Linked by Howard Fosdick on Fri 27th Jul 2012 02:57 UTC
Internet & Networking A free, new report from the New America Foundation compares cost, speed, and availabilty of internet connectivity in 22 cities around the world. The report concludes that U.S. consumers face comparatively high, rising connectivity costs, even while the majority have very limited choices -- often only one or two providers. The report argues that U.S. broadband policies need to change, otherwise consumer choice will continue to deteriorate.
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Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Fri 27th Jul 2012 06:25 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

Yup. It's pathetic.

Reply Score: 3

So true
by kateline on Fri 27th Jul 2012 06:33 UTC
kateline
Member since:
2011-05-19

This report is so true. The USA has some large rural areas (as opposed to central Europe, say), in which you'd expect only 1 or 2 ISP's. But even its urban areas lack choice of carrier. I'm in a large city and I've got all of two (Comcast and AT&T DSL).

We need true competition and customer choice, it's vital to our economy and future growth.

Reply Score: 6

RE: So true
by l3v1 on Fri 27th Jul 2012 08:21 UTC in reply to "So true"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Agree +1. Where my relatives are in the US (and me, when I happen to be there) there are 3 options basically (at&t, verizon and cox), and each have ridiculously high prices compared to almost anywhere in Europe (let alone comparing the number of options to choose from), but not just that, it's also high if you look at what you get for the price. It's a joke really. But if you look at where they seem to be headed, it doesn't seem funny at all.

Reply Score: 4

Akamai's survey agrees, US behind
by benali72 on Fri 27th Jul 2012 08:46 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

Akamai's "State of the Internet" survey also shows the US to be behind many other nations in broadband. See a good summary of findings at -- http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404007,00.asp

Reply Score: 4

Times change
by dsmogor on Fri 27th Jul 2012 09:05 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

I remember when people angrily pointed out how one could have a month worth of unlimited broadband access for the mere cost of a few hamburgers in the US, while at the same time in my country, you could spend 0.5 of average wage on excessive dialup cost (to a monopoly telecom) your kids generated if you weren't carefull.
Broadband (Leased line was the only option) was out of reach.
Now one can easily choose from multitude of offers including LTE, cable and phone companies offering as little as $15 for 50mbit. Hell, you can get basic EDGE access for absolutely free! (no strings)
Funny thing is that only started to get better when regulators stepped, and quite offensively for that matter.
Times change indeed.

Edited 2012-07-27 09:06 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Times change
by tanzam75 on Fri 27th Jul 2012 18:19 UTC in reply to "Times change"
tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

I remember when people angrily pointed out how one could have a month worth of unlimited broadband access for the mere cost of a few hamburgers in the US, while at the same time in my country, you could spend 0.5 of average wage on excessive dialup cost (to a monopoly telecom) your kids generated if you weren't carefull.


Ironically, the poor state of Internet access in the dialup era happens to be one of the reasons that you have good broadband today. It gave your country a goal to surpass, an incentive to invest.

The US had an adequate broadband infrastructure for 2002. It skimped on investment over the next decade, and ended up with an uncompetitive infrastructure for 2012.

Other countries had pathetic broadband in 2002. So they invested a great deal and now have good broadband in 2012.

And it's not just broadband. Leapfrogging happens a lot in tech infrastructure. For example, China had a patchy telephone landline network, but it now has an excellent mobile network.

Edited 2012-07-27 18:24 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Times change
by fretinator on Fri 27th Jul 2012 19:42 UTC in reply to "Times change"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

Funny thing is that only started to get better when regulators stepped, and quite offensively for that matter.

We don't need any of that kind of talk - the Job Creators will hear you!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Times change
by zima on Tue 31st Jul 2012 01:04 UTC in reply to "Times change"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

you could spend 0.5 of average wage on excessive dialup cost (to a monopoly telecom) your kids generated if you weren't carefull

Well there were some methods at the time - chiefly neighbour LAN connected via shared SDI (for the rest of you: Home internet Solution from Ericsson, in practice a kind of ~100kbps DSL ...just with terminal connected via RS232, ugh)

Hell, you can get basic EDGE access for absolutely free! (no strings)

Do you refer to Aero2? Technically it's not EDGE, but 3G (and a "high" one, requiring advanced modems) - though yeah, limited to speeds not far above EDGE. Plus it will be available only for few years after achieving coverage goals, and from some point on only in LTE tech even. Plus, the operator paid very low price for the public spectrum which had those conditions of free access, so we kinda all paid for it that way. But yeah, still a nice idea.
Or is there something else that came up in the meantime, that I haven't heard about?

