Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 11th May 2016 22:28 UTC
Google

Google began digging up dirt and laying fiber optic pipes in Kansas City, Kan., five years ago in April. Its first customers were wired the following year.

For the years after, it was unclear - certainly outside of Google - just what Google wanted to accomplish with this first venture outside of its core business. Now it's evident: Google was using Kansas City as a testbed for an audacious project - one to take on broadband providers like Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon, which enjoy long-held duopolies and monopolies across the country, and build out a national service. To provide real competition.

Googlers won't say this out loud, but they despise the cable industry. They find it inert, predatory and, worst, anti-innovation. So Google wants to replace it.

No better microcosm of the complete and utter ineptitude of the US government to implement, maintain, and modernise infrastructure than the US cable industry. I still can't believe that the internet in the US is as dreadfully horrible as it is.

If it takes Google to break the deadlock, so be it - even though it shouldn't be a profit-hungry company to do so.

Order by: Score:
But what about the data slurping?
by shotsman on Thu 12th May 2016 09:05 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

Does the cable part of Alphabet do DPI etc etc on all your internet traffic just so that they can inject ads into your data stream or feed that data to their advertisers?
IMHO, if they want to be an ISP then they have to be neutral and not use the traffic to their commercial advantage.
so what is the real state of play here?

The results dont't affect me as I'm in the UK. Virgin keep on trying to get me to sign up but I'm not interested. I use a small ISP that does not use my data of traffic history for anything which suite me right down to the ground.

Reply Score: 3

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

No, Google fiber doesn't inject ads into your pages. It already controls the vast majority of the ads served anyways.

By all accounts its the ideal ISP.

Reply Score: 2

v What a stupid author
by scifiballer24 on Thu 12th May 2016 09:15 UTC
RE: What a stupid author
by tylerdurden on Thu 12th May 2016 19:13 UTC in reply to "What a stupid author"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

What the hell has this to do with socialism?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What a stupid author
by scifiballer24 on Sat 14th May 2016 08:16 UTC in reply to "RE: What a stupid author"
scifiballer24 Member since:
2012-06-20

If it takes Google to break the deadlock, so be it - even though it shouldn't be a profit-hungry company to do so.


Why shouldn't it be Google? Because they're "hungry for profit"?

If government could produce great technology, then North Korea should be the bastion of technology in the world.

They don't have any "profit-hungry" companies.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: What a stupid author
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 16th May 2016 19:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What a stupid author"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I agree Thom's profit comment was stupid, but you're just throwing gasoline on a smoldering tire fire.

Non-profit hungry doesn't need to mean governmental.

Going directly to North Korea as an example is absurd. They're not a good representation of any set of cohesive ideals.

Please don't interject or react to absurdly childish economic debates into a technical forum.

Edited 2016-05-16 19:11 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Ikshaar
by Ikshaar on Thu 12th May 2016 10:17 UTC
Ikshaar
Member since:
2005-07-14

You do know that cable companies are private, right ?! It is absurd to blame the government for their greed. As a capitalist economy, the country rely on market effect to guide its infrastructure projects (electric, cable). I don't like it, you may not either, but short of privatizing the cable industries, only the emergence of a new player (Google?) can force them to do something about it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Ikshaar
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 12th May 2016 10:23 UTC in reply to "Comment by Ikshaar"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

They are private companies protected from competition by government intervention. Through their corruption and bribery (also known as "lobbying"), with the help of the US government, they have secured monopolies throughout the United States. Just look at their successful efforts to block and ban all kinds of municipal broadband initiatives.

In an proper, modern, functioning democracy, the pipes ought to be open to any competitor. Interestingly enough, in countries where this is the case, there is infinitely more competition, and thus - lower prices, faster speeds, and more consumer choice. This isn't some theory - it's a proven, undeniable fact backed by every report on internet penetration and broadband speeds.

Funny how that works, eh?

Edited 2016-05-12 10:24 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Ikshaar
by shmerl on Thu 12th May 2016 15:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by Ikshaar"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

You can blame the government for not regulating monopolies properly. That's exactly the case here.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Ikshaar
by tylerdurden on Thu 12th May 2016 19:15 UTC in reply to "Comment by Ikshaar"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Cable companies are not just "private" entities, they rely on government assigned local monopolies. Which is why they should be regulated up the wazoo.

