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Comments on news posted 2014-06-11 16:41:14: The United States' largest community fiber broadband effort is Utah's UTOPIA, which has been under assault by large incumbent ISPs like Qwest (now CenturyLink) since before the first customer was even connected. ..



TAZ

join:2014-01-03
Tucson, AZ
kudos:3

2 recommendations

Name and shame

So CenturyLink is a POS. Nothing new, it was already well-known (lesser of the evils is still evil).

But what about the individual people involved in this bullshit? _They_ need to be named and shamed. First page of Google for their names (whoever they are) should be "do not fucking hire _X_ because they're a corrupt assclown." Getting involved with this shit should be a career-ending move.


Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
kudos:1

4 recommendations

Interesting

It seems to me that incumbent providers are just hellbent on not providing service.
So, when a community takes it into its own hands, they throw a fit.

I cant think of any other business that operates in such a way.


bmccoy

join:2013-03-18
Port Orchard, WA

2 recommendations

I have three words to say.

Screw you, CenturyStink.


TAZ

join:2014-01-03
Tucson, AZ
kudos:3

For a bit of fun...

I linked to a vendor PDF in one of my posts here, and later noticed when I Googled for the PDF that Google used my anchor text as the title.

It would be fun to see some signatures changed to:

CenturyLink

Kind of a variation of Google bombing, though I don't think that URL will rank for the keyword anymore.

(Unfortunately I can't seem to add a sig yet.)

Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI

sue centurylink for defamation

seriously, utopia could probably sue them for this level of complete misinformation.


Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
kudos:1
reply to TAZ

Re: For a bit of fun...

They require an address.
Find the address of a CenturyLink CO, and sign it CenturyLink.

:P

coryw

join:2013-12-22
Flagstaff, AZ
You guys' luck, whoever counts all the "signatures" will not notice.

Probitas

join:2014-06-05
Canada

1 recommendation

It is telling.

When you spend more money preventing competition than in providing better service, that speaks volumes about what the true goal of the business is: locking in customers who then have no where else to go. It ought to be illegal.

coryw

join:2013-12-22
Flagstaff, AZ
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

2 recommendations

Competition!

It's really interesting to see CL do this. I suppose this is absolutely not the first time we've seen this news, but it seems to be something CL is either immune from, by way of their having relatively few of the most desirable territories in the nation, or regardless of whether or not their territories are desirable, no other "competition" (other than from the cableco in any given area) has shown up.

CenturyLink is really hard to read because of our three largest telcos, they're the one that doesn't have a wireless arm, although CL does now own Savvis and a few other platform/software as a service, and backhaul infrastructure and cloud/hosting companies. (Now operating as "CenturyLink Business Solutions" or something along those lines.)

I'm becoming more and more convinced that the solution to this problem we have in the United States is to re-coalesce the Bell Companies, reinstate meaningful regulation (or nationalize them, given that most of us on this site can agree that data communications are an essential everyday utility on which other services are built) that caps their profits and encourages them to either lower prices or put the money back in the ground, and upgrade infrastructure.

It'll be interesting to see what happens if Google Fiber ever finishes their deployments in Provo and Austin, and then they start going after CL territories on the list, such as Portland or Phoenix.

Of the big three, CenturyLink does have the most Gigabit so far, but AT&T and Verizon have much larger FTTP footprints, at various speed levels. Right now, it would just be nice to see that any given telco is indeed making efforts, but it feels like they're each just making big moves in one or two test markets so they can put out press releases, which is disheartening a little bit, when Omaha and Vegas have gigabit fiber to the premises, and nothing else in CenturyLink's vast territory has anything better than (rare) 100 megabit fiber, and on average, 12-20 megabit ADSL2+/VDSL2, and pretty frequently, not even ten megs.

Whether or not nationalizing the whole thing would fix that within the next 10-20 years, who knows.


TAZ

join:2014-01-03
Tucson, AZ
kudos:3

3 recommendations

Good write-up there.

said by coryw:

I'm becoming more and more convinced that the solution to this problem we have in the United States is to re-coalesce the Bell Companies, reinstate meaningful regulation (or nationalize them, given that most of us on this site can agree that data communications are an essential everyday utility on which other services are built) that caps their profits and encourages them to either lower prices or put the money back in the ground, and upgrade infrastructure.

I'd go for more of a hybrid solution, like exactly what UTOPIA has done: the infrastructure itself should be government-owned as a utility, but the hook-up on the other end should be privately-owned.

No essential, natural monopoly utility should operate at a profit. Free market and competition are great things, but only when it's actually a competitive and free market.


RWSI

join:2012-11-27
Albuquerque, NM

Why bother

CenturyLink is done for as a telcom provider anyway. It's just the last breath of the dying company and failure will be coming sooner than latter.
It's sad that they just don't have the real support and funding to make a real effort in the digital age.

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
reply to Probitas

Re: It is telling.

How much has CenturyLink spent on (dis)marketing? It spent $2.9B in on CAPEX in FY 12, $3B in FY13, and is planning to spend $3B in FY14.

ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH
reply to RWSI

Re: Why bother

CL will never go away. Just like AT&T and VZ. No matter how much they lose $$$ they'll always be there. Including Fairpoint and FTR.

spdickey

join:2002-11-17
Pacific Palisades, CA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Utopia should sink or swim without taxpayer's money....

Provo, Utah went down this same path for the last decade. Its fiber build out cost the taxpayers plenty. They finally sold to Google Fiber, which is a good place for a bailout.

I resent taxing authorities telling me what's best and making us pay to compete with another company who's not getting the same tax money.

The Deseret News in 2012 called it a waste of taxpayers money...

