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U.S. Broadband #1! In Everything! Forever! *
by Karl Bode 10:35AM Tuesday Jul 23 2013
*There has been a concerted push recently by the broadband industry to try and insist that the United States broadband market is secretly flawless, awesome and highly competitive, despite the fact that absolutely every independent source of broadband data (from Akamai and the FCC to the OECD and OOkla's Net Index) suggests we're absolutely and utterly mediocre at every metric that counts.

Click for full size
That's not to say we're not improving in some very select regions (thanks to things like Google Fiber, Verizon FiOS and DOCSIS 3.0), but overall we're quite indisputably, utterly average when it comes to broadband worldwide. If you've been following our coverage of cable's growing dominance of fixed-line broadband as companies like Verizon exit huge swaths of the market, things are about to get worse.

Thanks to napping regulators, apathy, and a poorly-informed public, the lack of competition continues to be the primary reason for our mediocrity. That lack of competition allows companies to lag on network upgrades and improvements to customer support, while engaging in often obnoxious anti-competitive behavior. Most importantly it allows them to work relentlessly to drive prices skyward using everything from completely bogus fees to forcing you to bundle services you don't want.

Yet we've seen a hurricane of disinformation efforts from the industry recently trying to convince the public that there's absolutely nothing wrong. Millionaire Steve Forbes has informed rural DSL users that having those lines severed without a suitable replacement is no big deal, Verizon's CEO has pretended that most people can get 100 Mbps speeds, and Comcast's David Cohen has hallucinated that the United States is #1 in broadband worldwide.

2013, to put it bluntly, has been a banner year for broadband bullshit.

The latest odiforous entry came last week, courtesy of John Sununu and Broadband for America, a lobbying and disinformation tentacle forged by giant carriers to frame public perception. In an editorial circulated nationally last week by the group, former White House Chief of Staff turned telecom sock puppet Sununu informs readers, much like similar pieces by Comcast lobbyists, that United States broadband is secretly awesome and those claiming otherwise are just crybabies.

Like most other recent pieces, the editorial cherry picks stats that look good but are rather irrelevant (we're #2 at total worldwide connections behind China!), pays some lip service to bridging the digital divide (something millionaire duopolists couldn't care less about), then proceeds to try and counter the excitement surrounding Google Fiber by insisting that you don't need a 1 Gbps connection. Proclaims Sununu:
quote:
Some critics still charge that U.S. broadband won’t be first-class until everyone has 1 gigabit-per-second (or “1-gig”) service. But the reality is that the market for even faster services will grow as applications emerge that require them. The very few countries that have experimented with 1-gig services have found that there are no meaningful applications yet developed to take advantage of those speeds — nor, even, for the 300 Mbps speeds already being offered in many parts of the U.S. The U.S. Department of Commerce has been skeptical about the near-term market for gigabit tiers.

Even if gigabit apps were to suddenly flood the market, few websites and almost none of the wireless routers currently in use today could effectively deliver such speeds. The truth is that most consumers today find that the more moderate, yet rapidly-increasing, multi-megabit speeds are more than sufficient to meet their current requirements.
As I've noted previously, by focusing on whether you need 1 Gbps speeds, you won't be inclined to talk about why incumbent broadband providers won't provide them. Or ask why, for example, a search engine can provide users with 1 Gbps for $70, but an incumbent ISP still charges users an arm and a leg (plus assorted fees) for connections that are dramatically slower. You certainly won't ask why so many millions of people in the United States are still paying $60 (or more, if you're being forced to bundle other services) for speeds slower than 5 Mbps.

While this kind of song and dance is par for the lobbyist course, there's two major new reasons for the renewed disinformation push this year:

Click for full size
• Susan Crawford annoyed all the right people earlier this year when the tour for her new book, Captive Audience, brought a lot of attention to the uncompetitive nature of the U.S. broadband industry and the degree of regulatory capture carriers enjoy. As an aside, many of her one-star Amazon reviews (from folks like Lee offer a master class in broadband industry astroturfing). The industry is very interested in shifting the public's attention away from the unpleasant facts the public learned during those conversations.

