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Comments on news posted 2007-03-23 11:11:53: While phone company lobbyists couldn't sell new "franchise reform" laws on the federal level via Ted Stevens, they've had great success convincing the FCC, state legislators (and the press and public) that stripping towns and cities of their regulato.. ..

page: 1 · 2 · 3 · next


jjoshua
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Scotch Plains, NJ
kudos:3

1 recommendation

Cherrypicking plus USF?

So the phone co wants to cherry pick and then they will expect the USF to pay them to build out the less desirable areas?

Did I get that right?



en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA

Wasn't it supposed to be representation by population... not representation by taxation? Of course that's in theory... not practice.


openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
united state
kudos:2

1 edit

1 recommendation

Sounds Good to Me

Sounds good to me. A commercial company shouldn't be forced to provide a luxury optional service to everyone, nor should they be required to fulfill such extortion tactics as building new community centers, planting trees, or any other non-pertinent local interest items. This is not a socialist state...yet. Allow the market to drive service deployments and costs.



John T

@northgrum.com
reply to jjoshua

Re: Cherrypicking plus USF?

said by jjoshua:

So the phone co wants to cherry pick and then they will expect the USF to pay them to build out the less desirable areas?

Did I get that right?
No, or not exactly. The phone companies expect the USF to pay them to build out phone service in less desirable areas. All of this has to do with the difference between being the monopoly incumbent and being the new competitor.

Phone service: Phone companies, as the ILECs, are heavily regulated. Cable phone service via VoIP is very lightly regulated (per the FCC), and allowed to cherry-pick.

TV service: Cable companies, as the incumbent franchised monopolies, are regulated, though somewhat lighter than phone companies since cable TV is seen as more of a luxury than phones. Phone companies, seeing their landline business slipping away to cable companies, want light regulation and the ability to cherry-pick.

Of course, it's all more complicated than that since the phone service and TV service (and Internet service) goes over the same physical infrastructure in many of these cases, particularly once the telcos upgrade an area.

I also never quite understand the editorial position on the USF. It appears to be for some kind of nebulous "reform" without specifying it. Somehow the current system is bad, but abandoning efforts to subsidize rural service would also be bad, and expanding the USF to affect new services is also bad. I'd be very interested in concrete suggestions as to the proper reform. I think that the FCC suggestions for competitive bidding for the local phone service USF-subsidized service are interesting, and possibly make more sense than the current system, where subsidies to at least some locales seem to be too high. (See the free long distance and free conference call businesses that rely for their profits on the regulated termination rates being too high.)


DaveDude
No Fear

join:1999-09-01
New Jersey
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·ViaTalk

people got want they wanted

All people did here was whin, no competition. But instead of lobbying for a level playing field. They wanted on lop sided version against them. Why doesnt the cable co, use USF for expansion as well ? People were easily fooled into believing all the mistruths. Telco will always be about the same costs as cable. There is no way around it, the costs of installation etc. I want local control back, in fact i want the same laws appling to telcos that are applied to cable. One being the answer the phone in 3 rings or less. Hello Verizon ?
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FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 edit
reply to openbox9

Re: Sounds Good to Me

said by openbox9:

Sounds good to me. A commercial company shouldn't be forced to provide a luxury optional service to everyone, nor should they be required to fulfill such extortion tactics as building new community centers, planting trees, or any other non-pertinent local interest items. This is not a socialist state...yet. Allow the market to drive service deployments and costs.
But the majority of supporters claiming wired TV (controlled by local pols) is a utility, and that everyone MUST have, and that must be price controlled are also supporters of a socialist state. They are against a government that provides a national defense, but they are for a government that decides what we can smoke and what we can eat and how we must educate our children and how we must provide sex education, etc. Socialism, nanny government, fascism - all part of the liberals great design for gracious living.
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russotto

join:2000-10-05
West Orange, NJ

Forget cable

Over the Air is still free. And it's not like you get much with cable besides a bunch more channels with mostly garbage.



Octopussy2
Premium
join:2003-03-30
Batavia, IL

1 recommendation

reply to openbox9

Re: Sounds Good to Me

Companies wanting to compete SHOULD play on a level playing field. We have the Level Playing Field Statute in IL. I am all for competition, but not when one certain Telco wants preferential treatment to deploy - and only will serve the customers they deem worthy of their video service. Competition for some, but not all?

I also don't believe the munis need to be stripped of any local control. The system isn't broken here, and Verizon is deploying fiber and providing video after entering into local franchise agreements. Does anyone really want AT&T to have the power of eminent domain in their community? They can place a huge Lightspeed box in your yard if they deem it necessary, and there won't be a thing anyone can do about it at the local level if this horrendous legislation is passed in IL.



justbits
More fiber than ATT can handle
Premium
join:2003-01-08
Chicago, IL
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..

Price competition? More likely value competition

»www.govtech.net/digitalcommuniti···id=99464

I just want to remind everyone about some past things said by AT&T.

When AT&T executives briefed analysts about the project in November 2004, they emphasized how Lightspeed would be built to "high-value" customers -- households that spend $160 to $200 a month for telephone, Internet and entertainment services.
Do you fall in that category? Maybe we need to take a poll here.

There likely will be little price competition between AT+T and cable TV. There likely will be a value competition between them. And in our materialistic society with everybody wanting the latest and greatest stuff, the price will not come down because the value will always be perceived as going up. What? AT+T has a new feature? What Cable now has the same feature? Ding! They both bump up their prices because the value of the product is now higher.

The only time I expect to see some price competition is in the initial offering of the product to customers. Hook them with a low price and feed them the drugsproduct that they are addicted to. Once they're addicted, they'll probably get used to paying those prices and never look back because the product is so much better now.

soothsayer15

join:2002-03-01
Irving, TX

2 recommendations

You guys and the politicians don't know how it works. Everyone is quick to blame the Cable, Satellite, and Telcos for raising rates.

Rate increases are really caused by content providers, especially Disney and Viacom. Because Disney has ESPN, they can charge a premium and force companies to carry their "family of networks". All competition really does is slow down the price increases.



jslik
That just happened
Premium
join:2006-03-17
reply to FFH

Re: Sounds Good to Me

No, some of us believe in long-time conservative ideas like federalism - leaving national defense to the national government and leaving local right-of-way decisions to the local government.

"...Government closest to the people is more responsive and accountable."

-George W. Bush


Blackened

join:2003-09-29
Calgary, AB
reply to jjoshua

Re: Cherrypicking plus USF?

said by jjoshua:

So the phone co wants to cherry pick and then they will expect the USF to pay them to build out the less desirable areas?

Did I get that right?
This is why municipal broadband, phone service, and TV is becoming ever more desirable.


morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
reply to soothsayer15

Re: Price competition? More likely value competition

please enlighten us, then.

it is the cable companies choice to NOT OFFER a la carte. that would get around that disney/viacom garbage, right oh wise one?



GetItRightDude

@bellsouth.net
reply to FFH

Re: Sounds Good to Me

Fascism isn't a liberal idea... Its a convervative, right wing ideology. Nice try though.


Ahrenl

join:2004-10-26
North Andover, MA
reply to openbox9

I have issue with your use of the word "forced".

These companies aren't being forced to do anything. They're being offered the chance to provide service and build highly profitable assets on public ROW's in exchange for building out their network to communities that may not have a desirable adoption rate.

Much like if you want to build a house in said community you must abide by the permitting structure, electrical, waste disposal, and fire codes.

Frankly they'd still be better off if they built their own networks and allowed the private entities to compete to provide service on it, instead of inviting a previously abusive monopoly into their back yards.

Get some nice MBIA wrapped revenue bonds, and sell them into the hugely liquid Muni market with a 3.00% yield.



marigolds
Gainfully employed, finally
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-13
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:2
reply to openbox9

said by openbox9:

Extortion tactics as building new community centers, planting trees, or any other non-pertinent local interest items.
Care to provide proof for that? AT&T was unable to provide proof when Congress asked them to and retracted their statements.

The state level franchises are about more than "optional services". Basic cable is one of the two primary routes for the emergency alert services. Both the Iowa and Missouri bills expressly forbid requirements to carry emergency alerts. Why? Because phone companies do not have emergency alert interconnects in place already and they are expensive to build.

Besides that, basic cable and institutional cable is used for distance education by many colleges and community colleges. The state level bills are scrapping institutional cable completely and severely restricting educational basic cable (especially facilities support, which is completely eliminated in almost every case).

The last factor of basic cable beyond a "luxury" is remote viewing of government meetings. Try telling the senior and disabled community that they should just show up to meetings if they are that interested. These state franchises are also restriction funding and channel access for government channels. The Missouri bill authorizes cable companies to remove these channels from basic cable completely.
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openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
united state
kudos:2
reply to jslik

I won't dispute the need for local government to take care of the people,but I will argue the ability of local government to extort corporate entities beyond standard corporate taxation. Why aren't McDonalds' franchisees required to pay local governments in a fashion similar to CATV and phone providers?



marigolds
Gainfully employed, finally
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-13
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:2
reply to russotto

Re: Forget cable

Unlike the east coast, most of the west and midwest do not get more than three over the air signals. Many incorporated areas are lucky to even get two (including some metros).



marigolds
Gainfully employed, finally
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-13
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:2
reply to morbo

Re: Price competition? More likely value competition

said by morbo:

it is the cable companies choice to NOT OFFER a la carte.
Well, that, and the disney/viacom or abc/espn retransmission consent contracts that specify that the channels cannot be offered a la carte.


marigolds
Gainfully employed, finally
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-13
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:2
reply to openbox9

Re: Sounds Good to Me

said by openbox9:

Why aren't McDonalds' franchisees required to pay local governments in a fashion similar to CATV and phone providers?
Because the McDonald's franchises are built on private property, unlike the CATV and phone providers.
That would also be why satellite television is not required to pay local governments.


morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
reply to marigolds

Re: Price competition? More likely value competition


fine with me. i'll just get the channels that DO offer it.


openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
united state
kudos:2
reply to Octopussy2

Re: Sounds Good to Me

I agree, there should be no preferential treatment in any direction. Government should allow (not mandate) commercial entities to serve customers and the commercial entities should not expect special treatment or protection from government. I don't necessarily have issue with franchise agreements in general, however I do see a problem when the franchise agreement goes above and beyond allowing a commercial businesses the ability to operate and provide service. I do not believe businesses should be required to fund local interest items. I do not believe businesses should be mandated to provide service to every citizen for luxury items. As for placing equipment in the ROW, that's progress. How should businesses provide services to citizens if they aren't allowed to place equipment?



jslik
That just happened
Premium
join:2006-03-17

1 recommendation

reply to openbox9

said by openbox9:

I won't dispute the need for local government to take care of the people,but I will argue the ability of local government to extort corporate entities beyond standard corporate taxation. Why aren't McDonalds' franchisees required to pay local governments in a fashion similar to CATV and phone providers?
Requiring build-out, access channels, or I-Nets isn't extortion. All those requirements are specifically allowed under federal law, which the telcos/cable folks have signed off on several times in the past. The telcos lack of foresight regarding the marketplace shouldn't be blamed on local government.

McDonald's isn't locating their facilities on public land, so they don't have to pay rent to the city, which the franchise fee truly is.

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
united state
kudos:2
reply to Ahrenl

I'll grant you that 'forced' might not have been the best word choice. I'm all for following local codes and requirements. Every person and business should do so. I don't think that businesses should be required to serve every residence just for the opportunity to "open up shop" in a community. Should a cellular phone company be required to stand up a new transceiver closer to my house if my half of the city isn't covered just so the cellular provider has the opportunity to maintain their other transceivers?

I like the concept of a neutral infrastructure with a reselling capability. I don't think it will ever happen on a large scale though



karlmarx

join:2006-09-18
Chicago, IL

1 recommendation

reply to FFH

Socialism? Um, no, federalism. The point is, you aren't a real conservative, you are a capitalist pig. To you, the only good law, is a law that benefits the corporation. To the rest of us, we prefer the government to act in the best interest of the people. You know, living, breathing things that make us human.
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karlmarx

join:2006-09-18
Chicago, IL
reply to openbox9

Forced is exactly the word you should use. Remember, the cable/telco's are using PUBLIC LAND, to run their wires. It's in the publics BEST INTEREST to force them to provide universal service.

Look at it this way. If we left it to the megacorps, most farms and rural houses wouldn't even have electricity. The cost to run poles and wires to a farmhouse FAR outweigh any return they provide, but without electricity, we wouldn't have many farmers now, would we. It's the same with telephones, cable tv, and cell phone service. If they want the RIGHT (notice, it's a RIGHT, and a PRIVILEGE) to provide service, then we, the people, set the conditions they must meet before we allow them to do so. It's called democracy, where the greater public good out weights the rights of the megacorps.
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openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
united state
kudos:2
reply to jslik

I guess I've miscommunicated my point. I don't have a problem with businesses franchising (leasing) the ability to provide service to a community. My intention was not to argue paying for ROW use. My point is that is where the business' obligation to the community should end. Businesses lease access to the ROW and then provide services as they deem appropriate.


openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
united state
kudos:2
reply to karlmarx

Not that it's relative, but you're right, I'm not a hardcore conservative...I never claimed to be And no, there are plenty of good laws that benefit more than just the "megacorps". I do believe government should act in the best interest of all of its citizens...both corporate and otherwise. There is a comfortable middle ground, it just needs to be found.


openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
united state
kudos:2
reply to marigolds

said by marigolds:

Care to provide proof for that? AT&T was unable to provide proof when Congress asked them to and retracted their statements.
Unfortunately, I don't have the time to research right now. I've sadly based my comments on what I've read on this forum...I know that's dangerous.
said by marigolds:

The state level franchises are about more than "optional services". Basic cable is one of the two primary routes for the emergency alert services.
Ok, then my community should pay for me to have CATV? I'm not sure I'm following your logic of "optional services". To me, optional is that I choose to pay for CATV and it's not "necessity" like water, electrical, PSTN service, etc. (some of which I disagree with btw).

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
united state
kudos:2
reply to karlmarx

How is it in the public's best interest to force universal service? How is in your best interest, or mine for that matter, to pay higher fees because a provider is mandated to serve everyone?

said by karlmarx:

If they want the RIGHT (notice, it's a RIGHT, and a PRIVILEGE) to provide service, then we, the people, set the conditions they must meet before we allow them to do so.
I'll tag along with this comment. If consumers want the RIGHT (it is most definitely a privilege) to purchase my service, then businesses set the conditions to be met before providing service. Mainly, pay them what it costs to enable a sufficient ROI for all customers.