33 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
Copyright © 2015 E. William Horne. All Rights Reserved.

The Telecom Digest for Feb 9, 2015
Volume 34 : Issue 26 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
Lawmakers push feds to investigate Verizon's use of 'supercookies' (Bill Horne)
Verizon customers: crooks ordering phones, shipping them out of state (Bill Horne)
Centurylink allegedly blocking Livefyre (Bill Horne)
Recommendations for VoIP provider over Google Fiber? (Bob Goudreau)
Re: Recommendations for VoIP provider over Google Fiber? (Garrett Wollman)

The power given by the Constitution to the Executive to interpose his veto is a high conservative power; but in my opinion it should never be exercised except in cases of clear violation of the Constitution, or manifest haste and want of due consideration by Congress.  - Zachary Taylor

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Date: Sun, 08 Feb 2015 11:32:43 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: telecomdigestsubmissions.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Lawmakers push feds to investigate Verizon's use of 'supercookies' Message-ID: <mb8328$hhf$1@dont-email.me> Concerned about privacy, three Democrats in the US Senate are asking the FCC and FTC to investigate Verizon's use of "supercookies" to track the online activities of millions of mobile customers. by Marguerite Reardon On Friday, Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) sent letters to the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission asking the agencies to look into Verizon's use of tracking technology. The senators along, with Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), had written to Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam last week to express their concern regarding reports that a third-party advertising company called Turn was using Verizon's "supercookies" to gather information for targeted advertising. http://www.cnet.com/news/lawmakers-push-feds-to-investigate-verizons-use-of-supercookies/ -or- http://goo.gl/OTKGdO -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly) I've been up and down this highway, far as my eye can see No matter how fast I run, I can never seem to get away from me - Jackson Browne
Date: Sun, 08 Feb 2015 11:28:44 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: telecomdigestsubmissions.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Verizon customers: crooks ordering phones, shipping them out of state Message-ID: <mb82qs$gc3$1@dont-email.me> Verizon: Customers may be victims of 'phishing' by Marshall Zelinger DENVER - A Verizon customer said she received a bill for a new Apple iPhone 6 and new monthly charges, but there's a catch -- she never ordered a new phone. 7NEWS has learned she's not the only one in Colorado whose mobile account has been hacked. When Tracey Hunter told Verizon she never bought a new phone or new plan, she said she was told the order was stopped. http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/accounts-belonging-to-verizon-customers-hacked-crooks-ordering-phones-shipping-them-out-of-state02062015 -or- http://goo.gl/ekArY4 -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly) Your mother's ghost stands at your shoulder Got a face like ice, just a little colder - David Crosby
Date: Sun, 08 Feb 2015 11:54:01 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: telecomdigestsubmissions.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Centurylink allegedly blocking Livefyre Message-ID: <mb84a9$nkc$1@dont-email.me> by Julio Ojeda-Zapata Some Internet users in recent days were unable to access commenting on certain sites, including the Star Tribune site, for reasons that are a bit complicated and confusing. Here's how this all played out: 1) The Internet users who were experiencing these difficulties are, apparently, all CenturyLink Internet subscribers. 2) They were experiencing these difficulties because CenturyLink was [allegedly] blocking Livefyre, the company providing the commenting system to the Star Tribune and other sites. http://blogs.twincities.com/yourtechweblog/2015/01/28/centurylink-blocks-livefyre-service/ -or- http://goo.gl/Gup68r -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly) Out on the road that lies before me now There are some turns where I will spin I only hope that you can hold me now 'Til I can gain control again - Rodney Crowell
Date: Sun, 8 Feb 2015 11:22:35 -0500 From: "Bob Goudreau" <BobGoudreau@nc.rr.com> To: telecomdigestsubmissions.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Recommendations for VoIP provider over Google Fiber? Message-ID: <000601d043bb$72ba9440$582fbcc0$@nc.rr.com> My town (Cary, NC) was among those recently selected by Google as part of their expansion of Google Fiber to four new metro areas (Raleigh-Durham, NC, Charlotte NC, Nashville and Atlanta). They have not yet announced deployment schedule details, but I'm guessing that it might be a couple of years before the fiber actually reaches my neighborhood, based on their rollout pace in the three existing Google Fiber markets (Kansas City, Austin and Provo, UT). Nevertheless, I look forward to being able to ditch Time-Warner Cable eventually, so I want to be prepared. Google Fiber offers television service in addition to (gigabit!) internet