This is Part 1: Broadband Scandal
For sum see: “The Book of Broken Promises; $400 Billion Broadband Scandal Free a Net”
(Map: Historical Atlases and Maps of U.S. and States)
One of my friends suggested that Verizon was shopping AOL usually to close me up, so we couldn’t display a phone and handle companies’ controversial business practices and bad acts any some-more on Huffington Post. It is owned by AOL after all. we severely doubt this is Verizon’s categorical motivation. According to Verizon:
“AOL is a personality in a digital calm and promotion platforms space, and a mixed of Verizon and AOL creates a scaled, mobile-first height charity directly targeted during what eMarketer estimates is a scarcely $600 billion tellurian promotion industry.”
Should this partnership even be considered? Hell no!
While there are those who care about editorial issues and what will occur to Huff Po, Techcrunch and Engadget if Verizon takes over, as a telecom analyst, we have opposite concerns.
Why Should a Merger be Blocked? Three Reasons
First, Verizon has a corner over a phone networks and so controls vicious infrastructure of many of America’s East Coast, from Massachusetts to Virginia, (with a difference of many of Connecticut, before SNET). And this control isn’t simply a phone and broadband (including DSL), networks, nonetheless also a ‘secret’ ‘special access’ networks that are used to hoop wireless services, as roughly all wireless, ‘hot’ spots or WiFi trade ends adult regulating a wire.
Note: Verizon creatively tranquil Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont as well, nonetheless sole off a state utilities given it didn’t wish to worry with farming areas. It has also been offered off a GTE territories it performed during a partnership that combined “Verizon”; many recently a telecom properties in Florida and California.)
Second, permitting a association to continue to grow incomparable in areas like promotion and digital calm diverts courtesy and resources divided from scrupulously upgrading and progressing a connected networks that people, cities and businesses count on.
Case in point; Verizon has unsuccessful to scrupulously ascent and say a infancy of a states’ vicious infrastructure, generally in farming areas, and there are vital gaps in any city — even nonetheless a association got paid billions per state in rate increases and taxation perks for a work.
Third, Verizon usually allows their possess Internet, (ISP), cable, and broadband use over a handle entrance into your home or bureau and can retard or mistreat competitors. Commonly famous as ‘vertical integration’, Verizon also can and does account a company’s other services by charging internal phone business or carrying them compensate additional expenses, ordinarily famous as ‘cross-subsidization’. (And this even includes waste like a fiber ocular wires to a dungeon towers.) Adding new lines of business that get advantages over all other competitors is therefore a given.
Bottom Line: Divestiture. If Verizon wants to go into a calm and promotion business, great. Let them deprive all of a wires that business paid to have upgraded – i.e., all of a wires to homes and businesses, including FiOS, as good as a special entrance wires, a wires to a dungeon towers, and all enterprise-business wires.
I’ll be addressing because we need to deprive a companies’ control, auxiliary cross-subsidies and calm from a wires in destiny articles (assuming… good we know).
Addressing Verizon’s Broadband Scandal
NOTE: This is not about history, nonetheless stream and destiny affairs, nonetheless some credentials would be useful.
It’s 1991 and one of a Clinton-Gore presidential ticket’s categorical objectives is what then-Senator Al Gore dubbed a “Information Superhighway”, that was a devise to have America’s state utilities reinstate a existent copper wires with a fiber ocular handle to make America a first, entirely fiber ocular republic by 2010.
From 1991-1995, Verizon, (which was combined out of a companies, NYNEX, Bell Atlantic and GTE), had teams of lobbyists, etc. barnstorm a FCC, Congress, and a states’ legislatures and state commissions, claiming that they would pierce America a fanciful fiber ocular future. And note that now-ATT and CenturyLink worked with what is now Verizon and ran matching campaigns and lobbying via America.
First, a companies had to get a capitulation of a FCC and filed ‘video dialtone’ applications to be means to offer video and handle services over a phone lines, that wasn’t acceptable during a time. They even took a FCC to justice to get accede to do this. In 1994, a FCC expelled a initial video foe news that minute that a Verizon’s territories would have during slightest 4.5 million homes connected with fiber optics and means of handle TV and video by 2000. (Excerpt from “Annual Assessment of a Status of Competition in a Market for a Delivery of Video Programming FIRST REPORT”, Sep 28, 1994 CS Docket No. 94-48)
“GTE has requested permanent authorizations to offer 90,000 homes in Virginia, 476,000 homes in Florida, 122,000 homes in California and 296,000 homes in Hawaii. Bell Atlantic has requested permanent authorizations to offer 1.2 million homes in a Washington DC civil area and 2 million in a Baltimore-New Jersey-Philadelphia-Pittsburgh area. NYNEX has requested permanent authorizations to offer 63,000 homes in portions of Rhode Island and 334,000 homes in portions of Massachusetts.”
