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(Time)   Google attempts to shame the big ISPs into providing better, faster service   (business.time.com) divider line 90
    More: Cool, Google Fiber, Google, ISPs, digital divide, internet search engines, United States rankings, Port Authority, largest buildings  
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6459 clicks; posted to Geek » on 16 Sep 2012 at 9:16 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-16 01:26:40 PM
I'm ok with this.

But I agree with someone above, the faster speeds and bandwidth exist now. Current IPs prefer to throttle everyone back so they can make their billions on tiered service plans.


If Google rolls something out offering unthrottled speeds or faster speeds in a cheaper pricing tier, they'd still kick Comcast's ass.
 
2012-09-16 01:42:14 PM
Or they could just open up the bandwidth that was previously occupied by television for interwebby development.  Of course it will all be monetized and the consumer will end up being boned but a guy can dream can't he?
 
2012-09-16 01:42:57 PM

vegasj: I'm ok with this.

But I agree with someone above, the faster speeds and bandwidth exist now. Current IPs prefer to throttle everyone back so they can make their billions on tiered service plans.


If Google rolls something out offering unthrottled speeds or faster speeds in a cheaper pricing tier, they'd still kick Comcast's ass.


If more people knew how the internet worked (in the U.S. at least), the above comments would not exist.

Comcast is a cable ISP, current cable technology is only capable of pushing ~400mbps in laboratory conditions. (1 cable modem, uncapped with 8 bonded channels downloading from a similarly uncapped source). Comcast, or any cable ISP out there couldn't offer a higher speed if they wanted to. I'd say at most a cable ISP, given average bandwidth consumption could top out at a ~200mbps service. DSL would be far less than that given their current tech.

If we want faster internet speeds than 200mbps, we're going to need more fiber to the house ISP's. Or for current Cable ISP's to sacrifice enough capitol to convert to a fiber to the house ISP. Remember running fiber is in the tens of thousands of dollars per mile of cable.
 
2012-09-16 01:54:15 PM
Yeah, yeah, the countries with great, fast, cheap Internet service tend to be about the size of a single US state.

A state like, say, North Carolina -- a shade under 10M residents, with three metropolitan areas having populations over 1M. Home to major sites for a few small-medium businesses you've probably never heard of -- some little outfit called Cisco, another mom-and-pop shop called NetApp, IBM, EMC, bit players like that.

A state where Verizon has said "meh, fark it, we can't be bothered deploying FIOS. Here, have some 4G and some crappy DSL, and talk to our good friends at Time Warner if you want anything else."

Yep, that "free market" is working out just swell for Internet users around here.
 
2012-09-16 02:08:07 PM

Kimpak: sage37: Kimpak:
At best they could cherry pick large, population dense citys and claim they're awesome. .


Did you miss the part where they're introducing this in the heartland?

This may come as a shock to some people, but there are large city's in the heartland. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who don't live in New York or Los Angeles.


They'll never believe it. Those who live in the bigger cities have serious perspective issues; it's a kind of "me-opia".

img849.imageshack.us
 
2012-09-16 02:26:04 PM
Out of curiosity, does anyone in the states have an ISP that doesn't cap their internet usage?
 
2012-09-16 02:26:27 PM
sammyk: The only way we will ever get decent broadband in this country is to break up the local monopolies. Internet service is not being sold in a free market pure and simple. They have zero competition so why should they invest in their infrastructures? If I had actual choice it would take me milliseconds to fire time-warner.


It even worse than that. Any time a new startup even attempts to offer better service and a good price, the legacy monopoly will just lower prices and totally undercut the competition until it's bankrupt and then go back to BAU. The structural capital costs to put in new infrastructure suck, but the ability for the Comcasts of the world to just price regions how ever they feel like it when getting sniped by start ups is the real deal killer.

Back in the day this sort of thing was illegal. Now in Wargarble consumerism and teabaggers fight against their own interests.
 
2012-09-16 02:31:51 PM

J. Frank Parnell: Out of curiosity, does anyone in the states have an ISP that doesn't cap their internet usage?


Yes. Usage caps are mostly associated with cell phone data networks. Some cable and DSL providers are moving to data caps, but right now the caps that are in place are ridiculously high that it might as well be unlimited.
 
