Plenty Of Broadband Providers Pretending They're Offering Fiber To The Home

from the false-advertising dept

Earlier this year, we wrote about Verizon suing Time Warner Cable over a misleading advertisement, where Time Warner Cable claims that Verizon is “catching up” to Time Warner Cable in offering fiber optics. This is misleading, at best. Verizon is installing fiber to the home with its FiOS service, providing significantly faster connections. What Time Warner Cable is claiming is that it uses fiber in its network, not to the home. It’s true that TWC and plenty of other broadband providers have used hybrid fiber solutions at the network level for many years, but that’s totally different than connecting all the way to the home with a fiber optic connection.

Now it turns out that TWC is hardly the only broadband provider doing this. Apparently lots of broadband providers are now running ads against Verizon where they claim that they’ve offered fiber for longer than Verizon. That’s totally misleading. Having fiber somewhere in the network is not at all an equal comparison to running fiber all the way to the home. As Broadband Reports asks, it’s difficult to see how these claims from others isn’t false advertising. They’re clearly implying that their fiber is the same thing as FiOS when that’s not true at all.

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Companies: time warner cable, verizon

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Comments on “Plenty Of Broadband Providers Pretending They're Offering Fiber To The Home”

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B (profile) says:

Bell is doing that in Canada!

Read the following press release and tell me what you think it is saying:
“Introducing Sympatico Optimax Internet service now available in Toronto! With Fibre Optic technology, this new Internet service consistently delivers maximum speeds of 10 or 16 Mbps… Sympatico Optimax Internet service is the next generation of Internet service that uses the latest in Fibre Optic technology to deliver an optimized Internet experience…”

Besides us Canadians spelling Fiber wrong, doesn’t it sound like some sort of fiber to the home service? Even the (idiot) installer who came to set it up said it was fiber. When asked how they would be running the fiber line into my home, he said they conveniently push the fiber optic informtion through my existing phone line! Duh! It’s actually ADSL2 with a guaranteed speed at the local node.

Turns out it would be better to call Bell’s service “Fibre to the Node” but maybe that wouldn’t attract as many gullible customers.

It’s actually a pretty good service as far as consumer level DSL goes. They guarantee the 16 Megabit speed (to their test server) and with their convenient 40 Gigabyte per month caps, I can finish all of my surfing for the month in just over SIX hours! What a time saver.

Edward Gibbon says:

Who is enforcing the law?

Sad thing is that it was VERIZON who had to sue to have the law enforced. It should have been investigated by the FTC, but their budget had been slashed so much that it’s unable to enforce the law.

The sad thing is that this is also happening in other Departments of this administration too- Budgets have been slashed so much that the Government can’t even afford to litigate cases. Attorneys are forced to settle virtually every case.

Another wonderful tidbit of the Bush Administration.

Anonymous of Course says:


Bah! Verizon ran fiber PAST my house about seven
years ago. They did this with money from the government.
But they won’t spend their own money to upgrade the
central office, so there it sits… in the ground,
unconnected and dark.

Yeah, I know it’s a business and the decision is based
on ROI. The unreliable early 1970’s electronics in the
pillar by the roadside belong in a museum. I feel sorry
for the techs that have to keep all that haywired junk
patched together and running. But I hope it will become
enough of a burden to merit replacement soon.

Bunch of Junk says:


Quit whining…..

All TWC states is that its a hybrid fiber network. Most cable companies have been using this for quite a few years.
Its Verizons claim to fame with the Fios service, so its only natural that its used in this manner. Its advertising…….

Besides, currently having fiber to your house is overkill. In the future it may be needed, but now its just a waste of Verizons money.

Greevar (profile) says:

This why we're so behind the rest of the world

Other developed countries get 50-100Mbit connections for the price we pay for 3Mbit. We pay for that level of service, but we aren’t guaranteed to get that much speed (my 1.5Mbit is more like 1Mbit). The telcos have a monopoly in every market. In fact, where I live, Qwest is the only option most people have here. We are still 15th in the world for broadband penetration. But sure, we don’t need an up to date network. We just need to cap everybody’s access so we don’t over tax the existing one while the ISP’s get to pocket the savings.