Funny thing is that only started to get better when regulators stepped, and quite offensively for that matter.

But there'll still be some in whose eyes govs can do only bad...

Reply Score: 2

LighthouseJ
Member since:
2009-06-18

This topic usually comes up on the Internet in order to belittle the US when compared to other countries.

Why are maximum speeds to residential customers really important?
It's like being obsessed with having the car with the most horsepower. When are you, the car owner, ever going to need all of that top speed? If you won't (and you're like most of us), then perhaps it would be better spending money on a car with more torque, if you like that, better handling, more features, etc...

I wish the article had been focused the price to get broadband access (per FCC FTA) around the world so as to raise awareness about getting poorer peoples on-line.

I also wish the article spent more time noting that few large companies are rounding up all of the resources.

Reply Score: 1

OMRebel Member since:
2005-11-14

Why are maximum speeds to residential customers really important?
It's like being obsessed with having the car with the most horsepower. When are you, the car owner, ever going to need all of that top speed? If you won't (and you're like most of us), then perhaps it would be better spending money on a car with more torque, if you like that, better handling, more features, etc...
.


Why are speeds important? That's easy. I have a teenage son is that usually watching Youtube videos, playing games, listening to music, etc... You know, stuff that does take up a bit of bandwidth. Meanwhile, if my wife and I want to watch a movie over Netflix or Amazon Instant Video. Now, if my son is hogging up even half of the small amount of bandwidth that is even offered to me, then my wife and I can't watch Netflix or Amazon Instant Video - the quality would be way too crappy. If we were living in a larger city, then that wouldn't be a problem, as we'd have much more options. But as it stands now, we have no options and it sucks. Our one and only ISP isn't going to change in the foreseeable future.

Reply Score: 6

cpuobsessed Member since:
2009-06-09

I'm not even two miles from the closest city (about 40 miles east of Lexington,KY) and have no options other than dialup or sattelite. ATT have said "oh we're expanding coverage all the time", yeah right, they've said since I moved here in 2003. Guess what, still no DSL for me; neighbor has it and the fastest speed he can have is 3Mbit. They have no plans to increase coverage or reliability because we're out here and not in a populated area like Lexington or even Winchester. It's really disgusting because as we move forward it will become more and more necessary to have internet access. Not just for entertainment but job searches, education, news, etc.

Reply Score: 2

LighthouseJ Member since:
2009-06-18

I have a teenage son is that usually watching Youtube videos, playing games, listening to music, etc... You know, stuff that does take up a bit of bandwidth. Meanwhile, if my wife and I want to watch a movie over Netflix or Amazon Instant Video. Now, if my son is hogging up even half of the small amount of bandwidth that is even offered to me, then my wife and I can't watch Netflix or Amazon Instant Video - the quality would be way too crappy. If we were living in a larger city, then that wouldn't be a problem, as we'd have much more options. But as it stands now, we have no options and it sucks. Our one and only ISP isn't going to change in the foreseeable future.


First of all, I think your embellishing what your family is actually doing at any one time, but somehow you think that is an adequate rebuttal. I think you're pretending everyone does every activity simultaneously.

Second, my reply was about the fastest observable speeds in an area like a near major city (that other people won't be able to benefit) as representative of the whole. I was saying who cares about that maximum speed in the nearest city? There are more interesting and alarming metrics like what I mentioned about what's going on in your neighborhood, and in your case of being in a remote area and having to pay more bucks for still slower speeds.

Reply Score: 1

arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

That's pretty much how it is in most homes.

Everyone's out during the day at school or work, and then everyone's home and on the net or TV in the evening.

Reply Score: 2

OMRebel Member since:
2005-11-14

"I have a teenage son is that usually watching Youtube videos, playing games, listening to music, etc... You know, stuff that does take up a bit of bandwidth. Meanwhile, if my wife and I want to watch a movie over Netflix or Amazon Instant Video. Now, if my son is hogging up even half of the small amount of bandwidth that is even offered to me, then my wife and I can't watch Netflix or Amazon Instant Video - the quality would be way too crappy. If we were living in a larger city, then that wouldn't be a problem, as we'd have much more options. But as it stands now, we have no options and it sucks. Our one and only ISP isn't going to change in the foreseeable future.


