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The Internet Businesses Networking

Is Verizon a Network Hog? 310

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

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  • by jhill (446614) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @12:46PM (#14627605) Homepage
    Since Verizon's recent purchase of MCI, they have more bandwidth, both lit and unlit, than they know what to do with. Making the whole point of squeezing anything totally a non issue.
    • Is it just me or does this article appear to be confusing two issues?

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

      - Tony
    • by walt-sjc (145127) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @01:13PM (#14627929)
      I don't believe this is about the long-haul backbones, this is probably about the local POP / loop, and the POP connection to the regional backbone. If a Verizon FIOS "hub" has a total of 1G bandwidth, and verizon is taking 800M of it, then all the other internet traffic can only use 200M split over who-knows-how-many end users. Furthermore, the POP to POP links may be allocated the same way. VOL will probably end up doing some massive video on demand system that will suck down most of the total bandwidth.

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

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

        While the latest hardware can pack a lot more information in a fibre line than in the past, the hardware is also a lot more expensive.

        Once you figure in the cost of signal boosters, lighting up any longish stretch of fibre gets expensive pretty quick.
      • If a Verizon FIOS "hub" has a total of 1G bandwidth, and verizon is taking 800M of it, then all the other internet traffic can only use 200M split over who-knows-how-many end users. Furthermore, the POP to POP links may be allocated the same way.

        That's an incredibly stupid way to setup your network though when there are better ways like QoS to prioritize your "premium" traffic over the commodity Internet traffic without carving out arbitrary bandwidth limitations. Basically they'd be far more likely to c

        • by walt-sjc (145127) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @02:42PM (#14628868)
          Considering that they are going to be rolling out a massive video on demand service, probably centralized, I would expect that they WOULD do something like carve out PVC's. This would be an anticompetitive move to ensure that no other outside provider (think google) could compete with VOL's VOD service due to lack of bandwidth.

          I think that is the POINT of google being upset. It's not stupid, it's just a nasty anticompetitive thing to do.
      • If, for example, consumers find they can use Verizon's VOD well but not Google's; yet Google has the better product, consumers may well opt to get their network service from the Cable Company instead.

        The real issue is if Verizon is required to provide equal access to the local POP or not. This is a regulation issue -- is owning the copper to the home a monopoly?
    • Ummm, no. In short, no. Also, no. :-)

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

      Even using generous estimates of multicast efficiencies, video over packet (or IPTV) is going to consume a *lot* of resources. ~20-25Mb/s per channel. Right now, virtually no one has "enough capacity" for that.
    • they have more bandwidth, both lit and unlit, than they know what to do with

      Is that like when you buy a new hard drive and say "Man, it'll take me forever to fill this thing up!!"
    • Exactly. On top of that, the FiOS product is far more advanced that the users here seem to realize. It uses a Corning high-performance DWDM fiber that, to the home, supports 10Gbit. It gets muxed back at the central office into a DWDM optical switch, where the individual services are separated out, voice, video, and data. So all the way around, Verizon's providing a truly superior product. On point of the article, it's Verizon's network, and IMO, it's their call as to what they do. They're within the
  • They Paid For It (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02, 2006 @12:47PM (#14627613)
    Why shouldn't they be able to do what they want with it?
    • by OneBigWord (692129) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @12:53PM (#14627693) Homepage
      Some people would say that we paid for it [muniwireless.com].
      • Re:They Paid For It (Score:5, Interesting)

        by blamanj (253811) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @01:21PM (#14628033)
        Amen. If you look at your phone bill, you'll see a variety of charges that the carriers have gotten the government to allow them to charge. There's the Federal Access Charge, the Federal Universal Service Fund, and a number of others that vary from state to state (e.g., see Colorado [state.co.us]).

