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Genachowski Hypes North Carolina Broadband Backwater
FCC Boss Lauds 1 Gbps Efforts, Ignores Myriad of Real State Problems
by Karl Bode 08:32AM Friday Feb 15 2013
I recently noted how FCC boss Julius Genachowski issued a challenge for numerous states to embrace 1 Gbps initiatives, though I discussed at the same time how the challenge was rather hollow -- since most of the heavy lifting has already taken place without the FCC's help. I also pointed how the FCC's dedication is a little thin, since the agency has been historically absent as giant corporations like AT&T, Time Warner Cable, Windstream and CenturyLink bribe state lawmakers to pass laws banning cities from being able to wire themselves -- even when nobody else will.

Fast forward to this week, with Genachowski issuing a statement praising the state for embracing 1 Gbps initiatives, as six North Carolina communities and four research universities sign up for Gig U's next-gen network expansion plans (more on that here). Piggybacking on others' hard work, Genachowski took the opportunity to once again pretend that government had much of any role in these initiatives:
quote:
"Ultra-fast Internet speeds will spur innovators to develop next-generation apps and services that drive
economic growth and U.S. competitiveness. Last month, I challenged providers and community leaders to establish gigabit communities nationwide. The announcement by six North Carolina communities and
four research universities move us forward, and I congratulate them on their important efforts."
Except historically, government's role in improving connectivity has involved getting bribed by incumbent carriers so that things remain uncompetitive and slow. After their fourth try, Time Warner Cable managed to pass a law in 2011 making it nearly impossible for towns or cities to wire themselves with broadband. The result? Time Warner Cable is enjoying the lack of competition immensely, imposing yet another regional price hike in March.

It's also amusing to note that while Genachowski is busy pretending to have anything to do with North Carolina's efforts to speed up its networks, locals there are conducting their own speedtests to highlight how the FCC's broadband map data continues to be inaccurate.

So while it's nice to see Genachowski applaud efforts to push the state toward gigabit speeds, the statement would have been a nice time for the FCC boss to point out that that we still have serious competitive issues that need addressing. Most importantly how these awful state laws make "ultra-fast Internet speeds" more difficult to achieve, lessen competition, and raise prices for consumers. While I have seen new FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn make some welcome statement on these awful bills, Genachowski's notably silent once again on issues of real substance.

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n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

It Gives Me Pause

North Carolina is a state top on my list to escape to when I eventually sneak under the iron curtain surrounding New York. Unfortunately, as a person working in tech, NC's broadband policy gives me pause. Unless one wants to locate themselves close to an urban environment, it sounds as if the prospects for reasonably priced broadband at a good speed is limited. Probably the only advantage I have to being on Long Island is Optimum Online and OptimumWiFi.

I should also add that you cannot buy EverClear there either
--
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FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 edit

Re: It Gives Me Pause

Research Triangle Park(RTP) near Raleigh is an anomoly. It is NE US high tech liberals transplanted to NC. It is an island in a sea of southerners. 1 Gbps there won't move elsewhere in NC.

Here is info on who is involved in NC:
»ncengine.net/?page_id=16

--
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury.

BadaBoom

@reliablehosting.com

Re: It Gives Me Pause

said by FFH:

Research Triangle Park(RTP) near Raleigh is an anomoly. It is NE US high tech liberals transplanted to NC. It is an island in a sea of southerners. 1 Gbps there won't move elsewhere in NC.

Project GreenLight, Fibrant, and my provider would disagree. RTP is in Durham and everything from RTP through Raleigh has been settled by transplanted Northerners. After all, the people who work in RTP don't live there, the options for living in RTP are extremely limited as RTP is a small area dominated by huge business campuses. (IBM's has over 13,000 employees for example.)

BadaBoom

@reliablehosting.com
said by n2jtx:

North Carolina is a state top on my list to escape to when I eventually sneak under the iron curtain surrounding New York. Unfortunately, as a person working in tech, NC's broadband policy gives me pause. Unless one wants to locate themselves close to an urban environment, it sounds as if the prospects for reasonably priced broadband at a good speed is limited. Probably the only advantage I have to being on Long Island is Optimum Online and OptimumWiFi.

