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CNN Fans The 'Spectrum Crisis' Flames
Informs Consumers They Should Happily Pay More
by Karl Bode 02:49PM Thursday Feb 23 2012
As we've been discussing lately, there's many people who like to insist we're always facing an unavoidable "capacity crisis" that never arrives. If you find someone engaging in capacity scare mongering, they're usually selling hardware (Cisco, Sandvine), bad anti-competitive policy and high price justifications (carrier lobbyists), or eager to make a buck off of spectrum auctions (FCC). The weak link in this equation is usually the press, who takes whatever congestion statistics are fed to them without so much as a question, then repeats them ad nauseum (see AT&T's claim that DSL, U-Verse caps were necessary on a landline network that isn't congested).

Click for full size
Exhibit A is a series that CNN has been running this week on the "spectrum crunch" that literally reads like it was written by carriers, proclaiming loudly that "America's airwaves are full."

In part one, CNN claims a spectrum apocalypse will soon result in more dropped calls, slower data speeds and higher prices. Absolutely terrifying! The proof? A statistic provided by AT&T showing wireless network growth of 20,000% since the iPhone's debut. CNN forgets to mention those numbers recently were artificially bloated to include Wi-Fi, or that both AT&T and FCC wireless growth numbers have been shown to be wildly overly-inflated.

In part three of the CNN series, CNN informs readers that the capacity crisis -- not the carriers themselves -- are to blame for all the ridiculous nickel and dime fees carriers are imposing, and that you'd really just better get used to it, amusingly insisting that the "ideal customer is someone with a smartphone they use sparingly." Reporter David Goldman even goes so far as to trot out the old telco-think idea that content companies should subsidize carriers (hey, just because!):
quote:
Netflix is an oft-cited culprit behind the looming spectrum crunch....so would Netflix consider subsidizing its customers' streaming movie addictions? A company spokesman would say only that "consumers deserve access to the content they want at a reasonable price."
It's amusing that the CNN series came the same week that Verizon was admitting they have plenty of spectrum, and on the heels of a report noting AT&T's also in fine shape once they start using what they already have efficiently. Sadly, there's no mention anywhere in the CNN series that if there is a spectrum shortage, it's in part thanks to anti-competitive spectrum squatting and inefficient use of existing resources. The latter can and will be fixed, the former the technology press simply refuses to admit is even real. It's cute, but CNN actually still believes that things like $10 per gigabyte overages and fee price gouging are tied to real provision costs, not greed.

While again there's absolutely a finite amount of spectrum, it's an issue we can engineer around provided we can handle anti-competitive spectrum squatting. The media seems utterly transfixed by the carrier narrative of an endless series of capacity crises, only fixed by more protectionist regulations, higher rates, more anti-competitive behavior, and less choice. The "capacity crisis" simply wouldn't exist if reporters asked tougher questions and started thinking for themselves. There is no spectrum apocalypse bogeyman.

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moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD

That was a very bad article....

I wonder who they hire to write stupid articles like these.

So much mis-information and half-truths.
nasadude

join:2001-10-05
Rockville, MD

1 recommendation

Re: That was a very bad article....

said by moonpuppy:

I wonder who they hire to write stupid articles like these.....

why they practically write themselves, don't u know?

sez Karl: "...that literally reads like it was written by carriers..."

the copy probably was written by the carriers and handed to the reporter, who printed it verbatim; if they don't have a press release to copy from, the reporters just print whatever the carriers tell them (also known as stenography).

journalism is no longer practiced by the main stream media and they are little more than extensions of the government and corporate propaganda machines (somebody already pointed out TW owns CNN).

CableConvert
Premium
join:2003-12-05
Atlanta, GA

CNN...a TW Company

Isnt CNN owned by Time Warner? Seems like they'd have a position in this fight

InfoStack

@optonline.net

Re: CNN...a TW Company

They have a deal with Verizon, duh!
gosmall

join:2012-02-24
Bridgeport, NY

Re: CNN...a TW Company

Time Warner Cable has a deal on the table with Verizon Wireless, not Time Warner Inc which owns CNN. They are 2 totally different unaffiliated companies now.

InfoStack

@optonline.net

Re: CNN...a TW Company

Withdrawn and apologies! Good point.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

Netflix, Subsidize?

Interesting choice of terms.

Netflix is certainly in the driver's seat, and it would behoove them to act in their customers best interests, and negotiate delivery rights, i.e. cap-exempt and throttle rates, for their product, in bulk.

But given that the cost will be borne by the customer through their subscription, only a CNN "journalist" could call it a subsidy.

yarle

@pacbell.net

Re: Netflix, Subsidize?

This would not be in Netflix's or the customers best interest at all. It would set a dangerous precedent that could allow the network provider (at&t) to hold an entire companies clientle on any network hostage.

HonestEnd

join:2006-03-01
Sterling Heights, MI

Well...

Looks like CNN just made it to the top of my shit list. Slightly above AT&T and General Motors (don't ask).

IPPlanMan
Holy Cable Modem Batman

join:2000-09-20
Washington, DC
kudos:1

The whole thing is a farce...

Disgusting....

I wouldn't expect any less from CNN...

inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK

Re: The whole thing is a farce...

actually I thought CNN was a vaguely respectable news outlet until this.
--
"WHEN THE LAUGH TRACK STARTS THEN THE FUN STARTS!"

elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia

Re: The whole thing is a farce...

said by inteller:

actually I thought CNN was a vaguely respectable news outlet until this.

They have to compete with Faux News, who needs facts when the ratings is that counts.

Noah Vail
Son made my Avatar
Premium
join:2004-12-10
Lorton, VA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Bright House

Re: The whole thing is a farce...

said by elwoodblues:

said by inteller:

actually I thought CNN was a vaguely respectable news outlet until this.

They have to compete with Faux News, who needs facts when the ratings is that counts.

I apologize.

I missed where you mentioned which major news entity it is that delivers a mostly non-biased product; without a lot of sensationalist fluff.

Which one was it again?
--
The Dark Tower's Skynet evolves from 4chan.

JID

@insightbb.com

Journalism is Dead

According to The Elements of Journalism, a book by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel:

Journalism's first obligation is to tell the truth.

It seems that the truth is not required anymore. Who cares how much spectrum is not being used? The donation money just arrived at the news bureau, so print what the client tells you!

m35

@wideopenwest.com

Re: Journalism is Dead

There are three sides to the truth, so be careful.

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

Tubes

AUNTIE EM! AUNTIE EM!

THE TUBES ARE CLOGGED! THE TUBES ARE CLOGGED!
--
Petty people are disproportionally corrupted by petty power
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

ABC,CBS,NBC,UPN,FOX=OLD MEDIA

you can not trust old media...
ever since getting the [2000] election results wrong they've never gotten back their credibility. ask your self what kinds of tv commercials (equals getting money from) are these companies airing these days?

oil industry commericals, bank commercials, car commercials, drug commericals, bad drug lawyer commercials, etc.. they take so much money from these SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS that you can not trust the "NEWS" part of the organization anymore. there are no journalists with a backbone anymore willing to put their job on the line and report without being paid just to tell the truth. how do you think they got away with extending a war (and it's profiteers) for so long?

vast propaganda, even into the current day. wake up tomorrow.. nothing changes. the best advice is to not pay so much attention to it all. if you actually care, vote with your wallet and don't buy wireless service. hower, it would take alot more for an OIL company to suddenly get religion that doesn't involve higher prices.

InfoStack

@optonline.net

Re: ABC,CBS,NBC,UPN,FOX=OLD MEDIA

I agree. Rising gas prices perfect example when there is plenty of oil and refinery capacity currently available and natural gas is hitting all time lows.

beldin
Script Monkey number 50
Premium
join:2006-06-06
Union, SC
The only "Old Media" show that I watch anymore is Sunday Morning on CBS. IMO, it's the only one worth watching.
dobie2564

join:2008-10-20
Myrtle Beach, SC
Yes indeed. I stopped watching news on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, & CNN long ago. There is nothing on there now but opinion being reported as news and 24 hour/day made up controversy.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Same thing with LightSquared

I read the CNN article a day or so ago, and I read a similarly inane article about LightSquared on the day when the FCC yanked their waiver. I wonder if the same person wrote both of them. Both of them read like the author just took a press release from a company or trade group and threw something together based solely on that.

I may go back to see who wrote them and see if it was the same person.

