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Verizon Plays Dirty


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#1 Stolen

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 09:13 PM

Verizon Plays Dirty

by Stolen

July 30, 2014 // 9:10 PM CDT

backbone-image-2.png

Verizon took a swing at Level(3) Communications, LLC in a not-so-nice play. It is not simply a battle of words but one of blame and bluster on the part of Verizon for the agonizingly slow stream and constant buffering which is affecting Netflix customers and for which Verizon is at fault.

When one of those customers wrote to Verizon to ask why they can’t stream Netflix, the Regulatory VP of Verizon decided to use it as a platform to rewrite the rules and point the finger at everyone else, namely their backbone provider, Level(3), without taking any responsibility for the congestion.

Verizon thinks it can get away with playing dirty because of its size. It's playing the “We are too big to be told what to do” card.

Verizon posted on their blog and tried to appear concerned for the customer and used the complaint to attempt to make Verizon shine. They even came up with a visual graph that was completely skewed and which people in the industry tore apart. Verizon misrepresented facts and blamed Level(3) who is one of the backbone providers of Tier 1 services. A week later, Level(3) responded and exposed the ludicrous attempt by Verizon to make them look bad. In a separate post, Colin Neederkorn then drove it all home in his blog entitled “Verizon Made An Enemy Tonight” whereby Mr. Neederkorn backed up Level(3) and showed exactly what the problem is with Verizon’s FiOS.

Here’s the non-technical background: When you sign up for Netflix, you are paying for an expected service, correct? You, the customer, pays to get what is promised by Netflix. You are also a customer of your ISP since you have to have broadband in order to stream Netflix (let’s use Verizon as the example here since it fits so well). You would think that Verizon wants to provide their customers with ample bandwidth for anything they need, especially when the customer pays not only Verizon each month upwards of 30.00 to 60.00 plus tax and fees to get the promised broadband and high-speed Internet but the customer is also paying Netflix to deliver quality video and streams.

You, the customer, are but one part of the pie, though. Netflix is a part since they depend on Verizon to provide the bandwidth needed to provide the customer what is promised. Level(3) is one more slice, and a large one since they are one of the largest backbone provider of Internet services for ISPs including Verizon.

When Verizon called them out, Level(3) turned right around and used what Verizon posted to prove how they are not only wrong but showed how Level(3) has been asking Verizon for some time to do basic maintenance (which most other ISPs do routinely). Verizon has apparently continued to refuse to open up the bandwidth (already in place) to provide for demand during peak hours, or any time for that matter. Not only that, Verizon then blamed Level(3) for the congestion and then demanded that Level(3) pay Verizon!

Level(3) has built a solid infrastructure worldwide in order to deliver a well-managed architecture and more than enough bandwidth for their customers, and they have proven it in a blog post by Mark Taylor here. To top it all off, after the Level(3) response, Verizon had the utter gall to take it further on July 21 when the VP posted again, this time bringing up a 10-year-old dispute between Level(3) and another company, misrepresenting those facts and going completely OT as well as not responding to the Level(3) post.

The ancient dispute that Verizon used as an example was taken completely out of context in a feeble attempt to cover up the fact that Verizon wants Level(3) to fork over tons of cash to line Verizon’s pockets further when the only thing Verizon has to do is open up a few more ports. Verizon itself is the one who is the cause of the congestion and has refused to do simple, inexpensive maintenance as only a good provider should.

 

“This is like a company demanding UPS shove all the packages it ordered for its company headquarters be delivered through a 6" mail slot and then blaming UPS for the congestion. It's Verizon's customers who ordered the data, data Verizon promised to deliver them at high speed. Netflix sends it straight to Verizon at locations near where the data was requested, all paid by Netflix and delivered via Level 3, and instead of saying "thanks for getting that to us" Verizon is saying "how dare you! You should pay us!" This is just all sorts of effed up.” Reader comment from Verizon Gets Snarky link below, 7/23/2014

 

People, beware the loss of net neutrality and the power of the ISP to do whatever they want and call all the shots including playing as dirty as they come.

