One that puts you talking to a human, not listening to elevator music tapes that are 10 years past their use by date, and do it after not more than one menu redirect. VZ hasn't had one of those in 8 to 10 damned years. Sorry ladies but s_____w'em, and the camel that rode in on them.

  • At this rate, we're gonna be an Internet Third World Country. Not dissing third world countries mind you...

  • Verizon won't turn the TV on for the FiOs system here in Croton on Hudson, NY. The system works for phone and internet, but they won't turn on TV. Towns next door have TV, but VZ won't return phone calls about our little village. We are an anomaly , though. We have DOCSIS 3.0 and FiOs on the same street, so they have to compete, which isn't good for anyone except the consumer. VZ made a deal with the Cable Companies, than in exchange for the cable company wireless spectrum, VZ would stop selling "cable
    • Most locations in NJ with Fios already have competing DOCSIS 3.0 service via Comcast or Cablevision, so its not that rare. Chances are Verizon doesn't have a franchise agreement with your municipal government, but does with the neighboring towns.
      • We have tried, oh how we have tried. VZ is NOT interested. We got caught in the "no further rollout" pinch. Our village would negotiate a franchise today, we've made written formal requests....there aren't any terms offered, period.
  • My understand is, that at least in Cambridge, Verizon doesn't want to pay to support public access television. Comcast already pays lots of $$ to CCTV (hence their nice shiny offices in a nice new building). Not sure I blame them. But this deadlock has gone on for over a decade. It's time it was broken, and FiOS arrive in the city.

  • Well maybe if you stopped with that presumptuous overblown sense of entitlement then someone might take you seriously!

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson