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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


GetItRightDude

@bellsouth.net
reply to FFH5

Re: Sounds Good to Me

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

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
reply to Octopussy2
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
Germany
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 FFH5
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
Germany
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
Germany
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
Germany
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
Germany
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.


DaveDude
No Fear

join:1999-09-01
New Jersey
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Reviews:
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1 recommendation

reply to GetItRightDude
said by GetItRightDude :

Fascism isn't a liberal idea... Its a convervative, right wing ideology. Nice try though.
Then why do some many liberals do it ? ie
Speech codes at colleges, Political correctness ? loss of private property laws ? Sorry wrong Facism is a liberal socialist ideology.


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

Ok, then my community should pay for me to have CATV?
I am not certain for Florida, but for Oregon and Iowa, the city does pay indirectly for limited basic cable service for those who cannot afford it. Limited basic is just emergency alerts plus access channels (and sometimes broadcast affiliates, it varies by city). Low income residents get limited basic for free, seniors get it for a reduced cost. The city makes this up to the cable company through reduced franchise fees (the cable company gets to deducted the discounted or free service from their gross revenue used to calculate the franchise fee).

This actually brings up another component to this. All new building construction in a franchised city is required to give access to dwellings for cable television service. A homeowner cannot say "sorry, I'm not going to subscribe to cable, so I don't want you to run wires to my residence". They must give every television franchiser access to building to run service even if they are not subscribing.
The reasoning behind this is to ensure that every new resident (especially renters) of the city can have access to the essential community components of basic cable, the emergency alerts and the access channels. In many cities, rental permits carry a condition of access to cable television or reasonable substitute (like an aerial capable of picking up a minimum number of emergency alert carrying stations) for this reason (even if the rental unit is not in a mandatory buildout area).
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soothsayer15

join:2002-03-01
Irving, TX
reply to morbo

Re: Price competition? More likely value competition

said by morbo:

fine with me. i'll just get the channels that DO offer it.
You're missing the point, which is no company offers a la carte. You're in Lindale, so you probably have Suddenlink. Since Suddenlink carries ESPN, Disney will require they carry ESPN2, ESPN News, probably ESPN-U, and the Ocho (j/k). Viacom carries MTV and requires that VH1, VH1 Classics, BET, BET Jazz (maybe),Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Spike, and TV Land be carried as well.

Any company that carries those networks will not be allowed to give a choice of which ones you want to keep.

The cable companies didn't carry the NFL Network for a while because the NFL wanted an arm and a leg for it. Football is king. The cable companies argument was that the amount they were asking would force them to pass the price on to customers, even if they don't watch football. Cable won't have a choice because the NFL Network carries Thursday and Saturday games now. Cable has to offer it, or lose football fans (the all important 18-49 year old males advertisers love) to Verizon and the Satellite companies.

BTW, DirecTV's basic service just increased from $44.99 to $49.99.

Ahrenl

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

Re: Sounds Good to Me

said by DaveDude:

said by GetItRightDude :

Fascism isn't a liberal idea... Its a convervative, right wing ideology. Nice try though.
Then why do some many liberals do it ? ie
Speech codes at colleges, Political correctness ? loss of private property laws ? Sorry wrong Facism is a liberal socialist ideology.
Laugh, actually Fascism and Socialism are Antonym's.. WTG,F. I bet you feel real smart..

»thesaurus.reference.com/search?r···=Fascism

Ahrenl

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

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
If they want to build the towers on Public property, they should have the expectation that one of their covenants for use of the space is to serve the entire community that owns said space. If you're not providing service to me, then you're misappropriating my share of the public space granted to me as a residence of the township.

Another reason for the need of public access is the physical impracticality of every citizen attending ANY local government function. There are 30,000 people in my town, should we drive down to Gilette stadium for every selectman's meeting/town meeting/school committee meeting/finance board meeting/zoning board meeting/conservation board meeting/DPW meeting etc.?


jslik
That just happened
Premium
join:2006-03-17
reply to openbox9
said by openbox9:

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.
I understand, and that's certainly a point worth arguing. My position is that providing those community communication enhancements above ROW lease/fees benefits everybody, including the provider.