EDIT: I was right! Both articles were written by someone named David Goldman. I thought they both had the same clueless feel to them. Now I know why.
sam64

join:2006-07-31
Newtown, PA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

"someone with a smartphone they use sparingly"

I almost fell out of my chair when I saw that one! Who are they kidding?

The carriers love the fees, data charges and the additional revenues that they generate when they push their customers towards smartphones but balk once the same customers use their phones for their intended purpose. Huh?

If there is such a spectrum crunch then why aren't the carriers limiting the amount of smartphones they sell. I still see all the carriers advertising the latest and greatest 3G/4G device that will surf the web, check e-mail, stream music, access apps and the rest of the stuff that uses bandwidth. I don't see any of the carriers pushing dumb phones that only do voice.

Spectrum crunch my arse! This is just another ploy in the carriers game to continually raise rates and maintain their profits as they see their customers use every means possible to maximize their return on their monthly bill.

Journalism is dead when a mainstream media source like CNN allows their reporters to just publish whatever is fed to them without even checking the accuracy of their information. It is no longer news but just opinion or more advertisement.

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

Re: "someone with a smartphone they use sparingly"

said by sam64:

The carriers love the fees, data charges and the additional revenues that they generate when they push their customers towards smartphones but balk once the same customers use their phones for their intended purpose. Huh?

If there is such a spectrum crunch then why aren't the carriers limiting the amount of smartphones they sell?

Any business selling a service at flat rates or tiers wants to have customers that use that service as little as possible yet still remain customers. That is business. You think they are in it for the betterment of mankind? They are in it to make a profit - as big as possible. Welcome to the real world.

And why in gods name would they limit sales of something that is profitable? So I say the same thing I always say in these cases - think a product is too expensive?, THEN DON'T BUY IT !!!
--
The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, I'm from the government and I'm here to help.
»www.politico.com/2012-election/


IPPlanMan
Holy Cable Modem Batman

join:2000-09-20
Washington, DC
kudos:1

Shep Smith Nailed It...

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=4o5kBC8Alp8


Say what you will about Fox News, but Shep Smith spoke the truth in this segment.
slckusr
Premium
join:2003-03-17
Greenville, SC
kudos:1

Re: Shep Smith Nailed It...

As much as i dont like Fox news they certainly have gone from full of lies to stating the cold hard facts on a lot of different matters. (at least some of their tv reporter people).

inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK

1 recommendation

Re: Shep Smith Nailed It...

i think the main problem was a lot of people called their facts lies when really they just didn't want to own up to the truth.
--
"WHEN THE LAUGH TRACK STARTS THEN THE FUN STARTS!"
slckusr
Premium
join:2003-03-17
Greenville, SC
kudos:1

Re: Shep Smith Nailed It...

That could be the case too, the only reason i started changing my opinion about Fox was because of that Judge Napolitano they used to have host a tv show.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
said by slckusr:

As much as i dont like Fox news they certainly have gone from full of lies to stating the cold hard facts on a lot of different matters. (at least some of their tv reporter people).

They always tell the truth - it is just some people don't like the truth when they hear it.

coldmoon
Premium
join:2002-02-04
Broadway, NC
Reviews:
·Windstream

Re: Shep Smith Nailed It...

said by FFH5:

said by slckusr:

As much as i dont like Fox news they certainly have gone from full of lies to stating the cold hard facts on a lot of different matters. (at least some of their tv reporter people).

They always tell the truth - it is just some people don't like the truth when they hear it.

Like other "news" outlets, FOX puts just enough truth in the story to match their slant on it. Faux news is Faux news and if they do get something right from time to time, it's usually a mistake...
--
Returnil - 21st Century body armor for your PC

IPPlanMan
Holy Cable Modem Batman

join:2000-09-20
Washington, DC
kudos:1

Re: Shep Smith Nailed It...

So are they right or did they make a mistake?

vpoko
Premium
join:2003-07-03
Boston, MA
You're not actually this dumb, you're just pretending. Is Fox News somehow immune to the profit motive that affects all news organizations? Do you think priority #1 is "telling the truth" or "getting more viewers"?

Mizzat
Will post for thumbs
Premium
join:2003-05-03
Atlanta, GA
kudos:1
How did he nail it? "Now that I have ulimited they want me to pay more?" The plans are both $30, how is that more?
--
-M

IPPlanMan
Holy Cable Modem Batman

join:2000-09-20
Washington, DC
kudos:1

1 edit

Re: Shep Smith Nailed It...

said by Mizzat:

How did he nail it? "Now that I have ulimited they want me to pay more?" The plans are both $30, how is that more?

