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Comments on news posted 2014-05-13 12:10:47: One of the most common myths in the broadband industry (well, many industries) is that if you just stop regulating providers and let them do whatever they'd like, network investment will explode and we'll all be living in a Utopia of ultra-fast, inex.. ..

page: 1 · 2 · 3 · next

Papageno

join:2011-01-26
Portland, OR

I'm no believer in "Deregulation über alles" but...

...part of the reason for less investment on average during that latter period could be due to the financial crisis/recession.

Still, I do think that the last mile part of the cable company infrastructure devoted to ISP use should be regulated like a common carrier.

Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

4 recommendations

I think also that carriers should be prohibited from owning content creation. This way all their income goes to their actual job of running a video and data network and not into buying new studios.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports


tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

let's see, what happened around 2009...

... that shook the financial markets and caused many industries to reduce investment levels...? Hmm? Nope nothing clear sailing , employment skyrocketing, consumer spending were all fine until the cablecos destroyed the economy, right Karl?
that whole bailout, housing crisis, recession/depression thing was just a coverup for a telecommunication sectors cash grab?
Is that what you're trying to say?

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

1 recommendation

Standard Threat

They will still make their millions/billions and the increased competition that one would hope comes from it will help keep them on their toes.

Besides, would it really be any worse than now?

Brim77

join:2012-03-16
Lansing, MI
Reviews:
·Spartan-net

1 recommendation

Cable should be worried.

If every porn website, Netflix and Youtube protested by throttling their own connections to 56kb for one day, hell Congress would force the FCC to call an emergency session and reclassify ISP's.....THAT DAY!

Most people don't know or care enough to understand the importance of Net Neutrality, all they know is that Comcast won't let them watch lightsaber dueling cats on youtube without a buffer every seven seconds.

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

3 recommendations

reply to tshirt

Re: let's see, what happened around 2009...

Regadless, it was $5 billion less over a 5 year period compared to 4 and the cable and phone companies still made out like bandits during this time.


ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4

2 recommendations

reply to tshirt
So what was their response? Raise rates 2-3 times a year and add on junk below the price fees? Sorry, I have a hard time feeling sorry for them.


hello123454
Premium
join:2002-02-02
Wilmington, DE
kudos:1

1 recommendation

There's more to it

If you think the government has a better handle on businesses than the businesses themselves then this world really is brainwashed. I don't believe for a second that regulation alone correlates directly with investment. How about corporate taxes? I don't blame a lot of businesses for not spending money with how the economic climate is now a days. You have to look at everything going on.

I also think we look too much into numbers. There are a ton of reasons why investment was greater during 2000 - 2008. It was a different world 10 years ago. It's like Apple with iPhone and iPads. Just because they aren't selling as many as they once did doesn't mean they aren't doing well or that their numbers are bad. It just means we got used to a huge spike due to the quick popularity of things.


tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

reply to ptrowski

Re: let's see, what happened around 2009...

said by ptrowski:

Sorry, I have a hard time feeling sorry for them.

Fortunately they don't need your condolences BECAUSE they adjusted to the changing conditions.
The downside is part of the adjustment was a lower rate of reinvestment in expanded plant.
I don't know which cableco raised BROADBAND prices 2-3 time a year, even the CATV side is once a year in most cases.

Karl writes it as if in the middle of otherwise neutral or even positive growth in every other sector the cablecos packed up and stopped all investment, rather then the 12 billion plus (still a fairly healthy number) under very uncertain conditions in all sectors.
It sort of overshadows the real danger of curtailing the next 4-5 years of investment by pushing utility status.

Look at the investment patterns in other utilities, which aim for stability over growth reinvest no more than 3-4 % with a 10% after tax yield and a 3-6% regular dividend. great for retired folks wanting a steady income. and can provide standard basic service at rates generally higher than the open market
their is little incentive to do anything risky or expand at a rapid rate.