• Google Fiber brought an immense amount of previously-unheard of attention to our national broadband shortcomings. When Google first put out feelers to gauge interest among cities, the response was utterly massive in scale, with every podunk newspaper and local broadcast news affiliate highlighting in great detail how displeased people are with the way things are. Every time Google Fiber expands, it happens all over again. It's just the sort of thing that makes a duopolist with a vested interest in crushing new competition cry.

As is always the case with these kinds of hallucinatory millionaire missives, pretending that the United States broadband market is perfect as is derails any efforts to try and improve it, be it on the federal or smaller community level. The industry certainly doesn't want you to notice that you're being mugged with endless fees while enjoying some of the worst customer service in any industry. The industry also certainly would prefer you not notice that AT&T and Verizon are effectively ceding huge swaths of the fixed line broadband industry to cable, creating an even less competitive market than we already have.

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skeechan
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The whole discussion is bull

You think you can get uber broadband in rural Japan or Korea...no way...just like here. Meanwhile ditching DSL will certainly help the US rankings since they always seem to rely on speed tests. Dropping those bottom end services leave only the decent faster ones to be measured. But wait...then would have something new to bitch about.

People bitch for the sake of bitching. Services everywhere, in every country "suck"...just for different reasons.
--
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FFH
Premium
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Tavistock NJ
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1 edit

Re: The whole discussion is bull

I get 60/11 mbps for $62/mo from Comcast and could get 105/20 mbps for $100/mo. And they have no competitor except Verizon offering 3/1 mbps DSL in my area. Why does Comcast offer these speeds at these prices if they have no realistic competitor?

rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

2 recommendations

Re: The whole discussion is bull

Perhaps because they do have competition in some areas. If they only offered those plans in some areas, it could open a can of worms that they prefer to remain in the shadows.

djrobx
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Valencia, CA
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said by FFH:

I get 60/11 mbps for $62/mo from Comcast and could get 105/20 mbps for $100/mo.

Why? Because you're lucky that you have a cable provider with a CEO who's somewhat interested in being a broadband leader. Comcast is also competing with Verizon FiOS and U-verse, just not in your area, but you benefit anyway.

If you had TWC you'd be paying $100/month for 50/5 (in many parts of the country, folks would be grateful to have that!).

Despite the "duopoly" complaining, I think the US has had reasonably healthy competition in the broadband market so far. DSL vs Cable vs independent third party ISPs / CLECs. What really worries me is telco abandonment of wireline services. That will leave us with cable as the only provider, and they WILL become abusive in that environment.

--
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Rethink Billable.

tshirt
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join:2004-07-11
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Re: The whole discussion is bull

It's is unfortunate, but not unexpected.
in the last 10 years TELCO wire lines have dropped to 40% of the previous peak usage, far below they sustainability level. In the meantime VoIP over Cable, and cell phones (and the revenues attached have soared for those providers)
USF has met it's goal of assured wide area availability of at least one TELEPHONY "line" at an affordable price (not as low as some would like, but a possibility for every person/house)
It may be time to do the same thing for broadband first building for availability past the 'burbs.
The pricing/competitions is another question, if there is money to be made you will see investment. if it's a lot of money(or a consistant little bit over a long time) you'll see multiple carriers.

Mention price controls and you may not see anyone.

Alex J

@184.105.146.x

Why does Comcast offer these speeds at these prices if they have no realistic competitor?

Because DOCSIS 3.0 is relatively cheap to upgrade, and unlike other cable operators, they do face more serious competition from AT&T and Verizon in many markets. Speed isn't the whole story either though. Their customer service continues to be among the worst in the industry. They also just struck a pact with Verizon to re-sell Verizon Wireless services, so enjoy the end result of that on your overall bill the next decade.

Morac
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1

1 recommendation

The main reason is Verizon. You may not be able to get FIOS where you are (neither can I), but it's highly likely one of the neighboring towns in your Comcast area has FIOS.

So you are actually benefitting from competition.

