I just have to write about them because they just infuriate me. I hate this company.
Why can't cities provide broadband to its citizens? Because companies like Verizon have successfully lobbied and put into law bills that prohibit local governments from offering free wi-fi access in public spaces. This happened in Pennsylvania after Philadelphia announced they were going to provide wireless internet access throughout the city. When Verizon got wind of it they successfully got their snake lobbyists to convince the short-sighted Gov. Ed Rendell to sign a bill into law preventing municipalities from embarking on projects where private companies can provide the same service. In other words, Verizon's argument was that it was unfair to have to compete against the government.
When I heard about this I was outraged but not surprised. Besides
getting their way by crying foul using a weak argument and spending tons of money, I would just like to know where the fuck Verizon was in the first place? When a city starts trying to find ways to offer a service to its citizens, you know private enterprise has failed. Why? In this case it's because Verizon is a slow-moving monopoly, a utility. Their only reason for doing anything is to stifle competition and continue to lock the market. So enter the local government and bang! Up pops the 800lb gorilla to shit all over everything.
And if their argument is that it is unfair to compete against the government, then they really suck. If you can't provide a service for less than a slow-moving bureaucratic political organization can then you don't deserve to. Oh, wait, that's exactly what I said Verizon was. Who do you think the government is going to contract with to implement the new services? Hello, Verizon? Anyone there? Can you hear me now?
I mean, if that were the case that it's unfair to compete against the government, then why are there taxi cab services to compete with city buses and trams? Do you hear UPS and Fedex complaining about the US Postal Service? Heck every company should complain that it's unfair to compete against Wal-mart.
Sometimes it is better for the government to provide a service. Imagine if private companies ran all the sidewalks and roads. Every time you went out for a walk or a drive would you have to pay a toll? Wi-fi is a perfect example of a service that the government should provide for free like street lighting (well, through tax revenues). It's good for everyone - it's good for the city, its citizens, visitors and businesses. But Verizon doesn't care about what's good, only about how to stifle innovation and competition.
I see lots of traffic cameras and photo cameras at intersections now. Some of these are run by private companies. With the impact the Internet has had you'd think we'd have companies rushing to provide wireless internet access vs. trying to photograph your license plate. You can watch the traffic on the internet live but only if you had a fast enough internet connection.
But wait, Verizon is a public company, so a good portion of it is likely owned by people like you and me. Their number one goal is to maximize shareholder value, right? So let's look at their performance over the past year. Hmm... -7.12%. What about 5 years? A -30% return. They pay a dividend, so you get a little something I guess, but overall its performance has been worse than if you had just stuffed your money under your mattress. But if you're the CEO, you took home a whopping $12.84 million in pay last year. Sounds like a winner to me.
I used to have Verizon dsl. It was a horrible experience. It nearly cost my wife her job. I ended up writing a letter to their CEO before I got any sort of response. I vowed never to become a customer of theirs again. Recently I had the displeasure of installing dsl for someone. It sucked then and it still sucks now. Try calling their customer service - I'd rather have my ass sewn to my face than have to deal with some of the half-wits they employ.
And it's expensive. I love how James Earl Jones in their deceptive advertising propaganda says that it's only a few dollars more than dial-up. A few dollars more? Sure, technically speaking taking the Space Shuttle to get to Los Angeles is only "a few dollars more" than flying a commercial airline if your baseline is the US GNP. And when you add in all their extra fees, hidden charges and taxes you're paying "a few dollars more" than their $30 monthly fee. And don't forget setup and one-time charges, equipment rental and purchase costs. Cable modem service is also expensive, around $45 a month now - "competition" from dsl hasn't made a dent in their prices. In fact, they keep going up. So a lot of folks can't afford it either. And it looks like they won't be able to for the foreseeable future.
Verizon's board and officers can fuck themselves and go to hell for all I care.
check out this link --> www.verizonsucks.net
. You know they must suck for someone to spend the time creating an entire website dedicated to how bad they suck.