2012-09-16 02:45:25 PM

Kimpak: Yes. Usage caps are mostly associated with cell phone data networks. Some cable and DSL providers are moving to data caps, but right now the caps that are in place are ridiculously high that it might as well be unlimited.


Well that's good at least. A couple years back i asked the same question to an MMO community and practically everyone in the US had a data cap. Some even argued unlimited plans were total anarchy, and were unfair to the ISP, in order to rationalize why it was better they were capped.
 
2012-09-16 02:46:20 PM

Kimpak: I call BS. If Google were to roll this same service with the same prices out, nationwide, they would be operating at a loss.

Running fiber, or leasing it, network infrastructure, paying a NOC, negotiating contracts with content providers (for their TV service), etc....


Google negotiated with Kansas to wave all fees.

Believe it or not, some content providers *pay* the cable operator. If you have enough of them, you can end up revenue neutral.

Its amazing what can happen when gouging the customer out of every dime possible is not your motive.
 
2012-09-16 02:56:26 PM
Centurylink would likely not be smart enough to be shamed into this

/I've bee promised an upgrade from DSL for at least a couple of years
 
2012-09-16 02:56:35 PM

HempHead: Kimpak: I call BS. If Google were to roll this same service with the same prices out, nationwide, they would be operating at a loss.

Running fiber, or leasing it, network infrastructure, paying a NOC, negotiating contracts with content providers (for their TV service), etc....

Google negotiated with Kansas to wave all fees.

Believe it or not, some content providers *pay* the cable operator. If you have enough of them, you can end up revenue neutral.

Its amazing what can happen when gouging the customer out of every dime possible is not your motive.


Content providers do NOT pay the cable operator. NFL networks for instance cost an average cable provider more than their entire payroll per year. Its a huge operating cost. But again, people, your cable provider is not a not-for-profit organization. All of them, will charge as much as they can possibly get away with. Its called doing business. If you don't like it, cut the cord and read a book. Watch TV online like a lot of people are doing. You really only need about 5mbps for a good netflix stream. Hell I only have 3mbps DSL in a rural area and netflix does just fine, HD even. $56/month 3mbit down 1 up and unlimited land line telephone service.
 
2012-09-16 03:29:20 PM

Kimpak: jso2897: Kimpak: theflatline: Kimpak: sammyk: Kimpak: sammyk: The only way we will ever get decent broadband in this country is to break up the local monopolies. Internet service is not being sold in a free market pure and simple. They have zero competition so why should they invest in their infrastructures? If I had actual choice it would take me milliseconds to fire time-warner.

Oh really? Most major city's at least have at least 1 of each of the following: DSL, Cable, Fiber to the House, Satalite, wireless.

Some have multiples. There is competition, however it usually falls out that there is a clear 'better' choice of them all. The majority gets that choice then complains about it claiming 'monopoly'. Don't like your cable internet, get DSL. Don't like DSL, use wireless.

I said actual choice. I work from home full time and I need more speed than DSL or wireless can do. They just don't come close to providing what I need. We do not have any fiber available so I am stuck with cable technology and there is only one game in town. I have yet to live someplace that has more than one cable provider available.

I can agree with that, but a big reason why there are not multiple cable providers is infrastructure. Towns don't want a brazillion cable wires hanging from their utility poles. That's one reason anyway. Another reason is cost of infrastructure. It just isn't feasible for a cable company (or DSL for that matter) to run parallel wire with a competitor. If competition was at its best and 2 companies each have 50% share of the market. I would assume 50% isn't going to be enough to stay in business in a smaller community, on a cost per customer basis. So, either both companies join forces and merge to become 1 company, or one goes out of business because its clearly crappier than the other one.

Actually, in some areas big players have agreements in place and share infrastructure, or rent from each other.

True, but say your competing in the same town w ...


Yeah, I'm not hypothetical - spent 20 year in telecommunications. The infrastructure excuse has always been a bullshiat argument - if it wasn't, utility monopolists wouldn't spend millions in lobby and propaganda money to stop people from doing it.
They don't want it tried because they fear it will succeed. If they really thought it would fail, they would let people do it and learn their lesson. They will end up the same as the land line providers - they will keep their monopolies if they buy enough government - but somebody will come up with something that will replace them, and because they stifled innovation. If the government hadn't broken up Ma Mell, you wouldjn't still be using a dial phone. I worked for one of the old phone companies, and saw the mindset that government enforced monopoly produces. They should all be abolished.
 
