Verizon calls out Cablevision over ‘fastest broadband in America’ claim


Game on! Cablevision, a cable company that serves the suburbs of New York City, and whose ISP, OptimumOnline, I use, recently announced that it will offer the fastest broadband in America starting next month. Speeds will top out at 101 megabits per second down, 15 megabits per second up. (That translates to around 12.6 megabytes per second down, 1.8 megabytes per second up. BitTorrent seeding just got a whole lot easier. I mean, what else would you use these speeds for?) But you know who’s not too pleased about this? Verizon, what’s with its competing FiOS service. In fact, Verizon is calling Cablevision’s plan a “parlor trick.” I do believe Verizon is stylin’ on Cablevision.

Right, so Verizon, in so many words, is calling Cablevision a bunch of punks. There’s a few bullet points it wants us to “consider,” like how FiOS has the capacity to deliver 400 megabits per second to a single home (and how it already offers 20 megabits per second upstream on all its FiOS connections). Fair enough, but just because every child has the potential to become president doesn’t mean he or she will. Capacity is one thing; what I can actually use is another.

Verizon then goes into the ol’ one bad apple can ruin the bunch song and dance. That is, one bandwidth fiend using Cablevision’s system can slow down the network for everyone else. “One estimate,” no doubt carried out by “We hate Cablevision, Inc.,” said that one person can sap 60 percent of a given neighborhood’s bandwidth. And that may well be, but Verizon is missing one key point: I can actually get Cablevision’s super service.

Look, I couldn’t give a toss about the stupid Cablevison vs. Verizon war. (These guys have been at each others’ throats for years now. It’s like a terrible, truly awful sitcom.) Verizon can hate on Cablevision’s service, with theoretical, “well your service doesn’t do this, while ours does that,” all it wants. The fact is, come next month, I’ll actually be using Cablevison’s new service; FiOS is still nowhere to be found.

So maybe Verizon should get its act together and offer FiOS to more areas. Maybe then I’ll evaluate both services rather than deal in hypotheticals. Till then, all I have access to is Cablevision.

And believe you me: Cablevision is no saint. I mean, look at this awful commercial and you’ll see what we have to put up with over here. It actually hurts my insides: