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Comments on news posted 2014-06-20 09:16:32: A fresh Wall Street Journal editorial criticizes community broadband, and frets over the news that FCC Boss Tom Wheeler has indicated he'd like to do something about ISP-written state laws that ban towns and cities from building their own broadband -.. ..

page: 1 · 2 · next

pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
kudos:2
Reviews:
·ooma
·Google Voice
·Comcast
·Future Nine Corp..

1 recommendation

It would be nice if more utility rights of way were open

It would be nice to see a policy federal, state and local which permitted true competition for the last mile of utility infrastructure. The duopoly most of us endure is not at all competitive.
--
Congress could mess up a one piece jigsaw puzzle.


egilbe

join:2011-03-07

Corporate lawmaking is Fascism at its finest

I have no other option to Time-Warner Cable. 3mb/s DSL is not competition. I'm all for anything that would give me a viable option to my current choice.

I hate that our country has become fascist disguised as a Representative Republic.



karpodiem
Hail to The Victors
Premium
join:2008-05-20
Detroit, MI

1 recommendation

Does there exist an open-source/community curated map of available broadband options overlaid on Google maps/OpenStreetMap?

Before you define the scope of the problem, we need to have accurate data. It would be very beneficial to plugin an address, see the speed tiers/pricing for that location amongst multiple ISPs.

Of course, no ISP is going to provide an API for that information but I would love to call/bug the sales group at an ISP or plug it into their website to see what speed tiers are available.

Their greatest weapon against the public is having this black box. No one really understands how bad the problem is.

We need an open source/open data solution to this. Like a Hipmunk/Kayak for broadband. Could this be done on DSLR?



karlmarx

join:2006-09-18
Chicago, IL

4 recommendations

Look at the successes

Sure, there have been some failures. BUT, for every failure, there have been MANY successes. Look at it this way, a government investment is NOT supposed to have a good rate of return. For example, the road system was built by the government, it runs at a loss, yet the RETURN on investment is FAR greater than whatever loss it accumulates. The government for the most part is responsible for your electricity, sure, sometimes it a money loser, but again, the RETURN is worth it. High Speed internet is EXACTLY the same as electricity and roads. I don't necessarily want the government to RUN the network, just as they don't run the roads or electricity, but I DO want them to build it EVERYWHERE. The estimated cost to run fiber to EVERY home in america (that includes Alaska and Hawaii) is around 150 billion dollars. That's just trenching, wiring and buildings. It doesn't include the network equipment required to run it, but the layout would be very similar to the telco network (local CO's). Once that is done, ANY company could put in their own equipment in any area they deem profitable, plug into the fiber, and provide services.
In my version of the future, the government has run fiber to EVERY HOME in america. Companies compete to provide services (internet/phone/tv) over those wires. The existing cable/telco cartels are no more. You can buy whatever speed you want, you can order any tv channel you want (a-la-carte), and tv channels can set their own prices. The losers in this scenario are the cable companies, the telco's and the sports franchises. I can pretty much guarantee you that if the NFL wants to charge $40.00 a month to watch a football game, they won't sell many subscriptions. All those shopping channels, will be free or LESS (they pay you). Those religious/music channels, all go away. That's the future I want to see, and that's the future you will get if the government is willing to spend on the american people what they spend on 3 months of a useless war.
--
The best way to defeat religion it to ignore it. Look at Ra/Thor/Zeus, they all thought they were forever.



karpodiem
Hail to The Victors
Premium
join:2008-05-20
Detroit, MI

1 recommendation

100% spot on. Pretty sure this is what France is doing - let the government build the network and let private businesses compete over the top of it.



morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Reviews:
·Charter

Existing duopoly broadband market fails and THEN municipal broadband appears

As Karl pointed out, municipalities only move forward with these projects when incumbents fail to provide services or services at affordable prices. In other words, when the existing duopoly market fails the citizens decide to make it happen themselves. It is the true entrepreneurial spirit this country thrives on, yet this editorial piece whines about the possible expansion of choice to the 21 states where incumbents (AT&T, Verizon, cableco) paid off lawmakers for protectionist bills that allows them to provide expensive, substandard broadband.



fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR
reply to karpodiem

Re: Corporate lawmaking is Fascism at its finest

said by karpodiem:

Does there exist an open-source/community curated map of available broadband options overlaid on Google maps/OpenStreetMap?