I should also add that you cannot buy EverClear there either

You can buy EverClear here.

Also, depending on where you locate, you have fantastic options for broadband. I have 30/30 fiber for $49 a month and I'm between two large metro areas.

The community broadband offerings in Wilson and Salisbury aren't near urban areas per se.

cackalacky

@comcast.net
Hey- I buy EverClear with no problem AND I know many shiners as well As far as the internet connection goes it is supreme! I live in Stokes County, NC - pretty friggin rural!! BUT I can be watching a movie online on my laptop while I am downloading another movie at the same time AND WHILE someone is playing COD on PS3 online. When I come up to NJ to visit I wanna put my head thru a wall dealing with the internet - slow, slow, stop, ugh. Have no fears about your quality to connect down south - in my experience over the last 10 years it has always been superior! Oh, and get ya some moonshine while yer down there son
johan_hammy

join:2003-08-08
Dekalb, IL

Start your own

If an area demands services that are not available, someone will start their own ISP and provide those services.
pandora
Premium
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Outland
kudos:2

Re: Start your own

If the law permits.
openbox9
Premium
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Germany
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Re: Start your own

Where is it prohibited?
johan_hammy

join:2003-08-08
Dekalb, IL
said by pandora:

If the law permits.

I am not aware of a single place in the United States where you are not permitted to start an ISP.

Bill Neilson
Premium
join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA
said by johan_hammy:

If an area demands services that are not available, someone will start their own ISP and provide those services.

Yeah, someone will start their own! Oh, except for those pesky rules that AT&T and others put in place making it all but impossible to do just that and start your own....rules which AT&T did not follow when they started

But yeah, let's let the FREE MARKET ride! Free Market meaning a market where AT&T and others write the rules deciding who does what and where!
openbox9
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1 recommendation

Re: Start your own

said by Bill Neilson:

Yeah, someone will start their own! Oh, except for those pesky rules that AT&T and others put in place making it all but impossible to do just that and start your own....rules which AT&T did not follow when they started

Such as? Are you referring to the few states that don't allow municipalities to willy-nilly enter the ISP market? I believe johan_hammy See Profile meant private citizens/businesses, not governments.
johan_hammy

join:2003-08-08
Dekalb, IL
said by Bill Neilson:

said by johan_hammy:

If an area demands services that are not available, someone will start their own ISP and provide those services.

Yeah, someone will start their own! Oh, except for those pesky rules that AT&T and others put in place making it all but impossible to do just that and start your own....rules which AT&T did not follow when they started

But yeah, let's let the FREE MARKET ride! Free Market meaning a market where AT&T and others write the rules deciding who does what and where!

What rules where?
pandora
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Re: Start your own

said by johan_hammy:

What rules where?

To start a phone / Internet company delivering wired service to a home?

Lets see ... pole attachment is controlled by the FCC, but attachment rates can be controlled by a state. Kentucky controls pole attachment rates. See - »transition.fcc.gov/eb/Public_Not···3A1.html

As of January 17, 2013 the rights of Cable TV and Internet providers to attach wire to telephone poles is unclear in portions of Kentucky. See - psc.ky.gov/order_vault/Orders_2013/201200544_01172013.pdf

CATV providers have to comply with state law, and obtain an exclusive license from a local community to operate. After meeting all the requirements for cable TV, they still can't attach wire to many poles.

Of the poles you may be able to attach to (assuming the owner of the poles is persuaded by your pitch, and agrees with you there is spare capacity), the rate in Kentucky for a non-regulated pole per year would be $13.86 to $21.64 - »www.kycable.com/blog/fair-and-re···kentucky

You'll have to decide if your service is a cable TV provider (all areas to obtain a permit to start a cable TV service are locked up in Kentucky, unless the state somehow grows, there is no opportunity to offer cable TV), or you could decide to become an ILEC. This requires lots of filings with the FCC and Kentucky, you'll need to buy out an ILEC, or find an area in Kentucky where there is no ILEC (note at this time there is no area).