Reply Score: 4

I respect you Thom
by MyNameIsNotImportant on Thu 12th May 2016 11:27 UTC
MyNameIsNotImportant
Member since:
2013-01-02

But this "even though it shouldn't be a profit-hungry company to do so" appears to be an anti-capitalistic bias in a case where it isn't warranted.

A company that doesn't make a profit or doesn't seek to make a profit is not economical and would not be a company for very long. (As I'm sure you know, and that's why it astouds me)

I hate monopolies and oligarchies just as much as the next one, but one company trying to make a profit while trying to take some profits away from established companies in that sector is one of the strengths of a free market (not sure how free that market really is though) system. It's why Tesla is an exciting story in the car industry currently, and there are countless such stories today and throughout history.

Would you have preferred the tax payer to fund such a project? You know the tax payer then also would have had to stem the possible risks right? And why should your neighbour who is maybe happy with comcast (however unlikely that is) have to pay taxes to fund your new government internet? Is it that what you're suggesting? (I don't believe it, but "socializing" remains the only possible alternative if you're so against "profit hungry companies".)

You know those damn profit hungry companies also pay employees and fund research (at least I believe google to be doing that).

The current players left an opening for a company such as Google (and others) by not providing a great service and by charging as if they were providing a great service. Google seems to have gotton that, and if they're now willing to try to provide a better service, they're doing so at their own risk (maintaining infrastructure isn't free).

Criticize capitalism when it makes sense, don't use the word profit as if it meant the devil. There's a lot of criminal conduct going on in capitalism within Wallstreet, banks, corruption, collusion between government and big corporations, and you have all the rights in the world to be critical of that.

However not understanding that profit incentives can be a net positive for enonomical growth and innovation, while simultaniously not having to be evil means that you're on the band wagon of the always popular anti market crowd.

Edited 2016-05-12 11:41 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: I respect you Thom
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 12th May 2016 11:40 UTC in reply to "I respect you Thom"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Nice idealistic speech - which has no basis in reality when it comes to American cable companies.

American cable companies do not operate in a capitalist or free market. They operate in a government-mandated monopoly held in place by corruption and bribery. The American cable market is as far removed from capitalism and free market principles as any former Soviet, government-owned industry.

(I don't believe it, but "socialization" remains the only possible alternative if you're so against "profit hungry companies".)


No. Here in The Netherlands, stuff like this happens very differently. This doesn't have to be an either/or game. Here, the government and the companies work together as best they can to provide the best possible solution for the country. We do this in healthcare, utilities, and tons of other areas. No cable company was socialised here, and yet, our government and the cable companies still managed to open up the networks to competitors, which resulted in us having some of the highest penetration and broadband speed figures in the world.

I find that many Americans (not per se you) have this weird idea that EITHER you have full "capitalism"(or, in the case of the US, corrupt capitalism, as explained above), or full-on Soviet communism. The idea that there could be a middle ground that tries to take the best of both worlds never occurs to them.

Edited 2016-05-12 11:47 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I respect you Thom
by MyNameIsNotImportant on Thu 12th May 2016 11:43 UTC in reply to "RE: I respect you Thom"
MyNameIsNotImportant Member since:
2013-01-02

And how does that square with Google entering the market and upsetting the apple cart (even if it may not be much for now) in such a way that Time Warner had to lower its prices in Kansas city?

I believe that what you're saying may be true to some extend, but clearly it can't be true completely, or this story wouldn't pan out as it currently seems to be.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: I respect you Thom
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 12th May 2016 11:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I respect you Thom"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

And how does that square with Google entering the market and upsetting the apple cart (even if it may not be much for now) in such a way that Time Warner had to lower its prices in Kansas city?

I believe that what you're saying may be true to some extend, but clearly it can't be true completely, or this story wouldn't pan out as it currently seems to be.


What the US is experiencing now on such a small scale with Google Fiber, other countries (including my own) experienced well over a decade ago, at a much faster pace, at lower costs, resulting in faster development.

