SamplerI: Internet

I canceled the costly UNIX server, and collapsed everything (well almost) into one giant-f’n blog. It will take a while to get things organized with a new content management system. All of the thinking, writing, mine, yours and the people we read and respect are here some place. Thanks for the recommendations.  The categories on Sampler1 read “my neighborhood” and “internet.”

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IP Chill

If you openly don’t like 45 online, this guy wants your IP Address and the details of what you do not like.  The chilling details of the warrant in these two stories are worthy of following.

thanks for picking this one up….

the two-way WARRANT

BREAKING NEWS FROM NPR
August 15, 2017
DOJ Demands Files On Anti-Trump Activists, And A Web Hosting Company Resists

TechCrunch
DreamHost is fighting DoJ request for 1.3M IP addresses of visitors to anti-Trump protest site

Privacy

So what, if a few people get stopped and if they refuse to respond to a lawful order to give up the data on their phones (little computers really). If you do, you can be detained for because you gave them reasonable suspicion. (Catch 22s are real.)

You say I’ll give my phone up with nothing to hide  They might catch somebody that would blow up a car or something and kill me, members of my family or people I know. Even though,  you know the odds of such an event are better on a lightning bolt. This is not a security vs. privacy issue this is a fear problem.

Remember, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said this is about “fear itself,” for many reasons. Fear is the main lever of Fascism because people in fear become its fulcrum. Fear is a lever that can destroy a country’s financial stability, and it is “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

Volunteer to summarize the following and to watch this issue over the next couple of years and join others who doing the same.

  • NBC News, “American citizens: US border agents can search your cell phone,”
    March 13, 2017.
    BuzzFeed, “New bill would outlaw warrantless phone searches at the border,”
    April 4, 2017.
    The Hill, “Border agents, demanded searches of US citizens’ phones: report,”
    March 13, 2017.
    NPR, “More travelers are being asked for their cell phones and passwords…”
    April 11, 2017.
    CNN, “Bill would stop warrantless border device searches of US citizens,”
    April 4, 2017.

All of this despite the Supreme Court June 25, 2014, unanimously ruling (9-0) that police may not search the cell phones of criminal suspects upon arrest without a warrant — a sweeping endorsement for privacy rights. Wallets, briefcases, and vehicles remain subject to limited examination by law enforcement.  The C-22 here is clear, go “all the way” in the justice system on the one hand or handing it over for a data upload on the other.

In the House of Representatives Jared Polis (D), Denver CO was elected in 2008 and defeated a Republican incumbent and Blake Farenthold (R) defeated an incumbent Democrat in 2016.  Both along with two Senators, Rand Paul, and Ron Wyden have introduced legislation that would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before they can search your phone when you, (a citizen) enters the US.

The bill extends the privacy principles clarified in the Supreme Court decision Riley v. California. In that case, the High Court ruled that warrantless searches of electronic devices during an arrest are unconstitutional. Read the complete Protecting Data at the Border Act here, and a summary here. (both pdf).

Thanks so far, y’all are brilliant.

Wireline 2017

It was a busy April morning in 2017 when three clean, Verizon Cable trucks rolled onto the Terraces with a bunch of scrappy linemen eager to drag us into the twenty-first century. Data-structure, Inc. was just leaving, and it seemed very appropriate to re-read their motto, “You deserve peace of mind.”

All of our right-of-way forms signed, our dedicated research, calls, and inquiries have become fruitful.   We even discovered that William Freshwater is, in fact, a real person who is responsive and professional.  With this arrival, we have a complete understanding of intent, even though Verizon, remains puzzled about the future of its technology.  It’s OK, Verizon is big like the trucks they use to get the job done, it takes a while to get them rolling.  The best metaphor for investments that really pay off.

Taking complete stock of the fiber-optic cable question is complicated. The initial assumption was Verizon would follow the old Cooper, and establish new household ports of extraordinary capacity, then the cap expenditure folks at Verizon began to anticipate technology changes upward of 5G of the wireless world.

The long line strategy is the build out to places like us. It will be useful for densification from wireline to wireless.  We remain in your service as you ours.  Until, of course we are not.  Capitalism at its best.

Survey Visit

Byers Logo

 

 

Byers Engineering Company
285 Davidson Ave., Suite 203Chris of Byers
Somerset, NJ 08873-4153

Survey visit “for right of way” occured again on August 20, 2015 with a drop by visit from Chris Wojtowicz of Byers Engineering  He confirmed Verizon’s Engineer, Wasserman’s opinion that a Fiber line presented along the roof-top gutter was the best option. See image below as the best solution for the north and south side of Albemarle Terrace. One cable about the size of the pinky finger.  Yea!