If you want to just provide Internet service, then you are unregulated. And nobody is or has to be your friend. »law.justia.com/codes/kentucky/20···278-540/

Good luck hanging wires off telephone poles. Note even if you obtain permission from the pole owner, that doesn't mean you obtained permission for the right of way from property owners over which your wires will be run (unless you are a utility, meaning a telephone company or cable TV company recognized by the state or an electric utility).
--
Congress could mess up a one piece jigsaw puzzle.
johan_hammy

join:2003-08-08
Dekalb, IL

Re: Start your own

said by pandora:

To start a phone / Internet company delivering wired service to a home?

What about wireless?

said by pandora:

Lets see ... pole attachment is controlled by the FCC, but attachment rates can be controlled by a state. Kentucky controls pole attachment rates. See - »transition.fcc.gov/eb/Public_Not···3A1.html

What about underground?

said by pandora:

As of January 17, 2013 the rights of Cable TV and Internet providers to attach wire to telephone poles is unclear in portions of Kentucky. See - psc.ky.gov/order_vault/Orders_2013/201200544_01172013.pdf

CATV providers have to comply with state law, and obtain an exclusive license from a local community to operate. After meeting all the requirements for cable TV, they still can't attach wire to many poles.

Of the poles you may be able to attach to (assuming the owner of the poles is persuaded by your pitch, and agrees with you there is spare capacity), the rate in Kentucky for a non-regulated pole per year would be $13.86 to $21.64 - »www.kycable.com/blog/fair-and-re···kentucky

You'll have to decide if your service is a cable TV provider (all areas to obtain a permit to start a cable TV service are locked up in Kentucky, unless the state somehow grows, there is no opportunity to offer cable TV), or you could decide to become an ILEC. This requires lots of filings with the FCC and Kentucky, you'll need to buy out an ILEC, or find an area in Kentucky where there is no ILEC (note at this time there is no area).

What about a CLEC?

said by pandora:

If you want to just provide Internet service, then you are unregulated. And nobody is or has to be your friend. »law.justia.com/codes/kentucky/20···278-540/

Good luck hanging wires off telephone poles. Note even if you obtain permission from the pole owner, that doesn't mean you obtained permission for the right of way from property owners over which your wires will be run (unless you are a utility, meaning a telephone company or cable TV company recognized by the state or an electric utility).

If you become a CLEC, you are afforded the same rights as an ILEC. ROW, poles, everything. That said, you don't even have to do that. A lot of fiber is built around here without any formal licensing. You only need the permission of the ROW owner.
pandora
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Re: Start your own

said by johan_hammy:

If you become a CLEC, you are afforded the same rights as an ILEC. ROW, poles, everything. That said, you don't even have to do that. A lot of fiber is built around here without any formal licensing. You only need the permission of the ROW owner.

Nope. CLEC's don't have the rights of way an ILEC has. You must negotiate for them with the land owners. On my street there are about a dozen land owners before my home, one is the city. The poles are owned the the electric company. Our town taxes wires, poles and conduit via property tax, in addition to any other fees.

To be a CLEC you must comply with a ton of regulations. My guess is hiring a large law firm with expertise in any state and local community you want to set up in would be the first step. Maybe in a few dozen years, you'll have finished the 50th environmental survey and get approval for a test of 50 poles.

Regulation is a barrier to entry, and is half the problem. It keeps competition out of telco space, Wal-Mart out of many communities, even gas stations. Many love pristine communities with lots of regulations to "protect" us, the environment, the poor, disabled, non-English speakers or whatever. As we impose these costs, the barrier to entry gets ever steeper.
--
Congress could mess up a one piece jigsaw puzzle.
johan_hammy

join:2003-08-08
Dekalb, IL

Re: Start your own

said by pandora:

said by johan_hammy:

If you become a CLEC, you are afforded the same rights as an ILEC. ROW, poles, everything. That said, you don't even have to do that. A lot of fiber is built around here without any formal licensing. You only need the permission of the ROW owner.

Nope. CLEC's don't have the rights of way an ILEC has. You must negotiate for them with the land owners. On my street there are about a dozen land owners before my home, one is the city. The poles are owned the the electric company. Our town taxes wires, poles and conduit via property tax, in addition to any other fees.