Not that I'm aware of, and it's not likely to happen anytime soon. The exact location of broadband facilities is considered competitively sensitive information by ISPs, which is why the granularity of the federal broadband map goes down as far as census tracts but no farther.


karpodiem
Hail to The Victors
Premium
join:2008-05-20
Detroit, MI

1 recommendation

no reason why the public couldn't pry it out of them with crowdsourced address inputs on the service provider's own website.

in any case, they do it because they can. doesn't mean we couldn't tease it out of them, if approached correctly.

I don't think having service information made publicly available is a trade secret, or would hold up in court. they might attempt to take you to court over it, but the whole absurdity of obfuscating information available to potential consumers wouldn't be worth the massive beating they would take in PR.



gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA

2 recommendations

reply to karlmarx

Re: Look at the successes

150 billion is a drop in the bucket of what were paying Lockheed for mass killing devices. Maybe municipality's should invest in Lockheed to pay for fiber, they are guaranteed to get money.
Or maybe if we invested in fiber instead we wouldn't be technologically bottlenecked with slow broadband and wouldn't need mass killing devices. Mutual assured destruction is getting to be a drag.
--
Let them eat FIBER!



No

@66.249.83.x
reply to egilbe

Re: Corporate lawmaking is Fascism at its finest

said by egilbe:

I hate that our country has become fascist disguised as a Representative Republic.

Last time I looked all bills were introduced by ELECTED lawmakers and passage of bills needed a majority of our elected representatives. If it is suggested these lawmakers are corrupt, that problem can be remedied at election time. Of course, we have voters who are lazy and stupid, so we get what we deserve.

rfrooney

join:2006-02-26
Antioch, TN

1 recommendation

So, let me get this right

If I perceive Schatz's and Van Tassell's position correctly, they advocate the telecom companies actions of bribing local and state politicians in order to maintain their monopoly/duopoly.

Once again, this shows that American politicians are the best money can buy.


Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
reply to No

Re: Corporate lawmaking is Fascism at its finest

If only picking who to put into power had not become "Pick the least corrupt of the two".

That is the problem today no matter who you vote for and which party you vote for both reds and blues are in the pockets of the corporations and their lobbyists. Go Ahead and write your senator, I bet your letter does not get beyond the secretary. However if you are a lobbyist and include a $10k+ donation to their party in said letter you can bet that gets in the express lane to their desk.
--
Filan - Aurin Spellslinger - Pago - Team Legacy


biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361

1 recommendation

reply to pandora

Re: It would be nice if more utility rights of way were open

What is this duopoly you speak of? I would say far more people live under monopolies. I don't count 6 Mbps DSL as competition.
--
isheavenforreal.com



utahmcdugall

@166.70.94.x
reply to rfrooney

Re: So, let me get this right

These are the bills that have hampered the growth and financial sustainability of UTOPIA.

»le.utah.gov/~2001/bills/hbillenr/HB0149.htm

»le.utah.gov/~2004/bills/static/SB0066.html

Also, only one City has the ability to cut off water service for any non-full payment of any utility fee..



JakCrow

join:2001-12-06
Palo Alto, CA

Citizens Against Government Waste nothing more than corporate Astroturf

Also a member of the right wing front group ALEC, has attacked open source software because, I kid you not, because of it's "open" nature. Nothing this group or its members say should be taken seriously.


pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
kudos:2
reply to biochemistry

Re: It would be nice if more utility rights of way were open

For me, it's AT&T or Comcast. For others it's a monopoly, or no service. A few have more than two choices.
--
Congress could mess up a one piece jigsaw puzzle.


biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361

BS

All I can think of when reading that headline is some weirdo defending Britney Spears. Better she be defended than these protectionist laws.
--
isheavenforreal.com


political_i

join:2013-11-12

Politics

Conservatives typically are for more local control. As far as I am concerned, Internet traffic goes across state lines so it is a matter of "interstate commerce" which is why Congress has a bit of broad authority.


WhatNow
Premium
join:2009-05-06
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to karlmarx

Re: Look at the successes

This the only way I would support a government network. Keep the network separate from the content. There also should be a rule that if a home has utility power then they get a fiber connection. There could be a few rare exception for some home many miles from any other home.
If any company can connect you should get real competition. If the government does content you will not have any more choice then you have with cable now. If you have a very vocal group the government might have a fight over everything they do from content to being priced too cheap to maintain the system as the fiber ages.


WhatNow
Premium
join:2009-05-06
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to JakCrow

Re: Citizens Against Government Waste nothing more than corporate Astroturf

You need to take what they say seriously because they have the money and muscle to make it happen or not happen if that serves their purpose.
They talk freedom and liberty but the only freedom and liberty anybody sees are those with big bank accounts.



