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[Discuss] basic fiber optic phone service vs. Fios phone service

A few weeks ago in the consumer column of the Boston Sunday Globe:

a reader explained that in response to a repair request on their copper
phone line, Verizon was forcing (not encouraging) them to migrate to
fiber. The reader asked, "...what consumer protections apply. Has
Massachusetts taken a position?"

The reporter started off with the usual note about fiber being different
from copper in that during a power outage, you are reliant on a local
backup battery, but otherwise it is technically superior.

But then he went on point out that Verizon is offering two different
products. One being Fios phone service, and the other being basic fiber
optic phone service. As we know, Fios isn't regulated by the state
utility regulators, but notably basic fiber optic phone service is. I
hadn't heard of that before.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Telecommunications and Cable
(DTC) said, "Because this is a technology upgrade...the department does
not have the authority to interfere with this change, so consumers must
either switch to fiber or switch carriers."

So I guess you are out of luck if Verizon picks you for a forced upgrade
and you want to stick with copper.

The reporter referenced the DTC's advisory on this matter:

A quote from that:

  The DTC requires that Verizon make available to all residential
  customers in Verizon's service territory a regulated landline voice
  telephone service and Verizon claims its fiber service, where offered,
  will meet this obligation.

So what changed from the early days of Fios, where Verizon would pull
out the copper lines to prevent the consumer from using those lines they
were obligated to share with other telcos? Does this mean another telco
can demand that Verizon lease the fiber line? And if so, what
capabilities are available? Does Verizon use loopholes to argue that
only a voice line of bandwidth is available for lease?

Is Verizon implementing this with Fios style dedicated fibers between
the CO and the customer, or are they running fiber to neighborhood
concentrators, and multiplexing only a low-bandwidth signal onto a
shared trunk line?

I'm assuming for simplicity sake they're using a single identical
infrastructure for both, plus this way once they have a foot in the
door, they can upsell the consumer on their bundled offerings and not
have to upgrade the connection. should inform Verizon if you have any home monitoring equipment
  such as alarm/security systems or medical equipment that relies upon
  your existing phone line to ensure that it will continue to work after
  you make the switch.

Digital voice services are also notoriously incompatible with fax
machines, due to the way they compress the signal. The DTC advisory
implies that there aren't technical differences between the two Verizon
voice offerings, only marketing and regulatory differences. So I'm
assuming both are using lossy codecs in their ONT. They may support
T.38[1], which demodulates the fax at the analog-to-digital conversion



Tom Metro
The Perl Shop, Newton, MA, USA
"Predictable On-demand Perl Consulting."

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