Archive for the ‘verizon’ Category

Verizon wiring up 500K homes with FiOS to settle years-long fight with NYC

November 30th, 2020
A Verizon FiOS box truck on a street in New York City.

Enlarge / A Verizon FiOS truck in Manhattan on September 15, 2017. (credit: Getty Images | Smith Collection | Gado)

Verizon has agreed to bring FiOS fiber-to-the-home service to another 500,000 households in New York City by July 2023, settling a lawsuit over Verizon's failure to wire up the entire city as required in a franchise agreement.

"Today's settlement will ensure that 500,000 households that previously lacked Verizon broadband access because of a corporate failure to invest in the necessary infrastructure will have the option of fiber broadband, and create critical cost competition in areas where today only one provider exists," NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio's office said in an announcement last week. The settlement's full text is available here.

New York City sued Verizon in March 2017, saying the company failed to complete a citywide fiber rollout by 2014 as required in its cable-TV franchise agreement. At the time the lawsuit was filed, Verizon said it had brought its fiber network to 2.2 million of NYC's 3.1 million households.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in fiber-to-the-home, FiOS, New York City, Policy, verizon | Comments (0)

The tech antitrust problem no one is talking about

October 31st, 2020

After years of building political pressure for antitrust scrutiny of major tech companies, this month Congress and the US government delivered. The House Antitrust Subcommittee released a report accusing Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook of monopolistic behavior. The Department of Justice filed a complaint against Google alleging the company prevents consumers from sampling other search engines.

The new fervor for tech antitrust has so far overlooked an equally obvious target: US broadband providers. “If you want to talk about a history of using gatekeeper power to harm competitors, there are few better examples,” says Gigi Sohn, a fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy.

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in AT&T, broadband, Charter, Comcast, Competition, Policy, verizon | Comments (0)

Verizon forced to pull ad that claimed firefighters need Verizon 5G

October 15th, 2020
A firefighter at the scene of a wildfire.

Enlarge / A firefighter battling the Mendocino Complex fire on August 7, 2018 near Lodoga, California. (credit: Getty Images | Justin Sullivan )

Verizon's 2018 controversy over its throttling of a fire department's "unlimited" data plan during a wildfire didn't stop the carrier from rolling out numerous ads claiming that Verizon service is a must-have for firefighters and other emergency responders. But a couple of those ads apparently went too far, and Verizon agreed to stop running them after a complaint that T-Mobile lodged with the advertising industry's self-regulatory body.

"Verizon committed to permanently discontinue its '5G Built Right for Firefighters' and '5G Built Right for First Responders' advertisements and the challenged claims made therein," the National Advertising Division (NAD) said today in an announcement of the complaint's outcome.

The NAD said it didn't actually review the firefighter and first-responder complaints on their merits because Verizon agreed to pull them before an investigation. But the NAD investigated other T-Mobile claims and recommended that Verizon discontinue or modify several other ads that made unsupported statements. Verizon agreed to comply with the NAD's findings.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in 5G, Biz & IT, Policy, verizon | Comments (0)

Verizon “nationwide” 5G ready for iPhone 12—don’t expect a big speed boost

October 13th, 2020
Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg speaking on stage in front of a coverage map.

Enlarge / Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg at Apple's iPhone 12 event. (credit: Apple)

Verizon today announced "nationwide" 5G coverage along with support for the new 5G-enabled iPhones. But for most consumers, Verizon's 5G upgrade won't make much of a difference.

The newly enabled 5G runs on the same spectrum bands used by Verizon for 4G, so it won't be nearly as fast as Verizon's millimeter-wave version of 5G. Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said in May that 5G users on the non-millimeter-wave bands will see only a "small" upgrade at first.

"Nationwide" doesn't mean it's available everywhere, either. As Verizon said in its announcement today, nationwide means that Verizon 5G "is available today to more than 200 million people in 1,800 cities around the US." That definition satisfies a standard set by the National Advertising Division, which is the advertising industry's self-regulatory body. NAD says that, in general, "a wireless network can claim to be nationwide or coast to coast if the provider offers service in diverse regions of the country and the network covers at least 200 million people."