connectivity. What they do NOT offer is telephone service; instead, they suggest that customers who want land-line service get it through a VoIP provider or through a traditional ILEC - https://support.google.com/fiber/answer/3406289?hl=en Currently, we have a landline through TWC as part of our internet/TV/phone bundle, and we've actually been pleased with that phone service. Because it is offered by the network provider, it is not merely VoIP (Voice over IP), but what one contributor to the Digest has dubbed "Voice using IP". I.e., TWC controls the network, so they can segregate a certain amount of bandwidth for exclusive use by the phone service, thus guaranteeing a good Quality of Service for voice traffic. Voice quality is great, and I can even fax successfully. Third-party VoIP provider packets, in contrast, are intermixed with (and competing against) other general internet traffic and are thus more vulnerable to QoS problems. I'd like to hear from any current customers who receive phone service over Google Fiber. What VoIP providers do you recommend? Is your QoS good enough to support faxing? Is the fiber service fast enough that QoS issues are basically moot anyway? (I realize that 1 Gb/s is a tremendous amount of bandwidth, but QoS depends more on latency.) All feedback on your experience with telephone service over Google Fiber is most welcome. Separately, another valued contributor to the Digest, Neal McLain, has wondered about the economics of wired broadband service, specifically whether it qualifies as a natural monopoly. My area was not a monopoly even before the Google announcement, as TWC competes with AT&T (formerly BellSouth, nee Southern Bell) and their U-verse service. But I will note that between the time that Google announced about a year ago that our area was a candidate for Google Fiber and the time they announced we would indeed be getting it, both TWC and AT&T started promising significant upgrades to their local offerings. In TWC's case, this included upping broadband rates in existing service tiers without increasing prices. AT&T has started rolling out "U-verse with GigaPower", with speeds an order of magnitude faster than plain old U-verse. It seems that there's nothing like a little competition, or even the mere threat of it, to spur the incumbents to offer better products and prices. Bob Goudreau Cary, NC
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2015 02:35:03 +0000 (UTC) From: wollman@bimajority.org (Garrett Wollman) To: telecomdigestsubmissions.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Recommendations for VoIP provider over Google Fiber? Message-ID: <mb96cn$2mkh$1@grapevine.csail.mit.edu> In article <000601d043bb$72ba9440$582fbcc0$@nc.rr.com>, Bob Goudreau <BobGoudreau@nc.rr.com> wrote: >Separately, another valued contributor to the Digest, Neal McLain, has >wondered about the economics of wired broadband service, specifically >whether it qualifies as a natural monopoly. This is actually a really interesting question, and I suspect the answer may be "it depends on the circumstances". Dave Clark, who I used to work for a long long time ago, has spent much of the last 20 years investigating questions like this because they have a significant impact on what possible future network architectures are actually feasible. One operational definition of a natural monopoly is a geographically distributed service in which, if you had unlimited competition, the market-clearing price would be the same as the sellers' marginal cost -- i.e., there would be no way to recoup capital investment. In large parts of the country, this seems to be the case, which is why there are so few overbuilders and the ones that do exist rely on bundling more profitable (entertainment) services along with their communications services. This suggests that overbuilding is, as Neal suggests, a bit of a mug's game wherever the costs of physical infrastructure are not extremely low (due to high density, public ownership, low attachment fees, or some other form of piggybacking on somebody else's cap-ex). I don't think Google Fiber really changes this. Yes, they have piles of money that they can plow into these buildouts -- in a few cities, where their analysis has shown that economic conditions are already favorable to them. But Google isn't actually interested in selling low-cost Internet access: they're interested in building just enough to entice other providers (primarily, the phone/cable duopoly) into actually investing in their own networks -- which as you note their buildout in your area has done -- on the assumption that once those providers have been forced to roll out network improvements in one area, they will find it difficult not to do so in other parts of their territory. Note that nobody, not Google nor any other provider is seriously discussing building gigabit fiber connections in the vast parts of the country where population density is so low they can't even support "broadband" under the FCC's old definition. -GAWollman --
Garrett A. Wollman
Opinions not shared by
my employers.
What intellectual phenomenon can be older, or more oft
repeated, than the story of a large research program
that impaled itself upon a false central assumption
accepted by all practitioners? - S.J. Gould, 1993

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