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Announcement of Copper Retirement

Started by mariepr, March 03, 2017, 11:16:18 PM

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Just to follow up, I called Verizon yesterday to arrange for the fiber transition.  My plan was to keep my POTS over fiber for voice and to go with FIOS just for internet.  After a brief period on hold the agent told me that my apartment building was not yet eligible for FIOS.  This doesn't give me a whole lot of confidence in Verizon as they had twice sent me a personally addressed letters to outline my options: the first that copper was to be retired and the second to please make a conversion appointment by April 30th.  One would think that they should have more precise targeting mailing.   ::)  So now I wait a few weeks to see if and when FIOS is ready. 

The original phone wiring in my apartment must have reflected the installation standard of the late 1930s.  The lines were twisted cloth-covered pairs that were run around the perimeter of door frames and over baseboards.  I recently replaced the last over-baseboard line with station wire run inside a wall and exiting through an RJ11 plate.   Now that I have copper RJ11 jacks where I want them I'd like to keep them. 


Verizon's mailing of their FIOS marketing materials has been confusing everywhere it seems, and the databases for their people used to advise customers don't seem to be updated very often.  Years ago, they sent out flyers around here announcing availability, and upon consulting with neighbors across the street and by inspection it was clear that it had been installed in the block north and the next cross-street.  But on our side it was not available. After upgrading to faster Internet access with the cable company, the neighbors got FIOS installed just a few weeks later !


My plan was to keep my POTS over fiber for voice and to go with FIOS just for internet.
What do you have now?
"POTS over fiber" is not something that exists. By definition, POTS is "plain old telephone service" and entails a local loop of copper wire to the central office or the local concentrator, providing all traditional BORSCHT functions on that copper loop.  Having an ATA in the basement may look and work almost identically, but it is not POTS.  The term "POTS" has indeed been much abused, true, because an ATA at the end of a fiber or on an Ethernet providing analog service locally is not much different from the subscriber point of view than what a concentrator provides that is linked to a central office via a carrier system, or even via fiber optics as well.  But those run on different protocols than an IP-based telephone network.

For most people with an existing carrier like Verizon, the transition to fiber should be almost invisible.  One day you come home, and the copper loop has been replaced with a fiber link, which you only know because you've been told or you saw the trucks.  Not much to worry about, except for the annoyance that some or all of your rotary phones won't dial correctly anymore.


Right now I have old fashioned POTS - copper all the way.  For internet I have DSL.  Here is how Verizon is describing the process:

QuoteWe will extend the fiber optic facilities to your location and our technician will install the Optical Network Terminal (ONT). The placement of this equipment will vary depending on the type of home you live in or the lay out of your business. We should be able to use the existing wiring and you will be able to use your existing telephones.

As for DSL, that is only available over copper:
QuoteThis is not Fios voice service. It is your existing voice service, only provided over fiber instead of copper, at the same price, terms, and conditions. Any devices that rely on your current voice service, such as facsimile, security alarms connected to a central station, or medical monitoring equipment, will continue to work in the same way as they did over copper. For High Speed Internet customers, the product you currently have is not available on fiber, but Verizon can provide you with a Fios Internet product that is significantly faster at a special rate...

So coming home to find that the only phone that works is my 1970s era touch tone and I've got no internet would be a most unpleasant surprise. If they pull my internet service with no notice or alternative then a competing cable company is more deserving of my business.


Verizon will not pull your Internet access service without notice, especially if it is purchased from them.

If it is Verizon DSL now, they will most likely schedule an install visit to replace your current DSL box with a VDSL box that reuses the existing building telephone wiring to a VDSL adapter in the wiring room where their equipment is.  That means you will still have DSL, in the form of VDSL or VDSL2, very high bit rate versions, but it only runs from the ONT to your apartment.

It is up to the apartment building management to change that and upgrade the building wiring to CAT5 or CAT6 if the residents demand Ethernet wiring, or any other technology.  In that case, Verizon will evaluate the local wiring and adapt their equipment to what is best for them or for you.

If your DSL Internet access is provided by another party, then that party will notify you in advance that they can no longer provide the service, because Verizon does not support the DSLAM (DSL access multiplexer) equipment anymore for that provider in the local central office.  Verizon will coordinate that with those providers, since they know to whom they are providing shared access to the cable plant from the central office.

No vendor just pulls the plug these days without advance notification.


Here in the UK, VDSL is erroneously referred to by BT-Openreach as "Superfast Fibre", as it's actually fibre to a street cabinet (FTTC, or Fibre to the Cabinet) up to a Kilometre away (by wire) and then injecting the VDSL signal into existing copper for the rest of the way to the house, delivering an "up to" 80Mbps internet service, with the copper carrying traditional calls back to the telephone exchange over the original copper, makes no sense really, but does leave the phone operational when the internet is down, which thankfully isn't often here...

We're years off ever seeing FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) thanks to BT management saying some years ago that "The UK doesn't need it", and now, we're in need of it thanks to streaming services like youtube, TV channels and suchlike with multiple people per household accessing them requiring high-bandwidth access, and all of a sudden, our internet services are becoming completely inadequate, with limited allocations for FTTC availability, rural customers not even having access to ADSL and stuck with dialup (yes, in this small, tiny, microscopic by comparison country, there are people stuck with dialup!!!), it's an absolute mess, all thanks to profit-driven decisions to not keep the networks up-to-date...  ::)


Copper won't go away totally.... I saw Centurylink working on a interface cabinet next to our mobile home park. its a fiber to copper interface... and until the system it totally converted to fiber.... copper will continue to be used... Lord Knows, I have enough of it in my house....