The AKNA IT Team has his phone and email address, and many months latter and…

in early March 2017, two Verizon technicians in white hard hats were walking the block.  Excitedly I approached and said, Hey! Are you guys from Verizon FiOS. They smiled, and said yes.  They were carrying drawings of the route around the building extensions at the back.  On the south side of the Terrace they are called sun rooms.

The line drawn by the engineer’s appeared to be around each of the extensions and entering the block, reportedly from east to west via Fabco Shoe building. The blue line below shows a straight line below the second story gutter line that appeared many months ago to AKNA as the best way to go.  We shall see.

FiOSLine.

What to Expect

I’ll believe it when I see it. Expectations are difficult to manage and different for everyone as everyone needs will vary. I found this presentation to be one the few YouTube presentations that describe the FiOS installation process in a pleasant way. If you come across any others that might be helpful, I’ll put them here.

Verizon’s Political Contributions

The Center for Responsive Politics keeps a record of corporate dollars for political representatives. The table and map (below) looks at the House of Representatives for Brooklyn and surroundings.

AKNA’s representative is Yvette Clarke (D-NY District 9, First elected 2006, election 2016 (won) next election November 6, 2018.

She serves on two committees: Energy and Commerce and Small Business. She received $3,500 from Verizon and $4,000 from Cablevision Clarke’s total campaign contributions was $519,110.  But a total of over $80,000 is from the communication and electronics sector. (Source)

The purpose of the money from Verizon and the others is obviously designed keep Clarke’s office away from Verizon.  Is that why there is (no FiOS, bad cable and poor wireless service) in her district?

Yvette D. Clarke received 82% of campaign contributions ($537,295) from outside the district. (Rank: 206 out of 421.) and received 32% of campaign contributions ($211,772) from outside the state. (Rank: 399 out of 421.) That was 2016.

For more government information, sources see Call to Action (service map) and Representatives for additional research on political leaders and other candidates for relevance.

Notes: In the 2014 Cycle, Senator Schumer received $5,000 from Verizon, and Senator Gillibrand received $10,000 from Cable Vision. Congressman Joe Crowley (Queens District 14 Elected in 1998) received $35,700 from Verizon and Cablevision in 2014.  Since the 1998 election, he has received over $3million in total contributions. Crowley serves on the powerful Ways and Means Committee that determines all Federal methods for raising revenue.  Some insight comes from the huge increase in contributions to members elsewhere:  

See Tweet re: Communications and Technology Subcommittee.

Disclosing: Broadband Internet providers gave, on average, 2.9 times more money ($67,272) to members of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee compared to members of the entire House of Representatives ($23,186).

Verizon Timeline


The strike over the next few weeks is as good a reason to begin the clock on how long it will take to get high-speed service following the completion of the AKNA end of the process.  The main question is simple.   How long will it take? The clock is ticking.

By The Associated Press:
April 11, 2016, 3:42 P.M

NEW YORK — Unions representing more than 36,000 Verizon landline phone and cable workers threaten a strike starting Wednesday morning if the company doesn’t agree to a new contract.

The unions, the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, say Verizon wants to freeze pensions, make layoffs easier and rely more on contract workers. Verizon says health care issues need to be addressed for both retirees and workers as medical costs have grown, and it wants “greater flexibility” to manage its employees. The latest contract had expired last August. Both sides say negotiations have been unsuccessful.

Verizon Communications Inc. says it has trained thousands of non-union employees to fill in if the strike occurs in nine Eastern states and Washington, D.C. The company had 178,000 employees as of December.

The last Verizon strike was in 2011 and lasted for two weeks.

Inside Information? In March 2016, the following letter portended the Verizon strike. Please read it for the exquisite use of political sentiment that suggests inaction on their part while pointing out their $39 billion profit.

“It is our understanding that the [CWA and IBEW] have offered to negotiate substantial savings in health care for the wireline workforce, but there are additional areas of concern for your workers, including job security, the treatment of sick and injured workers, pensions and the contracting out of work. While we recognize that changes in technology and customer preference have led to a decline in landline service, driving the need for some contract changes, we also want to be sure that Verizon preserves good, family-supporting jobs in our region.”  Click to read.\

Senate Letter

VZ Engineering (Com-Hydra)

VZ Engineering is terrible and likely to be the only Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC) that decides not to upgrade a single strand of wire and resist fiber placement.  The proof is in, and 30% to 60% of the old network rots. Decades of unmaintained, old copper lies struggling to offer Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexers (DSLAM) and landline phone from the 1970s.