DaveDude
No Fear

join:1999-09-01
New Jersey
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Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Ahrenl
said by Ahrenl:

said by DaveDude:

said by GetItRightDude :

Fascism isn't a liberal idea... Its a convervative, right wing ideology. Nice try though.
Then why do some many liberals do it ? ie
Speech codes at colleges, Political correctness ? loss of private property laws ? Sorry wrong Facism is a liberal socialist ideology.
Laugh, actually Fascism and Socialism are Antonym's.. WTG,F. I bet you feel real smart..

»thesaurus.reference.com/search?r···=Fascism
Because you are incapable of reading 3 or 4 sentences, if you re-read what i wrote. Why do liberals do it so much, if its not in there ideology ? Liberals today seem to be using it over and over. So without a academic answer. Why are liberals being facist ? Its supposed to not be liberal ?
--
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wstwrdho

join:2007-03-15
Riverton, UT

The history of the cable world.........................

First, the cable companies requested utility status in 1974 so they could gain access to easements and have access to subsidies just like the telcos. As a mater of fact the Bells were positioned to enter the cable tv business if this happened. This was rejected and the cable co's went to the cities with what became the current franchise process so they could access public property (easements) to place cable. Cable was regulated to a business and not a utility and the bells moved on. TV was not considered a lifeline service.

Second, the cable companies then built into areas with no competition that had a 50% to 70% penetration potential (TCI had an overall penetration of 56%). 30% was needed for payback. They were forced to build in lower density areas through the franchise agreements but were granted the right to recover the installation costs through an added hardship fee charged to the customer.

Third, now the market has an incumbent provider in the cable company so the prospect of a competitor gaining the %30 penetration needed for payback is much harder to justify. The franchises granted back in the beginning doesn't reflect market reality that exists today. That means its time to change them and that is what all this maneuvering is all about.

Fourth, why would an potential competitor consider service in boogerville usa when he could do a solo franchise for industrialgrowthville usa. Industrialgrowthville isn't going to protect or provide services to any city outside their own and with good reason. A state franchise could be used to insure that boogerville is covered at some point down the road if handled right.

Food for thought


FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 recommendation

reply to Ahrenl

Re: Sounds Good to Me

said by Ahrenl:

Laugh, actually Fascism and Socialism are Antonym's.. WTG,F. I bet you feel real smart..

»thesaurus.reference.com/search?r···=Fascism
Actually they are not. The most well known fascist society was NAZI Germany.

National Socialist German Workers' Party
»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_Party

More:
»www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-4950532.html
»rexcurry.net/fascism=socialism.html
»ask.yahoo.com/20050920.html
fascism contains elements of both "left and right ideology"
»www.promethea.org/Misc_Compositi···ism.html
The difference between fascism and socialism is a fine point in practice. In intent they may differ, but in practice both tend toward consolidation of political power. Socialism typically favors central ownership to a greater degree (in the extreme of communism, all appreciable property is centralized) while fascism emphasizes state control over exchanges more than state control over property itself. With different emphasis, both are based on forced intervention with the individual human acts of creation and voluntary exchange, making creation and exchange involuntary.

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karlmarx

join:2006-09-18
Chicago, IL
reply to soothsayer15

Re: Price competition? More likely value competition

You stated the point perfectly. The problem is that the megacorps are illegally bundling their channels. Congress need s to pass a law forbidding that.

I would get cable, if I could buy the channels I wanted. I.e. The networks, then Sci-fi, Discovery, TLC. But I'm not willing to pay more that 20.00 a month for it. Instead, I get all my shows OTA (I'm close to a city, so I get great reception). For my other shows, hell, I get torrents.

To the cable company, I will never be more than a $20.00 a month person, so it's not profitable to serve me. Just like sprint found out, I was tired of paying 60.00 a month, so now I use prepaid cell phones, and my bill is about 15.00 a month. Just like Verizon, I stopped paying 50.00 a month, and don't even use a land line anymore. I'm PROUD to say, that my total entertainment/communincation budget is now just 45.00 a month (just over $500.00 a YEAR).

