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DMcCunney
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Re: Corrected URL for the presentation
DMcCunney   5/16/2017 10:21:09 PM
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@Bert22306: Jeez, guys, maybe they did change, or maybe I was lucky. In my case, I asked for double play only (phone plus Internet), and I had an easy route mapped from the location where they would install the so-called ONT box to where I wanted the WiFi router. Made a PM appointment (amazing!), and one week later, the guy came on time, and the job was done in maybe 2 hours at most.

I think you were lucky, but location may also be a factor.  The folks I hang out with who are techs refer to Comcast, for example, as Comcrap, because they are in areas where Comcast can't seem to spell "service", let alone comprehend what the word means.  I know other folks with Comcast who report no issues and happiness with the service, and service levels seem to depend upon exactly where you are.  I see similar comments about my cable co.  I've had no issues, but folks elsewhere ion the country reports the sorts of service problems that give Comcast a bad name.

I'm in Manhattan, and FIOS wasn't available where I am for years.  This was not a surprise - there's a lot of stuff under the street here, and VZ would be unenthusiastic about trying to add to it.  They'll concentrate on lower cost build outs first.  I benefited, however - my cable co steadily upgraded my bandwidth at no increase in my costs because they were trying to fend off VZ elsewhere.

Now FIOS is available in my area, and I see VZ and Hugh O'Kane Electric trucks working in the streets pulling cable.  I think politics are involved - the City of New York is apparently suing VZ to get them to keep service promises they made years back and never kept.

Whether FIOS will get to my building is an imponderable.  It's a multi-story mixed use building where Spectrum has a lock on the commercial side.  I'm not sure about getting a FIOS connection to my dwelling.

I have cat5 run locally, and my desktop connects to my cable modem/router via cable, but that connects to cable co coax.  I use wifi for everything but the desktop, but where does my wifi router get its feed?  I think I'd still need a physical cable to my dwelling, and that might be fun.

And I'm used to the "assume the problem is on the customer's end" approach to service.  I make a point of telling support when I make a call that I'm a tech and have already done the diagnostics indicating my equipment is fine.  The last time, the tech was apologetic, but was required to make me do it again while he had me on the line before he could escalate the ticket to the folks who could resolve the problem. I didn't give him a hard time for following his superior's orders, but did make clear I thought his superior's policies needed rethinking.

>Dennis

 

 

 

 

Bert22306
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Re: Corrected URL for the presentation
Bert22306   5/16/2017 8:01:17 PM
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Jeez, guys, maybe they did change, or maybe I was lucky. In my case, I asked for double play only (phone plus Internet), and I had an easy route mapped from the location where they would install the so-called ONT box to where I wanted the WiFi router. Made a PM appointment (amazing!), and one week later, the guy came on time, and the job was done in maybe 2 hours at most.

The day before, they sent a crew of three guys to bury the fiber, from some access point up the street, to where the electric utilities enter the house. (We have underground utilities.) Even that was not at all bad. First, it was all outdoors, not requriring anyone to wait around. And second, they burrowed through somehow, without digging a trench. Not bad. And they buried a tube, through which they fished the fiber cable.

It makes it a lot easier if you use only WiFi indoors. Or if you already have cat 5e installed and easy for them to reach from this ONT box.

I can't complain about that job at all. I can't even complain about how they installed DSL, back in the early 2000s when it first came available. No house call. They mailed the 4 kHz filters and the modem/router, and told us to wait for the go ahead. And on a Friday afternoon, they said go, and the DSL scheme worked. Piece of cake. But then later, when it would go south, customer service was mostly a very frustrating experience.

In an apparent attempt to discourage anyone from calling customer service, their habit is to always assume the problem is with your equipment, so they have a habit of making you schedule a service call, "be home between 8 AM and 9:30 PM" sort of thing. If it were my business, I'd start troubleshooting FIRST, and make darned sure the problem is at the customer's side, before demanding that kind of inconvenience.

Which is why I was so pleasanly surprised that I could make a PM appointment for FiOS installation! Or, back to the subject of this article, they could have saved themselves some not-insignifant number of manhours, by making use of faster xDSL variants. At least, the house calls could have been avoided. That, or this new fixed 5G cellular.

DMcCunney
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Re: Corrected URL for the presentation
DMcCunney   5/16/2017 6:46:34 PM
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@Andy-I: > FIOS from Verizon is finally availble where I am ...

> I await the notice with bated breath...

Dennis, don't hold your breath!


I'm not.


Be prepared for this.  This is the level of incompetence you have to expect with them.  I know this from experience, having talked to countless reps ... even talking to their special department under the office of the president that is supposed to rectify problem situations that nobody else can fix.  All he could tell me was "We've changed."  Yeah, right.

