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FiOS vs U-verse

Phil Harvey
6/26/2008

7:00 AM -- Verizon is taking on AT&T in North Texas, but it's not as brutal an assault as government filings suggest.

Here's what we do know: Verizon is extending its fiber network and, in doing so, is reaching more customers. But it's not overbuilding.

Light Reading has learned Verizon is actively trenching, boring, and placing new fiber optic cable in the cities of Keller, Watauga, and Plano, Texas.

That's significant because AT&T is offering U-verse in Watauga and Keller. "If at some point, the same household can select between FiOS and U-verse, we expect that the majority of consumers are going to select FiOS because of the value and quality that comes with the Verizon offering," says an objective observer who works for Verizon.

AT&T said it saw nothing to comment on when presented with that information. Chickens.

What is Verizon actually doing if it's not overbuilding? Verizon's looking at areas, like Keller, where it already has the FiOS service running and where it has already been blanketing the area in advertisements for some amount of time.

Since it already has FiOS, and a video serving office nearby, the carrier then extends its fiber about 5 to 6 miles from those existing central offices/video service offices. Verizon doesn't have a traditional phone network covering the whole city in those cases, so it's not really overbuilding anything.

Still, Verizon is passing some homes in AT&T's territory -- and the deregulation of fiber assets allows for consumers to finally choose between two incumbent phone carriers, in those rare instances where both carriers want to reach the same area.

The rationale for Verizon's fiber extension is pretty obvious. In North Texas, according to Verizon, the percentage of consumers who have ordered FiOS services more than doubles the national average. "It's a very mature FiOS market," a spokesman says.

Verizon's also leaving the door wide open because it won't discuss any future plans beyond its fiber network extensions. So the telco vs. telco grudge match we've all been waiting for may yet happen, but not likely in a big way.

The real takeaway here is that, as Verizon itself has already noted, the carrier is keen to compete outside of the cozy confines of its copper network. But it will pick those fights very carefully.

— Phil Harvey, Editor, Light Reading

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DCITDave
DCITDave
12/5/2012 | 3:51:25 PM
re: FiOS vs U-verse
Consumers buy on price. So, unlike the high-end auto market, offering even a lesser service at a lower price is still a competitive threat.

http://www.lightreading.com/vi...
JerrellI
JerrellI
12/5/2012 | 3:51:25 PM
re: FiOS vs U-verse


OK, I love FiOS, BUT, the price points are very different. It's almost like comparing apples and oranges. If you are really comparing the services, compare at the same cost level.


ATT-Uverse can be bundled and routed nicely for under $100.00. See here:


http://www.att-services.net/at...


FiOS on the other hand, does not have comparable packaging at that price level. The service is terrific, but you are paying for it. I can't find anything for below $100.00


Maserati vs F150?


Let's have a fair tug of war at least!


 

bollocks187
bollocks187
12/5/2012 | 3:51:21 PM
re: FiOS vs U-verse
One interesting comment on "Uverse" - they is they can only support a limit number of TV streams - 4 max.
Nh1842
Nh1842
12/5/2012 | 3:37:24 PM
re: FiOS vs U-verse
att and verizon will never have a wired connection to the same home, fiber or copper. ATT has an area that they service and are the sole providers of traditional telephone service and DSL and so does Verizon. they will never have overlapping boundries or share customers.
paolo.franzoi
paolo.franzoi
12/5/2012 | 3:37:21 PM
re: FiOS vs U-verse

rj,

I have a dream that someday you will learn how to read. I am hopeful that your mental illness is corrected.

This story is about Verizon CLECing in AT&T properties. I did not write it. The note I replied to declared that this is against the law. It is patently not against the law. IOCs, which are ILECs, do it all the time. Are you denying the legality of their actions? Or is it that you are an idiot? You certainly are a demagogue with absolutely no ability to create an actual thought or read for comprehension.

For example...I am guessing that you did not note that the Supreme Court held for "Bell Atlantic". Your quote notes activity before 1996.....which if you have not noticed was 12 years ago.

seven
rjmcmahon
rjmcmahon
12/5/2012 | 3:37:21 PM
re: FiOS vs U-verse
re: "Hence, a natural explanation for the noncompetition alleged is that the former Government sanctioned monopolists were sitting tight, expecting their neighbors to do the same thing."

And this is where both the Supreme Court and the FCC are confused. Previous generations didn't create the regional monopolies via government sanctions but rather recognized the natural monopoly for what it really is, i.e. an economic condition more than a political or policy choice.

The rational policy choice today is to fight the monopolists with new ones (as Schumpeter hints at in his writings.) Government can "sanction" regional monopolies for real broadband and exclude the existing monopolists. That's about the only thing we haven't tried yet and may be the only thing that will work. Capital may finally flow to infrastructure when the perceived threats of competition, price wars, regulatory capture, law suits etc. are removed.

"The ILECs were born in that world, doubtless liked the world the way it was, and surely knew the adage about him who lives by the sword."