I see every movie I want (torrents), watch every tv show I want (torrents), get 10/10 internet access (30.00 a month), and still get a good 150 minutes a month on my cell phone. Granted, I have a work cell phone for most of my calls.

To the megacorps, I'm just evil. In Comcast's mind, I should be paying $250.00 a month for their overpriced, crappy service. Hell, $3000.00 a year vs. the $500.00 a year I spend? I don't know about you, but I can use that $2500.00 a year for better things than giving to the megacorps.
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RJ44

join:2001-10-19
Nashville, TN

Cherry picking vs nada

Does anyone actually believe that requiring Telcos to do a community-wide buildout will result in them offering IPTV to *more* subscribers than if they could pick and choose?

IMO they would just walk away and nobody gets IPTV in that community. At least with statewide franchises they will offer it in profitable areas, and as time goes by and costs go down, the definition of a profitable area will change to include more and more places.


Varlik
Without Honor You Will Never Be Free
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Anderson, SC
reply to Katzendreck

Re: Cherrypicking plus USF?

said by Katzendreck:

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.
True but if it ever really takes off large scale across the nation the telco's and Cable co's will move at breakneck speeds to kill it at the federal level.
--
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marigolds
Gainfully employed, finally
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-13
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:2
reply to wstwrdho

Re: The history of the cable world.........................

said by wstwrdho:

A state franchise could be used to insure that boogerville is covered at some point down the road if handled right.
That is one of the major problems. Not the state level franchise concept itself, but how the state level franchises are being handled.
Look at the Iowa law: mandatory buildout only for unserved incorporated areas with no other provider with 250 households per 4000 fiber feet within 4000 feet of existing facilities, and the rules only apply to providers with 500,000 or more access lines (there are 1.2 million households in the state) and 50%+ penetration in the incorporated area.
And the state board has no enforcement powers. The law explicitly states that the buildout clause can only be enforced by the courts.
(This is better than Missouri which has no mandatory buildout at all and forbids any state or municipal entity from creating a mandatory buildout requirement of any level.)
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marigolds
Gainfully employed, finally
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join:2002-05-13
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:2
reply to RJ44

Re: Cherry picking vs nada

said by RJ44:

At least with statewide franchises they will offer it in profitable areas, and as time goes by and costs go down, the definition of a profitable area will change to include more and more places.
Costs do not go down over time in television retransmission land. With the advant of broadcast retransmission consent, the marginal costs should escalate dramatically over the next six years. There will be fewer profitable areas rather than more. We would need to get rid of syndex if we want the costs of television retransmission to go down.
If you look at the cable and television factbooks over time, coverage has gone up considerably since mandatory buildout ordinances started happening.
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ross7

join:2000-08-16
reply to openbox9

Re: Sounds Good to Me

said by openbox9:

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.
There is no middle ground with the corporate state.

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
It's not a corporate state. Where did you pull that from?

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

1 edit
reply to Ahrenl
said by Ahrenl:

There are 30,000 people in my town, should we drive down to Gilette stadium for every selectman's meeting/town meeting/school committee meeting/finance board meeting/zoning board meeting/conservation board meeting/DPW meeting etc.?
Until you show me that all 30K people are actually interested in attending such meetings, your point is null, IMO.


Octopussy2
Premium
join:2003-03-30
Batavia, IL
reply to openbox9
In this case (IL) no one is preventing AT&T from deploying any services. They simply do not want to play on a level playing field with competitors. They want preferential treatment and the ability to redline customers they don't deem worthy of their "competitive" service.

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
reply to marigolds
said by marigolds:

the city does pay indirectly for limited basic cable service for those who cannot afford it.
Do they buy the TV that goes along with it? If someone is really that poor, I would think that CATV access is the least of their worries. Where does the socialistic mindset end?
said by marigolds:

All new building construction in a franchised city is required to give access to dwellings for cable television service.
I assume your talking about apartment/office complexes and not necessarily private residences?


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

I assume your talking about apartment/office complexes and not necessarily private residences?
Applies to private residences too, but the private residences do not have to allow anything beyond the walls of the building and the cable company has to make reasonable modifications to their building plans.
Basically, the property has to be wired and the cable company can place a pedastal on the property for service.
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