Verizon is using its own market share to call all the shots in a very misguided attempt to manage all facets of bandwidth. Bandwidth management includes peering, costs, availability and traffic shaping. In other words, Verizon wants to bully everyone that touches data that transits its own network into doing it their way no matter what. That is NOT how a free Internet works. A free and equitable Internet works when everyone plays by the same rules. When a consumer can easily prove that a major interstate carrier is creating a false sense of Internet connectivity and availability, then something is seriously wrong with the rules of the game.

This is all a direct result of the loss of Net Neutrality. Verizon (and indeed all ISPs) has the ability to open up the Internet. Wide open. With practically unlimited bandwidth, and practically super fast streams and downloads. But, because of the loss of Net Neturality, Verizon and all ISPs now can control what is offered and what they provide, and they are able to make huge profits. The court ruling that began the loss of Net Neutrality opened the door for the ISPs to become that much more profitable and in control of the web. To be fair, it is a 2-way street. If a customer wants to pay for it, they can generally get what they want. It is just no longer an open Internet. Verizon has shown incredible bluster. That can be a good thing, but in this particular case, it's not at all.


Further Reading
Verizon Gets Snarky, But Basically Admits That It's The One Clogging Its Networks On Purpose from the snarky-admission department by Mike Masnick, July 21, 2014
Verizon made an enemy tonight by Colin Nederkoorn, co-founder and CEO of Customer.io



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#2 zingo156

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 09:22 AM

Shame on Verizon!!!

 

Maybe communities should get together and install and maintain their own fiber lines and hubs and connect directly to the backbones. No more ISP middle man!


Edited by zingo156, 31 July 2014 - 02:40 PM.

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#3 NickAu

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 10:14 PM

 

Verizon Wireless today confirmed that it will begin slowing down LTE data speeds when customers who have unlimited plans and use a lot of data connect to congested cell sites. This "Network Optimization" was implemented in 2011 but previously applied only to 3G users.

"Starting in October 2014, Verizon Wireless will extend its network optimization policy to the data users who: fall within the top 5 percent of data users on our network, have fulfilled their minimum contractual commitment, and are on unlimited plans using a 4G LTE device," the Verizon announcement said. "They may experience slower data speeds when using certain high bandwidth applications, such as streaming high-definition video or during real-time, online gaming, and only when connecting to a cell site when it is experiencing heavy demand."

Verizon Wireless to slow down users with unlimited 4G LTE plans


Edited by NickAu1, 01 August 2014 - 10:14 PM.

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#4 novice101

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 03:31 PM

I've NEVER liked Verizon, from the moment I naively let them take over my home by installing FIOS.  Now they want to charge me for even more speed with Quantum, all the while I get pixilation, 3 minutes box reboots every time the power goes out, and their obnoxious ad smack dab in the middle of the channel stream - channels 130 and 131 - that keep me from surfing.  I said from the beginning - they desperately need to have some competition!  They're totally a monopoly.



#5 zingo156

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 08:45 PM

Did they tear out your copper lines when installing FIOS?


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#6 Willy22

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 12:34 AM

- I think Netflix users should pay more for a high speed broadband connection. If they want more then they should pay more.

- I have been to Europe in three countries and in those countries the internet connections are MUCH faster than here in the US. Now, back in the US I see how awful ISP companies treat their customers. Ttoo high a price for a snail (a.k.a. internet connection). But that's what you get when there's no competition anymore.



#7 cat1092

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 02:13 AM

My first taste of Verizon playing dirty was back on 2009/2010, while they offer cell based Internet, there's no FIOS here & hope there never is. However our ISP, Time Warner will likely be taken by Comcast. I hope they don't play like this. 

 

I had their cell phone service, a $39.95 plan with 450 anytime minutes, unlimited nights/weekends. For over three years, the price was a total of less than $43. The last year of my second contract, the bill kept getting higher every month, all the way up to nearly $70. There was a hidden clause in there, where they could charge up to a certain percentage for infrastructure upgrades. Thing was they didn't tell us nothing was coming, nor did service improve as a result of these upgrades, 

 

They poured it on us, close to 17% of the bill was for that charge. Fortunately, I was near the end of my contract & didn't renew again. 

 

 

- I think Netflix users should pay more for a high speed broadband connection. If they want more then they should pay more.

 

 

Why? Netflix is a paid service, the ISP is paid monthly, regardless of how much bandwidth is used. Some uses a lot, but that's the exception rather than the rule. If the customer's paid speed supports Netflix, what's the point in paying the ISP more for using it? There are other services that uses just as much bandwidth. 