Therefore, the Verizon business plan must include selling these wrecked lines to other providers eager to serve this self-made vacuum. Verizon’s sale of the old stuff to Fairpoint in New England is a recent example of a local effort to sustain DSL copper investment for the lack of an alternative.  There would be life and speed in copper if kept dry, and many long for POTS. That is a plain old telephone service network and manly saw PANS, the pretty amazing new stuff, as distractions to the higher purposes of communication.

Historians may write it this way. The old technology was focused, and the com-network regularly improved to sustain the win/win principle of Universal Service. When traded in for competition between long-distance carriers, we lost it all, and for what? The 1984 breakup of Ma Bell produced a monster, the Com-Hydra.

Bottom line, the mountain of negative service problems throughout the Northeast makes one wonder if Verizon is an agent operating a cyberwar strategy. Willing or unwilling, true or false, the national interest and security are not as threatened by the bad guy with an encrypted cell phone. It is by a huge local exchange carrier that is making our LFAs (franchise agreements) worthless. Shouldn’t I hear a bell ringing in every attorney general’s office in the Northeast?

Verizon aggressively seeks the wealthiest clients and government agencies.  Verizon refused to replace copper service for many buildings inundated by hurricane floodwaters in lower Manhattan, forcing owners and tenants to go months without service when the copper solution was a couple of weeks. Is the impossible possible here? The neat thing about lures, like the old bait and switch, is the surprise. Right in your face, they are promising a modern communications network and at the same time saying it will never happen.  AT&T and CenturyLink, and so on, are similar, but only because they appear to be chasing the big VZ wireless-dog.

The following is provided as a musical interlude to provoke thought. Use it to evaluate this question and decide on an action.  Share it if you feel like doing so, and 2X speed is OK if rushed (the little gear bottom right).

In other words, it is not just a metaphor. A moment of reflective thought is also offered (HERE) below. The story is HERE.

NYS Attorney General

As we keep our fingers crossed about Verizon’s accountability to AKNA and NYC, please take a moment to add this squeak to our wheel.  It only takes a minute to do this speed test recommended by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and now Latitia James with the question are you getting what you are paying for using this link.

https://ag.ny.gov/internet-speed?wssl=1

Why?
The Office of the New York State Attorney General is investigating consumer Internet speeds. We encourage New Yorkers to test their broadband speed at home and submit the test to help our office determine what internet speeds consumers are receiving.

We are way below the speed promised, so it is imperative to help this office.  Eric is probably the best AG NYS has seen in a very long time.  The top law enforcement officer of NYS will have a great deal to say about Verizon’s franchise agreement if we help him do it…

If you are wondering where Scott Stringer is on this you have to go back to 2013 for the audit report: have a look here Audit Report on the Compliance of Verizon New York, Inc. with Its Cable Franchise Agreement FM12-085A December 9, 2013  He is pressing for Mayor – perhaps he knows where this body is buried.

The Do it Now AKNA IT Team

Community Forum 11.17.15

On November 17, 2015, AKNA attended the FiOS Rollout Forum conducted by Common Cause NY led by Susan Lerner, and the Consumers Union led by Charles Bell.

Public forums are one way to hold Verizon NY (VNY) and Verizon Communications, Inc. accountable to their franchise agreement with NYC in compliance with FCC regulations. This session made it quite clear that Verizon policies and practices mislead thousands of families regarding the availability of FiOS and the repair and retention of traditional landline services essential to many families.  It is also obvious that pressure on Verizon from the public (us) through our elected representatives will help. 

The forum highlighted how Verizon officials are telling many organized community groups and individual households that “your area has one delay on the block entrance” and “when this is secured, the cable will have a clear path to your area.”  Then nothing happens. One building owner stated she contacted Verizon for service. Still, following her request, she received a letter stating Verizon was in negotiations with the owner of the building and said but, “I am the owner, and they haven’t contacted me.”