Washii (profile) says:

Charter Does This Too.

In my area (North-central Washington), Charter Communications has been running the same “We’ve had fiber for decades!” tag-lines, which makes my blood boil.

Amusingly enough, though Verizon is our major service-provider, they will never offer FiOS here. The three closest Public Utility Districts in my area (including my own) already have fiber networks, residential and business. I’m actually getting FTTH installed within the next week, 2M/2M for 40$ (admittedly changing to 4M/768K with my provider’s restructuring, though).

Could be cheaper, but to get anything near that from DSL (which I’m too far away from the Central Office for ten years, though being de facto city-incorporated for at least 8 years) or Charter cable would be impossible.

Anonymous Coward (user link) says:

Fuck Time Warner Inc.

Asshole are shaping my packets, and fucking up my connection.
I pay $122.xx give or take 2-4 bucks every month for a supposed 10megabit internet connection, and basic cable with the “entertainment package” as they call it.
It fucking sucks.
I get about 60-80 channels (including 2-13), nick, comedy central, tbs, tnt, and a few of their supposed HD clones. If i want to get HBO, showtime, skinimax, or any of their “premium” channels it’s 10-12 bucks a month extra for the first one, add 8 to the 10-12 if i want to add a second teir, and add a 5 spot on top of the 10-12+8 if i want a third movie tier.
I wish that in my area I had another choice but i’m stuck with fucking TWC.
they shape my packets, my internet connection drops constantly, my tv picture is shitty, and constantly pixels out, and deblocks, if i download too many files at a time with downthemall my whole internet stops for a few seconds.
TWC sucks!
they fucking suck!
I hope they fucking die.
the second that another option comes my way i’m jumping ship.

Anonymous Coward (user link) says:

Re: Fuck Time Warner Inc.

I know exactly what you’re going through.
TWC is doing the exact same crap to me, and every time I call them to ask them WTF is going on, I’m placed on hold for long periods of time after which they tell me that they’re probably experiencing some network congestion (Insert Peak Hours Bullshit Speech Here), and then they basically tell me that it’s my fault I’m experiencing shitty service.
They hint that I must be doing either suspicious activity (Bittorrent), or that I’m saturating my internet by exceeding my allotted download/upload speeds.
I wish I had another choice…

Bob L says:

Fiber to the home

Our local provider Adelphia then Comcast ran fiber to the pole before Verizon did. I still have the same cable from the pole to my house since it was first installed many moons ago. This has not improved my service at all. Verizon also installed fiber in our neighborhood, I was just waiting for them to offer the option that included TV and then they sold their landline business to Fairpoint. Since Fairpoint could not support the fiber, they will not offer the service and Verizon would up wasting a nice chunk of change installing the fiber. Verizon did well getting out of the diminishing land line business and Fairpoint is in way over their heads.

JJ says:

Even the author of this techdirt article seems to be under the impression that Verizon’s fiber provides “significantly faster” connections. But where I live, Verizon provides only 3 Mbps Fios, while Time Warner provides 10Mbps over copper. My personal home network offers 1000Mbps over copper within my house. So really I don’t care much about what media my carrier is using to carry my data nearly as much as I care about how much of it they’ll let me use.

The question of who has fiber where is irrelevant, and both companies have every right to claim they use fiber – which they do. If Time Warner is misleading customers by talking about fiber and not saying where it is, then Verizon is misleading them far more by implying that fiber to the house is fundamentally better for customers than copper (where I live the service is actually slower), and Time Warner is merely playing off of their misinformation.

Ferin (profile) says:

AT&T U-verse does it

My family recently got U-verse, and I was there when the guy was selling it to my dad. (Don’t even start on it, I live with my parent’s cause I’m paying off my car)

My dad asked him if it was a fiber or wire based network, and the guys says “Oh, it’s a fiber all the way in. It’s just like Verizon Fios, only we don’t have to install anything or put in new wires” He was so proud and excited.

I almost felt bad mentioning that it’d be tough for it to be just like Fios if they weren’t installing anything, considering Fios has managed to burn down a couple of houses when their installers hit power lines while putting in the fiber.

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