Items tagged "Verizon"

One part of the anticompetitive Verizon/cable transactions that has received less attention is the companies’ plans to create a Joint Operating Entity (JOE) to allow them to collaboratively develop new technologies “that will integrate wired video, voice and high-speed Internet with wireless technologies” for a seamless user experience.  While we’re all for “developing new technologies,” recent experiences have shown us how technology licensing can be used as an anti-competitive weapon.

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Do the Verizon/Cable Transactions Spell the End of “Facilities-Based” Competition?

February 23, 2012 Fiber , Spectrum , Verizon , VerizonSpectrumCo , Wireless

The Verizon/cable deals are a bad deal for consumers and a sad sign of the state of the communications market. But at least they finally expose the state of broadband competition for what it is. In particular the deals illustrate, through the actions of the companies themselves, that mobile wireless is not a “competitor” to wired. They’re different products with different uses. This is an obvious point to most but the hope that the broadband market was going to get competitive “real soon now” due to the pending arrival of some kind of wireless competitor or another has driven many of the FCC’s policies in the last decade. Unfortunately these policies have had the effect of undermining actually existing competition in the broadband market to pave the way for this prophesied competitor. As it stands the FCC’s record in predicting the future is on a par with Harold Camping’s.

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Public Interest Groups Ask FCC To Block Verizon Deals With Cable Companies

February 22, 2012 Press Release , Spectrum Reform , Verizon , VerizonSpectrumCo

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should not allow Verizon to enter into a complex series of transactions with the country’s largest cable companies, nine public-interest groups, led by Public Knowledge, said Tuesday.

In the filing, the groups said that Verizon’s arrangements to buy spectrum from Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House, with a separate deal for Cox, would “would fundamentally alter the nature of the telecommunications world in a manner utterly contrary to that intended by the 1996 Telecommunications Act.”

The groups on the filing are: Public Knowledge, Media Access Project, the New America Foundation Open Technology Initiative, Benton Foundation,1 Access Humboldt, Center for Rural Strategies, Future of Music Coalition, National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low-income clients, and Writers Guild of America, West

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Verizon Asks Customers to Choose – NFL or Email

January 6, 2012 FCC , Mobile Communication , Verizon , Wireless

NFL fans, it is time to choose – playoffs or email?  Verizon and the NFL announced last month that fans could stream NBC’s wildcard games (Cincinnati/Houston and Detroit/New Orleans), the Pro Bowl, and the Super Bowl on their mobile phones.  What they failed to mention was that taking them up on their offer would probably blow through your entire monthly data limit.  What they really failed to mention was that once you hit your cap, your next email will cost you $10 in overage fees.

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Public Knowledge Commends Verizon On Dropping Fee

December 30, 2011 Press Release , Verizon

The following is attributed to Art Brodsky, communications director for Public Knowledge:



“Verizon should be commended for recognizing so quickly the mistake it made in proposing a $2 ‘convenience fee’ for its customers who wanted to pay their bills in the same way in which they make online purchases all the time. Verizon dropped the fee a day after proposing it.



“Now attention can continue to focus on Verizon’s campaign to eliminate competition for high-speed Internet access through its joint marketing deal with major cable companies. The Justice Department is right to investigate that arrangement.”





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A Quick Guide For The Upcoming Net Neutrality Rules Challenge

September 23, 2011 Broadband , FCC , Network Neutrality , Verizon , Wireless

Hey everyone, remember back at the end of last year when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted the better-than-nothing-but-still-painfully-disappointing Network Neutrality rules? Well, after a long and winding road, which included bouncing back and forth between the FCC and the Office of Management and Budget a few times and a premature challenge by Verizon, the rules were finally published in the Federal Register today. So without getting into the merits, here is what to expect procedurally.

Congressional Review Act

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Arbitrary Data Limits Make Wireless 4G A Waste of Money

August 3, 2011 AT&T , Broadband , Data Caps , Verizon

Wireless carriers have started to push their new 4G networks.  The carriers say that these new networks are amazing, and will allow you to do more, faster, than ever before.  What they do not tell you is that you will not be able to use the new 4G networks for very much.  That is because the wireless carriers (with the exception of Sprint, which offers truly unlimited 4G connections) have imposed arbitrary limits on their 4G networks.  For the average user, this limit is set at 2 GB per month.  As a result, just about everything that you would use the 4G network for will put you over your limit.

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Verizon iPhone’s Unlimited Data Highlights Lack of Wireless Competition

January 10, 2011 AT&T , Competition , Data Caps , Verizon

It’s amazing what a little bit of competition will bring.  Today, Verizon announced that its customers could use the iPhone on the Verizon network.  That means that, for the first time, AT&T and Verizon are both competing directly against each other for iPhone customers.  What is the first thing that Verizon turns to in order to compete against AT&T?  Unlimited data.  This should come as no surprise – competition in data services usually pushes businesses towards all-you-can-eat.  

Verizon clearly thinks that unlimited data is important enough to customers to make it a core of its iPhone campaign. Although it is more profitable to create data bucket and charge overage fees, Verizon recognizes that people prefer unlimited data even if Verizon’s bottom line does not.

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Why I’m Amused Rather Than Outraged Over New “Industry Negotiations” — And What The Democrats Need

August 20, 2010 Non-Discrimination , Regulation , Verizon , Wireless , Wireline

I occassionally suspect my colleagues in the Public Interest community lack a sense of humor — although perhaps it is simply that I am in a more relaxed frame of mind after my annual vacation from the 21st Century. I am neither surprised nor outraged at the recent news that members of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC) are picking up where the FCC “secret meetings” left off and trying to come up with a net neutrality consensus framework. To me, it seems rather sad and funny. My only surprise is that even in Washington, the notion of an industry trade association working with its members is anything unusual or significant. I mean, that’s what industry trade associations do after all.

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There’s Only One Internet

August 9, 2010 Network Neutrality , Verizon

I just read the Google/Verizon blog post, and their proposed legislative framework, and listened in on their joint press call. Here’s our press release. In this post, I’m going to focus on a few of the details. Overall, there’s a lot that’s bad about this proposal, and it shouldn’t form the basis of legislation in Congress or of rules by the FCC.

The biggest problem with the framework is that, while purporting to support “the open Internet,” it draws illogical distinctions on the basis of what technology you use to access the Internet, and between “the public Internet” (Verizon’s mantra on the press call) and “additional online services.”

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