Show Notes: Damnit, Verizon and Data exchange


Before every episode , we sit down, read through a bunch of news, and take a bunch of notes. It’s one of the most enjoyable parts of our week, and we started thinking it might be fun to do every day on the site. Are you into this? Are we into this? We don’t know. But it’s fun to do! Give me some feedback and we’ll keep mutating this into something good.



  • The Vergecast was handed over to an all-female all-star crew this week! Natt Garun, Megan Farokhmanesh, Adi Robertson, and Ashley Carman go through the week’s news, with an opening assist from Kaitlyn Tiffany to talk about the Day Without A Woman protest.
  • Let’s just start with telecom news and ranting, because that’s why we’re all here, right? Jake Kastrenakes dug into the FCC’s walk back of ISP privacy rules, which will basically let broadband providers sell your browsing history and other data. Their big argument is that Google and other internet firms can monetize this data, so why can’t they?
  • The answer, of course, is that companies like Google and Facebook collect your data in exchange for providing their entire services free of charge. They also endure an awful lot of criticism and policymaking around the collection of that data, and provide all kinds of screens that let you see what’s going on and what activity is being recorded. (People: use these screens more!)
  • Comcast and Verizon collect your money in exchange for internet access, and if they want to build some other wacky data business, they are free to build internet services that can compete with Google and Facebook.
  • What Verizon in particular wants to do is compete with Google and Facebook by buying AOL and Yahoo, mashing their audience data together with network data, and building a whole new business around advertising.
  • A fun fact to consider is that FCC chairman Ajit Pai was a Verizon lawyer before joining the FCC.
  • Verizon also just announced that its FiOS Mobile TV app will now be zero-rated on Verizon Wireless. Which is great, except that FiOS Mobile is a trash fire of an app that hasn’t been updated in years. But why spend the money to build a streaming app that’s more competitive with YouTube TV and Sling and PS Vue when you can just undercut them on price by zero-rating?
  • The iPhone 6 Plus was released in September 2014. If Verizon wants to make a big show of being an innovative, consumer-focused company, it might start with updating its app for a screen size that’s been on the market for over two years.