Learn from those who implemented optimal solutions, instead of trying to be lead by outdated, Cold War-era dogma.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I respect you Thom
by MyNameIsNotImportant on Thu 12th May 2016 11:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I respect you Thom"
MyNameIsNotImportant Member since:
2013-01-02

It's somewhat easier to role out quality internet in a small country with a relatively huge population density. (Actually much easier)

In Germany for example there's still really bad internet in some places with low population density, as opposed to cities and metropolitan areas. Similar to how the situation in the US is.
Of course, that's because it's much easier to make a profit on infrastructure in a very densely populated area.
I think those disadvantages rural areas sometimes suffer from will be solved by better wireless technology and 5G in the not too distant future.

I would agree that the government should play a role in incentivizing better infrastructure in areas that aren't very densely populated (or you might say niche markets).

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: I respect you Thom
by Drumhellar on Thu 12th May 2016 16:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I respect you Thom"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

It's somewhat easier to role out quality internet in a small country with a relatively huge population density. (Actually much easier)


Your argument falls flat, though, when even areas with moderate-to-high density in the United States have only shit internet connections.

In New York, for example, 39% of households have connections below 4Mbit, and only 10% have connections above 25Mbit. This isn't an issue of people aren't paying for it - it simply isn't avaialbe.

And, plenty of countries with a lower density than the US have better average internet speeds than the US.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I respect you Thom
by MyNameIsNotImportant on Thu 12th May 2016 11:50 UTC in reply to "RE: I respect you Thom"
MyNameIsNotImportant Member since:
2013-01-02

I don't disagree with your response to my response. I just find it odd that you couldn't resist from painting the profit incentive as inherently bad, when this is actually an example where the profit incentive is working in a textbook like fashion.

Yeah, generally the government should work to keep markets open, that's definitely the role of the government in a market economy, this wasn't what my argument with you was about though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I respect you Thom
by Phone on Fri 13th May 2016 07:34 UTC in reply to "RE: I respect you Thom"
Phone Member since:
2009-09-19

FWIW, the Netherlands is .4% the size of the American States United. The Netherlands is between Vermont and Maine in size. It's a little more difficult to get 50 nonhomogeneous somewhat independent countries to agree with each other. A small homogeneous country has an easier time pushing legislation and policies.

Why run all the cable lines when 4G coverage is faster in most places? What speed do you need to read a news site? I would like to imagine all the bandwidth is being used for something more than games, moving pictures, and social platforms, but I know those are the main purposes.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: I respect you Thom
by darknexus on Fri 13th May 2016 12:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I respect you Thom"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Well, LTE coverage is fast enough for me. Trouble here in the states is that we have insane data caps. The most I can find, for an LTE service, is around 10 gb capped and that costs me more than my home internet connection. And by more, I mean about double. On top of that, I'd burn through that 10 gigs before my month was out if it was a month with a lot of operating system updates. Heck, a new major OS X or Windows release would burn through more than half that on its own, and I wouldn't have enough left to even watch a movie when I get home from work. It's yet another market in need of disruption, and our government is doing jack squat about any of it.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Phloptical
by Phloptical on Thu 12th May 2016 11:54 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

I love how someone who lives in a European nation, comparable to one of our smallest states, thinks that it's so easy that the US federal government should be responsible for blanketing the country in dark fiber simply for a better internet experience. I can get behind a push by the federal government to force our power companies to upgrade our grid, which is a much LARGER problem than bringing some guy in Montana a faster Netflix experience.

If Google wants to waste the money, let them. Leave my tax dollars out of it.

Reply Score: 0

Better a company
by darknexus on Thu 12th May 2016 13:43 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Better a company than our government. Maybe you EU folks don't get this, but a "money hungry company" has an insentive to get things done at least for a while. Our government? They're guaranteed to live rich forever no matter what they do. Put one project in the hands of Google, put another in the hands of the government here... and Google will get it done while the gov still debate how they can block Google from doing their part instead of doing something themselves.
Maybe it's different in Europe. Maybe your governments care about serving the people. I wouldn't know, as I've never been there. To us though, your government-centric views are as foreign and incomprehensible as our views are to you. I'd really like to talk in depth with someone who has lived in both places extensively (years, not months). I'd like to get a handle on the situation because, honestly Thom, what you wish for makes no sense in the context of the US government. No sense whatsoever.