        The money from many of these fees goes directly to the phone company to "enable them" to build networks to outlying areas, improve their infrastructure, etc. These fees are basically taxes and as such we the people have been paying for their expansion.
        • Did you know there is a 3% fee for Americans' phones? Read below:

          NewsNet5.com [newsnet5.com] reports that there is a call to repeal a telephone/phone (including cellular/cell phones) tax most Americans probably don't even know they are paying. Anybody who has ever tried to decipher a phone bill knows how tough it can be. One of the charges is a 3 percent fee on every phone bill in America. The origin of the tax predates the invention of the phone by nearly a century.

          Every time a person use their his/her phone, he/she supp
    • by IAmTheDave (746256) <basenamedave-sd@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Thursday February 02, 2006 @01:05PM (#14627833) Homepage Journal
      They Paid For It... Why shouldn't they be able to do what they want with it?

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

      • by Zoidbergo (751725)
        You could say that about public projects. You pay taxes for future projects, and you might have a say in that.

        However, you paid Verizon for services that Verizon had already rendered. The contractual obligation they have, is to give you one month of ____ service (whatever it might be) in exchange for your payment. They provided the service, you provided the payment. After that, you can't say fuck-all about what they do with THEIR MONEY. It was your money before they gave you a service for which you handed y
    • Guess they were a bit stupid to build it on US soil then. I'm sure they can find some uninhabited islands out in the Pacific where they may be allowed to use their bandwidth however they want.
    • by zerocool^ (112121) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @01:07PM (#14627858) Homepage Journal

      Common Carrier Status

      • by TheSpoom (715771) *
        That only really applies if they're looking at the traffic. I would argue that they do indeed have the right to reserve bandwidth for their own applications if and only if they are not a monopoly. If they're not a monopoly, customers can choose another provider. But if they control all the internet traffic in a certain area (i.e. the backbone), then I'd argue they're illegally using that power to gain an advantage in another market, which opens them up to huge antitrust liabilities. (IANAL)
    • Re:They Paid For It (Score:5, Interesting)

      by $1uck (710826) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @01:10PM (#14627895)
      Did they pay for it? I mean really did they pay for all of it? All companies that lay wire/pipe/cable/radio frequencies etc they all make use of emminent domain (AFAIK) when they run things through your property do they ask your permission? do they pay you rent? Most of these companies are effectively monopolies (at least in the areas they server) or were at one time. I think when it comes to things like pipes/roads/canals and most other conduits the evil-hated socialist word applys. You can't make a useful network/roadwork radio communication with out going through almost everyone's property, so the resource should belong to everyone. Power company's shouldn't own the power lines (maybe we could actually shop/compete for where to buy energy -this happens to a limited degree now). People should be able to pay for the channels/shows they want and not have to buy the service from the cable company.

      • I agree with your comments. As an aside I'd like to add that I think there will be significant resistance to the a la carte style services you advocate. Phone companies, power companies and the like have operated for a long time with guaranteed income because of their monopoly status and as such now operate with the attitude that they are entitled to it. Which they are not, of course. Verizon assumes that its subscribers will pay to have access to the pipes because they always have. They will fight to
      • Your argument is flawed because it also applies to governments. Your argument results in incalculable regress because almost everything that anyone currently owns was taken by force at some time. All we can do is try to prevent further occurances of it. If anything, governments are ESPECIALLY guilty of taking things by force.

        I'll also preempt the objection that the government is more controlled by the people. Majority want doesn't alone give the right to take from anyone, just as ten people calling for my

    • actually, their customers paid for it. in taxes, in rate hikes, and STILL don't get what they were charged for.

      http://muniwireless.com/community/1023 [muniwireless.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02, 2006 @12:48PM (#14627630)
    Let's play devil's advocate. It is their network, why shouldn't they be able to do with it what they want? I mean we hear the I own the software I should be able to do anything I want with it all the time. How is this any different?
    • by Old Grey Beard (869804) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @01:19PM (#14628013) Journal
      As was pointed out earlier, they are a "common carrier" which, according to this definition [cybertelecom.org] must "serve indifferently all potential users". Obviously this doesn't work if you are serving yourself preferentially.
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @01:43PM (#14628285)

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

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

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

    • by bigpat (158134) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @02:20PM (#14628665)
      Sure its their network, fine. But they are for the most part using the public's right of way. Or from easements across people's private property.

