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Comments on news posted 2005-07-21 15:06:36: The question of whether or not broadband qualifies as a utility, luxury, or even right - pops up every month or so, and our readership is pretty evenly split on the subject. ..

page: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · next


Brownbay
Premium
join:2005-03-13
North York, ON

1 edit

1 recommendation

A Right!

My vote goes for it being a RIGHT/UTILITY... especially in this day and age when so many things depend on it.
--
You can make Time wait... Just don't count it.



drkkgt
Boo
Premium
join:2003-08-26
Whittier, CA

How about a religion

so govt will not tax it and stay the he!! out?



JTRockville
Data Ho
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-28
Rockville, MD

Utility

Networks are the means of communication in the modern world, particularly in a global society.



Dennis
Premium,Mod
join:2001-01-26
Algonquin, IL
kudos:5

Honestly I consider it a Utility.

The only reason I wouldn't would be so that the government doesn't start getting into regulating it even more.



l33t
Premium
join:2003-01-23
Indianapolis, IN

Luxury/Utility

Even though I am thankful for my highspeed connection. I still believe it is a luxury. Because not everyone can afford it. And some even are on dial-up. But this single luxury/utility can be useful in many ways. It opens up markets, business, commerce, and information. But no, this isn't a right at all. There are some business people who don't even have a computer in America.
--
My opinionGeorge Bush Bush > John Kerry > Ralph NaderVisit Kerry's website!»www.kerry-04.org


REL749

join:2005-05-19
Sterling Heights, MI

I agree with l33t.

There are still many people on dialup which can't afford broadband.

To me it's worth every penny! :P


Cod

join:2000-07-05
Kernersville, NC

Luxury

In this day, 2006, I see broadband being a luxury. I'd love to see it as a 'right', but the bottom line is that right now, broadband is still a luxury. I don't see half of the US population who don't have broadband either because of choice, financials, or availibity not being ab le to function in everyday life because they don't have broadband. Maybe in ten years when certain things become a necessity like online voting, strictly online banking, etc become the norm, then maybe it will become a right. But even then, most of that stuff can still be performed by dialup.

I know I will get flamed for my thoughts, and I am certainly pro-broadband FOR EVERYONE, but I just don't see it as anything more than a luxury right now for most Americans.



Brownbay
Premium
join:2005-03-13
North York, ON
reply to l33t

Re: Luxury/Utility

Well I think that by making it a Right and a Utility... It should help make (true) broadband cheaper and will jump-start an even bigger/faster deployment to reach all over America.

I don't know how it is in the States... but up here in Canada, broadband could sure use some Government intervention as some of the Cableco's and Telco's tend to cross the line too often on their service agreements (EULA) and in the level of customer service/general service or lack there of that they offer.
--
You can make Time wait... Just don't count it.



ylen131

join:2000-02-09
Canoga Park, CA
reply to Brownbay

Re: A Right!

luxury, person can survive with out it


utility, need and more

If broadband is a communication "luxury" than phone service is also a luxury. Communication is not a "need." I would say broadband is certainly as much of a "need" as phone service, television provision, radio and most uses of electricity (lighting, space cooling). That said, it is certainly a utility. As for those who argue "regulation ceases the spread," please read a bit on the deployment policies of Korea, China, Canada and Japan. When history is to be accounted for, regulation/limitation is necessary to promote penetration. China is particularly relevant to the United States as the geographic makeup of the country and the way the population is dispersed (rural areas vs urban areas, China does have a much longer population to the United States, but in the past ten years, a large portion of that population has become more concentrated in cities, imagine if LA, NYC, San Diego, Chicago, DC-Baltimore, Denver and Phoenix tripled their populations, hence the rural factors are still similar) is fairly related. Its true in a ground-level market, regulation kills growth, but when a market is sort of a bastardized head on top of another market's already built and consolidated body (telco industry), then regulation is needed to force the large companies to allow smaller companies to join the market and compete. History has a very important affect on the ability of the market to function.

Frankly, in my opinion, the sooner broadband gets deployed, the better, municipally funded or not. If a city wants broadband right now and its not there already, encourage them to build it and then sell the physical infrastructure to a third-party private or a young company that can network and grow to provoke competition with the already monstrous and lethargic telcos and cable companies.



AreSee

join:2000-09-20
Atlanta, GA

1 edit

connection yes / broadband no

I don't see how we can call broadband a utility if there are still areas in the country that can't get it.

Now I do believe that Internet access itself is getting to the point that it's a utility; and an increasingly important one at that.