 

 

 

- I have been to Europe in three countries and in those countries the internet connections are MUCH faster than here in the US. 

 

Yes, I know. They also had 1080p as a video standard long before the US & digital TV also. There's still many TV's sold with 720p in the US today, on the lower end. 

 

I agree, some European countries are much more advanced than the US, and some of the issues here aren't present there. 

 

As far as Verizon goes, they're strong-arming their customers over this, just as charging extra for infrastructure upgrades years back. This doesn't surprise me. Though it would seem that the regulators would step in & say enough is enough. Where I live, both the auto insurance & other local utilities were denied rate increases several times, though I don't know if all states has measures in place to protect against overcharging. 

 

Verizon also got to be as huge as they are by buying all of the regional & startup carriers out. This too, should be wrong, we need competition to keep the playing field level. 

 

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Edited by cat1092, 03 August 2014 - 02:15 AM.

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#8 zingo156

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 09:00 AM

The only thing that matters in my opinion is this: your ISP offers you a deal to get a certain speed reguardless of what you use it for: example 15Mb/s down and 6Mb/s up for 54.99 a month. They are then obligated to give you that speed. Netflix isn't the problem and it has been proven. Netflix pays their ISP(s) for their bandwidth usage, now they are also paying other ISP's when they should not have to.

 

If the ISP is over selling their lines and can not provide the offered speeds, it is their problem. I don't have a problem with paying more to my ISP for higher speeds but if I pay for it and they say it is going to be x up and x down, it needs to perform as expected.

 

The problem is that the ISP's are over selling their lines. They expect that most people won't be using it at the same time so they can supply the correct bandwidth to all of the users, unfortunately for them, now with high bandwidth using services such as netflix, youtube, and other video streaming websites, they are finding that they can not keep up with the current usage and they have over sold their lines. Consider peak hour usage as an example of overselling lines. The cable company in the town I live in during peak hours, their speed drops from offered speeds ranging from 10-30mb/s down to less than 0.5mb/s down. Which means no one can stream anything. I blame this mostly on the kids who play xbox, because when school is out at 3:30pm the network bombs and comes back around 8-9pm.

 

I sold Charter internet where I used to work and they told us face to face, they can not support many 100mb up and 100mb down business connections so try not to sell them. Why even sell them if you can't support them? Because they want the money and there is no one else in town except old DSL at 1.5mb/s down and 0.25 up max.

 

Slight rant, sorry... I just want google fiber and it isn't here yet.


Edited by zingo156, 03 August 2014 - 09:01 AM.

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#9 cat1092

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 11:33 AM

 

 

The only thing that matters in my opinion is this: your ISP offers you a deal to get a certain speed reguardless of what you use it for: example 15Mb/s down and 6Mb/s up for 54.99 a month. They are then obligated to give you that speed. 

+1! :thumbup2:

 

That's all that matters to me also. 

 

These ISP's know that we depend on the Internet for a lot these days & are using that to their advantage to collect additional fees. 

 

 

 

I just want google fiber and it isn't here yet.

Me too! Last time I looked, one of their proposed test markets are within 30 miles of me (North Carolina). 

 

http://www.androidpolice.com/2014/02/19/34-potential-new-google-fiber-markets-announced-including-atlanta-charlotte-phoenix-portland-and-others/

 

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#10 zingo156

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 07:53 AM

You are lucky if google fiber comes your way. My small town isn't going to make the list likely for 10 years or more if ever. I am stuck with dsl at 1.5mb down and .25mb up or cable which isn't much better at least until I move.


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#11 omgitsMATT!

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 07:46 PM

Would a VPN help in a situation like this?



#12 zingo156

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 07:51 PM

There was a person that did a test using a vpn and verizon, they had faster stream speeds over the vpn.


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#13 omgitsMATT!

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 08:01 PM

There was a person that did a test using a vpn and verizon, they had faster stream speeds over the vpn.

