Fios also has helped future-proof Verizon’s network. While its cable competitors buckle under the pressure of peer-to-peer traffic on their networks, Verizon has enough capacity in its network, thanks to its fiber upgrades, to weather the storm unscathed and work on its own timetable to find more efficient ways to handle peer-to-peer traffic.
Mark Wegleitner, Verizon’s senior vice president of technology in charge of broadband and consumer services, has helped develop and drive Verizon’s fiber strategy. I sat down with him at the Nxtcomm trade show in Las Vegas last week to talk about a wide variety of topics, including the controversy over Comcast’s treatment of BitTorrent traffic, faster speeds for Fios, and what the company plans to do next when it reaches its 2010 goal of passing 18 million homes with fiber.
The Madison area is stuck with an aging telco infrastructure. Neither AT&T, nor TDS have any plans to upgrade their networks to the home. Not good…. Verizon FIOS Deployment Map.
Internet traffic is growing faster than at any time since the boom of the late-1990s. Places like Chattanooga are trying hard not to get stuck in the slow lane.
Some 60 towns and small cities, including Bristol, Va., Barnsville, Minn., and Sallisaw, Okla., have built state-of-the-art fiber networks, capable of speeds many times faster than most existing connections from cable and telecom companies. An additional two dozen municipalities, including Chattanooga, have launched or are considering similar initiatives.
The efforts highlight a battle over Internet policy in the U.S. Once the undisputed leader in the technological revolution, the U.S. now lags a growing number of countries in the speed, cost and availability of high-speed Internet. While cable and telecom companies are spending billions to upgrade their service, they’re focusing their efforts mostly on larger U.S. cities for now.
Smaller ones such as Chattanooga say they need to fill the vacuum themselves or risk falling further behind and losing highly-paid jobs. Chattanooga’s city-owned electric utility began offering ultrafast Internet service to downtown business customers five years ago. Now it plans to roll out a fiber network to deliver TV, high-speed Internet and phone service to some 170,000 customers. The city has no choice but to foot the bill itself for a high-speed network — expected to cost $230 million — if it wants to remain competitive in today’s global economy, says Harold DePriest, the utility’s chief executive officer.
Madison’s pitiful broadband infrastructure could certainly use a shot in the arm.
A reader forwarded this full page, color advertisement paid for by large telco (AT&T, etc.) front group TV4us. The advertisement appeared in this morning’s Wisconsin State Journal. The State Journal supports the AT&T “video competition bill”.
Click to view a larger version
Brian Clark has more:
Vergin said he’s pleased he’ll only have to get one state franchise, instead of having to deal with the 33 different municipalities in his service area.
“That’s a big benefit for us and what I think the bill is all about,” he said.
Vergin said his company’s prices won’t be any lower than Charter’s. But he’s convinced his firm will be able to offer better service and options to bundle cable, phone and wireless service.
He said he was opposed to proposed rules that would have required his company to serve entire communities. He also rejected suggestions telecommunications firms should be ordered to run fiber optic to homes and businesses.
“The 100 requirement would limit us,” he said. “And we are running fiber optic to new construction, but not existing buildings. I just don’t think the government should tell us what technology we should use. The market should decide that. I also think have 50 percent of any area covered is better than none.”
(Charles) Higley (Citizen’s Utility Board Executive Director) said he, too, would have liked to have seen a requirement that companies build fiber optic cable.
“We’ve had promises to build it before and it didn’t come,” he said. “In the future, if not already, broadband is an essential service like telephone and electricity. We think government should require essential services.”
The Governor and Legislature appear to have obtained nothing while giving away significant regulatory changes. A disaster for Wisconsin business, schools residents and public agencies. What a deal for the large telcos: spend money on lobbying and advertising but not fiber to the home. Classic rentier approach: milk the slow copper network that we’ve paid for many times over as long as possible.
Keep in mind Verizon’s FIOS, a fiber to the home product installed in many communities [Service Map] – none in Wisconsin.
I recently had the opportunity to use basic FIOS service while on travel. The service was symmetrical – that is, upload and download speeds are the same. Local dsl services are not symmetrical – AT&T and TDS limit upload speeds to a very slow 768kpbs.
This archaic approach is awful for those of us creating, uploading and backing up media (photos, videos and music, not to mention data heavy scientific applications). FIOS provides at least 5 to 50X the speeds of the fastest dsl service generally available in the Madison area. Slow networks limit entrepreneurial opportunities, particularly emerging home based businesses.
Finally, I spoke briefly some years ago with then Gubernatorial candidate Jim Doyle at a campaign event. I mentioned Wisconsin’s very poor broadband infrastructure. He said he understood these issues but could not address them in his first term but hoped to in a second. Will Doyle leave a legacy of aging, slow copper networks? I put a call into Susan Goodwin, Chief of Staff, for an update.
A bit of sugar for AT&T. This giant organization is fully capable of implementing a modern, high quality, fast fiber network. They simply need to make the strategic decision, as Verizon has, to upgrade their network. How much longer must we pay for the old, old copper lines? I’ve received excellent, economical service from AT&T’s cell network.
His first inkling that something was amiss came in summer 2002 when he opened the door to admit a visitor from the National Security Agency to an office of AT&T in San Francisco.
“What the heck is the NSA doing here?” Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician, said he asked himself.
A year or so later, he stumbled upon documents that, he said, nearly caused him to fall out of his chair. The documents, he said, show that the NSA gained access to massive amounts of e-mail and search and other Internet records of more than a dozen global and regional telecommunications providers. AT&T allowed the agency to hook into its network at a facility in San Francisco and, according to Klein, many of the other telecom companies probably knew nothing about it.
Klein is in Washington this week to share his story in the hope that it will persuade lawmakers not to grant legal immunity to telecommunications firms that helped the government in its anti-terrorism efforts.
Perhaps our elected officials might consider this matter vis a vis AT&T’s flawed video “competition” bill. unlikely
Some residents of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey who live inside the boundaries of Verizon’s FiOS network will be the first to be able to take advantage of Verizon’s new 20/20 FiOS service. As the name implies, 20/20 FiOS is a symmetrical 20Mbps connection (same speed in both directions), and it’s one of the first symmetrical services to target the consumer market.
Available today, 20/20 will cost $64.99 per month and will include Verizon’s Internet Security Suite and 1GB of online backup (up to 50GB can be purchased at “competitive rates”).
Susan Retta, the company’s VP of Broadband Solutions, was quick to compare the new plan to cable. “For more than a decade, the Internet has been defined by how quickly you can download content,” Retta said. “Our 20/20 FiOS service changes everything by creating an entirely new category of US broadband where ‘fast’ means fast in both directions.”
We’re a long way from this type of service, unfortunately. AT&T sells us slow copper internet services.