Common Cause and Consumers Union are national organizations with millions of members. They will continue to gather information and educate the public on this important issue.  They recommend that AKNA take actions to help keep our communication costs down and get higher quality service are as follows:

  • Sign and send the Certificate of Proposed Work to Lourdes and then let AKNA with any questions, or if you have not received it.
  • Sign the petition and receive campaign updates
  • Email your name, address, and phone number to receive details on their progress

Say or write the following to our representatives 

“Verizon is failing our community. Please find out what is going now in current negotiations between DoITT and Verizon. Please respond with your findings for publication to the AKNA web-log

City Council TERM ENDS 2021
Mathieu Eugene (District 40) mathieu.eugene@council.nyc.gov  or call 718-287-8762 
State Senate and Assembly
Sen. Kevin S. Parker (District21) parker@nysenate.gov
Rodneyse Bichotte (42nd AD) bichotter@assembly.state.ny.us or call 718-940-0428
United States Congress TERM IS APPARENTLY NEVER ENDING
Yvette D. Clark Brooklyn Office  https://clarke.house.gov  or call (718) 287-1142

#WAITING4FIOS

In 2008, Verizon promised New York City people that it would wire all corners of the city with high-speed fiber optic cable, bringing competition to internet, video, and phone service in New York City to improve service and bring down prices. Verizon promised to make high-speed, reliable, and affordable internet available to any New Yorker who wants it. Now, 7 years later, too many New Yorkers are waiting.

Common Cause/NY, Consumers Union, and Borough President Eric Adams sponsored a FiOS public forum on Tuesday, November 17th at 7 PM at Brooklyn Borough Hall.  Obtaining Verizon FiOS and the impediments to obtaining that service.

AKNA Will Be Attending

Please join Eric Adams, Common Cause/NY and the Consumers Union
Tuesday, November 17th. All are welcome to attend and be heard. Click here to RSVP

More Information:
Brooklyn Borough Hall |askeric@brooklynbp.nyc.gov | www.brooklyn-usa.org
209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Verizon FiOS request for Right of Way

Verizon FiOS has heard the AKNA internet group’s pleas and is surveying our street for possible installation! You might be receiving a letter in the mail asking for Right of Way or Access to your home to commence with the installation. Here are some answers to common questions:

1. Granting Right of Way or Access does not require you to subscribe to FiOS service once it is installed. Rather, it gives you (and any future residents) the option to do so at any time in the future. You do not have to pay unless you choose to subscribe.

2. What is FiOS? FiOS is Verizon’s brand of fiber internet, which offers speeds up to 1000 Mbps. For comparison, if you have Verizon DSL now, you’re getting between 3 – 15 Mbps, which is 0.3% – 1.5% of fiber speeds. In real-world terms, this means streaming video won’t stutter, websites will load almost instantaneously, and your internet connection will be more reliable. FiOS also offers TV service and land-line as part of a bundle, but it routes all three services over one data line.

3. We won’t know how they will run the fiber and get it into our homes, but Verizon requires Right of Way before its engineers can assess the site for installation strategies. Yes, this uncertainty is troublesome, but it will be less invasive than the gas-line installations of last year.

4. We’re not certain that we need unanimity, but it’s safe to assume so. For example, if I were to refuse ROW, and the fiber was running West to East (Flatbush to E 21st), I would be foreclosing access to all houses East of me. There’s also the chance that if not enough people grant ROW/Access, Verizon passes us over. If that is the case, THERE WILL NOT BE A SECOND CHANCE for a long time.

5. Internet speed affects property value. Multiple articles and studies have been published to that effect:

  • Gigabit Internet Connections Make Property Values Rise
  • The Impact of High-speed Broadband Availability on Real Estate Values: Evidence from the United States Property Markets

6. Verizon will not be changing the existing telephone or cable wiring in your home. This merely puts a fiber terminal (a small metal box) in your house. If you choose Fiber service, it’s up to you to figure out how you want to send the signal around your home (Ethernet, WiFi, or over existing copper).

Please email Rex and/or Ian with any more questions you might have, look for updates on this site, and crossed fingers that the terraces enter the 21st century this year!

City Council Hearing

The whole council hearing was slow and inept because our Council Members, like NYC Members of Congress, get a few bucks from Verizon, etc. as well.

Nevertheless, Councilmember Brad (“Spanky”) Lander managed to get to the point.  (Look up your City Councilmember funding from Verizon?)

Testimony to the Public Service Commission (PSC) (here)

Resident Survey (completed!)

The AKNA IT project will produce a choice for affordable communication services. Without a choice, selecting affordable options for these internet services are unlikely, if not impossible.

The following image was delivered to the President of Verizon right after it became obvious that leverage, not law, would get the community, at least a small part of one, access to the world of information. Oh, and just before the major VOIP plan for a telephone launch to kill copper.