Jim Stettler

Quote from: Babybearjs on April 22, 2017, 12:02:03 AM
Copper won't go away totally.... I saw Centurylink working on a interface cabinet next to our mobile home park. its a fiber to copper interface... and until the system it totally converted to fiber.... copper will continue to be used... Lord Knows, I have enough of it in my house....
In my neighborhood Century link is installing fiber to the home. I don't currently  use Century Link but  they have the drops for me and the neighbor coiled at the pole. I  am waiting to see what specials they offer.
Jim S.
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.


Yesterday I did some online searching and found several complaints which claimed that Verizon sabotaged customers who tried to do exactly what I had planned to do.  For my legacy phones it was go with the fiber-to-the-home/copper inside the home transition, but add a Fios line for internet.  However there were claims that Verizon can't/won't do that and where the two did work is was for a limited time and then the fiber/copper voice line went dead.  (Oh my, don't you hate that when it happens?  We'll have to switch you to Fios voice as well.) 

After reading that, it looks like I'll go with internet only from a competing cable company.  Then once that's in place I'll get on with the fiber/copper transition.  There will be no Fios internet line for them to move me over to.  If Verizon's attitude is what it appears to be then the only thing in it for me to stay with them at all is to maintain functionality with legacy phones. 

And they wonder why people are pulling land lines and moving to wireless competitors. ::)

I'll follow up with how it goes as this tread might be useful to other forum members when copper retirement reaches them.


Well, online "complaints" have all kinds of motivations or reasons.  I wouldn't believe 90% of that, because they won't let you examine the true facts. It is a favorite sport of many to smear whoever the incumbent carrier of services is or was.  Every provider has problems with certain customers, and vice versa.

All providers configure their offerings to lock customers into buying all three services from them, TV, telephone, and Internet.  The moment you remove one of these services, cost goes up disproportionally per service, and complications arise for often valid technical reasons.

Old apartment buildings typically have the problem of limited wiring, which may prohibit using more than a single provider.  For example, if you got telephone and DSL Internet access from the telephone company, they both use the same twisted pair wiring into the apartment, and you usually can't split that twisted pair between two service providers. Same with coax cable.  You only have one cable likely coming into the apartment, so you can't have cable company Internet and FiOS TV, in case they give you a good deal for TV plus phone service.

The easiest and cheapest service, that will likely also work the best, is to go with a single provider, they will evaluate the available cabling and install the proper equipment for that location.  If you live in your own house, you control all the cabling, and can run whatever is needed without restrictions, and that is likely the only scenario in which it is easy to pick out custom plans.


Yes, both the cable company and Verizon are offering a "bundle" of Internet/TV/phone that is roughly $30/month promotional for one year and then triples after the teaser rate expires.  Since I don't have a television and don't want digital phones the bundle is useless to me. 

My building already has service from one of the NY cable companies so it's a matter of running a cable from the basement to my apartment.  Given the number of older residents havingPOTS lines I doubt (and hope not) they run the cable by using the old copper line to pull it through. 


That's one of the reasons why I wanted to stay with Centurylink...Cable One was offering a good deal with strings attached.... my friend Robert said I should try them, as relunctant  as I was, I went ahead and did it... the price wound up being better then expected...2 phone lines and the internet.... all for $112.00 a month. With centurylink, it was over $125.00 a month...(taxes) so I won... 2 phone lines plus 100 Mbps Internet... (centurylink could only off 20 Mbps) Verizon is  a rip-off because they have some serious strings attached... If my Cable bill goes through the roof, then I'll switch back... but for now, its a 5 year price lock.....(or so it says on my bill) One of the other reasons to add cable was to reestablish the wiring on the house, the drop line was removed when I bought it, thinking I'd never need it.... (yeh, Right.....)


Well, taking all the comments into consideration, this is looking more and more disappointing.  Unless I'm willing to give up internet there is no way I'm going to be able to keep telephone service that worked just like it did before.  It's being forced to Fios digital voice (according to the complaints I've read) or forced to the cable company's digital voice. 


Quote from: mariepr on April 23, 2017, 08:46:27 AM
Well, taking all the comments into consideration, this is looking more and more disappointing.  Unless I'm willing to give up internet there is no way I'm going to be able to keep telephone service that worked just like it did before.  It's being forced to Fios digital voice (according to the complaints I've read) or forced to the cable company's digital voice. 

That is the essence of the fiber transition, to retire the old copper plant. It is not only inefficient to maintain two or three separate networks, but the public wants converged services that are better and enhance a modern lifestyle. The use of land lines has been plummeting for years, the customers don't want them, and neither do the providers.

You probably won't even notice the difference between FiOS Voice and the old POTS, with the exception that only the well tuned rotary dials continue to operate, as the margin for dial speed appears to be just a bit narrower on the slow side than previously.  In addition, you get caller*id on your television, you can watch TV on the tablet computer and smart phone, use your smart phone as a remote control, manage your voice messages online.

I am sure some people felt sad when they had to give up cranking the magneto generator, and talk to the operator when making a phone call, but that too was perceived by the vast majority of users as progress.


Bit of a side tangent here; but what would they do with the old network? Abandon in place? I know big components are gutted and scrapped, but what about the wire and all those other small bits? They would have a scrap value, but could be A LOT of work to collect all that.

Also, along the line of abandonment....saw this at work yesterday. Now I'm no expert but it looks like verizion might be testing that "abandon in place" practice already here.


And I thought Austin Minis had issues with wet wires...  :o