FCC commissioner Clyburn is none too pleased with Verizon right now. Big Red’s response to the inquiry about the new $350 early termination fee for advanced devices was sent off last week. The FCC had asked Verizon to explain why they increased the fee assessed to customers that leave their contracts early, pointing out that customers still had substantial cancellation charges even near the end of a contract. Verizon said it was only to recoup the costs of the more expensive phones they sell, and in the long run would keep prices low for people wishing to buy inexpensive handsets.
The FCC response was vaguely threatening, calling the Verizon response, “unsatisfying and, in some cases, troubling.” The commissioner also scolded Verizon for denying they charge customers who inadvertently launch their web browsers. Clyburn cautioned that ETFs were not to be used to cover the costs of doing business. The commissioner’s statement closes with a promise that, “I look forward to exploring this issue in greater depth with my colleagues in the New Year.” Now that’s how you threaten someone.
Even a cursory glance at the internet will assure you of one fact: people hate AT&T. While a great many people love their iPhones, the network is their one major complaint. News of a massive AT&T failure is juicy stuff, and stirs up the interwebs nicely, but Gizmodo’s recent 3G speed test does throw AT&T a bone. If you have solid AT&T 3G service, it’s probably really, really fast.
Gizmodo tested 3G data speeds in 12 markets around the US. The tests checked raw speed via speedtest.net, as well as downloading very large images and webpages. The results of the testing indicate that AT&T beats out Verizon in average download speed. However, it was close, with Verizon winning out in four of the 12 markets. The real shocker is that AT&T absolutely destroyed the competition in upload speeds, winning all 12 markets.
If this tells us anything, it’s that we can’t be too harsh with AT&T. Sure, AT&T has some issues with service coverage, but the network is fast where you can get it. That’s at least half the equation.
It doesn’t appear that part of the deal was Verizon’s dropping it’s claim to ‘superior’ 3G coverage. The smack-down over which of the two has America’s most reliable coverage, unfortunately, remains unsettled.
Verizon’s new Android based phones are expected to be released in early November. During the launch, the Motorola Droid is going to be paving the way for those looking for the latest and greatest Android product with Verizon.
However, Verizon is also launching another Android based phone, the HTC Droid Eris. This phone does not boast the same hardware specifications as the MotoDroid. It is running Android 1.6 on a 528MHz CPU, but it comes in at the ultra-competitive price of $99.
That will make the HTC Droid Eris the cheapest Android phone available on one of the top 3G networks in the country. It may not be ready for the November 6th launch date of the Motorola Droid, but it might be worth waiting for if you want Android on the cheap.