Comments on news posted 2014-05-02 12:25:48: In the wake of the government's latest cash-drunk stumbleabout on net neutrality, most consumer advocates are urging the government to solidify FCC authority over broadband by regulating ISPs as common carriers (essentially utilities). ..
Ok, so the cable goes out the same time the power does because they're on the same pole. Public regulation isn't why the power goes out when the weather is bad, physics is. And aren't most electric utilities private corporations as opposed to government-owned? I know my local utility, which is highly regulated, is a publicly traded corporation, and they make TONS of money. In fact, they essentially have a license to print it. Ask Southern Company if they'd like to be "deregulated" like California or Texas.
Why should anything he says be trusted? He manipulated things into cable's favor which got him the cush job he enjoys today. The only thing that would break down under common carrier status is the maneuvering he did to get his job. -- isheavenforreal.com
Did he just suggest that the more data that's transmitted along fiber and copper, the more it breaks it down? So they are already fighting the equivalent of potholes caused by moving large data across the network? Then he followed it up with leaky lines flooding the ground with packets? Never heard of a house being eaten by a data sinkhole, but hey he suggested it could happen. Power lines do go out in winter, when MILES of power lines go down in massive winter storms because they are hanging on poles above the ground. Which is kinda odd how alot of ISPs ALREADY use (and have no intention to stop using)those same poles that he's pointing a finger at for causing people to be powerless. In my experience though, power seems to be the most reliable of the utilities, and being that ISPs share the most in common with that utility, it isn't anywear near a bad outlook that he proposes. In fact, I'd be really happy if my ISP was as reliable as my electrical service.
Ugh, I just want to punch this guy in the face just to wipe that smug smirk off it, not to mention his shilling for the cable monopolies and his argument that we should just trust that we're somehow really better off when our fixed line internet is becoming an embarrassment among first world countries.
When you note that the dial-up days of the internet that the regulation he says would ruin the internet is what protected it and prevented it from being crushed by telcos. Also when regulations are protecting consumers and NOT a companie's profits, you shouldn't ask companies what their opinion of regulations are.
If Powell said something, it is obvious. They do not want this to happen as it will slow the gravy train down too much. Government can be controlled as we all know, but it makes it a little harder to get away with some things. It definately slows them down. That goes for anything the government is involved with. I would rather pay the increases to the government than to the new ISPs. Once I was the network engineer for an ISP (not a telco or cable company) until that was taken away from us circa 2002. That was the end of the dot-com bust of 2001. I have since focused on computers, network services and Internet products like web hosting in general. I no longer sell or maintain the pipes. I have done quite well, but I was much happier when I did. You may notice things in technology about to snap, just like in 2001. Twitter makes no money but got a huge IPO out. Others preceded and followed with similar stunts. Wall street has finally caught on and is becoming more cautious now. The next dot-com and probably the first dot-tech bust is near. If we can just get the telcos and cable companies to become dumb carriers once again this all can be fixed. If not, we will ALL be priced out of innovation and the Internet will go the way of the CB radio. If it becomes too expensive or too complicated to have, people will leave it, and then.. Poof! Gone!
The questions is, do people have the fortitude to force the change. The incumbents, and their lobbyists in and off the Hill will fight tooth and nail to protect their bosses, or their cushy after service tenure on the Hill. They aren't protecting anyone but themselves. You the elected person is so far down the list on what they care about I bet the fact their kid wants an iPod rates higher than you wanting consumer protections from predatory monopolies. But they have no issues paying Apple hundreds for that iPod since the taxpayer pays them the money for their work on behalf of the industry. Pretty odd optics on the whole thing from where I sit here in Canada. It's obvious what is happening but nothing ever changes....I guess the average peon on the street thinks someday he'll be just like Michael Powell. Dream on....
I know my local utility, which is highly regulated, is a publicly traded corporation, and they make TONS of money. In fact, they essentially have a license to print it.
And that's what you seek in a Broadband provider,? In fact the sole provider, as a utility they will have exclusive right to provide that service in your area.
Well, just classifying broadband as a utility wouldn't mean enshrining any monopolies into law. You could regulate both MSO-provided and RBOC-provided broadband as a utility, and in the areas that the RBOCs haven't gotten rid of DSL, have competition but still have a regulated market. Airlines and railroads were once heavily regulated (and I'm not arguing for that level of regulation in the broadband market) yet they still had competition.
Electricity is the type of utility where it's inherently difficult to have actual competition unless you have weird constructs such as separating the delivery (the physical infrastructure) and the "energy company" that you buy the power from. Also, FWIW, my local electric utility is printing money and has a monopoly, but our rates are lower than than the national average. Not perfect but not horrible either.
"the shiver you feel in a cold house after a snowstorm knocks out the power and the water main breaks along your commute should restrain one from embracing the illusory virtues of public utility regulation."
That shiver you feel is due to the utility companies behaving like public corporations instead of utilities. If they operated like utility companies, the power would have been restored considerably faster after Sandy and people wouldn't still be waiting for dial tone.
This is exactly the kind of lie I would expect from a cable company lobbyist.