UTOPIA's network duplicates more innovative projects taking place in the private sector. The free market recognizes the need for a robust communications infrastructure, and it has been able to provide customers with these services in a timely and cost-effective manner. Private enterprise doesn't have the ability to dip into public monies when their operations don't produce enough cash — they either sink or swim on their own merits. That's why the state should sell UTOPIA assets to the companies that would be in a position to use them profitably.
»www.deseretnews.com/arti ··· ort.html


CLSucks

@184.7.244.x

Meanwhile....

My oh so wonderful centurystink service has been in the crapper ever since Mondays storms went thru. Even when it's working fine it's not that great, but at least then my pings aren't horrendous and my speed's not dial-up levels.


mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:14
reply to spdickey

Re: Utopia should sink or swim without taxpayer's money....

The only thing the private sector is "more innovative" at is redirecting funds from improving/maintaining the network to investors' pockets.

/M


elios

join:2005-11-15
Springfield, MO
reply to TAZ

Re: Competition!

so much this

ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH
reply to spdickey

Re: Utopia should sink or swim without taxpayer's money....

and that bail out came at the cost of only $1 crappy dollar and the tax payers STILL on the hook for paying for the network and all when GF gets to make the $$$$.

A HFC network was built by a city in Ohio to compete with TWC. It went down to drain as well. Except it was sold to Cinci Bell.

ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH
reply to mackey
At least those investors are getting their ROI which they are entitled to instead of a company blowing the money on their hobbies.


mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:14

1 recommendation

Yup, who cares about growing/expanding the business and making the people who actually pay the bills and keep the company running happy when you can just give the money to people who are sitting on their ass and not doing anything.


ieolus
Support The Clecs

join:2001-06-19
Danbury, CT
reply to openbox9

Re: It is telling.

Were those billions spent improving service in the Utopia footprint?
--
"Speak for yourself "Chadmaster" - lesopp


TSWYO
Premium
join:2003-05-03
Cheyenne, WY
As much as I would like to bash them, they have at least finally started to upgrade their ADSL to VDSL in Cheyenne, Wy. Last week I was finally able to ditch charter... Though, sadly where my house is built, I am sh*t out of luck, I get nothing there and just a few miles out side of city limits.

Wyoming should be watched closely as the State builds out their 100GB unified network, ISP's as the carrier, not a private build. Does the state leasing those lines lead to better internet for the communities?


Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon Online DSL
reply to coryw

Re: Competition!

said by coryw :
I'm becoming more and more convinced that the solution to this problem we have in the United States is to re-coalesce the Bell Companies, reinstate meaningful regulation (or nationalize them)...

Yes, I agree with this entirely. The 1984 Modified Final Judgement and the 1996 Telecom Deregulation had many unforeseen consequences ranging from infrastructure to management.

I am not too sure about nationalizing what would be Bell System II, but it is clear that the former unified system was superior at rolling out new technology throughout its footprint.

"The Bell System - People using technology to help keep down costs and improve service, keeping your phone system the best in the world."

Good luck finding a corporation with a motto like that! Keeping down costs, with new technology?

So, where do we go from here, with what we have now? That is the question...

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
reply to ieolus

Re: It is telling.

I'm guessing the CAPEX was spread across multiple markets. Did CenturyLink only market in the Utopia footprint?


ieolus
Support The Clecs

join:2001-06-19
Danbury, CT
said by openbox9:

I'm guessing the CAPEX was spread across multiple markets. Did CenturyLink only market in the Utopia footprint?

Yes, the point of this is that they are targeting Utopia's funding.
--
"Speak for yourself "Chadmaster" - lesopp

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
So you're seriously suggesting that CenturyLink doesn't spend its advertising dollars in any other market?


ieolus
Support The Clecs

join:2001-06-19
Danbury, CT
Read the second paragraph. This is about them targeting Utopia with money.
The POINT, since you seem to not get it, is that instead of spending money targeting Utopia, they should spend it on their network in the Utopia footprint... you know, competing? Isn't that what capitalism is all about?
--
"Speak for yourself "Chadmaster" - lesopp

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
The point is that any productive business will market its products and services. Targeting Utopia is only a marketing strategy for that area, nothing more. And CenturyLink spends much more on CAPEX than it does marketing, which was the intent of my initial response to Probitas See Profile's claim that CenturyLink "spends more money preventing competition than in providing better service".

mupi

join:2014-06-15
Payson, UT
So then: what percentage of CAPEX is CL spending actually improving services? CAPEX covers a lot of things, but I'm not convinced that replacing parts of their maintenance fleet (typically applied as CAPEX) really "improves" anything about their service. How much CAPEX goes to buildings, or replacing backhaul (again, CAPEX, but not really going to help them improve DSL in my neighborhood).

Then we can begin to address the issue of what's reasonable marketing, and whether funding a campaign through an ostensibly "indendent" organization like the "Utah Taxpayer's Association" is really marketing at all. I really have no problem with CL (or any other company) spending money on marketing. Even (if they so choose) spending more on marketing than building infrastructure. But is directly attacking a competitor really marketing? More to the point, is knowingly lying about the competitor marketing? 60 seconds with Google would show you that virtually every claim on the "uNOpia" site (paid for by Utah Tapayers Association with a donation from CL) is outright false or at least misleading. If CL really had a better product, then they should actually market their product, and explain why it's better. ("it's cheaper", "it's faster" "it's ____"). Unfortunately, they can't, because it's actually more expensive, and slower, and less reliable; it rarely delivers as promised.

Which takes us back to: if you have an inferior product, maybe you should spend money fixing it, instead of trying to stop your competition, or paying your executives millions in bonuses (»www1.salary.com/CENTURYL ··· ies.html).