Edited 2016-05-12 13:44 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: Better a company
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 12th May 2016 14:03 UTC in reply to "Better a company"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Your government is inept exactly because the companies you hold in such high regard are corrupting it, and by insisting on "small" government and as few regulations for companies as possible, you enable this corporate corruption to continue - and of course, these companies and the people that lead them are playing you people for suckers by feeding you the "big bad government" and "good, pure, honest, and hard-working companies" bullshit that you eat up so feverishly.

It's no coincidence that the countries with the lowest poverty rates, best healthcare systems, best infrastructure, etc. are all western/northern European countries which have managed to strike a pretty decent balance between unfettered capitalism and restrictive socialism.

You can learn from those that get it right, or continue down the path that leads to 49 million Americans living in abject poverty with no healthcare and terrible, crumbling infrastructure. You know the definition of insanity, right? insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

You can learn and adapt, or die.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Better a company
by darknexus on Thu 12th May 2016 15:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Better a company"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

No Thom. The government is inept because they are allowing themselves to be corrupted. They could say "no" at any time, but they choose not to do so. This is what I meant about serving the people. Maybe the EU does. Maybe the Netherlands does. I won't pass judgement on a place I've never been, let alone lived in. However, you are misrepresenting the source of our government's corruption. It is the politicians, not the companies at fault, because the politicians have the power to say no and would rather enrich themselves than do so.
At no point am I saying you're doing it wrong, nor am I saying that your way is not better. From an outsider's perspective at least, you people over there look like you're living in paradise by comparison. What I was saying was that to do as you suggest, and allow our government to control the infrastructure in the state it's in and with the people who are in running things now, would simply not work. I'd love it if we have the choice that it looks like you do: namely governments that do what they should. But we don't, and we won't.
This is why I'd like to get some perspective. Do things over there really are as they appear. Your views make a lot more sense if they are. But I want views from people who have lived in both places, not lived in one and visited the other.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Better a company
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 12th May 2016 18:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Better a company"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The government is inept because they are allowing themselves to be corrupted. They could say "no" at any time, but they choose not to do so.


You seem to misunderstand what's going on here. Due to a severe lack of regulation, corporations in the US are allowed to spend limitless amounts of money in politics in ways that in any proper democracy is classified as corruption and bribery, and highly illegal. Corporations then use this to further their own needs above that of the people.

Your government is inept, but not because a government is by definition inept, as you seem to imply. Your government is inept because you keep voting for people who want even less regulation and even less restrictions on corporate corruption, thereby furthering the downward spiral.

It's a sort of twisted variant of the fundamental attribution error; you put the blame of your inept government on the government itself, instead of on the corporations you hold up as the saving grace. I'm not blaming you for this - American corporations have done an amazing PR and propaganda job at convincing the American people that they are not to blame and that everything is the government's fault - but it's wrong nonetheless, and it perpetuates the broken status quo in the US.

Public and private (government and corporations) need to keep each other in check, and work together to strive to do the best for the people. In, say, the former USSR, the pendulum swung completely in the direction of public, and it was a disaster. In the US, the pendulum has clearly swung in the private direction, and it's also a disaster. As always, they should meet somewhere halfway.

Now, I'm not saying we always get it right and the US always gets it wrong - hell no - but when it comes to the core responsibility of a government - to fight poverty and provide a good standard of living for all citizens under its wing - the cold and harsh truth is that what I'm simplistically referring to as the north/west-European model has achieved far better results than the American model.