To be a CLEC you must comply with a ton of regulations. My guess is hiring a large law firm with expertise in any state and local community you want to set up in would be the first step. Maybe in a few dozen years, you'll have finished the 50th environmental survey and get approval for a test of 50 poles.

Regulation is a barrier to entry, and is half the problem. It keeps competition out of telco space, Wal-Mart out of many communities, even gas stations. Many love pristine communities with lots of regulations to "protect" us, the environment, the poor, disabled, non-English speakers or whatever. As we impose these costs, the barrier to entry gets ever steeper.

This would be the very first time I've heard of a CLEC not having the same rights as an ILEC, aside of must provide, USF, etc.

»www.americanclec.com/

Those guys can help you become a CLEC and are based out of Kentucky. I know of another ISP that became a CLEC in Kentucky.

»www.rinioneil.com/
»www.lokt.net/
»www.lermansenter.com/

All very good organizations to work with.

www.wispa.org
www.fispa.org
pandora
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Re: Start your own

said by johan_hammy See Profile
This would be the very first time I've heard of a CLEC not having the same rights as an ILEC, aside of must provide, USF, etc.

»www.americanclec.com/

Those guys can help you become a CLEC and are based out of Kentucky. I know of another ISP that became a CLEC in Kentucky.

»www.rinioneil.com/
»www.lokt.net/
»www.lermansenter.com/

All very good organizations to work with.

www.wispa.org
www.fispa.org
[/BQUOTE :

GO FOR IT!!! SET UP THAT CHEAP $10 a month gigabit Internet service provider with universal access in Kentucky. Make a billionaire out of yourself with $200 seed capital!

If were possible, there would be many companies with wire along our poles. In my community it's Comcast, AT&T and the electric company.
--
Congress could mess up a one piece jigsaw puzzle.

johan_hammy

join:2003-08-08
Dekalb, IL

Re: Start your own

It is certainly possible and not that difficult to be an ISP anywhere in the United States. What is difficult is providing people the services they think they need for the prices they think they need them at.

Very few people today need more than 25 megabit/s of Internet. There just isn't much advantage to it.

Sell them 25 megabit for $60 and they'll complain it isn't 50 megabit for $45. There just is no way to win.

That said, there are literally thousands of independent ISPs in the US. If it were so hard or impossible, they wouldn't exist.

I'm sorry you've set yourself up with the assumption that it can't be done.
pandora
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Re: Start your own

said by johan_hammy:

It is certainly possible and not that difficult to be an ISP anywhere in the United States. What is difficult is providing people the services they think they need for the prices they think they need them at.

Very few people today need more than 25 megabit/s of Internet. There just isn't much advantage to it.

Sell them 25 megabit for $60 and they'll complain it isn't 50 megabit for $45. There just is no way to win.

There is no way to win. Karl loves to compare high density areas of Hong Kong to the Continent that is the United States.

I'd love Karl to get dslreports to create an ISP serving a few square blocks around him. It'd help provide gravitas to his critiques. Hey Karl, why not have dslreports.com sponsor an experimental neighborhood ISP if there is any user interested in starting one. I'd love to read a blot telling us how easy and profitable they are to create. You'll pay for content? What could be better than paying to have a series of articles regarding establishment of a neighborhood ISP.

Comcast charges me about $60 per month for 25 MB down. It's not great speeds per the ISP in Hong Kong. Then again, many Hong Kong residents are living in 375 cubic foot cages. I don't know who wants to trade a U.S. home or apartment for 375 cubic feet to get that high speed low cost Internet we read about on these forums. »www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article···hes.html

Living in a 2.5 x 2.5 x 6' rabbit wire cage with a few hundred friends getting really fast LAN like service within part of Hong Kong isn't my dream living situation.

Google tells me the low cost $25 per month Hong Kong plan costs about $35 U.S. ($268HK) per month. From this website - »www.hkbn.net/new/en/access-plan.shtml if you read the fine print, overseas websites are not included in the "up to 1 GB" speed. A dslreports poster went to Japan a while back, and indicated speeds were OK for Japanese websites, but very bad for U.S. or other non-Japanese websites.