I'm not touching the Right to Broadband argument.



r81984
Fair and Balanced
Premium
join:2001-11-14
Katy, TX
reply to l33t

Re: Luxury/Utility

It definately is a utility, I mean come on! In many countries in the world utilities are only in rich areas, just because some people cannot afford a computer to get on the internet or to pay for the internet does not mean its a luxury.



l33t
Premium
join:2003-01-23
Indianapolis, IN

said by r81984:

It definately is a utility, I mean come on! In many countries in the world utilities are only in rich areas, just because some people cannot afford a computer to get on the internet or to pay for the internet does not mean its a luxury.
That's why I have Luxury/Utility because some people don't need broadband as a utility. Like an example farmers.
--
My opinionGeorge Bush Bush > John Kerry > Ralph NaderVisit Kerry's website!»www.kerry-04.org


JRW2
R.I.P. Mom, Brian, Ziggy, Max and Zen.
Premium
join:2004-12-20
La La Land
kudos:5
Reviews:
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reply to ylen131

Re: A Right!

said by ylen131:

luxury, person can survive with out it
You can survive without a phone, but how many people have one, and that IS a utility!!

Ender_W
Does Microsoft Mean Small And Squishy?

join:2002-09-14
Saint Louis, MO
reply to Cod

Re: Luxury

Actually, I completely agree with you. Its still a luxury. Necessity and utilities are something that you cant live with out. Internet is not one of those yet. It may be in the future but even then its hard to imagine everyone having computers like everyone has electricity or water services.
--
There is enough youth. How bout a fountain of smart...



JRW2
R.I.P. Mom, Brian, Ziggy, Max and Zen.
Premium
join:2004-12-20
La La Land
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
reply to AreSee

Re: connection yes / broadband no

said by AreSee:

I don't see how we can call broadband a utility if there are still areas in the country that can't get it.

Now I do believe that Internet access itself is getting to the point that it's a utility; and an increasingly important one at that.

I'm not touching the Right to Broadband argument.
Until recently, I believe, there were STILL areas of the US without either hardwired phone or electricity. So your argument looses something...

extreme50
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Coloma, MI

Absolute necessity!

Factoring in my time and cost of driving around, I figure my broadband connection pays for itself.

And don't even suggest I could do that with dialup because dialup is just too phuqing slow.



npln
Us Army

join:2000-07-17
Antioch, CA

most people do not need it

I see it mostly like a luxury, the world was doing fine before it!!! I have it....barely ever use it!!!

Utility not really.......

A Right......you are kidding right?



MIABye
Premium
join:2001-10-28
united state
reply to ylen131

Re: A Right!

said by ylen131:

luxury, person can survive with out it
Ditto.


kapil
The Kapil

join:2000-04-26
Chicago, IL

What kinda' question is this?

Children in China should have the right to not be forced to work in sweatshops.

The fact that fatasses in America and elsewhere in the developed world can use their Broadband to order the products of those sweatshops like Nike and Gap is a luxury.

Running water should be a right and is basic enough of a need to be considered utility. Broadband so you can get your daily fix of pron faster is a luxury.
--
Stand Up For Free Speech! - »www.eff.org



N3OGH
Yo Soy Col. "Bat" Guano
Premium
join:2003-11-11
Philly burbs
kudos:2
reply to Ender_W

Re: Luxury

I second that, and agree with Cod. Broadband is a luxury, all be it, a very useful one.

I see someone above stated that broadband is a utility because a lot of people don't have a telephone, and a telephone is a utility.

I think that's specious reasoning. The telephone has become the defacto medium to summons emergency services, and has been for the past 50 years.

Not too many people are logging on to call the police when a burglar is trying to break into their house, or their house is on fire.


Conk2k9

join:2005-04-15
Riverside, CA
reply to npln

Re: most people do not need it

If you go to school and everything and practically live off it then it is a utility.

I vote for utility. It use to be a luxury but now everything practically requires the internet. Dialup is way to slow for anything now except email. We are in the information age so it is a utility in this day'n age.



ET TU
Its' Only Temp
Premium
join:2005-05-21
Belvidere, NJ

This is so stupid!

As said before todays way of living the big info age
Dr's using internet for surgery etc... video conf. at first a luxury ,But know look at all that is being done
But the best of it all is yet to come.Think of what is going to be in 5 years.What you don't have email,you can get it on our website,hello this is just the tip of the iceberg!!!!! internet broadband is a tool most of all
The companies have to stop gouging our pockets of the last dime some times money isn't the answer that is what is keeping America down in the tech Field putting $$$ first
kills the advancement to a crawl!!! Look at all the other countries passing us by Hey CEO's want to give your company a big profit boost cut your wage by 75% That would be a big boost to alot of company's income I have done it even some services for free
--
Yes I am a Doctor and no you still must make an appointment Mors ultima linea rerum est stercus accidit Quando podeces te regi eorum fecerunt?



JRW2
R.I.P. Mom, Brian, Ziggy, Max and Zen.
Premium
join:2004-12-20
La La Land
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
reply to npln

Re: most people do not need it

said by npln:

I see it mostly like a luxury, the world was doing fine before it!!! I have it....barely ever use it!!!

