Verizon's Half-Fast Advertising Campaign Analysis

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Verizon’s current advertising campaign, “Half-Fast”, states that Verizon FiOS users get upload bandwidth speed equal to download speed. The claim is that other ISPs have inferior upload speed, causing frustration for their customers. (Verizon FiOS YouTube Channel, 2014) In reality, very few customers actually use the upload bandwidth that is available to them. Even more problematic, is the fact that Verizon has been caught capping the download speeds of other content providers. Would an Internet Service Provider (ISP) such as Verizon, also a content provider, be tempted to slow down access to other content providers? Perhaps it is Verizon itself who is providing a “Half-Fast” service for the consumer. Verizon FiOS YouTube Channel 2014 While the basic premise of Verizon’s current advertising campaign is frustrating, it pales in comparison to its all-out assault on the Internet as a platform for innovators and industry disruptors. Verizon, a widely used ISP…show more content…
This YouTube demonstration begins by showing a video stream via a direct connection to Verizon Fios that never reaches a higher bitrate than 375 kilobits per second (kbps). The user then connects to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and the stream quickly climbs to Netflix’s maximum bitrate of 3,000 kbps. (Hruska, 2014) Earlier in 2014, the first reports of a content provider striking a deal with ISPs for “Fast Lane” bandwidth surfaced. Netflix paid an undisclosed amount to ISPs including Verizon, AT&T and Comcast for faster bandwidth, helping to ensure customers have better access to HD content. (Jain, 2014) This raises even more questions: • Could a small start-up content provider compete with Netflix for premium access? • Should these paid prioritization transactions by ISPs be permissible? • What is the FCC or US government doing to protect the

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