      So, collectively we have a right to impose reasonable regulations on its use. Personally, I don't see any problem with Verizon managing how the bandwidth is used, to a point. Just as the cable companies allocate certain bandwidth for cable tv and internet respectively. I see no difference.

       
  • ... Like myself, others switch to another company. It's the only way they learn is to lose customers.
    • So in Verizon FIOS territory, just how many competitors do you have to choose from???? In my area, it's VOL DSL (or a VOL DSL reseller) or Cable. That's it. Cable TOTALLY blows, so DSL is the ONLY option. And it's ALL verizon.
    • Well, to some extent there is no one to switch to. If I want DSL, Verizon is involved. If I want landline telephone, Verizon is involved. OK, dump landline and go cellular. Uh, from what my friends and roommates tell me, Verizon is the only service that works at my house. I don't want one I can't use... VOIP? I don't trust the only other broadband provider's connection is reliable enough to trust with my phone service. If my roommate can't play FFXI because the connection keeps dropping every few minutes, t
  • Yes, they do (Score:5, Insightful)

    by garrett714 (841216) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @12:49PM (#14627638)
    ...asking whether or not Verizon has the right to set aside bandwidth for its own projects.

    Verizon has the right to do whatever it wants with the bandwidth it pays for. If you don't like it, switch to another service. I'm sure they have a clause somewhere deep in their TOS that allows them to change the bandwidth available to their customers, otherwise they wouldn't be doing this. Anyone with conflicting info care to respond?
    • Re:Yes, they do (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drakaan (688386)
      If deliberate degradation of service is written into the TOS as something that they're allowed to do, then I guess the "pack your sh*t and go somewhere else" option is the only one that has any bearing.

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

      The interesting issue is exactly how much Verizon thinks it can get away with before they start irritating customers. It's

    • For FIOS (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tkrotchko (124118) *
      For FIOS, you do pay for the amount of bandwidth you want, so that bandwidth would be difficult for them to change.

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

      But the video service that Verizon is offering goes over fiber which has enough spare bandwidth that it won't even affect the IP network. I think it's a non-issue, but I'd love to hear the counter argument.
  • by poeidon1 (767457) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @12:49PM (#14627647) Homepage
    As long as verizon keeps on delievering the 2 MB/s connection bandwidth to me , I donot care about their reservations. But if they cut it to promote their products, its then illegal.
    • How do you know if they are delivering the bandwidth promised? If you call and complain that you are getting low bandwidth, they will claim the following:

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

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

      I had my DSL at only 3mb down. They made many claims about distance problems, noise etc. When I
    • Of course, their agreement with you probably makes no guarantee about throughput. So you have 2MB/s to your first hop... no guarantee that you will have that throughput to a server elsewhere on the internet though. That's the way the internet has always been, and probably always will be. I generally have to do several things concurrently to max out my 3MB/s connection.
    • I think verizionfios.com has lines up to 30Mbps and the entry level 15Mbps ones are like $50 bucks.

      ~S
    • by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @01:26PM (#14628094)
      You are almost certainly not getting 2 MB/s (16Mb/s) unless you have VDSL and live within about 1kfoot of the central office or a remote terminal, and you're almost certainly not even getting 2Mb/s at all times of the day. The first hop in your path through their network is an aggregation step with your neighbors. Small DSLAMs have something like 40 customers on an OC-3, large DSLAMs have something like 500 customers on 4 OC-3s.