How many of each true Utility reach your home? Gas? Electric? phone? sewer? water? One of the carrots for utilities is to have sole access because the cost of the plant, and RoW spacing make multiple providers prohibitive. The broadband industry already does have the "railroads" in the backbone/tier1 transport, what is lacking in some places is the local freight/UPS/FedEx that move the goods between the railroad and the end user residences. In some areas electric "deregulation" has separated the delivery from the production>provider so you pay X to the "utility" which owns the poles/transformers and wires, and than pay one of several separate entity for providing the actually kilowatts used. While this mimics a competitive environment due to the inefficiency of those multiple middle-man power brokers(literally) has actually caused higher prices everywhere I've seen. and the wholesale power market was still just as susceptible to manipulation as ever ---Enron
I certainly not defending Powell's silly argument against making but I do believe their are other factors that don't support it happening...At least not yet. And remember even if it's a utility, that does not make it a "lifeline" service, ie something REQUIRED everywhere.
Many of the "Utilities" city dwellers must have to survive (gas, sewer, water, even electric service) are often up to the rural user to provide for themselves. even indoor plumbing isn't a "Necessity" or even possible in a surprisingly high percentage of homes.
"At first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then you fight, and then you win." The fact that he claims that some reasonable regulation would crater the industry and customer service quality shows that they are getting scared. Which is funny in a second way: the FCC is totally captured by lobbyists. What are they afraid of?
On the subject of regulation, can we discuss some specifics? What exactly would a common carrier declaration entail? What would be the benefits and costs? Are there any non-obvious problems with net neutrality? Personally, I'd like to see the FCC cultivate competition but I don't want to see the government replace Comcast et al. as the gatekeeper to the Internet. (ex. obscenity regulations on broadcast media).
How is it I can have a choice of gas company using the same pipes but not ISP using the same pipes? Natural gas is a bit more substantial to move than 1s and 0s. -- "Speak for yourself "Chadmaster" - lesopp
Utilities are often franchised meaning there is one and only one provider of a related incumbent service. An unusual exception decades ago was in Lubbock, TX where there were areas on outskirts of town you had three electric utilities and three sets of outside plant.
If ISP become turf protected utilities, that could very well shut out consumer choices of better services, lower costs, and higher speeds from new innovative companies.
How is it I can have a choice of gas company using the same pipes but not ISP using the same pipes?
Assuming you don't mean Propane, do you think they actually remove the gas from one company from the main line and switch it over to another if you change your mind who you pay for it? when they changed to this system, did it actually make it cheaper? more reliable? or as I described above did it just add 1 or more layers to the distribution and regulation chain and all their expenses.
I'm not opposed to the single pipe idea IF the pipe builder is fairly compensated for providing it, that the entire public recognizes and agrees to the extra cost "Utility" status brings, and that the market is not so curtailed that the pipe provider finds it no longer worth building out/reaching the rest of the people.
It certainly would limit the likelihood of changing technology, ie If the cable provider was THE broadband company for your area, the fiber over builder would have little incentive to even seek a franchise to overbuild.
for the most part you would be stuck with whatever is the most pervasive technology in your area today.
It does at some point, I think we are still in the build and consolidate phase. Cable HSI maybe close to being THE nationwide plant. The other question is the cost of compensation for those businesses disrupted by the change, and who pays. There are still a huge % with little to know interest in having internet service, leaving those that do to shoulder MOST of the transitional cost. and a lot of the "cheaper, cheaper, cheaper" crowd upset at the end starter cost (this system would advantage the heavy- MUST have user more then the casual user, with each paying and equal cost for a equal sized pipe, , plus usage on top, plus regulator fees.
My power and water has always been more reliable than my internet
Bring it on.
I easily average under 1 day per year without power and that's just because of an icestorm a few years back. Public water has been even more reliable, current house is well/septic and therefor corresponds to power availability. It took me a month to establish internet here and the last several years my internet has easily averaged a total outage time greater than 1 day/year (Cox, Comcast, At&t). These assessments come form having living in Arkansas/Alabama/Mississippi the last 8 years.
If the deep dirty poor south can provide more reliable utilities than ISPs can internet, that tells you something.
First Energy Corp is a highly regulated company as well. But they are also deregulated. They answer to the States they operate in, but to avoid their tariffs they own a non-regulated "reseller" of power- First Energy Solutions. They're the company that all of the cities/counties use in their service areas for bulk power deals.
We have that in Ohio where we pay company X for billing/poles/meters, etc for power and gas, and then company XX for the service itself. on average the bills are higher than going direct to that company for everything. You're not saving anything up front nor long term with using another provider.
The only way a utility ISP would work is for the transport to be separated from the content. That is how the power and telco systems got built. In the beginning you had all kinds of competition in telco but it was expensive because every company had to place their own lines. The networks were also ugly because of the duplication and the first builds were iron wire on glass insulators.
AT&T had the best POTS network not because it was a local monopoly but because it was almost a monopoly in long distance. GTE and other networks covered large areas but their networks did not bring in the revenue because the more rural and they did not have the long distance revenue.
Just take a street with 10 houses and 3 ISPs that also provided TV and each ISP served 3 houses and 1 house was empty. Three times as much money was spent then if one company provided a dark fiber with just a connection on each end. I bet you may get more then 3 content providers if they did not have to cover the cost of building the fiber network. Do you think Netflix would have gotten off the ground if they had to build a network. Just like the cable companies would have had a hard time if they had develop and produce all their programing.
Just keep the transport a monopoly utility and separate from the content.
"Good, I am glad you are not opposed to splitting up the infrastructure from the content. It really is the only way that makes sense going forward."
This is how Muni's should be run. It's like city streets. The city builds and maintains them and then private companies use the roads to deliver their goods and services to the citizens of the community. Provided you are qualified to do such a business (and it already exists in all 50 states) you can buy a connection it to the Muni network and deliver services. -- I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.