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Verizon penalizing TiVo / CableCard subscribers

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by jerryr001, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. Jun 4, 2012 #21 of 130
    jerryr001

    jerryr001 New Member

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    You may be thinking about the copper land land regulations. Back when, the government subsidized Ma Bell to bring copper lines to everyone. As such, Ma Bell, and then the 'baby bells', were forced to share the infrastructure. Verizon made the case that if they were to build out all new infrastructure (fiber), on their dollar, they shouldn't have to share it. The government agreed, if they took it all the way to the door. This is why Verizon chose to install all the way to the door and then disconnects your copper lines.

    So the sharing of the infrastructure is what is no longer regulated on an all fiber network.
     
  2. Jun 4, 2012 #22 of 130
    dianebrat

    dianebrat I refuse to accept your reality TCF Club

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    No, that's not at all what I was saying or thinking.
    In many discussions on TCF over the years it's been brought up that FCC Cable company regulations do not apply to Verizon FiOS.
     
  3. Jun 4, 2012 #23 of 130
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    I don't see why they wouldn't apply to FIOS. Many digital cable providers use a fiber optic backbone to distribute their signal, same as FIOS. The only difference is that FIOS brings the fiber optic right into the house where other providers split out the signal at the street and connect to the house via coax.
     
  4. Jun 4, 2012 #24 of 130
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    I agree with that statement. U-verse isn't covered because it's IPTV, not because it's fiber.
     
  5. Jun 4, 2012 #25 of 130
    jerryr001

    jerryr001 New Member

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    When Verizon started rolling out FiOS, I recall Verizon claiming they shouldn't fall under the cable company regulations, because they are a utility or something like that.

    On the other side of it... in Philadelphia, Comcast withheld from Verizon the Philadelphia Comcast Sportsnet channel, which holds the home game rights for all Philadelphia sports. Verizon obviously needing it to woo Philadelphia customers complained to the FCC. Comcast's stance is that they only had to share it with other 'cable providers'. The context was much more complicated than that, but that was the gist of the argument.

    So, Verizon was playing both side of the fence and it didn't work. They are subjected to the cable TV regulations. Or, as I have heard it called during the Comcast, Verizon Comcast Sportnet feud... TV wire-line providers.
     
  6. Jun 4, 2012 #26 of 130
    nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

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    Verizon is subject to CableCARD rules.

    CableCARD rules cover all "Multichannel Video Programming Distributors" except those who are explicitly excluded or waived. FiOS was specifically classed as an MVPD. AT&T has claimed that U-Verse is excluded because their IPTV service does not meet the definition of an MVPD.

    Interestingly, there's a RFC underway from the FCC right now where they're seeking comment on whether things like IPTV and OTT services constitute MVPDs.

    http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/proceeding/view.action?z=jhz04&name=12-83

    Interestingly, all the Cable organizations are lining up behind the interpretation that IPTV should not be covered under rules for MVPDs. That seems odd initially given that IPTV is their competition right now. But it tells us that the large cable companies are hatching a plot to escape all the current cable regulations if they can get IPTV formally excluded.
     
  7. Jun 5, 2012 #27 of 130
    BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Active Member

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    If you have double-play Internet-TV service, then Verizon waives the DVR fee if you also add the phone to make a triple-play package. But then you pay more for the package, so are you saving anything?

    Actually, Verizon is changing their offers all the time. Currently new customers in my area just get multiple credits for singing a two year contract -- they've stopped the free DVR offer for now.
     
  8. Jun 5, 2012 #28 of 130
    SNJpage1

    SNJpage1 Active Member

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    Some said that the Verizon triple play package doesnt include a set top box and that is billed seperately. Since they are giving you a free DVR you dont have to pay the fee for the set top box needed to receive the package. So they are offering more than they give Tivo owners. Not only dont they have to pay the DVR rental fee they dont have to pay the set top box rental fee. In that case then they should be giving the cable cards for free also.
     
  9. Jun 5, 2012 #29 of 130
    mattack

    mattack Active Member

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    So this isn't the sort of thing that Joe Schmoe Public can comment on, right? (Doesn't seem like it from what's at that URL.)

    I definitely think they (and the satellite companies) should be treated the same way. I realize that *won't* make them magically work with a cablecard, but could help for the future.
     
  10. Jun 5, 2012 #30 of 130
    nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

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    Yes, anyone can comment. Myself and others from the forum have filed comments on past proceedings. Comment form is here:

    http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/upload/display.action?z=c147m

    Enter the proceeding as "12-83".

    One approach might be to read the Public Knowledge filing which supports the position that the term “Multichannel Video Programming Distributor” encompasses all platforms that make available prescheduled “Video Programming” and make a comment expressing support for their position.

    Satellite companies are already considered MVPDs. They were specifically exempted from CableCARD regulation because they were an emerging technology and promised to provide national competition for the cable industry.

    If the Allvid initiative ever goes anywhere satellite companies would probably not be exempted.
     
