So in my continuing theme of writing about Verizon’s FiOS fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) internet service, I’m going to tackle DSL. According to this Consumerist article, they replace their copper with fiber, eliminating the possibility of keeping (if you already have it) or purchasing (if you don’t already have it) Verizon DSL internet service. I don’t know if that’s the case everywhere. I had a hard time finding information about that other than what I just posted. Of course, that article only tackles one issue I have with most broadband providers and their restrictive port blocking and TOS practices, but it does not go into depth on the issue of whether or not Verizon is keeping their DSL service as an option for those areas that received the FiOS upgrade. So, while this guy got a free DSL upgrade, he lost functionality (even if it was breaking the TOS) and maybe he didn’t want FiOS and preferred the copper.
If what I fear is true and Verizon is slowly eliminating DSL, then we end up with no middle-of-the-road type of service. It’s all super high speed and all expensive (more expensive than most other countries in fact, and they still want to limit us by giving higher priority to content providers that pay a fee, meaning my blog would be slower than say Google, because I can’t afford to pay fees to the ISP’s, but net neutrality should have it’s own post). By eliminating the middle-of-the-road options for people, the ISP’s will suffer exactly what cable companies go through with people sharing their service by splitting it. There’s just one difference. It’s a whole lot easier to share an internet connection through wireless, which isn’t quite as easy with cable, especially now with digital cable and the need for a box. Verizon will only be shooting themselves in the foot if their cheapest internet package is $39.99 per month (while their DSL package, at least around here, can be had for $15/month). Now, I know Cox has some cheaper packages, going down to about $20 per month, but it’s slower than what Verizon’s DSL is.
Regardless of whether or not Verizon is getting rid of DSL or not, I think it would be pretty bad practice to completely rid themselves of all the copper wiring. After all, fiber optic cables need power as they don’t conduct electricity. I think a lot of people will begin to get upset if their phones stop working in power outages. I hope Verizon is thinking long and hard about this decision.
At some point I’m sure I’ll consider switching to FiOS, but again, not until after my contract with Cox has run its course. By then, I hope they both start using competition for what competition should mean… competitive pricing without restrictive contracts (much like my current Cox contract and my Verizon Wireless contract).
Here’s some other Consumerist articles regarding FiOS and Verizon (I have nothing against Verizon, just trying to figure out if FiOS really is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that some people make it out to be):