Saturday, October 21, 2006

FiOS Rant

Digg this story! So, we were thinking of getting FiOS at my house, and I was reading through Verizon's Terms of Service to make sure it was kosher. You can read it for yourself here. On a side note, It was very hard to get to the terms of service. It's listed under "Member Center" on Verizon's FiOS Customer Service Website. We are going to take this quote by quote:

"14.5 Monitor of Network Performance. Verizon automatically measures and monitors network performance and the performance of your Internet connection and our network as part of this process. We also will access and record information about your computer's profile and settings and the installation of software we provide in order to provide customized technical support and you agree to permit us to access and record such data for the purposes described in this Agreement. We do not share information collected for the purpose of network or computer performance monitoring or for providing customized technical support outside of Verizon or its authorized vendors, contractors and agents. You hereby consent to Verizon's monitoring of your Internet connection and network performance, and the access to and adjustment of your computer settings, as they relate to the Service, Software, or other services which we may offer from time to time."
Verizon is saying that they can connect to your network and do diagnostics, and adjust settings on your computer.
"(c) to access or attempt to access the accounts of others, to spoof or attempt to spoof the URL or DNS or IP addresses of Verizon or any other entity, or to attempt to penetrate or penetrate security measures of Verizon or other entities' systems ("hacking") whether or not the intrusion results in corruption or loss of data"
I have issues with the terminology that they use here. Not to beat a dead horse, but Hacking and Cracking (what they should be referencing) are two different things. Hacking something could be like hacking my cell phone to change the software on it, or hacking the keyboard driver to enable multimedia buttons under Linux. Cracking is hacking, but with a malicious intent. Connecting to a web server and modifying webpages (ala on SCO a few years back), attempting to access someone's computer and files, etc. As a hacker (not cracker) by the definition I just gave you (not the Verizon one), I take offense to this.
"(g) to post information on newsgroups which is not in the topic area or charter (e.g. off-topic posting) of the newsgroup;"
While I do find this annoying, it is most certainly done all the time. Also, correct me in the comments if I'm wrong, but US ISPs shouldn't be allowed to tell me what I can and can not do with the Internet connection that I'm paying for.
"(j) to damage the name or reputation of Verizon, its parent, affiliates and subsidiaries, or any third parties"
If I were posting this using a Verizon FiOS connection, Verizon could cancel the internet connection without notice or refund, legally.
"...You agree that your name, UserID, and other identifying information may be placed in our user directory."
I hate to say it, but Microsoft has done something right. Microsoft lets MSN Subscribers opt-out of being in their User Directory. Verizon should follow Microsoft's example, but only in this context.
3.7.5 You may not use the Broadband Service to host any type of server personal or commercial in nature.
This would leave me High and Dry. I run a small webserver (running the LAMPPP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl, Python, PHP) stack, mind you) that has calendars, and a photo album for our family (It's password protected, so don't try looking for it). This pretty much says that I can't do that. They would probably rather have me use the Personal Web Space because it features ads. PWS, in a word, sucks. It doesn't allow you to have a database, CGI scripting is disallowed. Think AOL Hometown, without the AOL part. They don't give you the alternative of hosting your own server and administering it yourself. To make sure that you don't hog bandwidth, they should just put a limitation on the amount of bandwidth that you can use for traffic coming out port 80 and 8080.
"14.4 Verizon Network. For the purposes of backup and maintenance, we may use, copy, display, store, transmit, translate, rearrange, reformat, view and distribute your information to multiple Verizon servers. We do not guarantee that these procedures will prevent the loss of, alteration of, or the improper access to, your information."
Verizon, scratch that, anyone should not be allowed to reformat web pages. Imagine if Microsoft payed Verizon an LSM*. I'm going to Wikipedia, and I get redirected to a site that says "You should try Encarta. It's much beterer. User Friendly did a good cartoon on what would happen. Just ignore the Google part:
"(d) injuries to or death of any person and for damages to or loss of any property, which may in any way arise out of or result from or in connection with this Agreement, except to the extent that such liabilities arise from the active negligence or willful misconduct of the other party;"
The internet is hazardous to your health, and can be deadly if handled improperly. Consult your doctor before using. If you have the sudden urge to visit, stop using immediately and consult your psychologist.
"(d) injuries to or death of any person and for damages to or loss of any property, which may in any way arise out of or result from or in connection with this Agreement, except to the extent that such liabilities arise from the active negligence or willful misconduct of the other party"
No, you dolts! The Internet isn't owned by Verizon. <sarcasm>The Internet is owned by your friendly neighborhood blogger, Me!</sarcasm> I'm going to hold off on getting FiOS until Verizon can get it's act together. Verizon, if you're reading this, you have what we in the industry like to call a TOS POS**. Please fix it.