Edited 2016-05-12 18:16 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Better a company
by darknexus on Fri 13th May 2016 12:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Better a company"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I love how you don't live here and tell me that I'm misunderstanding what's going on. Again, you and I are saying the same thing but something's going wrong in communication. You say that corporations are not regulated enough. I say the politicians have the power to say no to corruption and don't. I don't understand how we're at cross-purposes, but something is breaking down in our communication here. So, to put it as plain as I know how:
Our politicians do not say no to corruption, and they should. As a result of that, our corporations are not regulated enough. This is bad. We agree. However, as this is unlikely to change, I'd rather have a corporation with incentive disrupting our market than the incompetent yes-people that run our government. It may be a choice between a disaster and a catastrophe, but until the American people get their act together and have the desire to comprehend the shape we're all in, it's the only choice we have.
Your way may be better. Hell, it probably is. I'm not willing to say that, because I've not lived there. I know our way doesn't work worth a damn, and I've said so.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Better a company
by Alfman on Thu 12th May 2016 15:25 UTC in reply to "Better a company"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

darknexus,

Put one project in the hands of Google, put another in the hands of the government here... and Google will get it done while the gov still debate how they can block Google from doing their part instead of doing something themselves.
Maybe it's different in Europe


While there is undeniably a great deal of aversion to government-backed-anything in the US, the fact is that the profit seeking private sector is wholly responsible for the underwhelming and overpriced internet services in this country. The barriers to entry are fairly high, on top of that there's been tons of consolidation, consequently many consumers don't get to benefit from any real broadband competition.

While it's easy to point to the finger at the government for the lack of progress on the municipal broadband front, that omits a pretty big part of the story: municipalities get impeded by private ISP lobbyists who do everything they can to block public broadband. Private companies are largely to blame not only for the poor services they're selling, but also for impeding public services too.

http://www.governing.com/news/headlines/why-cities-are-fighting-sta...
Wilson’s Greenlight broadband utility offers city residents Internet service of 20 Mbps for $34.95 a month and 1 Gbps for $149.95 a month. Greenlight also offers electricity to six surrounding counties, but not Internet, cable TV or phone service, though many residents would like to have it. That’s because the North Carolina legislature in 2011 passed a law that restricts local governments from providing broadband service. Wilson was grandfathered under the law, but prohibited from expanding beyond its home county.

In recent years 20 other states either have prohibited municipal broadband or thrown up hurdles making it more difficult for communities to get into the broadband business.


Personally I only have one broadband choice, I would love to have something comparable to what public municipalities are offering. I could cut my rates by half for the same service, or if I wanted to go higher I could get 20-50X faster service compared to the private sector. My parents have no broadband choices since ATT decided to phase out DSL subscribers in some areas without offering anything else.

The truth is private companies under laissez-faire policies are failing us and I think municipal broadband would be a good way to deliver better service for cheaper.

As to whether google can join in and compete with existing ISPs, their advertiser based business model makes me wary. I'd need some very strong assurances that no data is being collected and that the internet is not overtly or subtly biased in favor of google or it's partners for now and in the future. Given the choice, I'd have a preference for smaller regional providers over giant multinational ISPs.


At the extreme, consider what's happening with facebook's two tiered mobile internet service. It's a great marketing move for facebook, but it flies in the face of net neutrality and is quite dire for competition.

http://www.wired.com/2015/05/backlash-facebooks-free-internet-servi...

Edited 2016-05-12 15:39 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Better a company
by LibertyTrek on Fri 13th May 2016 13:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Better a company"
LibertyTrek Member since:
2010-06-09

the fact is that the profit seeking private sector is wholly responsible for the underwhelming and overpriced internet services in this country. The barriers to entry are fairly high, on top of that there's been tons of consolidation, consequently many consumers don't get to benefit from any real broadband competition.

While it's easy to point to the finger at the government for the lack of progress on the municipal broadband front, that omits a pretty big part of the story: municipalities get impeded by private ISP lobbyists who do everything they can to block public broadband. Private companies are largely to blame not only for the poor services they're selling, but also for impeding public services too.

-snip-

Your response is constantly contradictory and based entirely on false premises.

It cannot be solely the fault of 'profit seeking private companies' when government regulation is involved, and the fact is, the cable industry is a perfect example of FASCISM - a marriage of corporate and government power.