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

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

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

  • I'm kinda confused (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rob_squared (821479) <rob AT rob-squared DOT com> on Thursday February 02, 2006 @12:50PM (#14627656)
    Isn't the IPTV which they're offering meant to be largely handled by their FIOS service? I understand at some point they have to connect to a larger pipe to serve that, but really, do you expect a company that serves so many users NOT to think of things like this beforehand?
  • by IAAP (937607) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @12:50PM (#14627662)
    FTFA: Verizon argues that it needs to take such measures to earn a return on its network investments.

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

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

  • by us7892 (655683) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @12:51PM (#14627664) Homepage
    It's simply a matter of competition. If Comcast or another local cable provider can provide better bandwidth for a similar price, then go with the competitor.

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

    If it's a matter of shared phone lines and other DSL providers being choked out too, then that's a good reason to go with cable or over-air altogether.
    • by rblum (211213) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @01:26PM (#14628085)
      The "other options available", as far as DSL is concerned, all use the same basic lines. I'd love to go with somebody else but Verizon, but all the other providers just lease the line from Verizon. There is no competition.

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

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

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

      There is no competition in the telco market. It's a smoke screen maintained by local monopolies. Unless the last mile becomes publicly owned, we'll never get real competition.
      • Verizon refuses to tell you what bandwidth you can get until you order a phone line from them

        Until they know the distance from the CO, they can't really tell what the line attentuation is going to be, so they don't really have any idea what the speed will be. And if you're farther than ~13K ft, it's not likely they can provide *any* level of service.

        Personally, I'm switching to Alltel DSL this weekend (allegedly 1.5/256). We'll see how it goes, I'm not turning off my 3M/256 cable modem until I'm satisfied
    • I am a Veriozon FiOS user and before that I was a DSL user. I prefered the DSL over cable because I think it is easier to saturate the cable than DSL. With that being said I never got near the quoted bandwidth and I chalked it up to the 40+ year old phone lines that went from the house to the telco boxes. It was a limitation of the DSL technology.

      So when Verizon came around with FiOS installations, I jumped on board because of the better bandwidth and the new lines they put in my neighborhood. I've done a

  • Competition (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Perseid (660451) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @12:51PM (#14627669)
    I don't see this as THAT big of a deal. If Verizon is foolish enough to throttle their customers' bandwidth down noticeably, there are many other offerings in the ISP industry, and people will not put up with slow Internet, pretty video feeds or not.

    So let them try.
  • It's *their* network (Score:4, Informative)

    by ip_fired (730445) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @12:53PM (#14627700) Homepage
    It's Verizon's network and if they want to provide a television service, then let them! They can allocate their bandwidth to their own services however they see fit. Now, if they were singling out certain competitors and preventing them from using a part of their network, that would be different. They aren't doing that. If there isn't enough bandwidth on Verizon's network, then the traffic will flow through other networks. And if there is a bottleneck because those networks aren't big enough, then there is space for another company to come in an fill the void.
  • Don't cable companies do the same thing? A cable modems bandwidth is shared with their TV broadcasting, and it doesn't seem to effect internet use.
  • Hog? In what sense? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FellowConspirator (882908) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @12:54PM (#14627712)
    As far as I can tell, they're the only player lighting up the last mile, and the majority of their video bandwidth will be on segments wholly devoted to their own network. I regularly use 50Mb/sec, but since it's withing my house and on my LAN, I don't think anybody has a right to complain.

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

      In my area, Cox lights up the last mile, Verizon limps along with copper. In most areas of Washington, DC, Comcast and RCN light up the last mile and Verizon still uses copper.
  • NO... (Score:3, Funny)

    by GoatMonkey2112 (875417) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @12:54PM (#14627717)
    I can't hear you now. Someone's using all my bandwidth!
  • And not breaking contracts... they can do as they please in the way of allocating their resources. (not that bullshit bellsouth wants) this is about physical lines how much to use for their products.. tehy are obligated to provide certain quantities of bandwidth for their customers but other than that. why cant they use their networks for different projects?
  • Welcome to America (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thelizman (304517) <hammerattack@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday February 02, 2006 @12:56PM (#14627733) Homepage
    Verizon's network. Verizon's decision. And when Google, Amazon, and eBay find their bottom lines impacted by Verizon's reduced network availability, Verizon will find their bottom lines affected.