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in 5G, Biz & IT, iPhone 12, Tech, verizon | Comments (0)

Buying Verizon 5G Home is even harder than finding a Verizon mobile 5G signal

October 6th, 2020
A Verizon 5G Home Internet device mounted on the inside of a window, at a home on a residential street.

Enlarge / A Verizon 5G Home router/receiver mounted on a window. (credit: Verizon)

If you're hoping to get Verizon's 5G Home Internet service in the near future, you're probably out of luck—even if you live in one of the few cities where it's already deployed. More than two years after its unveiling, Verizon 5G Home is for sale in parts of eight cities, with an emphasis on "parts." PCMag's Sascha Segan used the 5G home service's address-lookup tool to find out how prevalent 5G Home is in areas that have Verizon 5G mobile access, and the results were disappointing.

"Since the company doesn't offer a coverage map for its home service, we pumped more than 400 Chicago and Minneapolis addresses through the Verizon 5G Home address finder and discovered that the home service has even less coverage than the mobile service does," PCMag wrote in the article published yesterday.

Segan's PCMag article includes several maps that show a large majority of houses in Verizon's 5G mobile coverage areas cannot get 5G Home. Verizon 5G mobile has limited reach to begin with because it relies on millimeter-wave frequencies that don't travel far and are easily blocked by walls. The ad industry's self-regulatory body recently urged Verizon to stop running ads that falsely imply the carrier's 5G mobile service is available throughout the United States because "Verizon's 5G coverage is primarily restricted to outdoor locations in certain neighborhoods and varies from block to block."

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in 5G, 5g home, Biz & IT, Policy, verizon | Comments (0)

Verizon, AT&T to pay $127M for allegedly overcharging government agencies

September 28th, 2020
A close-up shot of $100 bills.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Viktoryia Vinnikava | EyeEm)

Verizon and AT&T have agreed to pay a combined $127 million to settle lawsuits alleging that they overcharged California and Nevada government entities for wireless service. The lawsuit was filed in 2012 and resulted in a settlement approved on Thursday last week by Sacramento County Superior Court, the plaintiffs' law firm, Constantine Cannon, announced.

"Verizon will pay $76 million and AT&T $51 million to settle claims that, for more than a decade, they knowingly ignored cost-saving requirements included in multibillion-dollar contracts offering wireless services to state and local government users in California, Nevada, and other states," the announcement said. "Sprint and T-Mobile previously reached settlements totaling $11.7 million. Combined, the four major telecom providers will pay $138.7 million to settle allegations in the lawsuits." Those numbers do not include what the carriers agreed to pay in attorneys' fees, which is $23.45 million from Verizon and $13 million from AT&T.

The contracts required that carriers bill government entities "at the 'lowest cost available' and that the carrier[s] identify 'optimized' rate plans that best suited actual usage patterns that drive cost," the law firm also said. The lawsuits alleged that the carriers' contract violations "cheated California and Nevada government entities out of hundreds of millions in savings," the law firm said.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in AT&T, Policy, settlement, verizon | Comments (0)

T-Mobile hits back at AT&T and Verizon after spectrum-hoarding accusations

September 23rd, 2020
T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert speaks during a keynote at CES 2020 in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020.

Enlarge / T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert speaks during a keynote at CES 2020 in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

T-Mobile US CEO Mike Sievert yesterday fired back at AT&T and Verizon, saying the carriers' complaints about T-Mobile obtaining more spectrum licenses show that they are afraid of competition.

"The duopolists are scrambling to block this new competition any way they can... Suddenly in the unfamiliar position of not having a dominant stranglehold on the wireless market, and preferring not to meet the competitive challenge in the marketplace, AT&T and Verizon are urging the FCC to slow T-Mobile down and choke off our ability to compete fairly for added radio spectrum," Sievert wrote in a blog post.

As we wrote Monday, Verizon and AT&T have urged the Federal Communications Commission to impose limits on T-Mobile's ability to obtain more spectrum licenses. AT&T complained that T-Mobile's acquisition of Sprint allowed it to amass "an unprecedented concentration of spectrum."