First of all, I think your embellishing what your family is actually doing at any one time, but somehow you think that is an adequate rebuttal. I think you're pretending everyone does every activity simultaneously.

Second, my reply was about the fastest observable speeds in an area like a near major city (that other people won't be able to benefit) as representative of the whole. I was saying who cares about that maximum speed in the nearest city? There are more interesting and alarming metrics like what I mentioned about what's going on in your neighborhood, and in your case of being in a remote area and having to pay more bucks for still slower speeds.
"

Embellishing? You obviously don't have a teenage child.

Reply Score: 2

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Embellishing? You obviously don't have a teenage child


He made a good point. Your teenage child isn't using bandwidth 24-hours a day, right? I mean, he or she attends school, plays in sports, participates in clubs, hangs out with friends, etc? Further, beyond that, it's not necessary to have 100M-bit access in order to do most common network tasks. That was his point.

Reply Score: 1

ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

"Embellishing? You obviously don't have a teenage child


He made a good point. Your teenage child isn't using bandwidth 24-hours a day, right? I mean, he or she attends school, plays in sports, participates in clubs, hangs out with friends, etc? Further, beyond that, it's not necessary to have 100M-bit access in order to do most common network tasks. That was his point.
"
It doesn't matter if his teenager uses the internet 24 hours a day. What matters is having enough bandwidth to accommodate your demand as needed. As I said in a previous post, each individual is best suited to determine what their own needs are. It's common sense that some people have far greater demand while others have far lower.

Reply Score: 3

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

It doesn't matter if his teenager uses the internet 24 hours a day. What matters is having enough bandwidth to accommodate your demand as needed. As I said in a previous post, each individual is best suited to determine what their own needs are. It's common sense that some people have far greater demand while others have far lower.


We live in a society in which people expect instant gratification, immediate responses. I'm just saying that technology is not always the answer to these kinds of expectations; perhaps having more realistic expectations is. This post will be modded down by small minds.

Reply Score: 1

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Why are maximum speeds to residential customers really important?
It's like being obsessed with having the car with the most horsepower. When are you, the car owner, ever going to need all of that top speed?


And do you use anything faster than a Pentium III, more than 128mb ram, and larger than a 10gb HD?

Just curious... and if you do, why?

Reply Score: 3

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Not a fair comparison. All operating systems commercially available require faster parts than those you listed. So all users need to use faster parts. Unlike motorists needing 300+ Hp.

Right now on 6mb dsl, I can stream two shows in HD while two users actively surf the web at normal speed. Some people might need greater speed, but not everyone does at this point.

Reply Score: 2

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Not a fair comparison. All operating systems commercially available require faster parts than those you listed. So all users need to use faster parts. Unlike motorists needing 300+ Hp.


And internet bandwidth has nothing to do with horsepower either.

If I need to download a Linux DVD-ISO - are you suggesting I must wait all day for that to occur?

Should updating 3 windows computers in the same house render an internet connection useless during that process?

Right now on 6mb dsl, I can stream two shows in HD while two users actively surf the web at normal speed. Some people might need greater speed, but not everyone does at this point.


6mbit DSL would be great! And I'm still waiting to find out if I can get that at this house.

Reply Score: 3

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Dunno why this got downvoted so much. It's not clear to me that fast residential speeds are that important. I have a few handkerchiefs to lend to those poor souls who can't watch Netflix while their children torrent the latest episode of Gilmore Girls and stream YouTube.

On the other hand, as a principle, innovation occurs when there is opportunity. Imagine if when you grew up there was no practical difference between a SATA connection and an Internet connection. What would you have come up with, how might you have hacked differently? Instead of becoming a _______ developer, who might you be today?

On the other other hand, the absurdity of software patents shows that invention in software does not require the same kind of investment in resources that other fields do. That is why I am skeptical about the necessity of ultra-broadband. Rolling out a 500 KB/s to rural America would be enough. (Besides, for all the hype about South Korea's broadband saturation, they still have a rather insular intranet, and as far as I can tell the U.S. still leads the way in terms of creating important web apps.)