I went through that getting DSL way back.  Bell Atlantic (at the time) screwed up everything that could be screwed up, and it took three months and much back and forth before I got a working installation.  I sat on hold for an hour during a slow afternoon at the office till I could finally get through to Customer Care and get the process of fixing the errors started.  My boss stepped into the computer room after I got off the phone with them and said "Dennis, I heard you on the phone with Bell Atlantic.  I'm sorry you had to go through that!"  I said "It's okay, Larry.  They're idiots with their heads up their butts and I expected it.  I'm your telecom admin among other things, and I go through this for company stuff, too, but you pay me for it."

Dealing with NyNex/Bell Atlantic/Verizson was the least favorite part of my job, and I was delighted when the parent company of my shop got a dedicated telecom admin and I could hand off the job.  For anything beyond a simple POTS line, problems were guaranteed.  I worked for a call center with multiple T1s handling voice traffic.  Our traffic went to VZ, who handed it off to our designated LD carrier.  Problems were always on VZ's end, but it was the last thing they'd admit to.

Save your money.  Anyone but them.

My choices are cable modem or FIOS.  My cable provider got acquired, and the new parent has been boosting prices.


If I can actually get FIOS, VZ has a triple play deal that will give me TV, VOIP phone, and Internet equivalent to what I have now, with gigabit Ethernet speed instead of the current 100mbit, at a price half of what my cable co charges.

I'm not holding my breath, but if I get the word it's available I'm switching so fast you won't see me move.  I'm aware of what I'm dealing with.

>Dennis

Andy_I
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Re: Corrected URL for the presentation
Andy_I   5/16/2017 5:41:09 PM
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> FIOS from Verizon is finally availble where I am ...

> I await the notice with bated breath...

Dennis, don't hold your breath!

I got their FiOS a few years ago.  I had seen them stringing the fiber past my home, then a few months later their salesmen knocked at my door.  They had an offer to sell, I said yes, and signed on the dotted line.

About 90 minutes later, the salesmen were still at my door because they couldn't convince the guys back at VZ's offices that my house existed, despite the fact that I was a current phone customer of theirs and had been for two+ decades, at that address.  Idiots.

About 2 months later, not only had they not figured it out, but they lost the contract I signed with them to get FiOS.

About 50-100 phone calls later, VZ was still unable to deliver.  There was no technical reason why I couldn't get FiOS; they just couldn't figure out the paperwork and how to schedule an installation to an address that 'didn't exist'.  I gave up.

Be prepared for this.  This is the level of incompetence you have to expect with them.  I know this from experience, having talked to countless reps ... even talking to their special department under the office of the president that is supposed to rectify problem situations that nobody else can fix.  All he could tell me was "We've changed."  Yeah, right.

I hear about many such problems with VZ.  They may be technologically advanced, but their records-keeping is 19th century, and if you ever have a billing problem (which is not uncommon with them), they probably are unable to fix it for at least a year -- as in, their customer service reps are physically unable to fix it even if they know what's wrong and want to fix it.  I often hear that about them.

Save your money.  Anyone but them.

 

elizabethsimon
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Re: Corrected URL for the presentation
elizabethsimon   5/12/2017 11:16:11 AM
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I actually considered both options just before DSL became available.

I've since solved the problem by moving. Nice as it was to live out in the woods, there are some disadvantages. When I moved to take my current job, I bought a place in town. I now have a choice between DSL and cable...

DMcCunney
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Re: FTTH seems to be heading to fixed 5G
DMcCunney   5/12/2017 4:10:56 AM
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@Bert22306: I don't think you'll see much FiOS expansion (then again who knows). This new fixed 5G scheme should be ready end of this year or beginning of next.

My current broadband is a 100mbit/sec cable modem connection through my cable provider.  I benefited from FIOS for years as my cable co steadily increased bandwidth to fend off VZS and FIOS, even though FIOS wasn't available where I was.  I didn't expect to see it here because of the costs of rollout.  There's a lot of stuff under the street in NYC, and adding more is a complext and expensive operation.

To my surprise, FIOS is expanding here in NYC, and becoming available in my neighborhood.  At least part of that appears to be political pressure - NYC is suing Verizon to force them to keep promises they made and later dropped about FIOS rollout.  VZ is also advertising gigabit ethernet speeds on TV.

(Although yes, I do have FiOS at home, and it's very good so far. In our neighborhood, Verizon decided to let the copper twisted pair infrastructure degrade into oblivion. DSL was really getting bad, and they were doing nothing to fix it.)

In NYC, VZ wants copper to go away.  They are using Hurricane Sandy damage as an aid to that.  Existing service over copper will be maintained, but if it's broken, it won't be fixed.  Customers whose copper based service was disrupted by Sandy have a choice of fiber or cellular.


My cable co got acquired, and the new owners are trying to boost revenue by raising prices.  That's going to bite them in areas FIOS is available.  WQhen FIOS becomes available to me, I can get what Spectrum offers from VZ for about half of what Spectrum charges.  My name is on VZ's "Inform me when FIOS is available where I am" list...