For the same monthly cost less unrestricted company has great incentive to expand, innovate, find and build new desirable services.
We do need regulation with long term goals and costs that a business can plan for and to equalize the playing field for competitors WITHOUT loading unnecessary cost on customers or pointless burdens on the providers.
You certain won't encourage more investment by chanting "less RoI, more excessive regulation and risk" over and over.

Cobra11M

join:2010-12-23
Mineral Wells, TX

hmm

time to write call and whatever else your senators and tell them do not be fulled by the tactics.. The ISPs need to be reclassified as Utilities as they have put it on them selves to do caps, overages, false metering's (Suddenlink, AT&T and others) if they wanna act like this its time to reclassify

TCS

join:2013-03-26

6 recommendations

Easy

That's extremely easy to fix. Executive compensation cannot exceed 1% of network investments. Watch those network investments skyrocket overnight.


tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

reply to Skippy25

Re: Standard Threat

said by Skippy25:

Besides, would it really be any worse than now?

Yes! In case you haven't noticed the telcos current ZERO investment and less then breakeven maintaince on the wired plant because you (general consumer response to Broadband) have convinced them that not only is the current plant a black hole, but that wide spread fiber replacement is a non RoI situation under current and 'most likely' future regulations you keep preaching.
Just as important as saying "We want, we want, we want!!!, is saying "We Will Pay For...." and that message is only being heard on the wireless side, not because the wired side is totally deaf, but because they can't see the end of the very long and expensive tubes "You Want..."


nothing00

join:2001-06-10
Centereach, NY

2 recommendations

reply to tshirt

Re: let's see, what happened around 2009...

said by tshirt:

Fortunately they don't need your condolences BECAUSE they adjusted to the changing conditions.

If the global recession is to blame for reduced investment what's the excuse for the rest of the world continuing to outclass the US at an ever increasing pace?


Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA

2 recommendations

reply to hello123454

Re: There's more to it

The problem is that business knows their business well, but they also know how to abuse the customers. When businesses are left on their own, with no regulation whatsoever, the quality of their product declines even as the price rises. In theory, market forces should correct this, but then the businesses merge until they have a monopoly (or virtual monopoly) on the market.

In the ISP market, we have monopolies or duopolies virtually everywhere. Take my location, for example. I have Time Warner Cable as my ISP. Verizon hasn't built FIOS by me yet and has no plans on doing so. If all ISP regulations were dropped tomorrow, would that spur Verizon to build FIOS to my house? Would Time Warner Cable suddenly decide to speed up my connection? Or would the status quo remain with prices rising for the same (if not slower due to unfixed network congestion) speeds?

I'd wager the latter would happen. Consumer complaints would be ignored because the ISPs -with no competition and in this scenario no regulation - wouldn't have any reason to listen to them. They would know that people would have nowhere else to go and thus they (the ISPs) could do whatever they liked.
--
-Jason Levine


ieolus
Support The Clecs

join:2001-06-19
Danbury, CT

1 recommendation

reply to tshirt

Re: let's see, what happened around 2009...

This is bunk tshirt. THE time to invest in infrustructure is exactly when the economy is at the lowest. Labor is cheaper, materials are cheaper... you can basically construct a network at 1/2 the cost than during boom times.
--
"Speak for yourself "Chadmaster" - lesopp


tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to nothing00
said by nothing00:

If the global recession is to blame for reduced investment what's the excuse for the rest of the world continuing to outclass the US at an ever increasing pace?

different taxes, different laws, different stimulus, and momentum , if you notice in the Akamai and other worldwide deployment reports the US is NOW rapidly catching up both in speed and availability.
But these results are due to the $45billion plus over the last decade and because the US is a very large place getting from point a to b is a long trip then driving across south korea or Singapore, or many most European countries either by car or network infrastructure build out, and we still have a long way, many more dollars to spend in order to reach the rest of the country.
How quickly we get there is highly dependent on more investment $$$, and that depends on consumer patterns and gov't regulation allowing a favorable outlook to develop/convincing INVESTORS that the return is there. (not a bubble but a fairly reliable longterm RoI)

elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

They're absolutely right!