2012-09-16 03:38:02 PM

Katie98_KT: Incorrigible Astronaut: Kimpak: sage37: Kimpak:
At best they could cherry pick large, population dense citys and claim they're awesome. .


Did you miss the part where they're introducing this in the heartland?

This may come as a shock to some people, but there are large city's in the heartland. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who don't live in New York or Los Angeles.

Yeah, KCMO/KS is the 22nd largest CSA in the country. Contrary to popular belief, it's not endless swaths of farmland.

and the top 10 are at least each 3 times the size of KCMO/KS. I live in the DC/Bmore/VA area- you could split that into three, easily. So we're really talking maybe the 50th largest city in the US?


As for shaming- I'm not sure if this is related, but we have comcast, who recently announced that everyone (not on the cheapest version of the internet) is getting twice the speed for the same price.


Point

You
 
2012-09-16 03:38:37 PM
Link
Article is three years old but still relevant.
 
2012-09-16 03:52:32 PM

red5ish: Link
Article is three years old but still relevant.


Article is only semi-relevant. DOCSIS 3 is now fully deployed, and it took quite a bit more work than "just upgrading a simple piece of equipment in the head end and cable modem".

Cable companies needed to upgrade their CMTS's and in the case of CISCO they would also have needed to buy RF gateways per bonded channel. Modem manufacturers had to produce enough of those modems to deploy to customers. R&D time to develop cable modem config files. Finally deploying the new hardware in the field and moving customers from old equipment to the new equipment. Trust me, the process was slow going and not without bugs.

CASA CMTS's don't need the rf gateways to do D3 but when you are used to CISCO's OS, they're a pain to work on.

Anyway, the tech its talking about is dated. Bottom line, if you think you're paying too much for cable, you probably are. But there is something you can do about that. Stop paying for it, cut the cord.
 
2012-09-16 04:16:44 PM

Kimpak: Google can do it, because Google is a behemoth


And Time Warner, Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T aren't?
 
2012-09-16 04:34:10 PM

Kimpak: Bottom line, if you think you're paying too much for cable, you probably are. But there is something you can do about that. Stop paying for it, cut the cord.


Isn't there a third choice beside paying too much for crappy service (and even their customer service is crappy) and not having access to the internet? Not having access to the internet isn't really an option these days. I think "Take it or leave it" is a bad choice.
 
2012-09-16 04:36:21 PM

Kimpak: Content providers do NOT pay the cable operator.


How much does the Home Shopping Network or Trinity Broadcasting Network charge Comcast to broadcast their shows?

I will give you a clue, its less than zero.
 
2012-09-16 05:21:14 PM

sammyk: The only way we will ever get decent broadband in this country is to break up the local monopolies. Internet service is not being sold in a free market pure and simple. They have zero competition so why should they invest in their infrastructures? If I had actual choice it would take me milliseconds a month or two to fire time-warner.


FTFY to reflect the amount of time you'd have to spend on the phone cancelling the service and telling the customer retention agent you really mean it when you say cancel. Plus, factoring in the time to ship them their equipment back. And finally, adding in the few weeks that go by before you see that they didn't stop auto-debiting your account, meaning more phonecalls to resolve that situation.

/But I know what you meant
 
2012-09-16 06:31:34 PM

Kimpak: Oh really? Most major city's at least have at least 1 of each of the following: DSL, Cable, Fiber to the House, Satalite, wireless.


I have my choice of Comcast. DSL is crap where I live. I tried both Dish Network and DirectTV. Both pulled into my driveway, said "You have too many trees overhead, we can't give you a signal" and left. That leaves me Comcast. And they suck.
 
2012-09-16 07:00:50 PM

Kimpak: heypete: HeartBurnKid: Perhaps, but we've been told for years that no city in the US was dense enough to pull it off, except possibly New York. Google just showed it can be done, even in a middling metropolitan area. Instead of parroting the excuses of the incumbent ISP, you should be asking them, "Why not here, again?"

