Replacing dated infrastructure (t-1's) has to be paid for.
It is paid for. It's factored into the monthly bill. If they aren't making enough money to pay for infrastructure upgrades then they should raise prices. I'm sure there are quite a few upset customers on this forum getting 0.23mbps at night who would be willing to pay a higher bill for a few years if it meant getting the service they are paying for, or god forbid, maybe even a little bit better in the form of better speed options.
What is effective is not overselling your network. Then peak time saturation isn't an issue.
You know when peak saturation also isn't an issue? When you upgrade your network to anticipate or keep up with demand. Cable has been doing it for years with DOCSIS and backhaul upgrades, as have DSL hardware vendors with ADSL2, ADSL2+, VDSL, VDSL2, and the new vectoring technology. Even wireless carriers are making a commendable attempt to keep up.
The only people who haven't are landline telcos with their backhaul, and that's the only excuse they have. And what a laughable excuse it is. Even without serving DSL, there shouldn't be any remote terminals of significant size out there that aren't fed by fiber now. That should have been done *before* DSL necessitated it. Sprint ran fiber to my RT like a decade ago just deal with phone traffic. They didn't do it for DSL (because they never did DSL out here).
Telco customers are paying the price for being customers of truly pathetic companies that are still in business because of luck gaming the system with anti-competitive laws. That they didn't run fiber to every RT in their territory a decade ago means the problem of backhaul to DSLAMs today is just a symptom of a company with the ethics of a bum that should have been naturally selected out of existence by now.
I was lucky in a twisted way, that Sprint did run fiber to my RT so long ago, and for the right reason: to keep up with and anticipate demand. Embarq didn't see things that way and it's pretty clear that CenturyLink doesn't either. Is it any surprise that Embarq was a debt riddled mess that was/is hated by its customers while CTL only got as big as it has by buying up failures like Embarq?
Verizon spent a ridiculous amount of money on its network and yet it didn't go bankrupt. It provides vastly superior wireline service that is almost universally loved by its customers, so says one customer survey after another, while teclos are amongst the most hated.
Verizon has no caps because it did what a well managed company does. It understood its business and its market and it moved to anticipate growth. The result is a whole lot of people paying premium prices for service they are thrilled with.
CTL is not a poor company. $7 billion in revenue in 2010, $2.1 billion in operating income, $900 million in net income. Yet we're supposed to believe that they don't have the funds to upgrade their infrastructure? CTL's operating income in 2010 was almost half of what Time Warner's was, yet TW's revenue was almost four times as much. If anything, TW has a better excuse than CTL, yet TW is out there deploying DOCSIS 3. Heck, TW has done more to expand service into unserved areas in my very rural county than CTL has.
Every couple of weeks I see new aerial cable where there wasn't any before, somewhere in this county. The last time CTL explained its expansion plans for the country to the board of commissioners, they were talking under 100 new customers for the entire year.
No reason I've ever seen for caps has held water for wireline businesses. None. And nobody as ever explained why GreenLight can offer 100/100mbps service with no caps, or why Verizon can offer 20/20mbps or whatever their fastest tier is, while CenturyLink can't feed its customers an average of 3mbps without capping.
It goes right back to that finite platitude. Yes, capacity is finite. But usage is not infinite. The answer on a wire is never, ever a cap. It's more investment.
The cable companies are doing it, the telcos are not. The capable companies are raking in four times the revenue and are gaining customers by the hundreds of thousands. The telcos are making less and less money each year and losing customers by the hundreds of thousands.
It's all in the numbers.
This is the REAL problem with telcos.
There is no real problem with telcos, just problems. And this is one of many.
Obviously, they are looking to get fees. They also are looking to put a little pressure on households to put the skids on Little Johnny's torrents
I reject that, as I'm sure do most people. My two nephews (both under 11) who I assure you have no idea what bittorrent is, have been using four times as much bandwidth as I have in the past couple of days. And I am using bittorrent.
Here's my usage for Saturday: 1.1 GiB
Here's theirs: 4.3 GiB
That's two TV shows for me, and 100% legal streaming and usage for them.
Moreover, this site (dslreports) has had story after story on the front page showing that Netflix consumes more bandwidth than torrents do by a pretty fair margin.
If anything, I think it's far more likely that the telcos want to put a dent in that.
among other things...to help delay the need for upgrades.
If they are trying to delay upgrades then they are already a failure. The solution then is to restructure management so that mistakes like this -- falling behind in a core sector of their business -- doesn't happen again. Then they need to go about not just catching up, but getting ahead of the curve. That's just common sense. Demand isn't going to level out or drop, it's only going to increase. The longer they delay the upgrades the *more* it will cost to upgrade and the quicker it'll have to be done.
They won't have any choice. Demand will continue to increase no matter what they do (low-def may be the rule on Hulu, YouTube, and Netflix today, but eventually it'll be more HD than SD and then nothing but HD) and a larger share of the customer base will creep closer and closer to that cap. They can't increase the cap to compensate because the cap is already trying to compensate for a lack of capacity. You can't play that con game twice. It doesn't work that way. They'll either have to let an unacceptable number of people hit the cap while changing nothing, causing those people to leave for a competitor, or finally upgrade their network.
The fact that what I just wrote above is a realization that hasn't compelled the board of CTL to act by now -- and act quickly -- shows what a massive failure that company is.