PapaMidnight

join:2009-01-13
Baltimore, MD
You mean it is possible to have more than one ISP serve your area? Man, I wish I knew what that felt like....

xyzabcg

@rr.com

Re: The whole discussion is bull

That's most of America: cable co vs telco. In my backyard, there's three cable lines and AT&T's "U-verse" line. I also have a strong WiMax signal. One cable co bought out another, so now there's only two choices for cable. The top speed from anyone is 50/5. The choice is nice even though none of them is amazing. I used to live in an area with Fios haha.
yzor
Premium
join:2003-01-03
Jacksonville, FL
I could not get anywhere near that speed here even with doubleplay. for that price. 25/5 for about 65 a month here in Jacksonville and we have competition. even more sad while we got doc 3 now the speeds stil drop at peek times.

tshirt
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Snohomish, WA
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1 recommendation

And "out in the country" of almost every country broadband is less prevalent and less wonderful.
Look at the OOkla stat's. One of the "countries" in front of the US , Andorra is specifically 900 tests from the principal city Andorra La Vella place it near the top.
When you whip out your atlas (or Wikipedia) an see that this metropolis is 85,000 people in 10sq miles generated 7700 tests out of which 800 make this the second fastest country in the world.
I would guess (any Andorran's please correct me if I am mistaken) that in the mountains outside Andorra La Vella, or in the rest of Andorra "BROADBAND" is rarely mentioned, perhaps not even on the radar.
I'm also guessing we could select quite a few areas in quite a few states, of 10 Square miles and select 10% of the tests and come up with equal or better average speeds.
In fact in their world listing the populous areas in the top ten listings area very small geographically and large by population and relative income which greatly changes the high-end Broadband availability/usage/speeds.

The stats are skewed in such a way to show geographically large countries like the US lower in the ratings.

Alex J

@184.105.144.x

Re: The whole discussion is bull

The stats are skewed in such a way to show geographically large countries like the US lower in the ratings.

ALL of the stats from every stat farm showing we're middle of the road are skewed to simply make us look bad? So the lobbyists are right! We are secretly awesome and our broadband woes are all hallucinated. Good find!

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
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Re: The whole discussion is bull

said by Alex J :

The stats are skewed in such a way to show geographically large countries like the US lower in the ratings.

ALL of the stats from every stat farm showing we're middle of the road are skewed to simply make us look bad? So the lobbyists are right! We are secretly awesome and our broadband woes are all hallucinated. Good find!

Not actually what I was saying, it is possible to find MANY locations HERE, the equal or better OOkla's carefully crafted rankings, HOWEVER there is a lot more area to cover here, without the per mile density needed to support the cost of new wire line builds capable of those higher speeds.
The lobbyists aren't correct that we are done building out, neither are the naysayers point to those rankings a place use in the broadband third world.
In fact It is likely that in the US providers rollout more faster connections in a few weeks then some of the higher ranking countries have or will ever have.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

2 recommendations

As made famous by Mark Twain, there are lies, damned lies and statistics. On the surface, statistics can be used to support any conclusion. However, it's incredibly important to thoroughly question them before assigning confidence to their conclusions.

I believe the OOkla stats for Andorra are similar to NFL QB efficiency ratings. The guy at the top of the list could be a backup with ONE really great quarter. That's why you'll often see the ratings filtered to only show starting quarterbacks or at the very least, quarterbacks with significant playing time.

Another example is automotive "highest initial quality" statistics. It's not an inconsequential figure because we expect new cars to be defect free. However, if a car tops that list and then proceeds to develop more defects than any other car after 10,000 miles, we quickly realize initial quality does not guarantee enduring quality and how that particular statistic can be very misleading.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
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Re: The whole discussion is bull

The good news is if you take the time to scan through the entire Akamai report
»www.scribd.com/fullscreen/155497···are=true

The US number are looking very good, even when compared with the oft touted Asian countries who's complete stats aren't quite as good as some here would have you believe - see both charts on page 24
tanzam75

join:2012-07-19

1 edit

Re: The whole discussion is bull

Click for full size
said by tshirt:

The good news is if you take the time to scan through the entire Akamai report
»www.scribd.com/fullscreen/155497···are=true

The US number are looking very good, even when compared with the oft touted Asian countries who's complete stats aren't quite as good as some here would have you believe - see both charts on page 24

What's really interesting is that the United States does comparatively well in the percentage of connections above 10 Mbps.

Out of 123 countries, the United States comes in 8th on this metric (p. 13), at 25%. That's better than 22 out of 25 countries in the EMEA region (p. 26). Also better than 18 out of 21 countries in Europe. The top country in Europe, Switzerland, scored 30%. Some of the numbers are quite shocking: France at 5.2%, or Germany at 13%.