No swords. Just give the animals their territories.
rjmcmahon
rjmcmahon
12/5/2012 | 3:37:21 PM
re: FiOS vs U-verse
re: "There is nothing that prevents an ILEC from CLEC'ing in its non-incumbent properties. IOCs do it all the time."

Seven; you strain credibility with such BS. So does LR's article as does the FCC's faith initiative that deregulation will magically create competition in a natural monopoly which flies in the face of reality. You don't buy into these regulatory fantasies of competition by government fiat but you'll use the rhetoric when it suits.

From twombly on the issue:

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/...

PlaintiffsG«÷ second conspiracy theory rests on the competitive reticence among the ILECs themselves in the wake of the 1996 Act, which was supposedly passed in theG«£G«ˇhop[e] that the large incumbent local monopoly companies . . . might attack their neighborsG«÷ service areas, as they are the best situated to do so.G«÷G«• Complaint 38, App.20 (quoting Consumer Federation of America, Lessons from 1996 Telecommunications Act: Deregulation Before Meaningful Competition Spells Consumer Disaster, p. 12(Feb. 2000). Contrary to hope, the ILECs declined G«£G«ˇto enter each otherG«÷s service territories in any significant way,G«÷G«• Complaint 38, App. 20, and the local telephone and high speed Internet market remains highly compartmentalized geographically, with minimal competition. Based on this state of affairs, and perceiving the ILECs to be blessed with G«£especially attractive business opportunitiesG«• in surrounding markets dominated by other ILECs,the plaintiffs assert that the ILECsG«÷ parallel conduct was G«£strongly suggestive of conspiracy.G«• Id., 40, App. 21.

But it was not suggestive of conspiracy, not if history teaches anything. In a traditionally unregulated industry with low barriers to entry, sparse competition among large firms dominating separate geographical segments of the market could very well signify illegal agreement, but here we have an obvious alternative explanation. In the decade preceding the 1996 Act and well before that, monopoly was the norm in telecommunications, not the exception. See Verizon Communications Inc. v. FCC, 535 U. S. 467, 477G«Ű 478 (2002) (describing telephone service providers as traditional public monopolies). The ILECs were born in that world, doubtless liked the world the way it was, and surely knew the adage about him who lives by the sword. Hence, a natural explanation for the noncompetition alleged is that the former Government sanctioned monopolists were sitting tight, expecting their neighbors to do the same thing."
paolo.franzoi
paolo.franzoi
12/5/2012 | 3:37:21 PM
re: FiOS vs U-verse

nh,

There is nothing that prevents an ILEC from CLEC'ing in its non-incumbent properties. IOCs do it all the time.

seven
Polder
Polder
12/5/2012 | 3:37:20 PM
re: FiOS vs U-verse
IOC's overbuild Qwest, Century, SBC, Verizon, all the time. A (very) short list would include:

Surewest - SBC/Sacremento, CA + Overland Park, KS
Long Lines - Qwest/Multiple communities in IA, NE, and MN
Knology - Multiple sites, people forget they are also an IOC
Chariton Valley Tel - Century/Macon, MO
Fidelity Telephone - Century/Multiple Missouri locations

ILEC's were quick to discover that it was a lot cheaper to overbuild another exchange than buy it. I know of one exchange in South Dakota that Qwest was willing to sell for $22M. The ILEC overbuilt it with FTTH and a soft switch for $15M. I'm with brookseven on this one...
fgoldstein
fgoldstein
12/5/2012 | 3:37:20 PM
re: FiOS vs U-verse
It is rather well accepted that ATT and VZ will generally not compete against one another in the wireline space, though they compete in the wireless and long distance/800 businesses. The SCOTUS remark illustrates why. At the same time, the FCC has based much of its deregulation on the assumption that they will compete. Such fictions are sufficient cover for nose-thumbing Orders, but even they are helped by a tiny bit of real competition.

SBC at one point (the Ameritech merger, I think) had agreed to compete "out of region" in at least 30 markets. After setting up a reseller shop (no real investment) in a few, and pulling some CLEC certificates, they backed out and paid a trivial fine. That's the usual Bell way.

North Texas, however, may be a special case. These are among the few GTE wireline properties that VZ actually seems to want to keep. GTE had a nice row of exchanges running across the northern edge of the Metroplex. Sprawl put them right in the middle of development, and now there's considerable growth in the old Southwestern territories north of GTE's. Since FiOS is essentially an overbuild of VZ's old copper plant, cannibalizing itself, there's a good case to be made for extending the networks across the boundaries (as a CLEC) into SBC turf, cannibalizing somebody else. It's a wealthy area, FiOS sells well where available already, and U-verse is hardly competitive.

So without adding any new head ends or central infrastruture, and just exploiting the areas near existing facilities, VZ can brag about "vibrant competition" yadda yadda. And Ivan can brag a bit at Randy. And for the vast majority of Americans, service will just continue to get worse as FCC policies lead to less and less real competition.
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