*Large Sum of money
**Terms of Service Piece of S***


Felix said...

I'm sad to hear you say that Daniel, but I hope for the best. I'm sure there are plenty of alternatives you can look into other than FiOS service.

ISP Survey

pavel said...

I have FIOS, its fast n' all but finding out that u count use a server was really mind blowing

ETMegabyte said...

Ummm. Sign up for the Business-class fios service, which allows the use of servers.

Also, Their TOS says things about "changing webpages", that would only be on pages hosted on their servers. If you got the business-class service, which allows you to run your own webserver, they can't do squat with them.

And, if your network is properly firewalled, they can't inventory any information about your network.

Daniel Keenan said...

When I created this Rant, I was thinking about normal users, like my grandparents. IT was hard enough getting them to use a virus scanner, let alone using a firewall with all of its annoying "Hi, I wanted to interrupt what you were doing to let you know that if you throw in an arm and a leg , you can get the super deluxe ultimate firewall service!" messages. Also, the business class service does cost more, and you're already throwing in an arm and leg for the service, why pay more for the use of the service you payed for?

DissapointedWithFIOS said...

> ETMegabyte said...
> Ummm. Sign up for the Business-class fios service, which allows the use of servers.

Anyone know how to find the business-class terms of service? When I looked, the business pages seemed to point to the personal TOS, so included the same absurd "no servers" clause.

Justin said...

So, I'm going through the same thing with the hosting bit right now. They didn't limit my port 80 bandwidth, they just blocked it straight up. I do get faster downloads, but it I can't have my friends and family check out the website it kinda stinks. Ever tried telling someone go to domainname.TLD:port. The colon and port will definitely leave people in the dark.

Also, I got the TV package and I can't add/remove any channels. The channels are scattered all over the place and I still don't understand why I have three versions of the same channel. HD and not, but what are the others for? (rhetorical question). Anyways, I can't cancel because they'll charge me $80. That's not that bad and obviously if I really disliked the service or had the need to host that bad I would do it. Since I'm not constantly downloading music and movies, I don't see the value in FIOS. I'm switching back to Comcast in May 08. God bless all.


Harprit said...

See! Its not about all the time about fast service. If you open up a page on the computer and it takes 3 seconds to open with comcast or any other company and Fios takes 1 second to open it, damn! it man! I can wait 3 seconds if it saves me money. Why not!
Verizon charges you for each and every single thing and when you get the bill you see the hidden costs. They charge you for the set top boxes and convertors and adapters also per month. Tell me any company that charges you for the equipment these days. All the equipments are given free! Verizon charges you not even one time but monthly rental for these equipments. And look at the policies that verizon, you can use as server. I mean comeon! This is monopoly! Have you forgotten the verizon customer's service. Its horrible. Just talking nice and saying "hello mr moron how are you today" is not a good customer service. Give me discounts and off on service and bill! I work for Verizon in New York so I know it.

Anonymous said...

The TV picture is so spectacular I'll live with all of this. My dad has the same exact TV as me with COmcast and the HD quality is no contest. FIOS is new to the game. They'll get better with all of the things you gripe about, but I'm in it for the TV.

splansing said...

Turns out Verizon FiOS is still scrambling up my port 80, which is a serious bummer. I really prefered the straightforward service of Comcast. But the picture of Verizon is truly great. In general, their customer service is abysmal and every Verizon-designed interface I've ever encountered was a nightmare.

The cheapest way I've found to host your own servers with FiOS is to use something like, and pay them $25/year to redirect traffic to a port other than 80 for your chosen domain name.

But you'll still find that if you use your own email server, all of your email gets flagged as spam by most other email servers, because it comes from a block of addresses known to be distributed by Verizon via DHCP.

As far as grandma and grandpa, I don't think most of the gripes in the original post are too relevant. Grampa hosting his own web server much?

Daniel Keenan said...

Many of the things in this post are now irrelevant and/or need updating. I should probably write a new, more modern version...

Anonymous said...

My xbox live connection fucking sucks with fios