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Verizon To Use New Tech With Old Cables 188

Posted by Zonk
from the not-just-for-making-lassos-anymore dept.
Ant wrote to mention a ZDNet article about a new initive to get modern high-speed net access into homes utilizing old coaxial cable lines. Right now Verizon digs up streets and lays out expensive fiber to get homes online, but new tech may let them accomplish that task for much less hassle and expense. From the article: "Later this year, it plans to use new technology from the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) , an industry group that promotes using coaxial cable installed for cable TV to transmit broadband around the home. The organization says that its technology supports speeds up to 270 megabits per second. Because most homes already have coaxial cable installed in several rooms, Verizon can significantly reduce its Fios installation costs by using existing cabling to connect home computers to its broadband service."
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Verizon To Use New Tech With Old Cables

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  • by general_re (8883) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @04:49PM (#14903787) Homepage
    Which is not a bad idea, except that I suspect that most houses are wired with cheap-ass RG-59, which is extremely susceptible to interference. I have no idea about this MoCA scheme or the modulation of it, but my guess is that 270 megabits is going to be absolutely unattainable for most people.
  • by RunFatBoy.net (960072) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @04:56PM (#14903812)
    Eventually we're going to bump into limits yet again with the coax cabling, so why not still go forth with the fiberoptic plans? -- Jim http://www.runfatboy.net/ [runfatboy.net]
  • by OffbeatAdam (960706) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @05:06PM (#14903856)
    However, in cities like Montreal where houses are very old and almost impossible to run any new cabling, this has been an alternative for years. Without this technology, there would have been almost no broadband outside of cable modem in Montreal, much less the majority of the rest of Canada's old cities. However, as its said in the article, this is not primarily for an internet based usage. This is more related to the features of the new IP-based television services. Even in new houses today to find networking cable near a TV is a shot in the dark, and this technology, even though by no means new, will allow Verizon (and the other Telcos that are providing the same service) to install the services without having to ask the customer to change their entire room configurations around. Since the tech provides enough throughput to stream video, its a perfect solution for something that would otherwise cost a lot of money. The post is misleading though as this really has nothing to do with the wiring outside of the home. MoCA is not made for outside use, its an internal usage, with a host adapter acting as the router for the coaxial lines. Coaxial to ethernet bridge, thats all they are.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 12, 2006 @05:11PM (#14903878)

    That phone company which is installing FiOS in my neighborhood, whose:

    (a) prices are no cheaper than my current cable hookup;

    (b) promised download and upload speeds are virtually no better;

    (c) riddles their advertisements with information about MICROSOFT and WINDOWS, when I use only LINUX for all of my computer needs and my Internet access; and

    (d) Tries to sell this FiOS on the basis of its accompaniment with some type of IPTV service associated with Microsoft which is riddled with Digital Restrictions Management crap?

    That Verizon?

    This PHONE COMPANY needs to get a clue about COMPUTER users before they will have any success in a computer user market.
  • by SeaFox (739806) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @05:13PM (#14903886)
    It's just another ISP corporate "make money without spending it" hoax. You see these once every few years. A major telco/cable conglomerate/backbone operator/ect talks about using some old'n'busted tech to deliver a faster than pie in the sky internet connection. Almost all the initial information is from the marketting dept of the company that is selling the idea (not from engineers or anyone who could really explain how these fabulous data speeds will be accomplished).

    Stock Market laps it up like candy. Thinks Company X is going to become the new King of Content Delivery (because, you KNOW all the company's competitors and going to sit on their hands and have their kiesters handed to them by Company X).

    Then there will be delays of getting the project actually going. Maybe even some slight downplaying of actual speeds of conetnt delivery.

    At some point someone with a PhD in physics or a heavy EE background gets ahold of the actual method of content delivery and point out it simply isn't possible in the real world because of interfereance, older lines than they used in the lab, ect.

    Marketting dept for technology company downplays statement made by PhD/EE. Slashdot crowd made up of people who know WAY too much about the national power grid and enough about radio spectrum to work at the FCC pop up to defend the scientist's statements.