Reply Score: 3

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Dunno why this got downvoted so much. It's not clear to me that fast residential speeds are that important. I have a few handkerchiefs to lend to those poor souls who can't watch Netflix while their children torrent the latest episode of Gilmore Girls and stream YouTube.


Agree. There are plenty of modern routers that allow you to explicitly throttle the bandwidth of specific IP addresses. Use static IP assignments. Nobody should be allowed to monopolize the entire pipe.

Reply Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

tomcat,

"Agree. There are plenty of modern routers that allow you to explicitly throttle the bandwidth of specific IP addresses. Use static IP assignments. Nobody should be allowed to monopolize the entire pipe."

Not to contradict anything you said, but throttling bandwidth of non-critical tasks is usually the opposite of what is wanted, which is guaranteeing bandwidth of critical ones. It's actually very difficult to guarantee bandwidth for "critical" tasks like VIOP and netflix while simultaneously maximising bandwidth utilisation among non-critical tasks due to varying conditions in the network.

OT: what gets me is that ISPs add port restrictions and charge even more for premium accounts to unlock them. One of my providers blocks incoming SSH (in fact all ports below 1024), this is very annoying to say the least!

Edited 2012-07-29 04:43 UTC

Reply Score: 3

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Not to contradict anything you said, but throttling bandwidth of non-critical tasks is usually the opposite of what is wanted, which is guaranteeing bandwidth of critical ones. It's actually very difficult to guarantee bandwidth for "critical" tasks like VIOP and netflix while simultaneously maximising bandwidth utilisation among non-critical tasks due to varying conditions in the network.


In a perfect world, everyone would get their critical tasks handled when they need -- and everything else would get deprioritized. But networks don't function that way. There's no way to signal that "this remote terminal session is more important than anything that my kid is doing", so the various usages battle one another in a random way. All that I'm saying is that, if you want to prevent somebody in your house from completely saturating your network pipe to the Internet, limiting their bandwidth on the router is a very good way to do it.

OT: what gets me is that ISPs add port restrictions and charge even more for premium accounts to unlock them. One of my providers blocks incoming SSH (in fact all ports below 1024), this is very annoying to say the least!


Well, yeah, I agree that it sucks. But, at the same time, they are running a business to make money, and realistically speaking, it's tough to differentiate Internet connectivity in any other axis than bandwidth. Not trying to justify what they're doing. Just flipping the coin.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

tomcat,

"In a perfect world, everyone would get their critical tasks handled when they need -- and everything else would get deprioritized. But networks don't function that way. There's no way to signal that "this remote terminal session is more important than anything that my kid is doing", so the various usages battle one another in a random way."

Well, both IP4 & IP6 have priority flags intended to solve this very problem, but I don't know of any consumer equipment that actually can configure & use them. Beyond that, I'm not even sure whether ISPs & other operators adhere to them in the WAN (they're potentially ripe for abuse).


I found a link about VOIP prioritisation on Cisco ASA devices that are popular for corporate networks, but it doesn't answer my questions about support on typical consumer devices & ISPs.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/security/asa/asa84/configuration/gu...

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Well, both IP4 & IP6 have priority flags intended to solve this very problem, but I don't know of any consumer equipment that actually can configure & use them.


OpenSSH uses TOS/DSCP but beyond that I can't think of any. In OpenSSH ssh terminal sessions use the "interactive" precedence while scp transfers use "bulk".

Beyond that, I'm not even sure whether ISPs & other operators adhere to them in the WAN


No sane ISP would since, as you said, they would get abused and made pretty much useless. They can be very useful inside your own network though.

Reply Score: 2

Rural
by OMRebel on Fri 27th Jul 2012 13:23 UTC
OMRebel
Member since:
2005-11-14

I live "in the sticks" (slang for outside of a town in the middle of nowhere) and the only option for DSL is through a small telephone company. The max we can get at my house is 1.5Mbps. It sucks, but it is consistent at that speed, so we can still watch movies on the Roku - but only one at a time. Of course, we have to have a landline with them as they don't separate their internet service at all. We fork out roughly $40/month for that. It really is ridiculous, as there are no other options for us.

Reply Score: 3

Stuck with cablevision monopoly here
by Alfman on Fri 27th Jul 2012 13:50 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

The internet suffers from reliability issues.
They are a total broadband monopoly. Next option is dialup.

