That's my understanding, at least in the Washington, DC area. For the
longest time Verizon has been complaining that they are held to a much
higher standard of service reliability with copper than Comcast with VOIP.
And they DON'T like it one bit. They've conveniently forgotten the massive
tax breaks and monopoly status they've enjoyed for years providing the
copper phone network.
<<Verizon enjoyed some $14 billion in federal and state corporate income tax
subsidies in the 2008-2010 period even though it earned $33.4 billion in
pre-tax U.S. income during that time.At the federal level, Verizon should
have paid about $11.4 billion at the statutory rate of 35 percent during the
three-year period. Instead, it got $951 million in rebates, putting its
federal tax subsidies at $12.3 billion. Its effective federal tax rate
was -2.9 percent.>>
Yet with a sweet deal like that, they're whining about how much it costs to
maintain copper lines already in place. Oddly, though, they steadfastly
refuse to say *exactly* how much it costs, citing "unfair competitive
advantage" that might result. Oddly, again, no one seems to want to build
anymore copper phone networks, so just who's going to get a big leg up
knowing what it actually costs to keep copper for the people that want it or
will have no choice but wireless? Even MORE oddly, rather than reveal that
withdrew their plan to replace copper with wireless on Fire Island, NY after
Sandy hit and gave them FIOS instead. I suspect that's what they always
wanted to do. Their capitulation surely suggests they are hiding
something - IMHO it's that they are grossly overestimating the cost of
continued maintenance of the existing copper phone network.
Most news articles I've read say that VOIP is *not* regulated by the states'
PUC/PSC's but I can't speak for all of them or even anything outside of
Why is that important? Because PSC can set minimum levels of service such
as how long it takes to repair outages, overall service reliability and
quality of service. In addition the PSC can settle billing disputes and
insure that the elderly and the ill won't have their service cut off for
late or non-payment. As far as I know, no Verizon rep has ever pointed out
that the FIOS phone service is battery operated, not regulated and can cause
problems with existing equipment like dial up modems, credit card processing
The FCC is running a test in two cities to determine whether they will
support the Telco's plans to pull the plug on copper but telecom sites seem
to think FCC approval that will end copper service is a done deal and the
test is just window dressing:
<<"We looked for places where state law wasn't going to be an issue, where
the regulatory and legal environment in the state was conducive to the
transition," Christopher Heimann, an AT&T attorney, said at the briefing.>>
Hmm. Sounds like the fix is in to me!
<<Verizon claims it has no plans to shut down working service for customers,
but it does not want to spend millions to continue to support infrastructure
fewer customers actually use. That means watching the gradual deterioration
of Verizon's copper-based facilities, kept in service until they inevitably
fail, at which point Verizon will offer to "restore service" with its Voice
Link wireless product instead.
For voice calls, that may suffice for some, especially those comfortable
relying on cell technology already. But at a time when the United States is
already struggling with a rural broadband problem, abandoning millions of
rural DSL customers only makes rural broadband an even bigger challenge. The
wireless alternative is too variable in reception quality, too expensive,
and too usage capped.>>
People in rural areas should be *very* concerned because they're going to be
hit the hardest when copper disappears and there's little profit to be made
delivering fiber to them.
At least one PSC, NY's, has demanded that Verizon actually quantify the
costs of maintaining the already built-out copper network and they are NOT
happy about it:
<< The commission addressed Verizon's "trade secret" claims with this
"The information claimed by Verizon to be trade secrets or confidential
commercial information does not warrant an exception from disclosure and its
request for continued protection from disclosure is denied," it said in
Even with FIOS, Verizon is still failing to provide reliable phone service,
something they say the law requires it to provide. Unlike copper lines, FIOS
may not work during power outages.
Verizon (along with AT&T) has made little secret of its desire to ditch
copper lines and move its customers towards higher margin wireless services.
