FIOS, BitTorrent and Traffic Shaping

September 4, 2007

I’ve been known to consume the occasional torrent (always something blatantly legal, of course), and being a good BitTorrent user, I maintain a reasonable seed ratio.

Lately I’ve been running into slow seeding on my FIOS line. Worse, I’ve had inordinate slowdowns on the rest of my traffic while seeding. Recently, this has clamped down so tightly that while seeding I’ve had trouble even sending mail on another workstation. It was looking fairly clear that Verizon was clamping down the BitTorrent traffic shaping on FIOS.

Today I ran across this article, and decided to give it a try.

I run Azureus, and just by changing my encryption setting from “plain” to RC4, and enabling the “Lazy Bitfield” option, my seeding speeds jumped by an order of magnitude — and I can send email at the same time.

If you’re running BitTorrent over FIOS, you might want to give this a try…

Verizon FiOS Internet Details

October 29, 2005

After all of the fooling around getting the order in place, the installation of 15/2 FiOS went pretty smoothly yesterday. The tech arrived and had everything installed and running within the scheduled window, and was cheerful and pleasant — a new experience with Verizon, and (knocking on wood) maybe the way things will go from here.

The equipment installed was a little different from what I’d expected. There are essentially three components, one mounted at the service entrance, one mounted inside (that requires a power outlet) and an off-the-shelf consumer broadband router (a D-Link DI-604).

The inside component is strictly a battery backup, and as such, it needs to be mounted physically very near the outside gear at the service entrance; a heavy-gauge cable is run between the two. The battery backup consists of a housing for a gel-cell battery, with a set of status lights and alarms, and an external power supply that’s mounted next to the unit and plugged into the wall.
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FiOS TV in Plano Soon?

October 27, 2005

When I first started down the little multi-month donkey-ride to get FiOS service, I wasn’t paying any attention to their TV play.

In the meantime, Verizon has launched their first FiOS TV customers in Keller, TX, and information on their service lineups and pricing has started to come out.

They’ve also petitioned for and received PUC approval to roll out cable service in other TX neighborhoods, including mine (Plano).
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FiOS Fiber & Comcast

October 27, 2005

Things are actually looking promising for my FiOS install scheduled for tomorrow; a tech is out in the yard at the moment running the fiber from the hub in the alley to the service entrance of the house.

I have to admit that I got a kick out of Comcast in this whole deal — since my Comcast (internet, no TV service) coax is buried in the same path, they were required to come out last week and mark where their cable is buried so that Verizon doesn’t cut it when they bury the fiber.

Just before they did this, a Comcast salesman came to the door “just to let me know they’d be working in the yard” — this took 25 seconds, and then he launched into a full-tilt pitch trying to get me to sign up for Cable TV service. Of course, it was just a coincidence that he had all of the material with him for their offers and “deals”.

I suspect that with the FiOS TV launch now imminent, this is standard operating procedure every time they come out to mark off for a FiOS install. Verizon has not sent out any promo materials on TV yet, since they just got regulatory approval a couple of days ago, and so new FiOS Internet customers may well not know what’s coming.

Since people who are already on-net with FiOS are the obvious first target to pitch FiOS TV to (all they have to do is hook up set-top boxes at that point), it is very definitely in Comcast’s interest to lock up as many of these people as possible with a cable TV commitment beforehand….

Yes Virginia, there is a FiOS

October 20, 2005

Well, maybe, anyway…

Three months after my original signup, and two months after my “no later than…” install date had come and gone, I received a flyer in the mail reading “FiOS is here.”

After looking around carefully (even under the couch), I determined that while FiOS had not actually crept in the door without me noticing it, maybe this meant they were actually serious about bringing it here this time, so I gave them a call.

This one was a little more reassuring than my last two were — first, the number actually went to a rep who knew what FiOS was, and was even prepared to sell it.

I received an install date and a confirmation number, and they even took billing information.

Now I’ve spent enough time over the years as a Verizon/GTE customer to know that this doesn’t exactly make it a “mortal lock”, but at least it’s more reassuring than “we’ll get to you within the next month” or the ever popular “we don’t actually offer service there.”

Installation of service (15 meg down, 2 meg up) is supposed to be next Friday (10/28).

I’ll keep you posted.

Verizon FiOS – and Other Fairy Tales

August 22, 2005

So, a little over a month has gone by since one of the Verizon FiOS Pre-Sales reps sold me the Brooklyn Bridge signed me up for FiOS service, and a week has gone by since the latest date I was supposed to hear from the installer by (8/15).

Now to paraphrase Penn & Teller, this isn’t my first time to a goat f**k, (I was a Verizon / GTE customer for a couple of decades), so I poured myself a big cup of coffee and settled in for a little quality phone time with the good folks at Verizon customer service.
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Verizon FiOS High Speed Service

July 20, 2005

In all of the screwing around with my network over the past few days, I ran into two interesting things — one, that Comcast was now offering 6mb down / 768K up service in my area (and it turned out the be $25 a month cheaper than my existing 3mb service — go figure), and that Verizon is finally turning up their Fiber Internet service (“FiOS”) in my area.

The price on the Verizon service is extremely hard to beat — they’re offering 15 mb down / 2mb up for $49.95 a month. As a pre-sales incentive, they offered me the same service for $39.95 a month for the first year (this is the normal price for 5mb/2mb). They also have a 30mb/5mb service for $199.95 for those really in need of bandwidth.
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