Please use the next page link and complete our survey Thank you for responding.

The survey was completed, the data was filed, and the community had a choice for access to the world of information—it system change at its best, with one thing missing. High-speed broadband service should be unrestricted, and costs should be audited at cost plus a transparent public re-investment plan. The “rats-nest” testimony for the City Council topped it off. (here).

AKNA Mail 2

We began this project in June 2015 following a visit from Chris Wasserman, Verizon Engineer.  He agreed to answer any question.  We sent four in July 26, 2015.  He responded August 12, 2015.

From: Wasserman, Christopher
Sent: Wed August 12, 2015 11:51 AM
To: Rex Curry
Subject: Albemarle Questions

  1. What will the installation cost anything?  No
  2. Will the new line set up be as it is across the street?
    I don’t know how it is set up across the street
  3. Do you want hard copies (email summaries) of correspondence with PSC, CWA and V?
    I just need to know which option everyone likes
  4. Can I get any encouragement?  I have 12 households signed up.
    No–sorry

See correspondence with Verizon Headquarters and Political Representatives here.

We sent the following reply.

Thank you, it is good to have a person to talk to about our future.

The conditions of the copper lines will continue to deteriorate on the North side of the Terrace. We made a brief video that answers question #2 in detail See it Here   We will be glad to schedule a site visit at any time for the north side of the Terrace.

On question #3, we can accept all three in the following order of preference for the south side of the Terrace.

  1. Along our common roof line in conduit suitable for copper and fiber
  2. Along our community owned easement below grade, suitable for copper and fiber
  3. Along a fully refurbished line that is currently in use (but failing) through our cellars that is suitable for copper and fiber

As the “through building” lines have deteriorated, the current preference for the north side is:

  1. In conduit suitable for copper and fiber across the roof line
  2. In conduit suitable for copper and fiber across the easement and below grade

Finally, we are working on the issue with people on Kenmore and the north side of Albemarle Terrace.  We will have everyone on north side signed up by the end of the month.

 

AKNA Mail 1

Letters to Verizon and our political representatives were mailed 7.17.2015

The image above represents our first set of formal letters to Verizon officials and AKNA political representatives. We shall see if a response occurs and report them in future posts.

The correspondence went to Verizon’s engineering staff, the heads of franchise operations at the DoITT and Verizon’s Franchise Director.   The letters expressed our interest in the development of a relationship that would lead to affordable high-speed internet services over existing copper lines or fiber.

We requested a follow-up from their offices regarding the engineers survey of the Terraces  June 24, 2015 to accomplish

  1. reliable, non-crackling and buzzing voice lines, and second,
  2. data lines that would not repeatedly fail or throttle down to one or two megabits per second.

Not too much to ask really.

On the South side of the Terraces we agreed to three methods for review and final selection (signature page above).  These were

  1. along our common roof line in conduit suitable for copper and fiber
  2. along our community owned easement suitable for copper and fiber or
  3. along a fully refurbished line that is currently in use (but failing) through our cellars that is suitable for copper and fiber

To our political representatives Congresswoman  Clark and Councilmember Eugene we requested their personal advocacy among their peers regarding the lack of service and help in getting an appropriate response for service  from Verizon (or Cablevision).  We also asked for the participation of the technology officer in their respective offices by monitoring our progress as of July 2015.

If nothing else, this website will be a record of our experience as a small historic district in Brooklyn attempting to join the 21st century.

Coorespondence

The following is best summed up in this “City Council” post . Did anyone else complain or ask for accountability from Verizon who pays its CEO $30 million a year?  I know, you’re afraid the big bad V will take your smart phones away. Really? By the way, if you did and you have correspondence from from V or DoITT please share.

From: Subject Received Size Categories
RE: FiOS Service Availability Request
2126 Albemarle Terrace
BROOKLYN, NY 11226 — Rex Curry 10:05 AM June 23, 2015

Good morning Mr. Curry:

Thank you for your inquiry.  Please accept this e-mail as written confirmation that Verizon has received your complaint and will respond as soon as possible, but no later than 10 business days from today.

Best regards,

Will Freshwater
Video Franchise Service Manager
Verizon
140 West Street
New York, NY 10007
Freshwater, William A Verizon Response – FiOS Video Service Availability Request
2126 ALBEMARLE TR, BROOKLYN, NY 11226 — Rex Curry 9:42 AM 17 KB

Exactly 10 Days latter this email arrives the deadline minute (hmmmm I sense V-robo)

June 30, 2015 @ 9:42 AM

Good morning Mr. Curry:

Thank you for your patience while we investigated your inquiry. Our Service Deployment team is in the process of surveying your neighborhood to determine how to best deploy FiOS video service to your building.