Regulation never delivered anything but heartache, high prices and unresponsive service.

Today, we do live in a Utopia of fast, inexpensive connections - and it is the result of less regulation, not more.

But consumer greed knows no end.

xthepeoplesx

join:2013-10-21

1 recommendation

reply to Brim77

Re: Cable should be worried.

I think ALL the companies that signed that letter should just shutdown for one day. Hold the internet hostage and show our idiotic govt who is really in charge.

xthepeoplesx

join:2013-10-21
reply to TCS

Re: Easy

TCS, you my friend are an F'n GENIUS!


JakCrow

join:2001-12-06
Palo Alto, CA

1 recommendation

reply to tshirt

Re: let's see, what happened around 2009...

Except the companies involved have been hoarding billions in cash and prizes, especially from the pockets of rate and tax payers

xthepeoplesx

join:2013-10-21

3 recommendations

reply to elray

Re: They're absolutely right!

who is we?


JakCrow

join:2001-12-06
Palo Alto, CA

3 recommendations

reply to hello123454

Re: There's more to it

What corporate taxes? These are companies that have effective tax rates, what they actually end up paying in taxes, lower than most personal tax rates.

masterbinky

join:2011-01-06
Carlsbad, NM

Regulation does kill investment...from investors.

They sure do like to make stock investments sound like infrastructure investment. Investments (from external parties) do go up when regulations are lightened, and investment (from external parties/stocks) does goes down when regulations are imposed. Investors are interested in returns and profits, not the quality of services, companies customers, or even the health and longevity of a company. That's directly reflected in investment (infrastructure, R&D,etc) of the companies going down, not up. It isn't good enough to be a successfull profit making company that will be around many years for investors, they would prefer to get big profits and returns at the expense of the companies' future, and pull their money out before the company begins to whither and die from which they can then buy into another profit machine. Regulations put limits on many activities that generate profits at the cost any kind of economic or market health. Who wants to put bets on the winner of a fair fight when you can put bets on the winner of an unfair fight? Since investment into the company takes away from profits, from the investors point of view, any investment that is more than absolutely necessary is irresponsible to the investors. If regulations increase the necessary investments to do business, of course they hate them. Regulations are not made up just to pick on the poor companies, they are there to protect the consumers and industry, neither of which are of interest to investors and the companies they are pressuring for profits.

masterbinky

join:2011-01-06
Carlsbad, NM
reply to xthepeoplesx

Re: Easy

Rules like that are called regulation....


tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to ieolus

Re: let's see, what happened around 2009...

it would be IF you can find the money, something that was highly curtailed, unless backed by a gov't guarantees, and at the time the full faith and credit was going to save/bailout our largest industries> banking, auto, construction, etc. and to prop up an already overburdened safety net.

so once you feed (most of) the people and make sure (most of them) they had a place to sleep, and some of them had a place to work, it was pretty hard to say the next thing worth borrowing from the Chinese for was to bury strands of glass in the ground (the invest community does somewhat remember doing that at the end of the DOT com oops, and that it turned into the most expensive network never used ? (if someone had actually paid debt service on full cost of all the darkfiber and subtract all that ended up unusable, holding diamonds would be cheaper) )
Right now is the time in the cycle the money is becoming available, construction costs are still fairly low, end product demand is high, disposable income should be rising within the correct time frame, it's just a matter of convincing the right people to move and that means broadband at the US market price is something you WILL buy before 4k (or maybe in addition to) or a new car or a better house)
And that is hard er then it sounds because most broadband is sold month to month not on the 3 year (car) 6 year (appliance/paint/etc.(home improvement) 15,20,30 years( new house/ retirement/ college for 3 kids) it may take to pay off a constantly updating last mile at a 30-40% take rate.
IF someone had 30 years exclusive rights for free to a given area, and KNEW no upcoming technology would make their plant worth less, and KKNEW that 80+% of the homes would find a way to work those few extra hours a month to use them as an ISP at say $100 a month, fiber to the home would be a no brainer across most of the US
Since those conditions don't exist and nobody KNOWS all those unknowable knowns, it's a bit more complex.