Akamai's numbers include businesses as well as residences. So it may be that Europe just has poor Internet connectivity at businesses, which drags down their numbers.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: The whole discussion is bull

I might be mistaken but I thought Europe relies more on DSL than the US. If true, that could become a disadvantage without continued FTTN investment and deploying the latest VDSL tech. In contrast, with the DTV transition in the rear view mirror of most cable providers, the reclaimed spectrum should give them a bit of breathing room.
biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361

2 recommendations

It is not all about speed. Most people would rather have unlimited 3 Mbps DSL at $50 than 15-20 Mbps LTE capped at 10 GB for $80.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
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No, I don't think that. I know it.

tshirt
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join:2004-07-11
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Re: The whole discussion is bull

said by KrK:

No, I don't think that. I know it.

Now Akamai and the rest of the world don't believe you.
not that YOU may not have experienced high speeds every where you went, but that large numbers of speed tests show YOUR unique experience to be atypical, and unlikely for more than 50% of residents.
Next time you may need to get out more and ask others about their experience.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
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Tulsa, OK

Re: The whole discussion is bull

Click for full size
I think the Average connection speed is very telling. It after all an average of all connections, from the lowest to the highest and then averaged.

tshirt
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join:2004-07-11
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Re: The whole discussion is bull

that chart on the left says average PEAK speed
If you read all the words in the report, along with the along with the 4 Mbps chart your see that either MOST connections have a huge powerboost effect, followed by a 4~10Mbps typical speed
OR
a few connections are at the highest speed with most around 10Mbps (above and below) average.
While it appears 87% of those tested can reach 4Mbps and 50% can reach 10Mbps that mean 50% never reach 10Mbps and 13% never reach 4Mbps...hardly qualifies as EVERYWHERE. or even 50% of everywhere.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: The whole discussion is bull

What I read is that the average connection in those countries hit a peak of those speeds. Since it's an average, that would suggest that 50% get faster then those speeds and 50% get less.

The USA isn't even in the top 10 of that chart. They do place 8th in the chart of percentage of people who have speeds over 10 mbps.... and that number is 25%. That's hardly anything to write home about. Another thing I don't see mentioned here either is cost of those connections.... another area where the USA's lack of competition causes issues.

I guess what it boils down to is that the USA is doing fairly well on penetration of broadband vs many countries, but failing in terms of speeds widely available and cost of service. We're clearly not the worst, but we're not in the top tier either, strictly middle of the pack.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: The whole discussion is bull

An average does not mean 50% get faster and 50% get slower. Statistics are a bit more complicated.

Consider this data set:

100, 5, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, 50 = 18.1 average.

2 data points exceed the average and 8 fall below it. That's why drawing conclusions from a simple average can be misleading without looking at other statistical factors of the data set such as standard deviation.

The standard deviation of that data set is ~30 (depending on which Excel formula I use -- STDEV or STDEV.P -- I used STDEV.P in this case since we aren't dealing with a sample and don't need to remove degrees of freedom). The standard deviation formula seeks to magnify the distribution of data points by subtracting the average from each data point and squaring it. Those numbers are then averaged (summed and then divided by the size of the set) and the standard deviation is then the square root of that number.

A standard deviation of 30 suggests the average is being heavily skewed by a few data points. However, we still haven't discussed confidence interval. CI is a statement about how accurate we want our statistical inference to be. Generally statisticians demand 95% confidence. To attain that, we have to multiply the standard deviation by 2 which yields 60. (a 99% CI is attained by multiplying the standard deviation by 3). This means if we add and subtract 60 from our average (-41.9 (or 0) and 78.1), 95% of the population's data points will fall within that range. This tell us that a few extreme data points are heavily skewing the average. Further, the average should not be trusted without an asterisk the size of a beach ball.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: The whole discussion is bull

Valid, except that this is apparently thousands and thousands of datapoints, not merely a handful. The Average is fairly representative here.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: The whole discussion is bull

Regardless of the number of data points, we cannot know how "fair" the average represents the population. If you take the example data set and replicate it 10,000 times so that there are now 100,000 data points, the statistics remain the same. 20% of the data points seriously skew the average and do not "fairly" represent 80% of the set.
tanzam75

join:2012-07-19

1 edit
Click for full size
said by KrK:

The USA isn't even in the top 10 of that chart.

The United States is number 11, at 36.6 Mbps.