Once that survey is complete, our local representatives will contact the owners of your building and of adjacent properties to obtain written permission granting access for placement of our facilities.

Verizon cannot begin construction to deploy FiOS service to your address until we receive that permission. We will inform you when the situation changes.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions.

Thank you.

Will Freshwater
Video Franchise Service Manager
Verizon
140 West Street
New York, NY 10007
william.freshwater@one.verizon.com

and then I got this response:

I am in receipt of your cable complaint SR #1-1-1117511421, to New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (“DoITT”) regarding your request for Verizon FiOS service.

Verizon sent this agency the following update:

 “Our Service Deployment team is in the process of surveying your neighborhood to determine how to best deploy FiOS video service to your building. Once that survey is complete, our local representatives will contact the owners of your building and of adjacent properties to obtain written permission granting access for placement of our facilities.  Verizon cannot begin construction to deploy FiOS service to your address until we receive that permission.”

 “We will inform you when the situation changes.”

Thank you for contacting the City of New York

Sincerely,

Peter J. Schwab
Executive Director, Franchise Administration
New York City Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications
2 MetroTech Center, 4th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201

SandyNet of Sandy, OR

Sandy, Oregon, is a rural town of 3,600, so they don’t have a lot in common with our neighborhood regarding information infrastructure. But they did get fed up with ISPs who refused to run a broadband data line to their town hall and built their own Gigabit fiber network, available to citizens at $40 or $60/month (depending on speed). They did it without using tax dollars, and the project is on track to break even in roughly half the time modeled. Please read about how they did it, or watch the video below about all its benefits for this town.  

It says a lot that our nation’s largest metropolis cannot cut through the red tape created by the corporations that control our connections to provide that kind of power to its citizens, but a small town can. We’re proud of Sandy’s accomplishment, even if also a little jealous.

Susan Crawford

This is not about us. The most important hour you can spend on this issue is with Susan Crawford. Here’s why:

  1. Americans need a fast, reliable Internet. They are not getting it.
  2. The market has failed to supply this new, but basic need.
  3. A utility model will make it available at reasonable prices for all.
  4. Public pressure to change existing policy is needed.

Telecom companies and give thousands of dollars every year to NYS legislature and New York City’s government gets $150M+ every year.

Susan Crawford knows why this is not in the public interest. Watch it…

Thank you for spending the time.  Now you know why your IT bill continues to rise.

“Because America has deregulated the entire high-speed internet access sector, the result is expensive, second-rate carefully curated wired services for the rich, provided by Comcast and Time Warner; expensive, third-rate, carefully curated wireless services (or no service at all ) for those who cannot afford a wire; close cooperation among incumbent providers of wired and wireless services; and no public commitment to advance communications networks the rest of the developed world is adopting.”

Susan Crawford, Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age, Yale University Press (2013), pg. 260.

As a percentage of the population, fewer Americans have high-speed internet access than South Korea. There is a reason for that, and it is not good.

Resources

This is an outreach page. It will list people and organizations who are leading the way for reliable and affordable access to the Internet. Suggestions and comments to improve the resource page are welcome.

This outfit works for a free and open internet.  They work in support of ISOC, to assure the beneficial, open evolution of the global Internet.  They can help promote local initiatives that help solve problems faced the New York area. New York Chapter is here.

Those heading for deep end of sustaining net neutrality turn to this resource  for your professional development as an ISOC member in the New York area.  The “orgs” and “sources” list on this site is extensive.  If you come across one that is especially useful for a neighborhood like yours or mine (AKNA) please let us know. See menu “CONTACT.”

Call to Action

The approximate FiOS footprint in four of NYC’s 5 boroughs as of June 30, 2014 (via the Broadband Map) Brooklyn and the AKNA area is highlighted (right)

A letter to our representatives in the City Council and U.S. Congress is being prepared. It will call their attention to this website resource and cover the following points.

Your comments and suggestions are requested on the following. Besides, AKNA members are asked to share any contact they may have enjoyed with Yvette Clark or Mathiew Eugene’s replacement next year or so.

AKNA is in the Ninth Congressional District (top left).  This District is ranked fiftieth in the nation, and it is the lowest ranking district in New York City for access to quality broadband services.