I see that now, it was in the additional links at the end of the original post. Thanks



#14 JoanneMT

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 08:13 PM

If you ever close your Verizon FIOS account, make sure you save your final bill that says "zero".  They charged me for four months usage after I closed my "No Risk Bundle Service" that downgraded my telephone service and way fewer TV programs that I had been getting from Bright House.  They sold my "debt" after a year (never having called or billed) to a collection agency. I wrote and proved I did not owe the money. That collection agency sold the "debt" to another collection agency and I responded again.  The third collection agency is now reporting this debt monthly to Equifax et. al.  I reached a Verizon representative who investigated, and said she was so sorry, but "customer service" refused to write a letter to the Credit Bureaus saying it was an erroneous (fraudulent) charge.  Instead, they reported that they wrote off this "Bad debt" of $277.  Verizon said it was a "scam" but handled it inappropriately anyway.  They are marketing to me like crazy, offering me bundled service for $50 a month.  NEVER again!



#15 cat1092

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 10:49 PM

Joanne, you have the right to contest anything on your credit report that's not right. Though it would take Verzion (the original creditor) to state that the amount owed is incorrect. This will hang over your head for 7 years after the date of time owed, not that of when a collector decided to report, if it can't be challenged & removed. 

 

You also have the right to have a written dispute (in your own words) about the alleged debt to be included in your credit report, for anyone who views it to see. 

 

I would think that their marketing efforts are mass, many who gets these offers aren't approved, or will have to pay a higher price and deposit, plus pay any amounts due (as shown on their books) before providing anything. For $50 monthly, I'd do it, under one condition, that this alleged debt is removed from the credit bureaus as part of the agreement. 

 

Otherwise, if you don't want to be bothered with Verizon, you can ask to be placed on their non-marketing list & under Federal Law, they have to comply. 

 

This just shows another of Version's dirty sides. Time Warner tried to pull a fast one on me, but I kept the original letter of the promo. It clearly stated that the customer had a 90 day cancellation period, so did the Customer Agreement that was signed when service was setup, I used the Digital Cable (the whole nine yards) for one week less than the 90 days. Carried the Digital TV equipment back, but kept the Digital Phone service & got a receipt for the equipment return & cancellation. Which was my plan when accepting the offer, because after the 90 days or $29.99, it was going to $79.99. All I wanted was a cheap 11 weeks of their premium package. Being that I lived in line of sight of the library's wi-fi tower & the apartment had it included, I didn't need the Internet package. 

 

Well, my next bill came in & I was expecting to see a credit on it, but there was a penalty for early termination. Oh, I got behind that fast, had everything to prove my case & told the rep so & that I could be at their office inside of an hour if needed. The rep then stuttered a bit & placed me on hold to access a supervisor. There was a 15 minute or so wait, then the supervisor came on the line & apologized, that it was a "mix up". That most who received the offering was entering a 2 year agreement & I was one of the "select few" who got the 90 day offer, because I was a returning customer. 

 

Not only did she reverse the penalty, I was also given a full month of credit for the Digital Phone service for my troubles. So I came out to the good. 

 

However it left me wondering, if this was something that Time Warner did to scam customers. I mean, those who didn't catch it & paid the penalty w/out contesting, more than paid for those who did catch it & got a month's credit for existing services. 

 

Actually, Verizon did get me small, because I didn't give "enough notice" to stop service. So I ended up paying for one extra month, though my contract had ended. We had moved & I couldn't find the package with the details, so I don't know if their required 15 business day notice of termination was legit or a cloud of smoke. Before I had a chance to get the words in to agree to that extra month, that rep was threatening that it would be reported if I didn't comply. Had to interrupt & tell her, fine, I'd pay for another month, but this was also my notice & wanted the service to be cut off 3 business days before that date. She agreed, I got a conformation number, I paid the extra month & that was that. 

 

However, I never got credit for those unused days, so I guess that was pure profit for the corporation. 

 

Verizon is indeed a dirty player. And one whom as Stolen points out above, is doing their part to stall speeds for customers, rather than move to the next level. Other ISP's are likely following in Verizon's footsteps, all for the sake of profit. Most all other products & services has improved greatly & steadily, with the exception of ISP speeds, although at the same time, pricing has increased. In this area, Time Warner is pushing a package for 2Mbps up/1Mbps down, for $14.99 monthly ($20 after taxes/surcharges). My upload speeds are 7x that for $48 monthly (total), though download is the same as that basic package, so it's hard for me to see the basic package as a value one. 

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 





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