Reply Score: 2

tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

Satellite is the broadband access of last resort.

Reply Score: 2

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Satellite is the broadband access of last resort.


Downstream isn't too bad on satellite (not great, but not bad). Upstream is pathetic.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

tomcat,

Hello again!

"Downstream isn't too bad on satellite (not great, but not bad). Upstream is pathetic."

I use SSH alot, I would find the additional latency intolerable.


http://www.satelliteinternet.com
"Latency refers to the amount of time it takes a packet of data to travel across a network. With satellite service, that data must travel up to the satellite and back (about 45,000 miles). This round trip adds about a half-second delay to the total time your computer takes to communicate with a Website or host server."


This next quote concerns me alot as well, since it sounds like they use deep packet inspection to differentiate service between encrypted and decrypted content.

"Why does the service slow down when used in conjunction with a VPN?
HughesNet uses sophisticated acceleration techniques to enable high-speed performance over satellite. These acceleration techniques require access to data packet header information, which is blocked when IPSec-based VPNs are used. These VPNs encrypt the data and create a secure tunnel through the HughesNet network. The encrypted data cannot be processed by HughesNet's acceleration techniques, therefore resulting in slower performance."


Also, regarding speeds:

$40 plan: 650-750kbps down, 70-80kbps up
$80 plan: 800-900kbps down, 100-125kbps
$110 plan: 1500kbps down, 300kbps up

Reply Score: 3

TinMan
Member since:
2012-07-27

I have lived in a very large metropolitan area (2.5-3 million people when you factored in the suburbs) for most of my life and we had perhaps 3 viable broadband options. Luckily one of them was Time Warner Cable which is fantastic both from the customer service side and the functionality side, but I was lucky. Currently I live in a much smaller metropolitan area (around 150k people) and we have 2 options here, AT&T and Charter. Again, very lucky, Charter has 100 Megabit Service, but their customer service sucks (thankfully haven't needed it). More options would be nice.

I have friends here that are only a few miles outside of town and they can only get a 1.5 Megabit dsl connection.

Reply Score: 2

v Lazy bums!
by jefro on Fri 27th Jul 2012 20:19 UTC
RE: Lazy bums!
by quackalist on Sat 28th Jul 2012 06:03 UTC in reply to "Lazy bums!"
quackalist Member since:
2007-08-27

Not sure if the above is supposed to be some daft sarcastic variant on how to come off as the dumb conservative middle-class bloke or for real.

Anyway, I'll bite, when did the Socialist Republics of America mandate a $6 a month lazy bum telephone & internet tax?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Lazy bums!
by jefro on Sat 28th Jul 2012 16:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Lazy bums!"
jefro Member since:
2007-04-13

Easy, look at your bill. It varies on state to state and how much you pay. Nice of you to pay for lazy bum's by the way. Thanks.

http://www.southernlinc.com/customersupport/billing/fuse.aspx

No one NEEDS internet. Millions of people do fine without it everyday in every walk of life from poor to advanced countries. Try to live a normal life without it for a week. You will find books, and people who talk to each other and friends and sports and well, the list goes on.

Edited 2012-07-28 17:00 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Lazy bums!
by andih on Sat 28th Jul 2012 18:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Lazy bums!"
andih Member since:
2010-03-27

well in my country, people NEED internet.

a considerable amount of office jobs have been replaced by websites and web forms.. So without internet, you're screwd.

so yes, I need internet. Guess the situation for the americans is heading the same way.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Lazy bums!
by zima on Tue 31st Jul 2012 01:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Lazy bums!"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Additionally, more and more functions of public administrations become accessible through the internet - it's already often faster, more efficient, more convenient to do it that way (and from some point on, direct contact might very well start being essentially discontinued, for many issues).
So it's only sensible that the very same public administrations are trying to assure widest availability of at least basic internet access.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Lazy bums!
by ilovebeer on Sat 28th Jul 2012 21:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Lazy bums!"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Easy, look at your bill. It varies on state to state and how much you pay. Nice of you to pay for lazy bum's by the way. Thanks.

http://www.southernlinc.com/customersupport/billing/fuse.aspx

No one NEEDS internet. Millions of people do fine without it everyday in every walk of life from poor to advanced countries. Try to live a normal life without it for a week. You will find books, and people who talk to each other and friends and sports and well, the list goes on.