Yvette Clark’s position on “net neutrality” was right on the mark at the beginning of the year.  The security of our district regarding people to people communication was the key issue her office presented.  The right words are not enough.

AKNA is in the Fortieth City Council District (middle left) and shares in the poor ranking dilemma of Brooklyn’s access to quality and security.  Councilmember Eugene’s primary focus on young people is greatly admired, as no group in New York City needs these services more greatly.

Actions aimed at Verizon by our representatives are needed.  A thoughtful and coordinated approach toward the behemoth Verizon is needed to fully understand the dynamic between the NYC government, its agencies such as DoITT, and NYS and Federal policies on this question.  All confront the ability of the FCC to encourage and require compliance.

The value of tax rebates to the providers (Verizon in our case) on the cost of infrastructure “deliverables” will be measured by the FCC’s new requirements for higher speed delivery to customers. The question AKNA’s media advocates and political representatives must ask is this:

If the ISPs do not get their speeds to FCC state and city standards will they still get all their lucrative tax credits and related incentives?

No doubt Verizon and their subsidiaries such as Earthlink will continue to sell DSL modems and service, but…Verizon will violate consumer laws and regulations if they call it “broadband” and attempt to use DSL’s lower speeds and quality as an excuse for not deploying broadband to all Americans in a timely way and compliance with “net neutrality.”

The New York City Council’s response to the Mayor’s FY 2015 Budget and 2014 Report said, “Last year, Verizon agreed to pay the City $50 million because of delays in projects associated with the Emergency Communications Transformation Project, the large scale effort to transform and consolidate the City’s 911 Emergency Dispatch System.”

The potential of an injurious relationship between Verizon and New York City’s residents’ needs concerns us greatly. The $50M fine and the June 2015 DoITT report suggest a critical review of this relationship is needed. It seems that instead of moving forward, Verizon has decided that New York City needs to be punished for demanding accountability.

The FCC main point in the 2015 Broadband Progress Report follows:

“Reflecting advances in technology, market offerings by broadband providers and consumer demand, the FCC updated its broadband benchmark speeds to 25 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads.”

The 4 Mbps/1 Mbps standard set in 2010 was deemed inadequate for evaluating whether advanced broadband is being deployed to all Americans in a timely way.  DSL services to 4 million of AT&T’s 16 million broadband subscribers and 2.6 million of Verizon’s 9.2 million subscribers will not meet this new standard. AT&T’s fastest DSL offerings only reach 6 Mbps down, while Verizon’s DSL speeds top out at <10 Mbps, and a Verizon spokesperson speaking to Ars Technica said, “We currently do not have any plans to enhance that.[DSL].”

Wired and Wireless

The language of telecommunications takes some getting used to, so here is a brief summary of the basics.

Line Technologies are:

V-ONT


Fiber to the Premise
(FTTP) is the “Gold Standard” in broadband technology. FTTP is the most expensive to deploy, but can deliver consistently high speeds reaching 1 Gigabit (1,000 Mbps) and higher.

The companies can “data cap’ you for wireless, meaning go over = pay more. Fiber is a fixed monthly fee for service and competitive via ISP providers.

Cable Modem uses coaxial cable connection to deliver broadband with download speeds ranging from 6 Megabits (Mbps) to over 50 Mbps. Bandwidth is managed through shared connections. Therefore, although broadband is widely available throughout New York State, advertised speeds may not always be maintained during peak usage times.

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) uses copper telephone lines to deliver broadband with download speeds generally fewer than 10 Mbps. Aging networks can degrade service over time, which can decrease speeds delivered to the home.

Note; Many people will connect their DSL into a Router (NetGear/Linksys, etc.) and then use its the router’s wireless transmission in their homes to connect to growing list of ‘smart home’ devices such telephones, computers, TVs, DVD players, game consoles, security systems, home/pet watch cams, heating and ventilation systems, even cooking and cleaning equipment.

Broadband Over Power Lines (BPL) uses existing electric wiring along with fiber to deliver broadband through electric outlets. Requires special equipment installed at the home with limited availability in New York State.  Not to be confused with in-home power line devises that use the wires in your home for the same purpose.

Wireless Technologies are:

Fixed Wireless/ WiMax uses a combination of a fiber backbone and wireless towers to deliver broadband at speeds comparable to DSL. It is quickly deployed at lower costs with a wide reach. Many plans have data usage caps.