  11. Jun 7, 2012 #31 of 130
    jerryr001

    jerryr001 New Member

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    I received a call from Verizon, today. I was told they are in receipt of my complaint to the FCC, concerning the discount for using a self supplied DVR on the triple play plan that includes a free DVR. Someone from the sales department will be following-up with me within the next 2-4 businesses days. I will provide an update when I hear from them.
     
  12. Jun 7, 2012 #32 of 130
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    Looking forward to hearing what they have to say.
     
  13. Jun 7, 2012 #33 of 130
    SNJpage1

    SNJpage1 Active Member

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    Besides the discount go for some free things because of the trouble you went thru with their way of pricing. They will give away a lot to get rid of the complaint.
     
  14. Jun 8, 2012 #34 of 130
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Just as an FYI, Comcast has been offering a free HD DVR with double/triple play promo for years now. In fact, I'm on that one now but I never picked it up since I have Tivos and WMC. However, they do offer a $2.50 a month credit for using a Cablecard.
     
  15. Jun 8, 2012 #35 of 130
    jerryr001

    jerryr001 New Member

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    Philadelphia...
    Yes, I had Comcast previously. They gave us two free CableCards, since they offered two free digital set-tops with the plan. This seems to be holding to the CableCard regulation -- without even verifying you have an comparable, eligible device. Then again, it'd be difficult to not have a comparable or better basic digital tuner.
     
  16. Jun 8, 2012 #36 of 130
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    The HD DVR is worth $17/mo., so I'm not seeing the diff with Verizon except that they give you a monthly card credit of $2.50 on Comcast and Verizon gives you $250 up front.

    So, if you had one card instead of a Comcast DVR, you'd get service for $2.50 cheaper. But if you had their DVR, you're saving a net of $14.50 vs. getting a card. Either way I agree, Tivo is getting screwed comparatively speaking.
     
  17. Jun 8, 2012 #37 of 130
    jerryr001

    jerryr001 New Member

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    So, I was called by a Verizon executive resolution specialist (or something like that).

    She asked that I explain my complaint. I did so and she accurately replied with her understanding of what I was saying; that I believe I am entitled to a discount based on the fact that I selected a plan that provides a device for free and I was bringing my own. She then said, Verizon does not offer discounts for people who bring their own device. I agreed and said, that's basically the issue.

    She then asked about the regulation (she obviously knew nothing about it) and why I thought I was entitled to a discount for life. I explained that I was not entitled to a discount for life, the regulation states I am eligible for a 60mo discount, because obviously at some point Verizon would need to replace/upgrade its devices at a cost, as would I. I also explained that if a subscriber brought their own set-top and a subscriber who rented their set-top from Verizon went from the Double Play package to the Triple Play, the subscriber renting their set-top would get it for free... what would I get for upgrading? Again, she said she understood my complaint, but Verizon didn't offer discounts for subscribers who bring their own device. At this point, she said she would have to refer me back to the FCC customer service.

    Again, I told her I understood they didn't offer the discount and that is the root of the complaint. I also told her I could send her the regulation. She asked for the regulation number (76.1205) and then the title "CableCARD support". No sooner than I got the word support out of my mouth, she asked, "Did you say cable? Verizon is not a cable company." I said you are covered under this regulation, to which she asked, "Does it say Verizon?" I said no. She said she would have to refer me back to the FCC, because Verizon was not a cable company. She said FCC customer service would follow-up with me.

    At first I was just plain irritated at her lack of knowledge and readily throwing me back to the FCC. But now I'm starting to think that 'FCC Customer Service' is actually a department in Verizon, who knows the regulations and called me the first time.

    Waiting...
     
  18. Jun 8, 2012 #38 of 130
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    It's still a much better deal on FiOS than Comcast. Even with no credit from verizon and the $4 cable card fee, it still costs less to have a TiVo on FiOS than on Comcast because of the digital outlet fee that Comcast charges.
     
  19. Jun 8, 2012 #39 of 130
    jerryr001

    jerryr001 New Member

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    Philadelphia...
    Hmm.. I didn't remember a digital outlet fee. I just looked at last months bill (still waiting for our Verizon to be installed) and this is what I have:

    Double Play $89.99
    Bundle Includes:
    Digital Starter w/On Demand
    High Speed Internet Service

    Digital Cable $9.25
    Digital Starter with OnDEMAND

    Cable Card 2 @$0.00 each

    Looks like the $9.25 appeared recently. We have two TiVos with one CableCard for each and get full HD. I just called Comcast and inquired about the $9.25 and the rep said one cable box comes with the bundle and the $9.25 is for the second box. I told him I didn't have any cable boxes, I only have the two CableCards that are listed. Without further question, he said he'd remove the $9.25 from the bill.
     
  20. Jun 9, 2012 #40 of 130
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...
    There is a thread around here talking about the digital outlet fee for each STB you have connected. It might differ by area but it seems to be pretty widespread. When I had Comcast five years ago they had an outlet fee around here and they tried to charge me for several of them for each TiVo I had. But somehow I convinced them that I only had one Comcast outlet and I split the cable myself, so they only charged me for one outlet instead of several.
     

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