>Dennis

 

Bert22306
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Re: Corrected URL for the presentation
Bert22306   5/11/2017 6:07:03 PM
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Not sure about your situation, Elizabeth, but it sounds like fixed wireless at lower than 5G frequencies could do the trick. Since population density sounds tiny, perhaps installations in the 700 MHz or even 600 MHz region, using something like IEEE 802.22, would work well.

Erect a tall tower next to your house, point the yagi in the direction of the telco's relay tower, that sort of thing.

Or satellite, except the round trip delay could be a hindrance. Not for download or upload speed per se, but when doing something like filling out forms on web sites.

Bert22306
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FTTH seems to be heading to fixed 5G
Bert22306   5/11/2017 5:27:48 PM
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Interesting concept, to breathe a little bit of new life into xDSL. Although the distance limitation remains just as serious as ever. No matter how you slice it, it's going to be in the few hundreds of meters at best, and the rest of the heavy lifting goes to a backhaul network.

Fiber to the home is simply expensive, as this article points out. So I have been reading that Verizon, AT&T, and Google, all three of these, have come to the conclusion that fixed broadband for the future is going to be a fiber backhaul network, much the same as what HFC or FiOS uses now, and then 5G fixed wireless, from nearby light poles into homes. This would be a much faster and cheaper way of installing an updated broadband service, as opposed to the very labor-intensive FTTH such as FiOS. I don't think you'll see much FiOS expansion (then again who knows). This new fixed 5G scheme should be ready end of this year or beginning of next.

You can find a lot of info on this. Here's one example:

http://rethinkresearch.biz/articles/verizon-will-first-use-5g-create-fixed-wireless-broadband-networks/

This TDSL could perhaps compete with such a scheme, because the distances seem very comparable.

For truly rural settings, wireless has to be the name of the game, be it for backhaul and for the "last mile."

Also, people seem to assume that fiber is just as easy as copper, but not so. Even if laying the fiber initially is about the same as copper, keeping it going may not be. Splicing copper is a piece of cake. You lose no signal integrity. Not so with fiber. Which means, "proper" repairs with fiber may require replacing much longer lengths of cable, which takes manhours. I've never been sold on this FTTH hype, truth to tell. (Although yes, I do have FiOS at home, and it's very good so far. In our neighborhood, Verizon decided to let the copper twisted pair infrastructure degrade into oblivion. DSL was really getting bad, and they were doing nothing to fix it.)

DMcCunney
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Re: Corrected URL for the presentation
DMcCunney   5/10/2017 7:33:12 PM
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@elizabethsimon: One of my neighbors worked for the phone company and he was able to get them to install a box where we turned off the paved road. So I was able to get DSL after years of dial-up. That's probably how your friend got his....

I doubt it.  He doesn't have that sort of contact in the local telco, and is negative technical, so he wouildn't know what to ask for it he had a contact.  (I've found myself doing occasional LD phone zsupport when he had issues.  I was grateful when he moved from PC to Mac for an easier interface, and found a local Mac consultant to provide support.)  The last I heard, he was enthused about a deal Hughes was offering for satellite broadband that would be better than his DSL line.  I don't know enough about Hughes' offerings to have an opinion, but I suspect his experience won't be as good as they claim if he does it.

And yeah, fixed wireless is location specific.  My friend, for example, lives in a valley with a house fronting a creek.  When I visited years back, he said "You are now out of the sticks and into the twigs!"  I can't think of a place around him where a provider might put an antenna he'd be in line of sight of.

A contact in upstate NY (Potsdam) had a different issue.  He's a beta tester for his cable provider's gigabit ethernet service.  He was grumping facetiously about having to install new NIC cards in his various devices because his Internet connection was far faster than his devices could deal with.

FIOS from Verizon is finally availble where I am, and making a big deal about gigabit ithernet connectivity.  I have a request in to notify me when it becomes available in my building.  My cable provider got acquired and has been raising prices to boost revenue and profits.  VZ can provide what I currently get for about half what my cable co. charges, and a 10X boost in Internet bandwidth as part of the deal.  I await the notice with bated breath...

>Dennis

 

antiquus
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Re: How does this work?
antiquus   5/10/2017 7:10:47 PM
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The signal propagates like a radio wave, not like current/voltage, because at the correct frequencies the electric field is fully inside the insulator. Since copper is conductive there is no field "in" the wire itself, and the insulator's permeability and permativity keeps the field more-or-less within the insulator, and it won't escape into the air (much). The three conductors wrapping the central insulator will create a very uniform and well-behaved waveguide, even going around corners.

The technique was once used at lower frequencies by installing a single, bare copper wire between telephone poles and letting it corrode. Copper oxide, being an insulator, gave an effect similar to that illustrated, and it could be demonstrated that the RF waves were guided by the wire. There were too many issues with the installation and general maintenance so the idea was abandoned.

The cost of fiber is in the launching and terminations (both the mechanical issues and the laser/detector assemblies). In this case more conventional RF antenna-like techniques will be available at much lower cost, so with a well-sheathed cable and very high frequencies the idea should do well.

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