[nycbug-talk] The Fiber-to-Home Ghost

Isaac Levy ike at lesmuug.org
Fri Jul 25 23:59:55 EDT 2008

Hi All,

A somewhat newsworthy item of local relevance, actual FIOS news:

Verizon is holding a press conference Monday, at Grand Central  
Terminal, 11am- to announce their rollout plan for FIOS in NYC.


I'm breaking the unspoken rules regarding 'no vendor post junk here',  
considering Verizon's city-run monopoly on running our wires impacts  
all *our* lives tremendously.

This seems to be the ETA, outlining when we'll be lit up around town  
and actually GET the fiber service, respectively.  Personally, my  
expectations are quite low.

Here's a FIOS Wikipedia article, with pics and explinations of the  
gear involved.


For those who aren't watching the details of all the news, here's a  
quick "ike says it's relevant" breakdown of the NYC Fiber-to-home  
saga- some items old, some very recent:

- 1981(ish?), Bellcore (Bell Labs) designs the fiber-to-home plan for  
NYC proper.  To every home, when there was no public internet like we  
know now.  Fiber tech, deployment plan, the whole caboodle.  They  
spent tons of money in the process trying to figure out how to do  
things like reclaim unused copper lines without affecting existing  
service, and other interesting economically unfeasible problems.

The fiber plan even got Marketing campaigns, (to what extent, I don't  
know), and eventually put on the shelf.

- 1983, Verizon founded under the name 'Bell Atlantic Corporation',  
spawn of AT&T Corporation as one of seven Baby Bells that were formed  
due to the anti-trust judgement against them.  (I guess they got the  
fiber plans).

- Insert the rest of the 80's, UNIX wars, and in 1988 commercial ISP's  
were born, UUNET and BITNET, Compuserve born shortly thereafter,  
etc...  Tons of other stuff happened, AT&T Bell Telephone Broken Up,  
Bell labs goes down the path to become Lucent.

- The 90's happen, the internet 'happens', etc...  My point, a  
critical mass of 'regular folk' in America connect to the internet and  
do stuff.  They continue, and do more stuff using the internet...   
Bandwidth, we can always use more.

- 3 years ago, we start seeing FIOS advertisements, but no real FIOS  
in NYC.

- 2 years ago, homes and businesses in the outer edges of the buroughs  
and Long Island get fios connectivity lit up.  Verizon hires every  
bloody cable-laying contractor they can from 5 surrounding states to  
continue running more fiber across NYC.  (I sat and chatted with guys  
in the splicing trucks at night last summer, when they were running  
trunks all around my Williamsburg Brooklyn neighborhood).  I drooled,  
saw more addvertising, but no service in most of NYC yet.
FIOS offerings cropped up in other markets, TX, Northeastern states,  
etc...  (places where it's simply easier to run the cables).

- About 1 year ago, to make Wall St. get excited, Verizon made a bit  
splash out of offering service in the lower manhattan area around  
Water St., as well as providing service to some high-profile newly  
constructed buildings in Brooklyn.
*cough* someone on this list has experience with this, and some of the  
hackery that went into this pre-beta-beta deployment... (fiber over  
copper comedy)
Still no city-wide service offering attempt, still laying more trunk  

- 6 months ago, verizon starts a tough legal battle towards their FIOS- 
TV product, and goes head to head with the Time-Warner/RCN monopolies,  
which have carved up NYC cable TV service.

- 4 months ago, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village get lit up.
I sit at ess-a-bagel staring across the street, crying in my bagel.

- Last Week, Verizon gets the sign-off in Albany to become a  
competitive Cable TV offering in NYC.  Additionally, their contract  
states that every NYC Address must be capable of receiving Fiber-to- 
home service by 2014.  (Wow that makes me sad, and confused, as  
Verizon FIOS advertisements are all over my Brooklyn neighborhood).

- This Week, Verizon pumps out a ton of press releases after they  
finished the legal paperwork for their competitive offering, wall st.  
just nods- (it's got a "hangover").

- 2 days from now, brings me to the top of this email, Verizon is  
doing a press release to explain their rollout plan for NYC.

So, the saga, (but not perhaps this email), will be continued...  (and  
even as it does, we still may never seem to see the fiber).


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