    More backpedaling of speeds for new service. Marketting direction of new tech starts to veer slightly into the "will allow service in areas not currently reachable by standard broadband providers" direction.

    Companies who have not yet publically committed to using tech start to back out. In the others unfortunately, corporate inertia takes over. Whoever greenlighted the project doesn't want to try and back out and look stupid for having wasted plenty of company money at this point.

    New tech has limited rollout, shows to be the flop we knew it was the whole time. You never hear about the new tech in the media again and it becomes one of those fringe technologes only seen in rural regions. Perhaps eventually phased out as traditional broadband service (Cable/DSL) are pushed into the region.

    A few years pass and major Telcos/Cablecos grouse about the cost of last mile hookups and getting ot that last few % of homes in the middle of nowhere. Stock is tanking on high network infastructure costs gobbling revenue.

    But then a company no one's ever heard of pops up with the idea of...
  • Good business sense (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SeeMyNuts! (955740) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @05:23PM (#14903919)

    Phone companies managed to get usable broadband over ancient phone lines, and all I have to do is plug in a little adapter to my telephone. This is a good re-use of existing infrastructure, and stock holders should look favorably on this. Of course, a smart company would take some of the resulting savings and keep a fund ready for eventual replacement of their lines.
  • by djblair (464047) * on Sunday March 12, 2006 @06:26PM (#14904174)
    Smooth. Getting the damn fiber in the ground once and for all sounded like too good of a plan did it? Verizon needed a way to move back in time instead of forward? I wonder how many more years carriers will spend trying to squeeze whatever they can out of old, decaying infrastructure. We all know how great cable modems and DSL work compared to 'true' digital circuits (T1, Frame, etc) and fiber-based infrastructure. There are so many fundamental flaws with reusing old wiring for new services that I don't even know where to begin (Cable Modems = shared medium & collision city, DSL = distance limitations and interference, etc.). Because most homes already have coaxial cable installed in several rooms... GIVE ME A BREAK! I'm sure that was a real deal-breaker.

  • by From A Far Away Land (930780) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @06:38PM (#14904211) Homepage Journal
    A friend in Ottawa told me how his Bell phone service went out one day and they didn't send someone for at least two days to fix it. He finally went out to the demarc to take a look, and a service guy from Rogers new phone service had CUT HIS PHONE LINE. How's that for a little unwarranted competition between the cable and phone providers?
  • by general_re (8883) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @06:51PM (#14904274) Homepage
    The few installations I've seen have used RG-6. Anyway, my guess is even with RG-59 they're using double- or quad-shielded cable in the studio. Cablecos and installers in general, on the other hand, can and do cut corners wherever possible, including using unshielded cable. Some years ago, I used to live about a block from a firehouse, and every time those guys hopped on the radio - which was quite regularly, obviously - channels 19-21 on the cable TV turned to complete shit. Guess what frequencies the fire department was using. ;)
  • by mabu (178417) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @07:54PM (#14904459)
    I have idea for Verizon. Why don't they use some new tech, old tech, or any goddam tech, to stop the overwhelming array of spam originating from zombie PCs in their netblocks? How much shit do we have to put up with before Verizon gets off their lazy asses and stops polluting the net!

    AOL and other ISPs have taken aggressive and extremely effective approaches by filtering port 25 traffic on their networks. As a result, the spam and zombie activity from their customers has dropped off dramatically. ISPs like Comcast and Verizon still have yet to do this and they're a major source of internet pollution.

    Until Verizon controls the illegal activity of their users, I urge all system administrators to block all port 25 traffic from Verizon IP blocks such as:

    68.160.* * - 68.170+
    70.16.*.* - 70.23.*.*
    70.104.*.* - 70.124.*.*
    71.100.*.* - 71.251.*.*
    141.150.*.* - 141.158.*.*
    151.199.*.* - 151.200.*.*
      etc.