Any argument that discusses 'capitalism' is impotent without first defining what is meant by the term 'capitalism' by the one positing the argument. There is a huge difference between the 'capitalism' that is in operation today (hint: it is nothing like the original meaning of the word), and what is sometimes referred to as free market or laissez-faire capitalism.

Under the latter two, all the government does is make sure that all players are playing by the rules on a level playing field - ie, not engaging in fraud, or other criminal activity (this ranges from polluting the environment, to attempting to block competition through unlawful means (lobbying, in my opinion, while currently legal, is totally unlawful, in that it is BRIBERY, pure and simple)).

The truth is private companies under laissez-faire policies are failing us,

OBJECTION: ignorance

The current environment is about as far from laissez-faire policies as you can get. Do you even know what the term laissez-faire' means?? It means HANDS OFF. What we have is FASCISM - big corporations in bed with big government.

and I think municipal broadband would be a good way to deliver better service for cheaper.

Entirely possible - only way to tell is engage in laissez-faire capitalism, and see who can deliver better services on a level playing field.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Better a company
by Alfman on Fri 13th May 2016 14:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Better a company"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

LibertyTrek,

Your response is constantly contradictory and based entirely on false premises.

It cannot be solely the fault of 'profit seeking private companies' when government regulation is involved, and the fact is, the cable industry is a perfect example of FASCISM - a marriage of corporate and government power.



I think you might have missed my point, the private ISPs are lobbying the state governments to ban local municipal government broadband. Municipalities have no regulatory authority over commercial ISPs. Due to ISP lobbyists and lawsuits, the exact opposite is true.


Entirely possible - only way to tell is engage in laissez-faire capitalism, and see who can deliver better services on a level playing field.


I don't specifically have a problem with free market capitalism, it can be very effective assuming there's lots of competition. However the issue is that the end result is always the same: consolidation and concentration of market share. This should be no surprise because free markets tend to converge on the most optimal solution in generating wealth, which is to reduce competition.


The current environment is about as far from laissez-faire policies as you can get. Do you even know what the term laissez-faire' means?? It means HANDS OFF. What we have is FASCISM - big corporations in bed with big government.


I agree that's a problem, but I think you are mistaken with regards to the direction of control. It's the corporations that are running the government, not the other way around.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Better a company
by darknexus on Fri 13th May 2016 14:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Better a company"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I agree that's a problem, but I think you are mistaken with regards to the direction of control. It's the corporations that are running the government, not the other way around.

I'm not sure it matters which one runs which. There needs to be a balance between them. At the moment the pendulum has swung to the corporate side, however swinging to the other side would be just as damaging and achieve exactly the same result: no competition. Heck, with the people we have running things, a swing totally to government controlled markets would probably mean a complete outage. Their incompetence, particularly in technological understanding, is mind-boggling.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Better a company
by Drumhellar on Thu 12th May 2016 16:34 UTC in reply to "Better a company"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

I have to disagree with this. My community owns the local power utility, and it is significantly cheaper, while being more reliable, than the privately run grid on across the river. Our power company actively promotes rooftop solar, rather than lobbying for regulations that would hinder solar adoption, thus increasing profits.

If they can do as good as a job relative to private companies as they do with power generation and distribution, I'd be all for a much larger government presence in broadband.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Better a company
by tylerdurden on Thu 12th May 2016 19:17 UTC in reply to "Better a company"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Money hungry companies do not have an incentive to provide you better service, specially when they have natural monopolies, their only incentive is to just that: make as much money as they can.

Similar how private health care companies do not have an incentive to provide you with good/proper healthcare. They have an incentive to try to get more of your money in fees and premiums, and give you less of it back in terms of services and treatment.


FWIW EU has consistently better telecommunications infrastructure, specially when it comes to broadband, than the holy privatized US of A. And the same can be said about health care.

There are certain fundamental services and things that private sector has shown it can not do better, and should not be allowed to be in charge of. If the public system sucks, then it needs to be fixed. Handing over its responsibilities and monopolies over to an unaccountable, by the general public, private entity is most definitively not a solution.

Edited 2016-05-12 19:31 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Verizon/Frontier screwed up
by Drumhellar on Thu 12th May 2016 16:41 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

Also going on: Frontier purchased Verizon's internet business in several locations, and many people haven't had phone or internet since April 1, and many more have spotty and unreliable service since, often going days without any sort of service.