The average is not a median. It is highly skewed by the top end. If you roll out gigabit to just 0.2% of connections, then everyone's average top speed would increase by 2 Mbps, and the United States would jump into 8th place.

said by KrK:

They do place 8th in the chart of percentage of people who have speeds over 10 mbps.... and that number is 25%. That's hardly anything to write home about.

It beats 18 out of 21 countries in Europe.

I am surprised it's only 25%, though. Considering that the cablecos are easily trouncing the telcos, one would expect the number to be higher.

I wonder if it's caused by node congestion. After all, Akamai doesn't know what your actual top speed is -- they just know the top speed that you managed to connect at least once to an Akamai server. If you're a residential user who connects primarily in the evening, you may never hit your actual top speed when connecting to Akamai.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: The whole discussion is bull

Also valid, but would also apply to every other country as well, thereby making it somewhat irrelevant in terms of the overall rankings of the dataset.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

1 edit
said by skeechan:

You think you can get uber broadband in rural Japan or Korea...no way...just like here. Meanwhile ditching DSL will certainly help the US rankings since they always seem to rely on speed tests. Dropping those bottom end services leave only the decent faster ones to be measured. But wait...then would have something new to bitch about.

People bitch for the sake of bitching. Services everywhere, in every country "suck"...just for different reasons.

Yes you can, if by uber you mean cheap and fast. I lived in a farm town named Joam in SK and had no problems getting a very fast cable connection for a little less than 20 USD.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

It could be worse

We could mimic Canada and their non-competitive, highly capped and highly priced market. I am stunned what my sister pays Rogers outside of Toronto.
--
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mr sean
Professional Infidel
Premium,ExMod 2001-07
join:2001-04-03
N. Absentia
kudos:1

Re: It could be worse

One might argue we are already neck and neck with our neighbors to the North. Regulatory capture is still pushing away any sort of meaningful competition so we might soon usurp the "highly capped and highly priced market" title.
--
How you can make the world a Better Place

Alex J

@184.105.146.x

Re: It could be worse

Canada was actually on the cusp of greatness and led a lot of stats ten years ago before their regulators decided to copy American regulators and let businesses run roughshod over consumers...

Now they're uncompetitive and heavily, heavily capped, courtesy of free marketeers and the boobs (like most in these forums) who cheer against their own best self interests.

toby
Troy Mcclure

join:2001-11-13
Portland, OR
said by n2jtx:

We could mimic Canada and their non-competitive, highly capped and highly priced market. I am stunned what my sister pays Rogers outside of Toronto.

Have you been to the most rural parts of Canada and see what high speed choices they have?
Better than in the US.

Mashiki
Balking The Enemy's Plans

join:2002-02-04
Woodstock, ON
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Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
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Re: It could be worse

said by toby:

Have you been to the most rural parts of Canada and see what high speed choices they have?
Better than in the US.

Uh really? 28.8k and 14.4 dialup are still pretty common in most of rural canada, if you're lucky. Once you get into DSL territory, the next most common thing is 5/1, in fact that's the best DSL you can get where I live. In a city of almost 37k people, though I can get 150/10 via cable.
--
The Art of War
"Excessive law is no law." - Cicero
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Nick1996

join:2012-06-04
Edmonton, AB
Actually I'm on Telus here and Canada and pretty happy. I have 15/1 (I can get 13-5/0.87) megabits and pay $40 for internet, but I am in a bundle with satellite TV and home phone. I'm capped at 150 GB, but Telus doesn't charge overage, so I pretty much have unlimited. Last month I transferred 300 GB. Telus also goes out of their way to help customers. Their support is the best I've ever dealt with (line problems, multiple techs, but they never charged, and always came out). It would be nice to have a better upload, but I'm glad that I'm not being ripped off as much as most of the US.
Nick1996

join:2012-06-04
Edmonton, AB

Re: It could be worse

I forgot to add, I'm out west in Edmonton and I've heard that eastern Canada gets ripped off pretty bad.

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

And Wireless is still the bastard stepchild

We're still yammering on about wireline broadband while the real growth is in wireless. You think any of these companies give a crap about providing gigabit speeds for $50/mo? Why should they when they can push 50 gigabytes per month through a 2 megabit dropper for $100...and people line up to pay it.