Utility not really.......

A Right......you are kidding right?
Many years ago...

People did just fine without PHONES....

People did just fine without ELECTRICTY....

People did just fine without MEDICINE...

Broadband opens up access to information to the masses, and that is a right, it should be treated like a utility, you might be able to argue that at some point, the AMOUNT of bandwidth could be considered a luxury, but it would IMHO be a weak argument...


ylen131

join:2000-02-09
Canoga Park, CA
reply to JRW2

Re: A Right!

said by JRW2:

said by ylen131:

luxury, person can survive with out it
You can survive without a phone, but how many people have one, and that IS a utility!!
phone can still be argued a luxury, with internet you can use 56k modem,so there is no way for now broadband can be argued is a right


SRFireside

join:2001-01-19
Houston, TX

You might be able to argue that phone is a luxury, but it's considered a utility by Government in that is has be available just about anywhere in the U.S.

I think the crux of the debate is how necessary is it to put broadband in the level of importance that the Government should deem it necessary to have it just about everywhere. Corporations depend on it so in that arena the vote is yes.



bokamba
Chengdu Rocks
Premium
join:2002-04-05
Falls Church, VA

A utility, not a right

I think broadband is best viewed as a utility. It's something that, if it's available, can significantly improve quality of life. It's homogenous enough that as long as people get fast, reliable service for the right price, it doesn't matter who's providing it. I don't think it's morally wrong not to have broadband, which is what calling it a "right" would imply.



N3OGH
Yo Soy Col. "Bat" Guano
Premium
join:2003-11-11
Philly burbs
kudos:2
reply to broadbanderexpanderc

Re: utility, need and more

Not to go off topic, but what is it with the proliferation of unregistered posts lately.

I noticed the unregistered tag no longer carries the poster's ISP info, and such.

Hey, BBR, it's time to do something about these unregistered posts.....



Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA

BroadBand is a luxury moving towards utility

Back when phone service and indoor plumbing were new, they were luxuries. The very rich had them and the poorer folks made due without. As time went on, more and more people became accustomed to life with these services. At some point, they shifted from being a luxury to being a utility. (Meaning that an average person was able to expect access to such a service at a reasonable rate.)

Broadband is still a luxury, IMO, but it is quickly moving to the utility stage. Many services are beginning to assume that you have high-speed Internet access. This, combined with the growing broadband-enabled population percentage, means that a person without broadband is going to be significantly "left behind" from society at large. I don't think we're quite at that point yet, but in a few years we just may be.

Incidentally, I'd qualify a "right" as something so essential to life that a person cannot be denied access to it and, in some cases, can't be charged for it. (Beyond what you pay in taxes if the government runs the service.)

Indoor plumbing has progressed far enough that it's a right. While you still might have some very rural areas without indoor plumbing, most do and it's virtually assumed to be present. Try selling a home in 99% of the country if said home doesn't have any indoor plumbing. ("A nice view of the city from your spacious outhouse." ) Broadband definitely hasn't progressed to the "right" stage yet.
--
-Jason Levine
http://www.jasons-toolbox.com/
http://www.PCQandA.com/
http://www.urateit.com/



G_Poobah

join:2004-01-17
Schenectady, NY
reply to Brownbay

Re: A Right!

It's not a right, it's a luxury..

However, having said that, does it make sense to let the government force companies to build (i.e. The TVA style). I'd say yes.

The government subsidised UNIVERSAL phone service. Can you say that the internet is different? not really. Both were considered 'luxuries' when they started, but today you can't survive without a phone (except for some very rare obscure area's). In subsidizing phone service everywhere, the early adopters were forced to pay more to make up for the unprofitable customers. Do we want to do that again for broadband?

The problem is simply wires. It costs a LOT of money to run wires everywhere. Running fibre to obscure towns, obscure roads in those towns, and widely distributed houses on those roads would be a very very expensive proposition. But is it fair to them that they don't have it? I mean, the government gave the cable and phone companies HUGE subsidies to build out in the populated areas (i.e. right of way, etc). Doesn't that free subsidies give the companies a legal obligation to support EVERYONE then? I would argue yes, since the telco's and cableco's have gotten subsidized by the government, they have an obligation to run wire everywhere.

Of course, this means the shareholders make less money. But, wait, the shareholders made more money due to subsidation, so don't loose any sleep or cry any tears over that loss. It's payback time..

now, if Verizon was SMART, it wouldn't be running fibre everywhere. It's already been proven that about 400 low earth (i.e. 200 miles up, not 25,000 miles up) satellites could provide continuous high speed coverage to the entire country. For 100 billion dollars, a company could build the network, and provide 100mb full duplex service everywhere. We have the technology, we have the capabilities, we don't have the vision..
--
Grand Poobah