No information is reported to be available on when this will be corrected. Performance issues attributable to alter.net had reportedly been experienced by some FIOS users for about a year prior to this current incident, the impacts of which are detailed in the post below.
March 24, 2014: We are still having intermittent failures within the FIOS network, enough to bring the normal flow of my work to a complete halt because of internet inaccessibility (I work largely from home). The failures originate with ALTER.NET and VERIZON-GNI.NET.
April 4. 2014: I still have an open service ticket on this problem. I'm at the point now where I'm trying to get Verizon to tell me *exactly* what it's doing to rectify it. I did learn yesterday that Verizon automatically closes service tickets unless they hear back from a customer within a set period of time (I forgot to ask what those limits are). They closed my March 24 ticket after taking no action for that reason (I don't recall a contact attempt, but I lead a busy life so maybe I missed it).
July 20, 2014: Not only do the problems continue, it now seems to be increasingly difficult to obtain partial refunds from Verizon for service not rendered. See this post.
I alerted on January 23, 2014 about FIOS speeds falling to intolerable lows.
|This was a typical result from last month. I was paying for ten times this amount of download capacity.|
I don't know how many local customers are impacted, so I'm posting this just in case there are others in my area for whom this info might be useful. It took me an hour on the phone with Verizon to get to the bottom of this latest problem, so if you are affected, I'd like to save you from having to reinvent this wheel.
The effects are bizarre - for instance, I can load the homepage of Galveston County Daily News, but numerous of the sub-pages hang and time out. When I dial into the FIOS helpline, one of the first questions asked is, "Do you have the ability to connect to the internet?" That's usually an I/O question, but not in this case. It's hit or miss.
My technical skills are not very advanced, but a FIOS technician walked me through the use of the Tracert command to find out what was wrong.
|It means "trace route". Explanation screengrabbed from Google. I'd add more links to this post but my access to the internet is severely restricted at this point.|
- You use CMD in the main search box for Windows and it brings up a DOS box.
- Then you can enter the tracert command followed by the name of the website that refuses to load. Here's an example of the results.
Compare that DOS screengrab above with this one, which is for one of the websites that I can access:
|No such huge millisecond number appears anywhere.|
Anyway, just another day in consumer paradise. If you have a hang problem, you can try that method above to see if that's the source of the issue, or simply call your Verizon FIOS rep. Good luck and remember that every service failure warrants a corresponding offset on your bill (in my opinion, anyway).
Update February 25, 2014: I'm including this additional example for Verizon's reference because the CSR I worked with yesterday told me that, for security purposes, they don't have the ability to receive emails. So they can look at this on the internet instead.
Additionally, I am noting for the record that there are also multiple other references to Verizon's problems with alter.net on the internet (e.g., here and here), including this one from Verizon's own FIOS forum which I will reproduce below because content like this tends to disappear from the internet and I want future searchers to be able to see this for reference.
When I called the FIOS help line yesterday, their own CSR knew nothing about this existing issue with alter.net, an issue that has reportedly persisted for close to a year now. I do believe from the CSR's demeanor that he was truthful about that. When he saw how my trace was progressing, he was extremely surprised. What this suggests to me is that Verizon is not even informing its own CSRs about known existing problems. What is the sense in that?? Not only does the resulting inefficiency waste my time, it also wastes the time of their own employees.
This forum poster's speculation about Verizon's use of alter.net to throttle bandwidth is provocative. It's pure speculation, but look at that same question within the context of what's happening to at least some of us FIOS subscribers in League City Texas: We had shockingly bad problems with download speeds last month, as evidenced by my screengrab at the top of this post. My FIOS service was running at 5 Mbps; for comparison, my cellular modem this morning runs at 11 Mbps (I just checked it). FIOS was only half the speed of a cellular modem, if you can imagine that. And then after weeks and weeks of screwing around with no results, Verizon solved our speed issue - but immediately after they did, this alter.net problem began to manifest in its place.
So this begs the obvious question: Was the use of alter.net the method by which Verizon solved or partially solved its bandwidth problem in our area? By routing some of us through a de facto throttling site? We have no proof, but it sure is one hell of a coincidence, isn't it??
Anyway, here's a partial reproduction from the FIOS forum for future reference:
alter.net issues continue for months - verizon doesn't care