Note: The FCC’s 16th video foe news was expelled in Apr 2015.
These video dialtone deployments dovetailed with a changes in state regulation.
Next, nonetheless a season of ‘commitments’ sundry by state, Verizon went state to state and submitted roughly matching skeleton to do upgrades in any state.
The Book of Broken Promises detail’s one state’s finish broadband history, by 2015. New Jersey was ostensible to be a initial fully, totally fiber-ized state. In 1991, Verizon went to a state legislature, claiming that if a association was postulated ‘deregulation’ and was authorised to lift rates and get taxation perks, Verizon would use this additional income for construction. By 2010, 100% of Verizon NJ should have had a copper handle transposed with a fiber ocular wire. And this was not usually to homes and businesses, nonetheless schools and libraries.
And speed? Verizon New Jersey’s 1993 Opportunity New Jersey state law contains this clarification of broadband — 45 Mbps in both directions, that was a customary speed in America for broadband.
And a hype lasted for years. This Bell Atlantic press release from 1996 sum that Bell Atlantic (now-Verizon) would have 12 million ‘homes and tiny businesses’ connected with fiber-optic upgrades by 2000, starting in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
“Bell Atlantic skeleton to start a network ascent in Philadelphia and southeastern Pennsylvania after this year. The association skeleton to enhance this Full Service Network deployment to other pivotal markets over a subsequent 3 years. Ultimately, Bell Atlantic expects to offer many of a 12 million homes and tiny businesses opposite a mid-Atlantic segment with switched broadband networks.”
Instead, while increase doubled, Verizon pulled a bait-and-switch, and rolled out DSL over a old, existent copper wires. By 2004, there were no fiber ocular wires to homes; not in New Jersey or anywhere on a East Coast.
Around 2005-2006, a association started to muster FiOS, a fiber ocular service, (and practical for internal handle franchises, not to discuss lobbied for and perceived state-wide franchises in some of a states they offer phone service. But, by 2012 Verizon announced they would be interlude FiOS deployments, withdrawal many of their territories incomplete, during best. (In New Jersey, there were still some slow commitments.)
And, as we said, this is not about history. In 2014, Verizon NJ and a NJ Board of Public Utilities (BPU) cut a ‘stipulation agreement’ to erase a state law and commitments, permitting Verizon to reinstate a strange joining with costly wireless during a speed of usually DSL, not a aloft 45 Mbps. The NJ Rate Counsel, a state advocate’s office, appealed a decision, and as of May 2015, it is still in court.
Unfortunately, this is a indication of what happened in any Verizon state along a East Coast and via America in a states tranquil by what are now ATT and Centurylink.
Cross Subsidies and Shutting Off a Copper Utility Networks
But it gets worse. Notice that in a opening quote, Verizon is articulate about ‘wireless’. Verizon now skeleton to ‘shut off a copper networks’ claiming that they are ‘uneconomical’ and force business onto some-more costly wireless.
In New York we tracked how Verizon NY has been intent in a vast financial bombard diversion to pierce a monies that were ostensible to be dedicated to a wireline networks to compensate for a deployment of their wireless networks. Moreover, unchanging phone business in New York, including seniors and low income families, were strike with 84% rate increases given 2006 to account a ‘massive deployment of fiber optics’ and losses; a waste being combined in a vast part, by this bombard game, that also includes a transfer of corporate waste into a state application accounting and giving a subsidiaries of Verizon financial advantages.
For example, in 2011, Verizon NY claimed that it spent over $1 billion on network construction. The NY State Attorney General’s Office found that this was “misleading” as a budgets had been shifted, diverted to account a wireless business and FiOS, that is a handle TV service.
“Verizon New York’s explain of creation over a ‘billion dollars’ in 2011 collateral investments to a landline network is misleading. In fact, roughly three-quarters of a income was invested in providing ride comforts to offer wireless dungeon sites and a FiOS offering. Wireless carriers, including Verizon’s associate Verizon Wireless, directly contest with landline write use and a company’s FiOS is essentially a video and Internet broadband offering…Therefore, usually a fragment of a company’s collateral module is dedicated to ancillary and upgrading a landline write service.”
Considering Verizon has announced it is no longer doing FiOS build outs, where’s all a income going, exactly?
The Cup Half-Empty Swiss Cheese Broadband Deployments
Based on Census and FCC data, Verizon covers about 34 million housing units and businesses. According to Verizon’s Annual Report for 2014, a association claims it has 15 million business means of FiOS TV, or usually 44% coverage, and 19.8 million, total, of any accessible FiOS product, or 58% of their territory.