Alex J

@he.net

Re: And Wireless is still the bastard stepchild

Except that wireless is no substitute for a real wired connection, so we're hanging up on fixed lines and then just hoping that 4 GB capped LTE connection works out well for people on fixed incomes.
cramer
Premium
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Raleigh, NC
kudos:9
s/growth/money/

Wireless data is all about P.R.O.F.I.T. High initial cost, long contract, stupid low cap, and insane overage fees. And they more or less get to make up the numbers. (how many reports have there been of data usage from powered off phones. carriers counter with "we count what the tower broadcasts (and receives), not what your phone actually received.")

linicx
Caveat Emptor
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join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
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Excuse me for agreeing.

The problem with the FCC, CEO, CFO, and the geeks in D.C., who believe this smoke and mirrors never lived in rural America, never paid the outrageous fees, never suffered with the mediocre to poor service, and have no idea what the word competition means. It is not a duopoly which is what most of us are really saddled with. I firmly believe a telephone company that has been providing residential phone services for nearly 100 years, and has annual revenues of several billion dollars, does in fact know how to replace the POTS line (they removed) with an equally good service. I submit they do not want to spend the money to do so.

When it comes to deployment, broadband in rural America is near the bottom behind most every other developed country in the world. As long as telephone and cable companies can dictate how we are allowed to communicate, and what information we are allowed to gather and share, broadband will never improve. Competition in rural America is just as much a dream as a magic carpet ride and just as unattainable.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Competition More Important Than Speed

I'd love to have gigabit for $70/month but I'd rather see our government focusing on policy that enables numerous competitors. Foster that and speed and price will take care of itself.

I say this even though I am actually happy with the price and speeds offered by my local carrier, Charter. However, history is rife with examples of why capitalism needs competition. No matter how good a company might appear, it's run by us humans and we find it impossible to resist consequence-free temptation.
AndyDufresne
Premium
join:2010-10-30
Chanhassen, MN

by line says John Sununu and Harold Ford Jr.

Amazing how these guys became experts on broadband deployement and pricing in the US in such short time from leaving their government positions.

Alex J

@he.net

Re: by line says John Sununu and Harold Ford Jr.

Amazing how these guys became experts on broadband deployement and pricing in the US in such short time from leaving their government positions.

They're just given talking points to hit on just like they're giving any speech about any topic. They don't have to actually know what they're talking about, they're just there to lend faux credibility to the argument that everything in broadband land is wonderful, competition is flourishing, and you are not paying too much for TV and broadband.

rolande
Certifiable
Premium,Mod
join:2002-05-24
Dallas, TX
kudos:6
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·ViaTalk

2 recommendations

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...

The whole "nobody really needs a Gig" commentary is a bunch of crap. Spoken like someone who is an industry apologist and really is clueless about how the technology functions and what attributes are important for performance. It isn't about individual users or individual applications. It also isn't 100% about just the raw bandwidth either. It is about buffer speed and lack of queueing that reduces transaction latency overall, as well as the ability to support simultaneous usage. As more devices are connected and more customers have simultaneous usage on their connections, the more they will really need the higher bandwidths to avoid the sluggishness and poor performance when link saturation occurs in any direction.

I would consider my house at below average device count on my network at 16 devices with 6 family members. That is only 2.66 devices per user. In the next year, I expect it will be more like 20 to 22 devices. As my kids get older, I'm already seeing the simultaneous demand on bandwidth increasing. It is tolerable for now on a 24Meg connection but I guarantee it won't be in the next 2 years. I will need 100-200Meg service between my wife recording 4 HD channels at a time on the DVR and the kids constantly streaming content and watching TV and me working from home on video conferences all the time. It will saturate my current service and make it practically unusable.
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Scott, CCIE #14618 Routing & Switching
»rolande.wordpress.com/

Probitas

@teksavvy.com

sever the connection

Make television broadcasters sever their ties to the ISPs they have, and then see what happens in the market. Actual competition should occur then.

Milliwatt

join:2010-01-26
Hotchkiss, CO

Broadband Speeds (Rural)

There should be no argument. Until metallic wire-line facilities are replaced with fiber, delivery of Internet services in rural areas will be total crap. The following graphic is from the Fiber Optic Association.

»wsrl.org/images/speed1.jpg

Radio helps a little but not by much.

»wsrl.org/fiber.htm