    Not unsurprisingly, people are already screaming for "big gubment" to step in...
    • by MustardMan (52102) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @01:28PM (#14628122)
      Verizon's network, built on special government position to use peoples' land rent-free. I don't recall the power or phone companies asking me for permission before putting a 40 foot pole in front of my house - they NOTIFIED me that they were going to be doing so. The government has EVERY right to step in because there would BE no verizon without the direct interference of the 'gubment in the first place.
    • Internet service is not going to be affected one bit by Verizon putting their own TV/Phone over the fibre lines. The TV/Phone are going to have dedicated bandwidth that they get to use exclusively. Verizon has to add this in, which is why they are running the fibre to the home in the first place. Internet is still going to have the same ammount of bandwidth it always did, it's just not going to be alone anymore.
  • by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @12:57PM (#14627744)
    There's a fundamental disconnect at Telco's with consumers. We think we pay our monthly DSL bill for 1.544Mbps down/ 384K up (depending on where you live). They think we're paying for a service that transfers packets, a byproduct of which involves our packets entering and leaving their network faster at some times than others. The reality is we share a single DSLAM with 250-500 of our neighbors that has a tiny little link to their core network, and at many times of the day, we cannot hope to achieve maximum throughput. Thus if they wish to saturate that link with video, they feel we have no say in the matter, as we're not actually paying for bandwidth.

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

    Now enter a big business friendly government. Let's not even say friendly, let's say that someone in the government has bent over and offered himself to the monopoly gods. As part of this relationship, the government uses the FCC to ensure that telco's and cable operators get their chance to make insane profits, while the rest of us bicker about Iraq, Intelligent Design, and whether the president has the authority to spy on citizens.
  • by cimmer (809369) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @12:57PM (#14627752)
    As much as I am a proponent for the Good Of All Mankind, I am confused by the idea of a mandate that says Verizon must use their bandwidth in this way or that way. I understand that Verizon (MCI) owns a lot of Internet backbone, but the Internet is a public entity. Verizon is not. The money they spent to build those fiber highways did not come from public coffers (unless I don't know about some kind of subsidy program).
    • "...but the Internet is a public entity."

      At the risk of sounding like Saddam's minister of propaganda, "There is no such thing as the Internet!!!" I wish more people would understand this. There are lots of individual networks linked together that have been cooperating in terms of peering and protocols for some time. If you think of it as anything beyond that, you've made 1 assumption too many.
    • The public subsidizes telcos by allowing them to put their wires up all over public and private lands for free. In exchange, they pretty much have a monopoly on local phone service (and DO have a monopoly on the wires.) Yes, it's a free market, but it's also unrealistic to allow 300 providers to all put up their own wires in a community.

      Frankly the solution to this problem is to separate service from physical infrastructure - another anti-trust breakup. Have the local ILEC ONLY provide the wires / buildings
  • Be Serious (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TPS Report (632684) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @01:00PM (#14627780) Homepage
    Leading Net companies say that Verizon's actions could keep some rivals off the road. As consumers try to search Google, buy books on Amazon.com, or watch videos on Yahoo!, they'll all be trying to squeeze into the leftover lanes on Verizon's network.


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

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


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

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

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

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

    So what choices does Verizon have?

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

    Look, if their customers don't like it, they will leave Verizon, and Verizon will have wasted a huge amount of money building this thing out and promoting it. Let the freakin market decide what is good or crap - dont freakin sue over every single thing you disagree with. It's disgusting... :\
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Verizon is a part of a regulated monopoly which is a common carrier. Look it up. It must carry traffic from anyone without any discrimination as to content. Else they would be liable for whatever travels within their networks.