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in AT&T, Biz & IT, mike sievert, Policy, spectrum, t-mobile, verizon | Comments (0)

T-Mobile amassed “unprecedented concentration of spectrum,” AT&T complains

September 21st, 2020
A bird sits on top of a T-Mobile sign outside a mobile phone store,

Enlarge / A pigeon rests on a T-Mobile logo outside a mobile phone store, operated by Deutsche Telekom AG, in Munich, Germany, on Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

AT&T and Verizon are worried about T-Mobile's vast spectrum holdings and have asked the Federal Communications Commission to impose limits on the carrier's ability to obtain more spectrum licenses. Verizon kicked things off in August when it petitioned the FCC to reconsider its acceptance of a new lease that would give T-Mobile another 10MHz to 30MHz of spectrum in the 600MHz band in 204 counties. AT&T followed that up on Friday with a filing that supports many of the points made in Verizon's petition.

T-Mobile was once the smallest of four national carriers and complained that it didn't have enough low-band spectrum to match AT&T and Verizon's superior coverage. But T-Mobile surged past Sprint in recent years and then bought the company, making T-Mobile one of three big nationwide carriers along with AT&T and Verizon. T-Mobile also bolstered its low-band spectrum holdings by dominating a 600MHz auction in 2017.

"The combination of Sprint and T-Mobile has resulted in an unprecedented concentration of spectrum in the hands of one carrier," AT&T wrote in its filing to the FCC on Friday. "In fact, the combined company exceeds the Commission's spectrum screen, often by a wide margin, in Cellular Market Areas representing 82 percent of the US population, including all major markets."

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in AT&T, FCC, Policy, spectrum, t-mobile, verizon | Comments (0)

Verizon to buy TracFone, expanding big carriers’ control of prepaid industry

September 14th, 2020
A Verizon logo displayed along with stock prices at the New York Stock Exchange.

Enlarge / A monitor displaying a Verizon logo and share prices at the New York Stock Exchange on September 4, 2018. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

Verizon today announced it has struck a deal to buy TracFone in a further consolidation of the US cellular industry.

Verizon is one of three major carriers that operate nationwide wireless networks, along with AT&T and T-Mobile (which recently bought Sprint). TracFone is the country's largest reseller of mobile service and already relies primarily on Verizon's network to provide connectivity. More than 13 million of TracFone's 21 million customers "currently rely on Verizon's wireless network through an existing wholesale agreement," Verizon's announcement said.

After the sale is completed, "all TracFone customers will have access" to the Verizon network, a Verizon fact sheet on the deal said. Verizon could try to shift existing TracFone customers to Verizon plans, as Verizon said the deal will bring "enhanced access to its industry-leading wireless network and comprehensive suite of mobility products and services to a new customer base."

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in Biz & IT, Policy, tracfone, verizon | Comments (0)

AT&T’s current 5G is slower than 4G in nearly every city tested by PCMag

September 8th, 2020
AT&T logos seen on the window and door of a building.

Enlarge / An AT&T sign and logo on Main Street during the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2020 in Park City, Utah. (credit: Getty Images | Mat Hayward)

AT&T smartphone users who see their network indicators switch from "4G" to "5G" shouldn't necessarily expect that they're about to get faster speeds. In PCMag's annual mobile-network testing, released today, 5G phones connected to AT&T got slower speeds than 4G phones in 21 out of 22 cities.

PCMag concluded that "AT&T 5G right now appears to be essentially worthless," though AT&T's average download speed of 103.1Mbps was nearly as good as Verizon's thanks to a strong 4G performance. Of course, AT&T 5G should be faster than 4G in the long run—this isn't another case of AT&T misleadingly labeling its 4G network as a type of 5G. Instead, the disappointing result on PCMag's test has to do with how today's 5G phones work and with how AT&T allocates spectrum.

The counterintuitive result doesn't reveal much about the actual differences between 4G and 5G technology. Instead, it's reflective of how AT&T has used its spectrum to deploy 5G so far. As PCMag explained, "AT&T's 5G slices off a narrow bit of the old 850MHz cellular band and assigns it to 5G, to give phones a valid 5G icon without increasing performance. And because of the way current 5G phones work, it often reduces performance."

Read 18 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in 5G, AT&T, Biz & IT, opensignal, pcmag, t-mobile, verizon | Comments (0)