No business wants to spend money without assurances they're going to have an ROI.
I don't buy that. Nor do I buy that the ROI isn't acceptable for these and other network upgrades. If Duke Power or whoever ran the lines out to where I live had that kind of "how little can I get away with and still have a functional business" attitude, I wouldn't have power. Most of America wouldn't.
What Time Warner and CTL ought to be saying is that they aren't interested in a ROI longer than a couple of years, because, well, just because.
And at some point even that clearly isn't the issue. I can argue for this on my behalf and from the customer's perspective all day long, but this is well into a problem that CTL is making for itself. I'm talking about their own business interests here. Quarter after quarter we see AT&T losing xxx,xxx customers, and big cable gaining them. There's no way these telcos can say that the ROI on core network upgrades aren't worth it when the lack of those upgrades are costing them hundreds of thousands of customers per quarter. Doing nothing is costing them tens of millions per year in lost customers. Do they think _only_ losing $96 million per year -- every year -- on lost customers instead of losing $xx million per year to infrastructure investment is a sound business model?
Which way can we lose the least amount of money and then call that a win and a justification for caps?
Maybe the telcos should fire all of their executives and hire away cable execs, because they clearly have found a way to make money and invest in their infrastructure every year for over a decade. Comcast has already upgraded 100% of its footprint to DOCSIS3. They are three times as profitable as CenturyLink. Verizon has no caps with crazy tiers like 40/40mbps with investment through the roof, far beyond what CTL would ever need to spend. Their net income is 10 times as much as CTLs.
Granted, some of these companies are more diversified and even different sizes. Yet many of them clearly found it in their interest to invest with long ROIs and are doing better than the companies that haven't. Comcoast is doing better than TW, and Verizon far better than CTL.
You know, I just can't help by coming right back to that. What magic formula did Verizon find that CTL doesn't have? You can't escape it. Verizon, GreenLight, other muni fiber projects with a tiny fraction of the resources and money that CTL has. No caps. Massive pipes. No explanations whatsoever.
And when a business has no competition, it can delay investments for quite some time.
Doesn't explain TW, Comcast, or Verizon. Time Warner and CTL are the main providers in North Carolina. They cross paths regularly in this state, all over the place. In a sick twist of fate, my road is C shaped that connects to another road on both ends. It's about three miles long. Time Warner serves two miles coming from one end of the road, and CTL serves (DSL) about one mile along the other end (my end). Neither of them serves the whole road. Yet they do both compete in other places in the county. All over the place.
What's CTL's excuse? They have competition. TW upgrades all over the place. Always expanding. CTL does nothing.
Verizon has little meaningful competition in terms of performance, yet they probably spent as much deploying Fios as CTL has spent in several years on their entire network.
It's not a lack of money, it's not ROI, and it's not a lack of competition. It's that CTL has management. I think it will always boil down to that.
How many think they should have "all-you-can-eat" for dirt cheap prices?
Dirt cheap? I think we're running $40 a month for 3mbit. On Greenlight that's worth 10/10mbit for $5 cheaper. I'd call this overpriced, if anything. 3mbit for $5/month, maybe $10. That's dirt cheap. And frankly I think I should have unlimited, since that's what this service was when I signed up for it. If they are going to cap me after the fact, then honestly they should *lower* our price since they just made the service less valuable.
Wanna cap me? Fine. Make it $30/month and we have a deal. Or they can honor our original arrangement which is what I've been doing all along. (Please, don't give me the run around about how they have the legal right to change their terms whenever they want. Everybody knows that and it's still reprehensible.)
The modern digital consumer has developed an entitlement attitude that very probably can't be sustained.
Yes, I'm so entitled. How dare I want my telco not to degrade my service while still charging me the same amount of money. How dare I expect to get what I was paying for.
No, what we have now is an entitlement attitude from the companies we have to deal with. They think they are entitled to change terms in agreements after the fact, lie to our faces, charge us money for service levels they promise but never provide, on and on.
How do you think CTL would react if I decided all on my own after looking at my budget, that it wasn't economically feasible for me to pay $40/month for 3mbit service. So I went down to the DSLAM and cranked my line up to 4.5mbit. Or how do you think they would react if I decided to pay them $30/month, not a penny more?
That's the deal now. Customers lose no matter what. Merely asking and expecting a company to keep up its end of the bargain now results in insults about entitlement.
Modern digital providers are bullies that hurt their customers and themselves. Merely pointing that out means the customer is a whiny child that just needs to grow up.
Well, I reject that. Maybe the days of "the customer is always right" is gone, but I refuse to accept the days where the telco is always right and the customer is a little whiny child for daring to point it out.
There is a point where you might have to ask if Grandma, checking her e-mail and visiting ChristianBooks.com needs to pay the same as someone streaming hd movies every night.
That might make sense if we were talking about paying more money for a higher cap. But we aren't. CTL is stupidly tying caps to speed tiers. I'm glad that I can get 3mbit because that gives me the highest tier, but I can just barely get that. I'm probably 2000-4000 feet away from having a cap 100 GiB lower because of where I live, not because of what I do with my connection.
At this point Grandma is paying the exact same bill is the streamer because 1.5mbit isn't good for crap these days.
They are a business, and businesses exist to make money.
That must be why they are opting to lose subscribers for not investing in their network over investing to retain and maybe -- hold your breath -- gain a few. How bold a money making strategy.