      Now they want to discriminate traffic to prioritize some traffic over other traffic. Once they do that, they are not a common carrier and should lose that protection against liability of what they carry (porn, XXX video, kiddie sex, gambling, games, terrorist plots, etc.). They wa
    • by TubeSteak (669689)
      I'm not sure how you got modded insightful, as nobody is being sued.

      Suing would be a stupid thing for Verizon's competitors to do.

      They're taking the smarter path and trying to get the Senate to lay the smack down on Verizon.


      Since you read TFA, show me where it says anything about a lawsuit.

      Your comment got modded up by the standard "OMG TeH L4w5u1t5 aRe t3h 3viL" crowd.
      You = Offtopic

  • It's their fiber... (Score:5, Informative)

    by byteCoder (205266) * on Thursday February 02, 2006 @01:07PM (#14627862) Homepage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 30 percent is a lot (Score:2, Interesting)

    by whitelabrat (469237)
    As a FIOS customer, I'll tell you with certainty that it makes sense that 80% of their fibre optic networks would be used for their services. That's because the optic line running into my house replaces my copper based phone line and provides my internet service. Eventually television services will be included. With fibre optics running into my home, 80% usage for phone/tv/etc leaves me with more bandwidth than I'll need for now!
  • Roads (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Renraku (518261) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @01:09PM (#14627888) Homepage
    Imagine if the government said that all roads will now be reduced by one half of a lane for their 'special projects' (advertising opportunities). Now, we all pay tax to keep the road up, so we're essentially their customers. Now not only are we shorted half a lane and paying the same price, but the roadways just became more congested and much more dangerous. Its 'their' roadways, but we have en expectation of service.
  • Of course they have the RIGHT. They own the cable. Bought it, installed it, paid for it, and maintain the equipment that lights it up. Now, is it SMART for them to do so? Not sure. But do they have the right? Certainly. If you disagree, don't buy bandwidth from them. If enough people agree with you and don't buy bandwidth from them, then they will decide that it is not smart to hold back bandwidth for their own projects.
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @01:54PM (#14628392)

      Of course they have the RIGHT. They own the cable. Bought it, installed it, paid for it, and maintain the equipment that lights it up.

      The government subsidized a lot of the building. They also seized right of ways and property via immanent domain. They also granted them a monopoly on running lines in certain right of ways. They also provide them with a special immunity for prosecution for breaking certain laws on behalf of their customers. All of this was done under the agreement that they would act as a public service and provide equal rights to use their bandwidth to competitors and clients. Before you go off about their rights, remember that if they fail to live up to their half of the bargain, the people as represented by the government should do the same. They should be prosecuted for every bit of child porn and copyright infringement copied from router to router. Any lines in public right of ways should be ripped up and the rights to use them sold to a competitor. Money spent subsidizing the networks should be reclaimed from them and spent paying off the national debt. This is not a free market situation, so don't try to apply free market rules. They made a deal, they have to live up to it.

  • Jim is THE ULTIMATE bandwidth hog. He leaves SETI running ALL the time, has four P2P clients on various networks going, runs a "warez" FTP server, and since he's got it all running on a few Windows boxes that have been rooted, he's also unwittingingly spamming everyone in the world as well as scanning for more machines to infect. But not to worry. Jim's got it all under control because he sez, "I'm a computer expert. I've only been workin' with these things for the past four years, but I can do just abo
    • But if Jim is using FIOS he can only use the amount of bandwidth he's paying for. Unlike cable and DSL, FIOS limits are quite explicit. Your hypothetical example may point out someone who is a pompous ass, but certainly within his moral and legal rights to do.
  • Inaccurate report (Score:3, Informative)

    by NullProg (70833) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @01:22PM (#14628050) Homepage Journal
    Verizon's FIOS is a private network just like the cable companies COAX. There are four fiber lines in the cable. 1 for video, 1 for voice, 1 for internet and 1 for future use. Unless the author means Verizon is hogging the public internet bandwidth (backbone), then this article is completely false. Even then, I believe Verizon is streaming the content from thier own equipment on the FIOS network, not the public BBN.