I guess someone should let you in on a little secret about the internet... People don't only use it for entertainment. I know, practically incomprehensible right?

Just for kicks you should do a little homework looking into how (your) life would be affected if the internet collapsed. The impact would be far more reaching than you, I'm guessing, have a clue about. SPOILER ALERT: The outlook would be pretty damn grim.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Lazy bums!
by TinMan on Sun 29th Jul 2012 05:39 UTC in reply to "Lazy bums!"
TinMan Member since:
2012-07-27

I have worked in the skilled trades for my whole life but have a degree in system security administration and as such I am quite aware of the true needs of people as far as the internet goes. I understand that most people don't even know how to use a traditional card catalog at the library these days, but anybody with even the slightest motivation can educate themselves enough on some sort of profession and perhaps make enough money to purchase broadband like the rest of us and then get that cushy office job.

It's not necesseraly easy, but anybody with some ambition can do it.

Reply Score: 1

The lag
by yester64 on Sat 28th Jul 2012 02:14 UTC
yester64
Member since:
2012-07-28

Well, yes. You can still use an envelope to mail a letter. No problem with that.
But in reality, most companies want an internet application to be considered.
The internet is like the bloodline in the world of tomorrow.
One thing i noticed coming to this country, how locked up the markets are. One can think of as markets regulate themself (and serve themselfs), but this means also lesser innovation and higher prices.
I once had an unlimited plan. Its now a limited plan. And changing a provider doesn't matter since all providers to the same.
Fact is, the US has the least competition compared to europe. And netneutrality is also compromised already. At least i am not living in the urban areas where it is really bad.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sat 28th Jul 2012 09:35 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

It's funny that some of you think you're better qualified to determine a persons needs than they are themselves. Then when people bother to go into detail, they receive criticism. What childish behavior for a talk about internet access speeds.

To those of you who don't think anyone needs fast internet access, we get it. You're out-of-touch. You should accept the fact that other people have usage that differs from your own and thus needs that differ. Be oblivious all you like but try to be less willing to look foolish.

Reply Score: 3

Two words describe the "why"
by deathshadow on Sun 29th Jul 2012 07:13 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

Population Density -- look at the place that has dirt cheap gigabit: Hong Kong. Population Density? ~42,500 per square mile...

Coos County NH where 33.6 dialup is a good day? 19 per square mile.

I get a laugh out of the people who seem to think broadband can magically appear everywhere or that people everywhere are just "entitled" to what is for all intents and purposes a LUXURY. If you don't think it is a luxury, they you need to take a SERIOUS look at your priorities.

From a business standpoint, the cost of running broadband into a lot of areas -- like northern NH, western ME, most of the states in the northern Rockies couldn't be recouped for decades... and no business in the middle of a recession is going to be looking for something that puts them in the red for that long. You run fiber into a city you can divide it up with short runs -- you're not going to blow a quarter of a million dollars to run 100 miles of copper just to pick up 100 customers... much less the million it would cost for optical.

In a lot of ways the rhetoric being thrown about, and talk about changing policies reeks of the same type of stupidity as congress shoving HDTV and digital broadcast down our throats -- when people can barely afford what they already have, and the government is centuries in debt, forcing people to buy new stuff they actually don't need when what they have works, or WORSE subsidizing it with federal money that doesn't even exist is just asking to further contribute to the tanking economy...

But what can one expect in a credit based society -- pay more later for something you can't afford now. Kissinger was right, we've gone from a nation of savers to a nation of debters... There's this noodle-doodle idea right now that getting people to spend money they don't even have on things they don't need will actually help the economy - when what needs to be done is outlaw credit, loans, and to be frank, toss insurance on that heap as well.

This **** costs money, and right now, we should be worrying about the stuff that really matters -- like the 15.8 trillion dollar debt... in other words, over 50K per citizen.

Edited 2012-07-29 07:15 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Two words describe the "why"
by tanzam75 on Sun 29th Jul 2012 15:45 UTC in reply to "Two words describe the "why""
tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

The article doesn't complain that Coos County, NH lacks broadband. It's comparing American cities to other cities around the world.