masterbinky

join:2011-01-06
Carlsbad, NM
reply to tshirt

Re: Standard Threat

Telcos don't have the television profits to help them unlike cable TV/ISP combos. If media companies would allow Telcos or any online media service to offer media usage in a viable method, people wouldn't need cable TV and then both telcos and cable companies could offer competitive services. Then the outlook isn't so bleak for them. Sadly, telcos don't have any way even be a dumb for a comparitive media catalog to cable tv, reason for which are only agreement based. They also got the short end of the stick when it came to their infrastructure investment and the rules of physics. They actually had a better logical layout though. With DSL my line is dedicated to me and I didn't share bandwidth, unlike cable. With Telcos having no leverage in media industry in comparison to cable companies, yeah it looks bad.

sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

3 recommendations

reply to tshirt

Re: let's see, what happened around 2009...

You have an excuse for everything. It was noted multiple times in the past but their revenue and profit actually kept going up during the crisis, along with price increases. Nor does the recession excuse explain why investment has been dropping the last couple of years when the economy has been improving.

totalradio

join:2007-09-15
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
·Windstream

The sky is falling !

"halt progress toward improved broadband service".

Try and tell that to the DSL user who's trying to get decent 1.5m service because the telephone company (insert your favorite here) won't fix the lines because of all of the "progress toward improved broadband service".


ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4

1 recommendation

reply to tshirt

Re: let's see, what happened around 2009...

When Comcast's David Cohen states "The impact on customer bills is always hard to quantify," Cohen said. "We're certainly not promising that customer bills are going to go down or even increase less rapidly" that doesn't make your skin crawl?
How about increases on that modem or cable box you rent always going up? How about the Broadcast TV Fee or the Sports Fee? Comcast raised their rates by 5.8 percent.

"The company's new rates reflect efforts to squeeze more money out of both camps.
On the broadband front, Time Warner's Lite Internet service will now cost $37.99 a month, Basic Internet will be $47.99 and Standard Internet will be $57.99. But, frustratingly, the company neglects to say on its notice to customers what the former prices were.
Dennis Johnson, a Time Warner Cable spokesman, said the company is required by regulators to provide such information for some fees, but Internet rates aren't one of them.
So Time Warner kept the size of the rate hikes to itself. What it apparently doesn't want people to know is that the increase for each Internet tier adds $3 to monthly bills.
That means the 11.1 million broadband customers Time Warner had as of Dec. 31 could be coughing up an extra $33.3 million in monthly revenue, or nearly $400 million a year, depending on their service plan.
Meanwhile, the company's 11.4 million TV subscribers will face an array of higher charges. The monthly cost of set-top boxes and digital video recorders, for example, will rise to $11.25 from $10.
That 12.5% increase will produce more than $14 million a month in additional revenue, or almost $170 million a year.
Johnson said the higher price for boxes reflects "investments to improve customers' experience," including revamped guide and search functions." Ah yes, increase the rates and increase the "customer experience". If that experience includes being dogged repeatedly than oh what joy.
All these bills being passed to forbid municipality build outs, increased rates and BS fees are how these companies have been operating in an unregulated environment. I am not a regulation fiend, but this free for all they have had for years at the expense of the users and their wallets needs to end.
--
"So, Lone Starr, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb."

Have you been touched by his noodly appendage? »www.venganza.org

15444104
Premium
join:2012-06-11

1 recommendation

The gov't needs to use the carrot and stick method...but....

How can you expect our gov't to be effective when the representatives are being
"paid off" by the lobbyists lurking the halls of Congress????

But in theory the gov't should basically give these companies a choice, start investing in building out fiber to home in a large way or start paying huge penalties in the form of taxes which will go to publicly owned providers to build that fiber infrastructure.