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[Discuss] Verizon phasing out copper

Back when Verizon first rolled out FIOS, the recommendation was that you
should ask them to leave your copper wiring in place, as it provided a
few advantages: 1. Verizon was legally obligated to lease access to that
copper to their competitors, so you could purchase local phone service
from someone else; and 2. it allowed you to receive battery power from
the central office to keep your phones running in a power outage.

Today I received a letter from Verizon regarding my residence in Newton
saying "Verizon is replacing telephone wires and removing obsolete
equipment to ensure long-term service reliability for our customers. To
avoid future service interruptions we'll need to move your telephone
service to our new fiber network. This will be done at no charge to you
and you will keep the same voice service at the exact same price you're
paying now."

It seems unlikely they are still motivated by desire to escape sharing
their copper infrastructure with their competitors. Are there any
companies left that sell residential local phone service that haven't
moved on to VoIP? If anything, installing fiber service will only lessen
barriers to switching to a VoIP competitor.

So the old advice seem to be largely obsolete. (Regarding battery power,
the ONT has a battery that lasts, I think, 8 hours. If you use a
cordless phone, and even if you have the base plugged into a UPS (or
have a rare model with a built-in battery), your phone will likely die
in less than 8 hours. So practically speaking you aren't really any
worse off.)

I'd be curious to know what it is costing them to maintain their copper
plant. It must be a money sink, as they can't have high hopes of
converting a lot of these copper customers into subscribers of Internet,
TV, and other higher priced services. (Though undoubtedly some will.)
Most people still using copper are doing so specifically because they
don't want, or have no interest in, the other services Verizon offers,
so slightly reducing the barriers isn't going to turn them into customers.

In fact, you have to wonder how many people faced with setting an
appointment to have this upgrade performed will say, "Landline? We still
have one of those? Lets just cancel it."

Anyone else received such a letter? Other than if you're still using
DSL, any reason to hold on to copper?


Tom Metro
Venture Logic, Newton, MA, USA
"Enterprise solutions through open source."
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