If Verizon is ultimately forced to turn over cost data to the public, it
could make for some very interesting reading.>>
State officials wrote there "is no present or imminent contract award that
could be impaired by the disclosure" and that the state Freedom of
Information Law is based on a "premise that the public is vested with an
inherent right to know and official secrecy is anathematic to our form of
On Thursday, April 24, 2014 6:17:15 PM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:
The big problem is the cost of maintaining that whole separate POTS
infrastructure, the hundreds of millions of miles of wire cable strung
along poles being the major portion of it. IDK what the experiences
have been of the vast majority of consumers who have switched over to
VOIP services. And there are a whole host of those services, ranging
from Telcos and cable companies, which are at the top of the heap,
charging the most and having the best quality and reliability,
down to $25 a year services, like MajicJack, which are at the bottom.
But I think the problem is that on that cost curve there are VOIP
solutions that provide acceptable service at rates at a small fraction
of what it will cost to maintain copper to the homes out there.
When that was the only way to do voice, it made a lot of sense.
Today when that's pretty much all it can do and for 95% of the people
there are other more cost effective solutions, it's on it's way out.
On Friday, April 25, 2014 1:17:25 PM UTC-4, jamesgang wrote:
Just because it's not sent over copper doesnt' mean it's VOIP. The telcoms
were sending voice over high speed fiber before there was VOIP. It's the
nature of how the call is established and switched that is the key
difference. With the tradional phone system, once your call is set-up,
you have a time slot connection from source to destination, guaranteed,
through each switch and line from source to destination. You're guaranteed
that each voice sample, every 128 usecs gets from source to destination.
That route stays fixed, essentially an open channel, for the duration of
the call. With VOIP, you have no such fixed arrangement and there is no guarantee on the timing of any particular packet, the order or the routing.
A lot of work has gone into trying to fix the problems in voice quality
caused by the latter, but it's an inherent and substantial difference in
the design of the two systems.
I think this is the future of television for those who are not just
using rabbit ears. Now that content producers can sell directly to
consumers, who needs cable companies and networks. The guys who own
the fiber and the wire will just be selling bandwidth and the content
will be a separate commodity.
The only real question is whether the infrastructure can handle that
I remember when I was in the biz and they were just starting the fiber
backbone that became the data path for the internet, we thought that
if everyone just had a T-1, it would be more data than they could ever
use. That is a very slow DSL connection today. (1.4 mbs).
Now people expect at least 10x that..
| > +1 on that. Also, I've read that the streaming movie selection is
| > pathetic compared to the DVD selection. I assuming that NetFlix is
| > pushing streaming so it can get away from postage; but I would rather
| > pay more and keep the DVDs.
| A couple of things lately have made me wonder if they're subtly pushing
| people off DVDs. First, they moved their distribution center to Salt lake.
| From where I live, that's two days for mail delivery. They do not appear
| work on Saturdays either, so for the most part no matter when I mail a
| I'm not going to see a replacement until the Wednesday of next week. This
| close to the throttling that got them into trouble before.
I imagine they'd like the simplicity of switching to all
online, but they simply can't get the rights for that.
I'm in Boston and have no trouble with delivery in most
cases. I often get a DVD 2 days after mailing one back.
I figure we're paying well under $2 each for movies, but
we could pay less if we really tried to watch them all the
same day they arrive.
Actually, I get a lot of the movies I watch from the local
library. And I don't have cable TV. I just have a small
antenna next to the TV, which provides me about 20
local stations. I actually get 5 PBS stations -- more than
the cable TV offers!
| More troubling, I've got about 50 titles on my queue currently with about
| 50% being short, long, or very long waits. One is 'unknown' and has been
| that status literally for years. Several of the long waits have been there
| for months.
That has nothing to do with them. The movie studios have
a system of release. They won't release to DVD before they've
milked the higher paying venues. The time for that depends
on how long a movie stays in the theaters.
Another aspect that I'm concerned about, which I don't
think has been mentioned, is the longterm situation with
streaming. Netflix recently paid Comcast to get faster speeds.
They're complaining about it, but they paid nevertheless.
As more people stream more through online something has
to give. Maybe ISPs will start charging for extra traffic.
Maybe the Internet will turn into one giant cable TV and
cable Internet prices will skyrocket to pay fees charged
by media companies, just as most people with cable TV now
pay a fee for numerous cable stations whether they watch
them or not. Maybe cable TV will even merge with Internet,
with people being forced to buy everything for $200/month
or get no Internet at all.