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

    Enjoy.
    • and 1 for future use.

      Maybe that one can be dedicated to pr0n in order to relieve 40% of the load on the "internet" fiber. Or maybe that can be the "spam" line and knock off another 40%.
  • by T3kno (51315)
    if $demand > $supply then build_more();
  • This is the exact same issue (from the exact same source) as the interview with SBC Chairman Whitacre last fall. I covered the dispute [renesys.com] in my blog [renesys.com] last month. It doesn't seem to die.

    The issue is clouded by fuzzy-headed thinking. Cable companies already do this. They "reserve bandwidth" (i.e. channels, frequencies, capacity) for their video content and only make a small amount of space available for Internet. The idea that ILECs would do the same when they roll out IPTV or other video-over-packet strateg
  • It's MY land (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <sherwin@nOsPaM.amiran.us> on Thursday February 02, 2006 @01:54PM (#14628391) Homepage Journal
    And I'll do what I want with it.

    Excuse me while I dig up the storm drain in my front yard, and cut down the telephone poles in the front and back.

    You see, the free market only applies when the market was established via free conditions. If the government intervened in some fashion to create a monopoly (Verizon, you get to be the telephone carrier for this area), then the government MUST intervene to keep the market sane; market failures CAN be created by government, and when they are they should be checked by the government.

    Geographic monopolies are often established by the state. I have no idea why one would want a geographic monopoly to run rampant and unregulated.

    Otherwise, it's MY land. I want a cut of all the profits that the phone/cable/electrical companies get by stringing their lines on MY land.
  • This is no different than cable - they have a large portion of the cable's bandwidth allocated to providing video and a small portion for providing internet access.
  • What was it I heard recently about the FCC auctioning off a bit of "prime real-estate" in bandwidth-land (adjoining or neighboring on the portion of the spectrum currently in use by the wireless telecoms) so the government could move all their wireless telecom traffic to some obscure (and supposedly more secure?) portion of the spectrum (but still not "subspace" *frowns*) -- was supposed to generate bazillions of dollars (plenty, anyway, to cover the government'$ expenditure for their move) and provide more
  • If you don't like how your mega-corporation former-baby-bell ISP is implementing QOS to favor themselves (Verizon) or others who pay more (BellSouth) then vote with your feet, and get another ISP.

    I would not use Verizon broadband because they block port 80 access.

  • On my DSL line, I have a lease on the wire to the central office, and I should be completely entitled to determine what goes over it. Think of it as "quiet enjoyment", which you're entitled to when you lease something. The lessee "steps into the shoes" of the lessor. Thats real property law.

    For the "last mile", the incumbent carrier is a regulated monopoly, and must not be allowed to exploit that monopoly unduly. We have some problems with the Bush Administration in that area, but that's probably temp

  • by satsuke (263225) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @03:07PM (#14629087)
    I don't think the FCC will have much to say about this. Here's why.

    Verizon has two effective classes of business. Highly regulated (POTS) and almost unregulated.

    If we were talking about DSL DSLAM sharing, the FCC would have something to say (or at least in previous administrations). Anything over "legacy" telco switching equipment like POTS, DSL, T1 PRI interconnects, that sort of thing, is publically regulated. Meaning they have to go to a public utility commission to raise rates or change the way charges are collected (for DSL it's slightly different, but that's on the level of another company leasing dry copper from VZ, rather than the end user data charge.

    Anything outside of that, like wireless phone or networks they've developed seperately (think fiber to the home) is a value-added service and therefore much less regulated.

    While I'd love unrestricted access to bandwidth for a government subsudized low cost, in this area, they don't have to play nice. It's their pipe and they can use or charge what they want for it.
    • "Their" pipe? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ratboy666 (104074) <fred_weigel@NOspam.hotmail.com> on Thursday February 02, 2006 @04:13PM (#14629787) Homepage Journal
      Of course it's "their" pipe. Under "my" land.