However, formed on a holes in deployments reported in New York City and other locations, while an area might be listed as completed, this doesn’t meant a use is ‘available’.
Take this caveat, that is a footnote to Verizon Pennsylvania’s calculations of a broadband coverage. Verizon PA is compulsory to have 100% of their domain finished by a finish of 2015, and a association claims it has 96% completed. (I’ll get behind to this.) But, they are simply creation it adult as Verizon put in this caveat, that ‘deployed’ has zero to do with a patron being means to get a service.
Let’s Take a Ride Down a Coast and Highlight a Few States’ Broadband Scandal
- Massachusetts — By 2000, Verizon was to have 330,000 fiber ocular lines completed. After a law was altered in 1995, while a association claimed it would immediately start work, it usually pulled a bait-and-switch and rolled out DSL in 1998. The association eventually started to build out FiOS TV, nonetheless Verizon appears to have usually 30% of a state upgraded.
- In 2014, Verizon MA claims that “At year’s end, FiOS services were accessible to some-more than 1 million Massachusetts homes and businesses.”
- Using Census data, Verizon MA covers 2.8 million housing units and 600,000 businesses; 3.4 million sum locations – i.e.; usually 30% has been upgraded.
- New York — In 1993, a NYNEX Annual Report claimed it would have 1.5-2 million fiber ocular lines commissioned by 1996, (about 1.1-1.6 million in NY State). Never happened.
- In 2006, Verizon NY went behind to a state elect and perceived mixed rate increases, 84%, on simple phone use for ‘massive deployment of fiber optics’– i.e.; construction income presumably for FiOS.
- Verizon has a apart authorization agreement to have 100% of New York City’s housing units connected by Jul 2014. Estimates are that Verizon has 80% of NYC finished and has stopped; and there is no requirement to do blurb buildings.
- Verizon will also be withdrawal 80% of all municipalities in NY State with some or no upgrades, nonetheless 100% of phone business paid for upgrades with a increases, that comes to over500 a line
- New Jersey — By 2010, 100% of a State should have been finished with a fiber ocular network means of during slightest 45 Mbps in both directions. Verizon collected an estimated15 billion by 2013 for these build outs.
- In 2012, a law was still on a books and dual tiny towns, Greenwich and Stow Creek, complained and were upgraded, in partial formed on a strange law.
- In 2014, a NJ BPU cut a understanding with Verizon to erase a laws and it is now in court, as a state advocate’s bureau appealed a state’s decision.
- About 50% of a Verizon NJ is still not upgraded, even nonetheless 100% of a state phone business have been and continue to compensate a built-in rate increases.
- In 2001, Verizon submitted a Annual Infrastructure Report and claimed it had 55% finished with fiber ocular upgrades, means of 45 Mbps in both directions to residential customers–They lied. FiOS wasn’t deployed until 2006-2007.
- Pennsylvania — By 2015, 100% of a Keystone State is ostensible to have been upgraded to fiber optics, usually like New Jersey — same, accurate devise and a laws were altered in 1994.
- By 2002, zero had been built and a state Public Utility Commission questioned Verizon, as any filing and any request claimed it would be charity 45 Mbps in both directions. However, a excellent imitation of a strange law settled Verizon was usually compulsory to have 1.5 M bps speeds.
- The law was altered in 2004 to institutionalize a 1.5 Mbps speed, nonetheless a joining was still for execution by 2015.
- NEWS: In PA, Verizon was means to get a state to erase a joining to do a connected resolution and is now authorised to use their costly wireless use as a substitute.
- Verizon claims to have 96% completed; law is Verizon has reduction than 50% connected and completed.
- Maryland — According to a “Modernization of a Maryland Telecommunications Infrastructure: A Summary of Plans to Upgrade a Local Networks”, a plan, like all of a other states, was for fiber-to-the-home to be finished by 2010, and all copper wiring between a network points (known as ‘interoffice’, would have all of a copper transposed with fiber by 1994.
Note: I write articles for my Huffington Post blog and other media outlets, that enclosed Harvard Nieman Watchdog until a shutting in 2012. we am not on staff or work for Huffington Post nonetheless conclude carrying a ability to write unobstructed by corporate-oversight. And when a work has been questioned — by Verizon, in fact, as prolonged as we can infer a correctness of what we said, they didn’t interfere.
In fact, I’ve challenged Verizon now twice to a debate— nonetheless given we use their possess data, statements and financials, and other primary sources, etc. they have always declined.
Part 2: Upgrade a Networks? Care about Local Phone Customers? Nah. Verizon’s 331 Investments in 150 Countries.