This is especially bad in Florida, as it is happening in areas with large numbers of elderly people, who no longer have the ability to call 911.

Reply Score: 3

your missing a key point
by kristoph on Thu 12th May 2016 20:00 UTC
kristoph
Member since:
2006-01-01

I appreciate - as a European myself - that it is not uncommon in Europe to have a national view and that such a view is often valid. So you can say 'this sucks in the UK' or 'this is great in the Netherlands' and these statements are factual for those countries.

The US, however, is BIG. Really BIG. It's 2.5 TIMES the size of the EU as a whole.

Suggesting that 'the internet dreadfully horrible' in the US, because it's dreadfully horrible in Kansas, is as wrong a generalization as saying 'the internet is dreadfully horrible in Europe' because it's dreadfully horrible in random Italian city.

If you look at these metrics:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Internet_connecti...

You'll find that US consumers have, on average, better connections speeds and better peak speeds them most of their European brethren.

Personally, in both my homes, I have pretty kickass internet. On the east coast in NYC I have 100/100 and on the west coast my neighborhood has it's own internet connection ( mandated by the home owners covenant ) that give each of us 1k up and 1k down for less then Google charges in Kansas ( plus no 'construction fee' ).

So, although I am sure Google will help improve the US consumer internet market, and I certainly applaud that, it's doing pretty well as is. Indeed, in many places, it's better then the EU.

Perhaps Google should consider some of the undeserved EU markets if they want to reduce the state of 'dreadfully horrible internet' in the world.

Reply Score: 2

RE: your missing a key point
by tylerdurden on Thu 12th May 2016 23:53 UTC in reply to "your missing a key point"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Where in the West Coast are you getting gigabit broadband? If you don't mind me asking.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: your missing a key point
by kristoph on Fri 13th May 2016 02:43 UTC in reply to "RE: your missing a key point"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

In the pacific northwest, just west of Seattle ( it costs $70 a month, $60 if you prepaid for the year ).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: your missing a key point
by tylerdurden on Fri 13th May 2016 03:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: your missing a key point"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Wow, that's a fantastic deal. In Silicon Valley you'd have to add an extra zero to get that.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: your missing a key point
by Alfman on Fri 13th May 2016 04:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: your missing a key point"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kristoph,

In the pacific northwest, just west of Seattle ( it costs $70 a month, $60 if you prepaid for the year ).


That sounds like an outstanding deal, I'm jealous! We pay about $55 for 25/15 in NYS to the cablevision monopoly, which I consider better than the $50 I was paying for 30/3 in PA. One thing I hate that some cable companies do, particularly those with monopolies, is "promotional pricing" where only new customers get the advertised prices. When the first year is up they jack everything up because there are no alternatives and they know you aren't going anywhere. As I recall, our initial signup rate went up by an additional $25/mo until we downgraded to a smaller package than when we signed up. Competition makes all the difference in the world, my inlaws live about 30 miles away where verizon competes with cablevision. What happens is incredible: each company offers large incentives to their customers to stick with them.

Many of us are stuck with single monopolies though, we are the ones for whom municipal broadband would be a very welcome alternative.

Edited 2016-05-13 05:08 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: your missing a key point
by Alfman on Fri 13th May 2016 05:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: your missing a key point"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

I wrote 25/15, but it's actually 25mbps down and 5mbps up. I wish we could get fios here, all their plans are symmetric so you can get much better upstream bandwidth.

Reply Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I have better internet in my hotel room in the UK

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: your missing a key point
by darknexus on Fri 13th May 2016 12:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: your missing a key point"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Many of us are stuck with single monopolies though, we are the ones for whom municipal broadband would be a very welcome alternative.

Agreed, and our governments are upholding those monopolies and getting paid well to do so. This is why I place the blame where I do.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: your missing a key point
by darknexus on Fri 13th May 2016 12:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: your missing a key point"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Wow, nice. If I could stand the horrible, depressing winters I'd probably be living there. Tried it, and did not like it.

Reply Score: 2