Linked by Howard Fosdick on Thu 24th Jan 2013 10:12 UTC
Internet & Networking In the past, OS News has discussed how U.S. broadband access lags many other countries in terms of cost, speed, and availability. Now, this detailed report from the New America Foundation tells why. It all comes down to a lack of competition among the carriers, which can be traced back to the days when cable companies were granted local monopolies. The report argues that "...data caps... are hardly a necessity. Rather, they are motivated by a desire to further increase revenues from existing subscribers and protect legacy services such as cable television from competing Internet services." The report's conclusion: don't expect improvements without legislative action.
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RE: Well....
by sparkyERTW on Thu 24th Jan 2013 13:50 UTC in reply to "Well...."
sparkyERTW
Member since:
2010-06-09

Canada's situation is pretty similar: Rogers for cable, Bell for DSL, and their various re-sellers (there's also Shaw, Telus and Cogeco, but they only operate regionally and often in areas Bell/Rogers don't bother with). There's no real competition between them; I've even had an acquaintance who works at Rogers admit that they have monthly meetings together, discussing what each other has planned and basically doing the same. Every year I have to threaten to leave and barter with them just to keep my TV/Internet bill in the area of $100; without negotiated discounts I'd be paying upwards of $150. Sure, I could lock in for more than a year and maybe get even lower, but I don't even like doing it at all. What's fair in a contract where the other party has conditions that say, "we reserve the right to change things at any time to whatever we want, and if you don't like it and want to leave, we're free to penalize you for doing so."?

And much like the UK, we don't have many legal options when it comes to television alternatives like the U.S. does. Hulu isn't available. Our selection on Netflix blows. iTunes is DRM-riddled and stuff is often long delayed arriving (Game of Thrones?). Over-the-air is a possibility, but it's made difficult when Canadian broadcasters barely pump out a decent signal from their towers (the major stations are owned by Bell and Rogers. Coincidence?).

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