Mobile Broadband is a combination of cellular and data service generally for use on mobile devices. Typically complements wireline connections, but some companies provide home broadband service delivered over mobile broadband networks. Many plans have caps that limit usage.

Satellite is a two-way transmission of Internet data passed between satellite and a dish placed at the home. Because data traverses long distances, latency delays can occur. Most plans have data caps, but satellite broadband is 100% available in New York State.

White Space is an emerging technology that uses the empty fragments of TV spectrum scattered between frequencies. It is less expensive to deploy in areas without major infrastructure, with the ability to travel through physical obstacles, such as trees and mountains, without diminished signal. The FCC requires networks to follow strict requirements not to interfere with existing broadcasts.

Investigations

The videos posted below were taken just for fun… But, then again, they are a record of the existing and rapidly deteriorating condition of our 19th-century phone lines.  Don’t get me wrong. This copper is important to us. It remains available for communication during power outages. It is reliable if it is well maintained, so have a look. I think we are in trouble. The north sideline…

Verizon

Corporate Verizon

June 18, 2014, DoITT Report Slams Verizon

DoITT is the agency responsible for a level of review.  Please volunteer to delve into its mysteries and possible service to AKNA. The New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) June 18, 2015 report analyzed Verizon’s FiOS service in New York City. It concluded that it failed to deliver by a wide margin.  The audit found 40,000 open requests for FiOS service 75% been open for a year or longer.

Verizon responded to DoITT’s findings on June 12, 2015. The full text of the response is included as an addendum to the DoITT report.  DoITT has made it clear that Verizon’s responses did not materially alter the facts stated in the findings.

  • It has spent $3.5 billion in its New York-area FiOS rollout of 15,000 miles of fiber.
  • That the report is made public just before labor negotiations begin with the largest union is a ploy.
  • The report is based on erroneous factual conclusions and incorrect interpretations of the Agreement, particularly its conclusions on Verizon’s passing all of the City’s households with fiber-optic facilities.
  • The challenge we have is gaining access to properties, which of course, would expand availability. We look forward to working with the City to seek solutions to this issue.

If you subscribe to WSJ, the story is HERE.  The full report can be downloaded as a PDF HERE.  Or go to the DoITT site above with the option for a text version and other documents on this issue.

If you want to fight against broadband discrimination and promote net neutrality know this — three bills in Congress have already been introduced to makes us pay more for slower speeds.

Are We Throttled?

Will The V-Shoe Drop?

An excellent Wikipedia summary of Bandwidth throttling describes the intentional slowing of Internet service by an ISP (Internet Service Provider). Throttling can occur at different locations on a network for good reasons such as the prevention of crashing.

New “net neutrality” rules by the FCC aim at ending the slowly developing practice of  “pay for speed” policies by ISPs.  On this point,  Engadet has a good summary of the AT&T fine ($100M).

The obvious question for residents of NYC is whether Verizon is preparing to sell the “rats nest” we call landlines and continue attempts to end these landline services.  

Jon Brodkin, June 4, 2014 in a New York Times Op-Ed put it this way…

AT&T and Verizon are pushing hard to shift traditional landline service, which has mostly operated over copper lines, to a system of Internet-based phones by around 2020. If the Federal Communications Commission approves the switch as is, it could come as a shock to the 96 million Americans who still rely on landlines.

A good place to look for current news on issues the Federal Communications Commission manages will be found in the New York Times’ Times Topics section. (here)

AKNA Tech

Platforms like Mindmixer, ShareAbouts, ChangeByUs, ioby, and others offer new ways to define and solve problems shared by a neighborhood.

Ideas become productive (move toward implementation) because these platforms support resource gathering aimed at a problem that people share

 

 

Broadband Map

A click on the map above (or HERE) will take you to a website that illustrates all of the broadband in New York City.

  • The red dot on the map illustrates 380 Ocean, the only building in our area that gets high speed (over 50 Mbps (megabits per second). It is provided by Verizon.  Click the address to see more. 
  • The blue buildings (like Erasmus High School) are those where it is possible but like us at under 7 Mbps
  • The grey buildings (I put a square around AKNA) get less than that because of how the phone lines work (or don’t work) and the map legend reads “unknown”. 

Note: The little ‘b’ is for ‘bit.’ (Mbps) It is a capital ‘B.’ It is for ‘Byte’ (MBps). Mb and MB are abbreviations for the smaller vs. larger data sizes. (Thanks, Ian.)

The map is not fully up to date as most of Flatbush Commercial has an Optimum or FiOS line.