Indeed. I live in Bern, Switzerland (population ~125,000). My cable company will sell me 100Mbps service for ~80/month[1]. It's fiber-to-the-building and coax through the walls. Swisscom, the major telco, also offers fiber-to-the-building, as does Sunrise (another telco), and the electric company (they already run power wires everywhere, why not fiber?).

Yes, major cities in the US are usually located quite far apart, but the intercity backhaul fiber is already laid and relatively cheap to put more down if needed.

If there can be sufficient competition for high-speed connections in a city of less than 150,000, there should be no reason why similarly sized cities in the US don't have similar options.

[1] Since we use 802.11g, it doesn't make much sense to do this so we have their 25Mbps internet + TV (including ESPN for US sports) package for the same price. Works out pretty well.

In the U.S. this is true only of largish citys. I don't have the exact statistics handy, but the vast majority of towns are relatively small, so fiber infrastructure is hit or miss. As for the long haul fiber, most of that is owned by a handful of companies. (Level 3, AT&T, Paetec) A lot of ISP's have to pay leases to those companies, how much you pay depends on your bargaining power. Its insanely expensive to run your own long haul fiber, you have to consider the physical hardware (wires), workforce (Pole climbers, ditch diggers), licences from governments to obtain easements for running said fiber. Again I don't have the exact numbers but I believe this equals somewhere in the tens of thousands of dollars per mile.


The UK, by luck or design, got it right. The phone monopoly BT was ordered to provide access to the phone network and broadband network to any provider or ISP on equal terms.
I could start an ISP from my bedroom tomorrow and be able to cover the whole UK and compete on price with the big boys. Result, I have about 40 ISP to choose from.
And I just fibre which BT is rolling out nationwide.
 
2012-09-16 08:21:30 PM
The centralized nature of the internet and infrastructure make it much less of a whole-product and much more of a utility. So much of what's involved is public and/or shared property -- access to lay wire on public roadways, funding from the government for fiber, access to buildings for last-mile hubs, etc.

Treating it as though it were a completely private service will never offer the type of competition required to benefit consumers; the centralized and exclusive nature of infrastructure in the public space will always favor established -- and government sanctioned -- players.

The same is true of telecommunication and wireless infrastructure -- including spectrum for cellular data.

It's incredible that the nation hasn't figured this out yet and still treat its telecom companies like a wholely privatized industry and still allow them exclusive access to public resources like spectrum and fiber infrastructure.

Now, I'm not saying nationalization of the telecom industry -- like a lot of nations do -- is the answer. But we have the technology nowadays to mandate sharing of such resources; both wireless and wired carrier-sense, multiple access protocols exist.

If implementing such standards were mandated by the FCC (that's what they're around for), then any small ISP could offer service by simply implementing said protocol and providing the data hub and routing necessary to give customers access to the internet, cell network, etc.
 
2012-09-16 09:46:02 PM

Kimpak: J. Frank Parnell: Out of curiosity, does anyone in the states have an ISP that doesn't cap their internet usage?

Yes. Usage caps are mostly associated with cell phone data networks. Some cable and DSL providers are moving to data caps, but right now the caps that are in place are ridiculously high that it might as well be unlimited.


250 Gig is not ridiculous. Especially if you have net flix.
 
2012-09-16 09:47:55 PM
Why don't we move to a deregulated model, like Texas has for power utility?

One company who has the sole, singular, job of installing and maintaining the hardware, and who cannot be linked in any form or fashion to the company who sells the power/billing. Texas has Oncor, who does all of the transmission and distribution line stuff, while you can buy your power from any of a hundred providers it all goes through Oncors lines, and oncor can't sell power or be linked to a company who does so.

Doing so means a single company has all the incentive in the world to upgrade and run a tight ship on the wires.
 
2012-09-16 10:15:13 PM
Live in rural Nebraska, one small company recently put fiber to all of the small towns and in the country to the rural homes and businesses they serve. Since I was only half a mile away from GTMC and I know that Centurylink (formally Qwest) won't be doing any rural work in my lifetime I changed phone companies (which takes a long time to do) and now have a clear and noise free line to my house. They even laid the fiber for no charge. It sure beats the heck out of wireless.

When they offer DVR's for their cable offerings that will be changed also.
 