However it works out, it's clear that it can't go on the way
it's going, because that would overtax the Internet while putting
the cable TV companies out of business. For that reason, in
addition to the paucity of streaming offerings -- I haven't
put much effort into looking into streaming options. I figure
I'll wait for the dust to settle.
I'm not talking about current releases. I'm content to be a year behind the
world theatrical releases or cable TV series like 'Game of Thrones' or
'Justified'. However 'Heart Like a Wheel' is a 1983 biopic about the drag
racer Shirley Muldowney and probably hasn't seen a big screen in this
century. It's not on my saved queue, it's on the real queue which presumably
is DVDs they actually have in hand, but it's been a very long wait for
months. And for the real goody:
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters Foreign Unknown DVD
That's been #1 literaly for three or four years. They either have it or they
don't. That one was released in 1985 so ut's not like they're waiting for it
to be made. Others, like 'Wild Angels' was on my saved queue until I said
the hell with it and bought it from Amazon.
You're lucky. It used to be in Spokane, which wasn't too bad, then it moved
to Butte which was really good. The next move was to Salt lake City, which
really sucks. If I wanted to fly from here to hell I'd have to change planes
in SLC but I think the USPS still uses mules to get up here.
I did get a chuckle out of a couple of DVD's. They were the ones where
Netflix says 'your next item on the queue will take a while to get there so
we're sending another one in the meantime. About 5 days later the red
envelope trickled in from Honolulu, still slightly damp from being dragged
behind a Malaysian container ship.
I expect high speed, unlimited bandwidth to reach me about the 12th of never
so I'll stick to little bits of plastic. Un this most advanced of all
nations I live about 10 miles from the center of what passes for a large
cuty (50,000 or so) and consider myself damn lucky to get 4G wireless with a
5GB limit per month. It's not bad, but it's not up to streaming video.
To add to and clarify the answers you've already received to your
question 1: You do NOT have to buy a "Netflix player/plug-in" if you
intend to watch their streaming service on a tablet or computer - as
long as that device has access to broadband internet. You can watch
using any www browser on either a computer or a tablet. Additionally,
there are free apps you can download to your Apple or Android tablets
that provide a slightly more polished interface than just a web browser
interface. If you want to watch streaming Netflix on a TV, you may need
to purchase either a set-top box or a dongle that plugs into an HDMI
socket on your TV unless you already own a TV, DVD player, or
entertainment/game box that is Netflix capable.
I'd strongly suggest that you browse the Netflix streaming catalog to
help make your decision which (or both) services to subscribe to. In my
case, there is partial overlap (some things are available on both
services, some only on DVD). I subscribe to both, but the streaming
service more than pays for itself because I only have the 1 at a time
DVD subscription and on the nights when the disc is in transit to or
from the warehouse, I watch something streaming. Therefore, because of
my personal interests and tastes, I essentially have unlimited access to
the entire Netflix catalog for the price of a 1 at a time DVD + the
streaming service = $16.46/mo including taxes. Compare that to the cost
of even a single "premium channel" subscription with cable, satellite,
or FIOS TV service. My two queues compliment each other and never
contain the same titles. Sometimes a title on DVD gets added to the
"instant watch" list - at which time I move it over from the DVD queue
to the "my list" streaming queue.
Hope that helps.
| In short: XP boxes shouldn't be run on a network that connects to the
| internet, unless you are actively soliciting having your network and
| data compromised.
You shouldn't take Microsoft's scare-tactic
marketing too seriously. Many attacks are 0-day --
there's no protection for them. Which is to say that
Vista/7/8 is probably even less safe in many cases,
because it will be targetted. AV software will still
be updating definitions, XP or not. And there's no
reason the XP machine needs to be networked in
the first place. It only needs to be connecting to
I hope to never have to leave my XP machines
behind in the forseeable future. I haven't lost a bit
of sleep over Microsoft's arm waving.
Most security breaches are what you download and open. If this is just
a streaming box, you will not be opening attachments
The software firewall, behind a hardware fire walled router makes an
XP system pretty much invisible to the internet ... unless you
download a program that opens that door.
Have Steve Gibson take a look at your system and see what he thinks
(CRC.COM shields up)
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