Verizon Censoring Customer's Text Messages

What is Verizon thinking?

According to the NY Times, Verizon has decided to block an organization from sending text messages to it’s (the organization’s own) members. Messages the organization’s members sign-up to receive:

In turning down the program, Verizon, one of the nation’s two largest wireless carriers, told Naral that it does not accept programs from any group “that seeks to promote an agenda or distribute content that, in its discretion, may be seen as controversial or unsavory to any of our users.” Naral provided copies of its communications with Verizon to The New York Times.

As I understand it, NARAL – an abortion rights group – allows members to sign-up to receive text message alerts about actions the organization thinks are important to it’s members. For example, a broadcast may go out asking members to call their congressperson about a pending bill that’s related to NARAL’s mission. Why Verizon would stick itself in this middle of this makes no sense.

Does Verizon limit the phone calls NARAL can make using Verizon wireless, land, long-distance, DSL or FiOS services? No. So, why SMS?

NARAL should consider moving over to Twitter for this sort of thing. With Twitter, subscribers to ANY wireless network (and people without cell phones) could receive alerts on the device of their choice – even Verizon cell phones – without a cell phone carrier’s blessing. The organization and it’s members would gain the communications control they’re looking for.

Verizon, stay out of politics and stick to providing reliable communications networks.

FiOS Growing Pains at Verizon?

A Verizon customer shares his frustrations with Verizon’s new FiOS internet service.

A Technology Evangelist reader has shared with us some major frustrations he’s had with Verizon’s new FiOS service.

First, a FiOS definition: FiOS (fiber optic service) is the latest technology option for residential high speed internet access. Internet access is provided over fiber optic cables rather than coaxial cables or copper phone lines, allowing for faster data transmission at comparable prices to cable or DSL. Verizon is currently rolling out FiOS internet service in select markets across the United States.

Bill Kelm of decided to switch to FiOS from DSL in hopes of reaching faster download speeds. However, he has been met with disappointment and frustration both with setup and support. He has posted a three part series on his web site explaining the trouble he’s gone through trying to get is set up properly. A few highlights: Integrating the service with his network proved to be very difficult, the download speeds were much lower than anticipated, and once frustrated to the point of wanting to return to his previous DSL connection, he was told that he could not go back to DSL.

We at Technology Evangelist haven’t had a chance to test FiOS out yet, since it’s not available in our town, so we’re throwing the following questions out to all of you:

Have you tried FiOS yet?

Did you have any problems transitioning to the service?

How do the speeds compare to your previous service?

Do you have any ideas why a FiOS customer wouldn’t be able to revert to DSL at a later date?