    Screw you Verizon. Control your idiot users!
  • by fm6 (162816) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @08:20PM (#14904533) Homepage Journal
    OK, 270 Mbps is a thousand times slower than fibre. (Yep, I didn't RTFA. Sue me.) But it's still an order of magnitude bigger than existing cable modem connections. That's an improvement that makes your sarcasm a little childish. And it's as much as most consumer hardware can handle anyway.
  • by rob_squared (821479) <rob AT rob-squared DOT com> on Sunday March 12, 2006 @09:34PM (#14904786)
    Speaking as a Verizon customer (Computer Engineering graduate) I can say we're not all idiots. However I was amazed that to find that I could set up an SMTP server (on port 25) for my own use (I use it to send myself emails from my motion activated security camera). If its that incredibly easy to do, I'm not surpised anymore that there's so many zombies out there. And I'd gladly go through a few extra steps if they'd kill such abuses.
  • by paeanblack (191171) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @10:07PM (#14904908)
    Competition is good; too bad they aren't competing with ISPs from Japan or Korea, else we'd get getting 100M/100M connections for $10-15 a month.

    I've been living in the US for 30 years, 5 different states, a dozen different addresses...and I have never been able to choose between two cable providers for a given location (actual coax-to-the-house cable). As far as I'm aware, consumers actually having a choice of cable providers is exceedingly rare in the US.

    The only competitive pressure the providers face that I know of is having too many customers switch to DSL/satellite/what-not and being bought out by a more successful provider.
  • Not so bad, actually (Score:2, Interesting)

    by daeg (828071) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @10:14PM (#14904929)
    By eliminating the need to rewire every house for Cat5 (or higher), Verizon can cut down on time to wire large areas for FIOS itself. They don't just reduce their cost. Home owners can then later upgrade their home wiring to use the full capacity of FIOS, with or without the support of Verizon.

    Verizon (and investors, including in a small part myself) doesn't know if FIOS will be profitable yet. There are a lot of competing techs that are a threat. They can't compete in speed, but they make up for it in their assumed lower cost. Verizon is spending a TON of money on FIOS in the Tampa area and from what I've seen is making very little real profit on it yet.

    I'm a bit disappointed that Fibre is being put in by a private company. In my opinion, it should be installed just like streets are--public utilities funded by federal, state, and local governments. It would be a massive upfront cost but the economic gain would, in the long term, be massive. Lease the lines to private companies to provide the actual service. The only thing that would worry me is the government feeling it has the right to monitor all traffic, but I'm sure that isn't too far off from how it is now.

    I'm excited for FIOS. My neighborhood is set to be wired in about 2 months.
  • by Nazmun (590998) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @10:19PM (#14904946) Homepage
    This new tech is just so they can be lazy/cheap once already inside your home. They'll still build the fiber network to get broadband into your house. This is a local area technology that's more so replacing ethernet then anything. The only company that will give you net access through your coax cable (from outside the house) is your cable company.
  • by shawngarringer (906569) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @11:24PM (#14905139)
    In Cedar Rapids, IA (population 120,000 metro) we've got two cable companies, Mediacom and McLeod. The cable rates are 25% lower here than in all the surrounding areas.

    Cedar Falls, IA (45 minutes north, College town 15,000 people) has two companies (Mediacom and Cedar Falls Utilities) and enjoys similar rates as we do. Cedar Falls is a suburb of Waterloo, IA; no competing carrier there and Mediacom charges roughly $20/mo more for Digital cable.

    Multiple cable companies are the best for getting good service and cheap speeds. I have 7MB down and 384k up with McLeod for little over $35. Not to mention when I bundle cable tv and phone (not VoIP) I get 15% off my entire bill...

    -Shawn
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 13, 2006 @12:21AM (#14905271)
    Why are you suprised that you were using the internet as it supposed to be used, and succeded in setting up a server?

    Setting up a mail server, DNS server, HTTP server, or whatever isn't supposed to be hard, or blocked. Besides, spamming mostly comes from zombies - AKA infected machines - much less people knowingly set up a mail server (though that sometimes happens too...)
  • Re:In related news (Score:2, Interesting)

    by random735 (102808) on Monday March 13, 2006 @12:56AM (#14905383) Homepage
    maybe not, but people DO run fax machines over vonage.. (apparently you need to have vonage configure your line for this, probably something to do with the compression rates needed to maintain the modulation signal) so i'd say that's pretty darn close, assuming that the vonage connection is on DSL.

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