It costs more now for a user to ensure to the same quality of service over 3 GB of usage... In fact, you have users being throttled at less than 2 GB of usage.

So to make this very clear: AT&T is throttling Unlimited Data customers at levels below the 3 GB data plan, which costs the same amount: $30 dollars

And when it's throttled, the usability and functionality of the phone drops precipitously. Maps/Twitter/YouTube... These features that the phone was sold with as essential and integrated functions do not function usably when throttled.

The only way around this throttling is to ditch the Unlimited Plan and spend more on the Tiered offerings with overages, which aren't throttled.

It's not just paying more for the same thing, Shep is also pissed that he's paying the same thing for less.
--
"We're going to start at one end of (Fallujah), and we're not going to stop until we get to the other. If there's anybody left when that happens, we're going to turn around and we're going to go back and finish it."
Lt. Col. Pete Newell: 1st Inf. US Army

elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia
said by Mizzat:

How did he nail it? "Now that I have ulimited they want me to pay more?" The plans are both $30, how is that more?

Simple,

You pay 30 dollars and use it to your hearts content, or you pay 30 dollars have significantly less then you had in the first place.

It's like the food companies, they don't raise the price, they reduce the package size (which in itself is a price increase since I'm getting less for the same money).
--
No, I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake.......
Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1

Party of greedy old pigs.

The greedy old pigs want to make sure that only the wealthy will have wireless. Raise prices until the middle class cannot afford wireless. Amazing how the so called experts can speak through their anus.

HaloFans

join:2006-12-18

MaBell rears its ugly head as MaCell

History to repeat itself once again since people seem to have short term memory amnesia.

Money equals free speech in the USA. Everyone's so desperate for money that he/she is willing to sell morals these days.

footballdude
Premium
join:2002-08-13
Imperial, MO

media

"The media seems utterly transfixed by the carrier narrative of an endless series of capacity crises" - Karl

The truth is, the media is utterly transfixed by the narrative of an endless series of crises. Every other day they tell you about something that's going to kill you and all your loved ones if you don't change your ways. If it bleeds, it leads. Turn off the news programs and ignore the web for a couple of days and you start to feel much better about life in general.
--
Dresden - I work in Accounts Payable.
Random Bad Guy - In what capacity?
Dresden - I make sure everyone gets what's coming to them.

InfoStack

@optonline.net

Love the MaCell and FoxNews; How About Data Gone Wild

This is what happens after 15 years of unabated consolidation. But the carriers are doomed, because they've already lost the upper layers and this is highly destructive pricing; especially when they are telling customers "please use wifi." Condition your customers to leave your network. Nice. When alternatives come (and they will) say goodbye. But what I'd like to know are the true figures behind coverage, total capacity and shortages. Look at the recently released FCC 3G coverage map and it is a joke. »bit.ly/y3NMCK In many places on Verizon my droid defaults to 1x because it can't find good 3G. Imagine what will happen when 50% of smartphones are 4G with speeds that rival wifi (cause frankly any smart person seeks out wifi even if they have 3G cause it's 3-10x faster). The real problem is that carriers have not priced correctly for a long time (voice or data) and now OTT and wifi offload are going to highlight those flaws just as 4G tidal waves of demand hit. I call it data gone wild! »bit.ly/xhT1zL

midwesttech

@insightbb.com

And this is different from Karl's writing how??

It is funny..everyone jumps outta whack over this CNN article, which based on the spectrum maps on the FCC site, can easily be verified - but no one says a word about the biased reporting Karl does? Take it this way - if Verizon were trying to merge with another company and were complaining of a spectrum crisis - but it was AT&T who was stating they had plenty of spectrum - Karl's writing would end up opposite of what it is today.
chances14

join:2010-03-03
Michigan

Re: And this is different from Karl's writing how??

That's because Karl writes what everyone on this site wants to read. Duh!

I do find it kind of funny that Karl hasnt written a single word about the fact that google's been caught bypassing privacy measures by both apple and microsoft in the past month.

NotaCommie

@verizon.net

And you are surprised why?

Would you expect any less from the Commie Network Networks then to hype this untruth?