CableConvert
Premium
join:2003-12-05
Atlanta, GA

Send 'Em to Chattanooga

See how its done right...and as time has progressed...the story is more doing it right than wrong. As I recall, Utopia was one of the first so its no surprise they had trouble.



Ramada WR

@70.167.86.x
reply to karpodiem

Re: Corporate lawmaking is Fascism at its finest

FCC MAP: »www.fcc.gov/maps/broadband-availability
National Broadband Map: »broadbandmap.gov/

No pricing information is available, so you will have to call, chat, or e-mail to get the cost information. I think you can search down to the census block level in the National Broadband Map.

Sometimes a state will have its own website that provides additional information about service areas. Again there will be no pricing information, you have to do that work on your own.


BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to pandora

Re: It would be nice if more utility rights of way were open

Here in CT, we're relatively well wired, and about half the state has U-Verse, plus Greenwich has FIOS, and Groton and Stonington have Thames Valley. So maybe 60% of the state has an option other than the local cable incumbent. Maybe. And we're better off than a lot of states. I'd say at least half of the country is practically speaking a monopoly, where the telco can't provide a competitive connection.

OTOH, many of the towns surrounding Boston have Comcast, RCN, and FIOS, even though Boston proper is mostly a Comcast monopoly.



Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39
reply to Ramada WR

Re: Corporate lawmaking is Fascism at its finest

Which is borderline impossible given the layers of bundles discounts, grandfathering, time-limited promotions, etc.



Ramada WR

@70.167.86.x
reply to karpodiem

In order to provide the general public with a good analysis of what internet service is available, and at what cost, it may not be necessary to use a large amount of crowd sourced results from inputting addresses to ISPs websites. All that might be required is to get a large nationally representative sample of people to supply their present ISP's advertised data rates(up and down) and the amount they pay for that service. The Facebook, or another social media service, may be the best way to gather up this information, using an appeal to the social media service's participants.



Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39
reply to gaforces

Re: Look at the successes

That's really where it gets disgusting. If you actually AUDIT where taxpayer money goes, endless trillions goes to mindless killing. It's the end of the world if we spend some money on telecom networks, though....


rahvin112

join:2002-05-24
Sandy, UT
reply to BiggA

Re: It would be nice if more utility rights of way were open

Centurylink, Frontier, Windstream, and all the other little ILEC's have no interest in upgrading anything. There strategy is to extract maximum value out of the installed copper then go out business, though most won't admit it.

These companies make the majority of their money on the elderly right now, but give it 10-20 years and there will be all kinds of recriminations about why they didn't see the internet coming and upgrade while they had the revenue. Once most of the older people who still think you need POTS are gone these ILECs that didn't upgrade their copper while they can are going to be out of business.

Their CEO's shouldn't be making more than $50k a year riding these dead horses into the ground. There is no management in what they are doing.


rahvin112

join:2002-05-24
Sandy, UT
reply to CableConvert

Re: Send 'Em to Chattanooga

The situation with Utopia can be summed up thus:

The city didn't have experience doing telecom so they hired a consultant to tell them what to do and how. This consultant was more interested in billable hours than actual success and like most consultants had a propensity to tell the cities what they wanted to hear, in the interest of maintaining their consulting position. On top of this several cities saw Utopia as a way to reduce their own costs on various items, for example one of the cities saw it as a way to reduce motor pool expenses. Other cities wanted it to be a money making venture and use it to offset taxes. These are the kind of things that happen when you put politicians in control of something like this.

Needless to say it went like most of these situations do. After wasting a LOT of the money they got smart and finally hired a real manager with experience and took the politicians out of the decision making role. Unfortunately it was mostly too late. I rather hope they sell the result to Google but that won't make Xmission and others happy and honestly it's not fair to them. But unless they step up themselves I don't see how Utopia can continue to exist.



Ramada WR

@70.167.86.x
reply to Karl Bode

Re: Corporate lawmaking is Fascism at its finest

So you play hardball. When doing comparisons of ISPs or pay TV service I throw out the limited time promotions. I average DirecTV month 1 with month 24 and get a good estimate of the real average monthly cost. I do the same with Cox's internet service offers. Read the fine print and run the numbers. Sure it takes some time and an understanding of how to get a reasonable average using the increasing monthly costs, but it is possible. You have to have the same determination and stamina as the people who piece together shredded documents during an investigation. Similar to the old time reporters who walked for miles, knocking on doors, day and night, 7 days a week, for weeks on end, until they got as much of the entire real story as possible.


BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to rahvin112

Re: It would be nice if more utility rights of way were open

Exactly. They should be running as much fiber for GPON as Corning can make!