Hong Kong has 7 million people living in about 26 square miles. »www.gov.hk/en/about/abouthk/fact···tion.pdf New York City, has 8 million people living in about 300 square miles. - »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City

We can drool over how great live would be if we were packed like sardines. We could move to Hong Kong and get in on their great lifestyle. Alternately we could try to get rich providing ISP services in our neighborhood.

How many of us are moving to Hong Kong, or setting up an ISP in the U.S. If it were easy, profitable, or desirable, many would.

We need to change our culture, and allow easier pole attachments, with a ton less regulation. That means coverage will be unfair, sometimes arbitrary, the poor, disabled, and non-English speakers may suffer. However, costs would be lower, and speeds greatly improved.

Many want the regulations, but complain about costs. Regulations caused the monopoly or duopoly we experience today. Regulations cause higher prices. Regulations are barriers to entry. Yet few want to give them up.
--
Congress could mess up a one piece jigsaw puzzle.
johan_hammy

join:2003-08-08
Dekalb, IL

Re: Start your own

I agree with this a lot. I'm actually working with Karl to get some articles up from the independent ISP's perspective.
pandora
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Re: Start your own

said by johan_hammy:

I agree with this a lot. I'm actually working with Karl to get some articles up from the independent ISP's perspective.

THAT would be fantastic. A report from someone who is trying to offer service would be great reading. If possible, try to find someone with wit and a bit of a sense of humor. (Adam Carolla like comes to mind).
--
Congress could mess up a one piece jigsaw puzzle.
johan_hammy

join:2003-08-08
Dekalb, IL

1 recommendation

Re: Start your own

said by pandora:

said by johan_hammy:

I agree with this a lot. I'm actually working with Karl to get some articles up from the independent ISP's perspective.

THAT would be fantastic. A report from someone who is trying to offer service would be great reading. If possible, try to find someone with wit and a bit of a sense of humor. (Adam Carolla like comes to mind).

*nods* I could, but I'm not a great writer. A few have blogs, so they're a starting point... working on getting it all pieced together.

»www.wirelesscowboys.com/
»www.muniwireless.com/author/roryconaway/

Count Zero
Obama-Biden 2012
Premium
join:2007-01-18
Winston Salem, NC
Actually it would be about 7.9x7.9x6' cage - but I agree that it's a small amount of space no matter how you describe it.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
Please send me some of that crack you are smoking it appears to be some great stuff.
johan_hammy

join:2003-08-08
Dekalb, IL

Re: Start your own

said by Skippy25:

Please send me some of that crack you are smoking it appears to be some great stuff.

Instead of wasting both of our times, how about you restate that, stating or asking something useful?
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
said by Skippy25:

It is certainly possible and not that difficult to be an ISP anywhere in the United States.

As you wish. Possible to be an ISP? Sure provided of course you can get a current incumbent to actually reasonably lease you connectivity for you to reach customers. However, it is certainly no walk in the park as you indicate by the delusional "not that difficult" statement. Here in St. Louis at my house I have exactly 2 ISP's to choose from, but on totally different networks and not sharing a thing. If it were so easy, I am sure there would be multiple choices for all not only here but in the US. Which clearly shows the absurdity of your comment.

Maybe you are the son of some billionaire with hundreds of millions if not billions at your disposal to create a network anywhere in the US. Thus giving you the illusion of it not being difficult being an ISP anywhere. But then again maybe you are thinking more like AOL and simply being an internet content provider/portal company as a faux ISP.

And please dont respond with wireless as a good way to get into the ISP business. Wireless capabilities will NEVER compete with wired and it should be thought of as nothing more than a enhanced service that piggy backs off the core wired network as that is all it really is and all it will ever be.
johan_hammy

join:2003-08-08
Dekalb, IL

Re: Start your own

said by Skippy25:

Sure provided of course you can get a current incumbent to actually reasonably lease you connectivity for you to reach customers.

I send not a single dime to any incumbents anywhere, other than tariffed rates for voice services.

said by Skippy25:

Here in St. Louis at my house I have exactly 2 ISP's to choose from

Not your specific house, but could you supply me with the nearest major intersection so I can see if anyone else is available in your area?

said by Skippy25:

Maybe you are the son of some billionaire with hundreds of millions if not billions at your disposal to create a network anywhere in the US.