Now, it is true that the article conflates two very different factors. First, why is DSL so slow in the US? The table shows that most European cities are served not by fiber, but by VDSL2 at around 18 Mbps. In contrast, many American cities are being served by ADSL2, topping out at 6 Mbps. These appear to be automobile-dominated cities, where VDSL2 runs into distance problems. This is not a problem with market structure, but with American city planning.

Second -- and this is the one that really applies here -- why are the prices so high? This comes from lack of open access on coax. The USA has a more extensive coax network than other countries. 60% of US households subscribe to cable television over coax, compared to 30% in Europe. (Satellite dominates in Europe, whereas it is the challenger in the US.)

ADSL is not speed-competitive with coax. Yet the telephone network is subject to open access, while coax is not. Obviously, this is not going to produce any real competition! In a duopoly situation without easy entry, prices will be high.

Finally, a word on affordability. The FCC is currently giving subsidies of about $800 per home for broadband in undeserved areas -- i.e., the most expensive areas. Surely, a subsidy of $800 per home would suffice to improve DSL speeds in urban and suburban areas as well. Well, there are only 114 million households in the US. Do the math. Compare to the annual military budget of the United States.

You have a picture of General George Patton as your avatar. That must be why you cry poverty while spending more on the military than the rest of the world combined ...

Edited 2012-07-29 15:46 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: "Public Relations"
by zima on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 23:59 UTC in reply to "Two words describe the "why""
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

look at the place that has dirt cheap gigabit: Hong Kong. Population Density? ~42,500 per square mile...
Coos County NH where 33.6 dialup is a good day? 19 per square mile.

Seriously, you almost couldn't choose your flawed example more selectively - HK, nearly the most densely populated place on the planet.

But let's try some other - how about Finland, with two times lower overall population density than the US (that includes Alaska, or generally areas where... nobody lives, so internet access is moot). Similar Sweden or Norway (this one getting close to 1/3 of the US population density). All with much better speeds and prices.

What you wrote is just the PR of ISPs, a cheap excuse you swallow without thinking, just like an obedient consumer your telecoms want you to be. Go on, continue buying into excuses, to keep believing in "America teh greatest" while it keeps moving further from the truth... (BTW, contrast the popular myths of "American Dream" and "land of opportunities" with how the US is at the bottom of developed countries in actual measure of this stuff, social mobility; meanwhile, the popularly disparaged "nanny states" are at the top)


Oh, sure, most of people in Nordic places concentrate in population centres ...but that's exactly the case as in the US (one of most urbanized countries), not many people live in the woods / they aren't visible in stats comparing speed and price of broadband.

Edited 2012-08-04 00:18 UTC

Reply Score: 2

To make things worse
by jefro on Sun 29th Jul 2012 16:26 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

Almost no one needs internet. The people who do work from home do need to make some arraignment. Exactly what does an auto mechanic, gardener, florist, roofer, bank employee need with internet. If I were a bank owner I wouldn't allow any outside access to controlled systems. Millions of workers can do without it. It is a luxury for goofing off and playing games.

For almost a decade I used 2400 baud modem since I lived so far out and didn't want to pay satellite. I got by on text based bulletin boards and later text based web pages. You can get buy without the images and ads.

The worst part is stupid people buy $500K homes on $23K/year income. California housing crisis cost not only the rest of the US but entire countries that bought into junk bonds are wiped out. Maybe we need to get our ideas straight first. You buy a home only on what you can afford, you buy a car or use a bus only on what you can afford. Maybe if people were more responsible we could pay for extra things. Nope. People on welfare and food assistance lines talking on the cell phone. Seems to me food is more important.

Reply Score: 1

RE: To make things worse
by ilovebeer on Sun 29th Jul 2012 17:29 UTC in reply to "To make things worse"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Almost no one needs internet. The people who do work from home do need to make some arraignment. Exactly what does an auto mechanic, gardener, florist, roofer, bank employee need with internet. If I were a bank owner I wouldn't allow any outside access to controlled systems. Millions of workers can do without it. It is a luxury for goofing off and playing games.

Basically all you're saying is that you're completely out-of-touch with reality. You really should have done your homework as I suggested. You may be a blue collar grunt that doesn't see past the dirt under your fingernails but it's not exactly a secret either that today's world is greatly dependent on the internet far beyond goofing off and entertainment. If you refuse to actually research the subject and choose to remain naive to that fact, so be it. Just know that you couldn't be more wrong.

Reply Score: 3