dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
554
share rss forum feed


wesm
Premium
join:1999-07-29
Redmond, WA
Reviews:
·Frontier FiOS

Well, that's disappointing

I wonder why telecommunications is such a neglected topic in the Puget Sound region. In Seattle, we're stuck with CenturyLink, Comcast (this being the better of three bad choices) or if you're really unlucky, Broadstripe. Only people who can afford to high-roll it in one of the downtown condos or apartments can get truly awesome connectivity through Condo Internet or one of the Covad resellers that still exists. This is in a city that hosts Amazon, Google, and large chunks of Microsoft.

On the Eastside, home to Nintendo and Microsoft, our choices are Comcast or Frontier. While Frontier does operate a FiOS system, this isn't available to every Eastside city (Bellevue, Issaquah, and Sammamish stand out), thus leaving Comcast or Frontier's copper network as the only choices.

Is it just not profitable to do data and/or video up here? Does everyone just use the Internet connectivity at the office then give up the computer when they get home?


sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS

said by wesm:

Is it just not profitable to do data and/or video up here?

Not profitable enough for ISP's who would prefer to not invest in any form of upgrade. Frontier is in bad financial shape besides.

said by wesm:

Does everyone just use the Internet connectivity at the office then give up the computer when they get home?

Yes, which is why productivity is down.


ThomasYoung

@optonline.net
reply to wesm

said by wesm:

I wonder why telecommunications is such a neglected topic in the Puget Sound region. ... This is in a city that hosts Amazon, Google, and large chunks of Microsoft.

Not that surprising. There is only a slight correlation between geek density and broadband accessibility. Some areas in Silicon Valley are also stuck with slow DSL/cable, while parts of Sacramento have FTTH.

Ultimately, geeks are just too small a proportion of the population to change the overall economics of a broadband buildout.

said by wesm:

Is it just not profitable to do data and/or video up here? Does everyone just use the Internet connectivity at the office then give up the computer when they get home?

Path-dependence. Your area might be perfect for broadband, but if accidents of history saddled you with a weak telecom company that can't afford upgrades, that's a tough bar to jump over.

For example, you pointed out that Seattle is on CenturyLink and Eastside is on Frontier. That's because most of the Eastside was undeveloped until after World War II. When the United States was being wired up in the early 20th century, the Bell System got all the juicy bits, and the independents got left with the scraps. Thus, the Eastside was not part of the Bell System even in the monopoly days -- it was served by GTE.

When Verizon bought GTE, in some sense the Eastside finally joined the Bell System. For a while, it looked like the Eastside got lucky in the takeover lottery. Verizon was deploying FTTH, while Qwest (which had bought US West) was in dire financial straits.

But then Verizon discovered that people weren't eager enough to pay for Fios. And the Great Recession hit. And Verizon had labor trouble with their wireline assets. They decided to shed their rural assets and focus on their more-profitable wireless division instead. Since Seattle belonged to Qwest, the Eastside would have been isolated from other Verizon assets if it did not go with the rest of rural Washington state. So the Eastside got sold to Frontier. Which agreed to take on a bucketload of debt -- and also inherited a partially built-out Fios network that it can't really afford.

The first shall be last, and the last shall be first. In a world of mergers and spinoffs, fortunes can change with the stroke of a pen. Weak companies can get taken over by strong companies. Strong areas can get spun off with weak areas. Debt incurred in a merger can cripple companies. And accidents from the 1900s are still having an effect today.

--

Seattle ran into trouble when US West got sold to Qwest, which took on a great deal of debt to pay for the deal. Qwest almost went bankrupt in the aftermath of the dot-com bust, and has been in a weak financial position ever since. They only seemed to be doing OK by milking their network and deferring upgrades.

We'll see how Centurylink does.