No, actually, my family was rather poor. I have been out of HS slightly over 10 years and my family of 5 made a whopping $30k/year. Nothing to brag about!

said by Skippy25:

And please dont respond with wireless as a good way to get into the ISP business. Wireless capabilities will NEVER compete with wired and it should be thought of as nothing more than a enhanced service that piggy backs off the core wired network as that is all it really is and all it will ever be.

Why? Please give me facts and numbers, not emotions.

Also, many of my ISP brethren are starting to build out FTTP networks, independent of any incumbents.

Alex J

@sunwave.com.br

It is certainly possible and not that difficult to be an ISP anywhere in the United States. What is difficult is providing people the services they think they need for the prices they think they need them at.

It is possible to create tiny, irrelevant and piddly ISPs in select regions if you have the money. But try to expand that footprint in any meaningful capacity (like across states) and you run face first into a significant ecosystem of regulation, literally written by incumbent carriers, designed to make you fail.

If you're denying this reality you're operating in a very insular bubble.

I also like how nobody in this thread busy bitching about how unfair the author is has any comment on the article itself, or the fact that regional monopolies are passing laws prohibiting local towns and cities from making their own decisions.

The naivete and willful ignorance in this thread is astonishing.
johan_hammy

join:2003-08-08
Dekalb, IL

Re: Start your own

said by Alex J :

It is possible to create tiny, irrelevant and piddly ISPs in select regions if you have the money. But try to expand that footprint in any meaningful capacity (like across states) and you run face first into a significant ecosystem of regulation, literally written by incumbent carriers, designed to make you fail.

I bet you the customers of those tiny piddly ISPs don't think they're so irrelevent. Who says my ISP needs to cover several states? I am not aware of any regulations that would prevent me from providing the services people need to them, whether by wire or wireless.

said by Skippy25:

If you're denying this reality you're operating in a very insular bubble

No, I'm just doing what you say can't be done. It's kind of hard for me to believe you when I (and thousands of others) am doing exactly what you say can't be done.
pawpaw

join:2004-05-05
Greenville, SC
In olden days (1910) they did it like this: »www.eugenegill.com/The_Twentieth···1910.pdf

No government to help or hinder.

Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net

Re: Start your own

Thank you for this link! Throughly enjoyed the "insights" of 1910. This is the sort of grassroots efforts that the likes of ATT/Time Warner are paying big money to prevent.

Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net
Except the TELCOs managed to pay off the state into making it impossible/illegal for public entities/citizens or "others" to start up a service and making the incumbents the only players in town(if they choose to play)
johan_hammy

join:2003-08-08
Dekalb, IL

Re: Start your own

said by Twaddle :

Except the TELCOs managed to pay off the state into making it impossible/illegal for public entities/citizens or "others" to start up a service and making the incumbents the only players in town(if they choose to play)

Please tell me how it is impossible or illegal. Thousands of existing ISPs would love to know what regulations they are breaking. I'm talking private entities, not government. They government shouldn't be providing ISP services, but there are no restrictions on private entities.
cramer
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Raleigh, NC
kudos:8
As we've pointed out OVER AND OVER... there is so much red tape, legal hurdles, and stupid regulations (written by the monopolies) that anyone attempting to create their own ISP today will be many millions in the hole before they have the permits to hang/bury a single foot of infrastructure.

Go ask Google how much they put into it before getting the green light to begin. And that was in a city where they were INVITED by the local government!

•••

StumpMan
Premium
join:2001-07-26
Clinton, NC

Connect North Carolina

As someone who lives in coastal NC, I can tell you of about a dozen places where there is no broadband access offered by anyone. Unless that is, you want satellite access.

When you call to ask about it you are told 'Not available in your area' and 'they are looking to upgrade that area eventually'. Been hearing that for years.

They talk about how 'wired the state is' but ignore that several smaller communities still have dialup at best.
johan_hammy

join:2003-08-08
Dekalb, IL

Re: Connect North Carolina

said by StumpMan:

As someone who lives in coastal NC, I can tell you of about a dozen places where there is no broadband access offered by anyone.

Where?