      Let's see if we can apply some property rights here...

      Verizon (or ANYONE) is not entitled, authorized, or any such thing to dig in MY property. Whether to lay copper, fibre, or dead bodies.

      The GOVERNMENT gives the right to do so. But there are some rules. Rules that I (we) impose. If the government has allowed such action (more accurately, has FORCED it), we am entitled to some benefit:

      Specifically, access to the property or service at reasonable rates, with reasonable sharing.

      Of course "reasonable rates" are debatable; as is "reasonable sharing".

      It's not "their" pipe -- it's "our" pipe.

      When cable was rolled out, it was rolled out on the understanding that cable TV was to be provided. Was an alternate TV network contemplated when the fibre was rolled out? If it was, then ok; if not, we need a PUBLIC debate.

      Nothing against Verizon (or any other public utility), but that IS the rule. And if anyone gives me a hard time about, I'll backhoe my property. Sue me already.

      As a final observation: Let's get into this century, already. I don't see the sewage removal provider making a play for Gas delivery. I don't see the Gas provider (delivery only) making a play for water delivery. They kind of stick to their own turf.

      But the "data" services are coallescing. Voice, TV, Internet -- its all data. Reasonably, we expect that NEW pipes would treat it the same. If you close your eyes really tight, and pull back 20 years, then, yeah, its different. Which gave rise to "Cable TV" as separate from "Phone".

      Now I expect a single bundle of fibre to a home and I expect it to carry ALL the data equally. A separate "bandwidth" supplier distinct from purposing.

      As an example: if you have a home heated by a Gas furnace, and a Gas BBQ, and a Gas stove, would you really expect two or three different bills? Of course not, a single bill each month suffices.

      I want a single "data" bill every month, that combines "TV", "Phone", "Internet", "VOD" carrier fees. I may have a separate accounting for "VOD movies", "POTS integration", "HBO access".

      I advocate complete separation of the cost of maintaining the "plumbing" and "delivering" the data from the data itself. The Gas company here (Enbridge) can do, so I expect the fibre suppliers to be able to do it as well.

      Ratboy.
  • by Marcus Erroneous (11660) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @03:28PM (#14629287) Homepage
    I've been a broadband cable customer before and it wasn't really an issue with them and co-ax has much less bandwidth than single-mode fiber. I'll be interested to see if it's really an issue with Verizon any more than with Charter or Brighthouse. By staking out a chunk of the bandwidth, Verizon has clearly let others know not to try to engineer their bandwidth for them. So, don't look at their 1GB of bandwidth and figure that it's available for everyone to use as they see fit.

    As well, it also depends on where this applies. As long as they meet their contractual obligations, it's a moot point. I'm a FIOS customer and I expect my bandwidth to remain unchanged. I'm on for the 15 mps service and I'll drop it if I don't see that bandwidth even if I am watching a movie. Fortunately, I live in an area where there's a choice so if they drop the ball I can go back to cable broadband.

    One of my friends went with VOIP a couple of years ago. It went fine until Charter started offering a competing VOIP service. Shortly afterwards, after more than a year of near perfect service, his voice service started dropping out periodically. He'd be on a conference call and get dropped. He had Charter cable and 10 mps service, at home, during the day working from home and started having problems. He finally had to switch back to SWBell for a landline to continue working from home without interruption.

    It's not a case of just the telcos so much as it appears to be the broadband providers that are looking to muscle the competition on their networks. Whatever the telcos get away with, look for the cable companies to follow in those footsteps. If they build 8 lanes to my house and I'm paying for 2 of them, I want my 2 lanes worth of traffic. What they do with the other 6 is up to them. Google pays for multiple 8 lane interstates to the 'Net and they should get that access. But if they want to offer video service, either we're going to move it on the 2 lanes to my house that I pay for, or they're going to have to buy some of those other 6 from whoever is providing them. As long as I get my 15 mbs, how I use it should be up to me.

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