TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Verizon Plans to Offer "Naked DSL" on 4/5 of its Wirelines

Re: Verizon Plans to Offer "Naked DSL" on 4/5 of its Wirelines

Geoffrey Welsh (reply@newsgroup.please)
Tue, 22 Feb 2005 17:36:51 -0500

Michael D. Sullivan wrote:

> There is at least one technology issue, and maybe more. Verizon's
> many millions of ADSL/POTS lines are identified by telephone number.
> The POTS telephone number is, in effect, the key, the unique
> identifier, used in the databases of both Verizon's LEC and Verizon
> Online, which markets DSL to the public.

Others have noted that circuit numbers other than conventional
telephone numbers have been used on dry pairs but, even if the DSL
department's systems were built assuming that every DSL line had a
conventional telephone number, would it kill the numbering plan to
assign a number even if it no service is provided? I keep hearing
that ILECs are losing landline business to competitors and alternative
services, so in theory they have some unassigned numbers in their
pools; perhaps they could take a just-returned number and assign it to
a naked DSL line rather than adding it to the pool of numbers to be
reused after a time? Obviously, local number portability means that
fleeing* customers don't always return their phone number, but my
point is that it may not be necessary to modify any existing systems.

Taking your idea a bit further, it's very convenient to verify DSL
availability against an existing database using your current phone
number, and that would not be possible if you don't have a dialtone
line whose phone number you know. But this already happens when
somone moves and wants to order dialtone and DSL but doesn't know the
previous occupant's phone number, so some mechanism must exist for
looking up the loop without a current number.

* Ohmigod, it's an ILEC! Run for your life!!!

Geoffrey Welsh <Geoffrey [dot] Welsh [at] bigfoot [dot] com>
Ambidextrous? No, I said I'm ambinonscattous - I don't give a crap
either way!

Jr. wrote:

> In the case of DSL, someone has to cover the costs of maintaining the
> wire and doing the billing.

OK, so how much of a typical residential line's monthly cost goes to
maintenance, billing, etc.? Here in Ontario, Rogers Cablesystems will
gladly offer cable internet to people who don't subscribe to their
cable TV service for an additional $CDN 10 (they'll sell me basic
cable -- all that overhead plus a few TV channels -- for $CDN
24.40/month.) Unfortunately, I can't currently get cable internet
from any ISP other than Rogers, the cable company (and I'd rather not
go with them for internet right now); I can get DSL from a number of
ISPs but only if I have telephone service from the ILEC, Bell Canada;
I can get telephone service from a CLEC, but then I couldn't get DSL
from my choice of ISP with it (there's a rumor that you can get third
party dialtone and DSL from the ILEC, which means you can get
third-party DSL or third party dialtone but not both on the same line
-- I'm sure that Bell Canada has an explanation of why that is, too.)

I'd *love* to switch to a CLEC for dialtone, whether in general
protest of our Canadian Ma Bell or in principle because the same
company that can give me a phone line and unlimited free calling to to
a significant fraction of Canada's population for $20 (plus fees such
as 911 access and taxes) but can't let me see the number of the person
who's calling me for less than $8, a 40% premium!

Failing that, I might consider paying Bell Canada $10 so I can get DSL
from a third-party ISP and maybe add a VOIP service or just use my
cellphone as my main number (which I pretty much do already.)

> Now, the DSL providers want to sell a naked product. Well, all those
> laws/systems/regulations have to change. In fact, in many cases the
> telco doesn't even know what it costs on an individual basis for a
> naked line -- they've never had to compute it that way before or track
> costs that way before. Far easier to add it all up and divide by the
> number of subscriber lines, eh?

I'm not saying that there wouldn't be work involved, but surely it
could be done -- and they don't hesitate to find cost justifications
every time they want to raise our rates. Or we could encourage them
(by not arguing too much) to pick a nominal amount (say, $10, half the
rate for dialtone service) and be done with it.

> While there is no technological reason to prevent naked DSL from being
> sold,

I've heard -- but not seen for myself -- that an ILEC has claimed that
the loop will corrode more quickly if it doesn't have battery power
(or was that current flow, as in when the line is in use)!

> While the telcos may not like sharing their old
> copper pairs, they've pretty much resigned themselves to it, since
> they were installed under regulated rate of return rules.

That is the point entirely: I don't think (most of them) have accepted
it at all, and I see competitors' access to the 'last mile'
infrastructure installed during the monopoly days as being absolutely
critical to competition ... if that's what we really want. I suspect,
however, that the FCC isn't committed to widespread local competition
and the CRTC either isn't committed or it's efforts have been
essentially ineffectual.

> What's a bit more unfortunate is that the telcos have successfully
> managed to exempt themselves from sharing any new fiber that gets
> buried. Since the capacity of fiber exceeds that of a copper pair in a
> bundle with a bunch of other copper pairs by a factor of a million to
> 1 or more, the long term viability of naked DSL is questionable at
> best.

Unfortunate, yes absolutely. However, I can see the point of view
that facilities installed after competition should not be subject to
sharing; the only question is whether the fiber being buried now is
being installed in a truly competetive environment.

Geoffrey Welsh <Geoffrey [dot] Welsh [at] bigfoot [dot] com>
Ambidextrous? No, I said I'm ambinonscattous - I don't give a crap
either way!

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I've heard that story about 'keep
battery on the line to prevent corrosion' before but do not know how
true it is. I do know that the pair which served my mother's line
(when she lived here with me) **still has battery on it** but no
dial tone now almost two years after she moved to the old people's
home over on Penn Street, taking her phone number with her. I was
outside at the demarc the other day, checking out the wiring on my
PBXtra and noted the pair that had been her phone years ago still had
battery, so I tied it off and taped it up to keep an eager phone man
away from it. PAT]

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