2012-09-16 10:16:51 PM

Kimpak: HeartBurnKid: sammyk: The only way we will ever get decent broadband in this country is to break up the local monopolies.

That.

Incorrigible Astronaut: Kimpak: sage37: Kimpak:
At best they could cherry pick large, population dense citys and claim they're awesome. .


Did you miss the part where they're introducing this in the heartland?

This may come as a shock to some people, but there are large city's in the heartland. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who don't live in New York or Los Angeles.

Yeah, KCMO/KS is the 22nd largest CSA in the country. Contrary to popular belief, it's not endless swaths of farmland.

Perhaps, but we've been told for years that no city in the US was dense enough to pull it off, except possibly New York. Google just showed it can be done, even in a middling metropolitan area. Instead of parroting the excuses of the incumbent ISP, you should be asking them, "Why not here, again?"

My most sincere hope is that Google takes this beyond the "demo" phase and really becomes a disruption in the marketplace. Because, let's face it, the telecommunications marketplace is in severe need of some disruption.

Google can do it, because Google is a behemoth. Google has the capitol to spend on building this network from the ground up. Who else can spend the cash to take the gamble on this? Maaaybe, TW or Comcast for cable ISP's. Maybe AT&T or Verizon for DSL ISP's. That's still not all that much competition and it isn't going to help really small towns of a few thousand. That being said, if Google can pull it off and make this service nationwide, provide to small communities at the same prices they are currently offered....I'll be first in line to subscribe.

As it is, what Google has right now is a real world equivalent to the Arc reactor in the first Iron Man movie. Yeah, it works but its a publicity stunt. I just hope Google has a Tony Stark to bring the tech to the masses.


Www.gcpud.org/ zipp (remove space)

They wholesale to ISPs. however, there are still ISPs that throttle to 1mbs and 20GB total a month.

Currently as is, it is self sufficient in operating costs. there is still more building out to do, but google is not the first, and they are doing in a relative relative safe spot compard to the (mostly) rural area the above url is in.
 
2012-09-17 12:58:19 AM
kroonermanblack
Why don't we move to a deregulated model, like Texas has for power utility?

As I recalls it, most states were throwing all in on deregulated power when Enron hit. So they're kind of on hold now until they can flush the last shady characters out of the business world.
 
2012-09-17 01:41:50 AM
I don't get it. Google knows that most users connect wirelessly to their router via the 802.11 g and n protocols, which provide nowhere near 1 GB/sec transmission, right?

I guess the actual numbers don't matter, it's just that it is faster.
 
2012-09-17 01:59:20 AM

starsrift: I don't get it. Google knows that most users connect wirelessly to their router via the 802.11 g and n protocols, which provide nowhere near 1 GB/sec transmission, right?

I guess the actual numbers don't matter, it's just that it is faster.


Hell, the bottleneck s probably way before that too. If you're running a home router it's likely the WAN port is likely 10/100.

My home built pfSense router (will soon) have 10/100/1000 WAN/LAN ports, but it won't matter much seeing as how I'm on a Comcast 12/2 business line.
 
2012-09-17 04:55:58 AM
"Google hoofed-it out there into the Kansas City neighborhoods - not just to spread the gospel of its own super-fast experimental service, but to argue the benefits of the Internet itself."

I wonder how ...

Google Employees: "Just think of all the pron you can have!!!"

.... nah ...
 
2012-09-17 05:49:39 AM
Your throughput is only as good as the slowest link in the chain.
 
2012-09-17 08:06:17 AM

mcreadyblue: Kimpak: J. Frank Parnell: Out of curiosity, does anyone in the states have an ISP that doesn't cap their internet usage?

Yes. Usage caps are mostly associated with cell phone data networks. Some cable and DSL providers are moving to data caps, but right now the caps that are in place are ridiculously high that it might as well be unlimited.

250 Gig is not ridiculous. Especially if you have net flix.


I beg to differ. Netflix accounts for a full 20-30% of our network traffic. I'm sitting here staring at modem usage reports for one of our biggest areas, approx 1% of those modems are heavy users and they still are only pulling down ~300gigs/month. Most modems are using less than 100gig/month.
 
2012-09-17 10:10:11 AM

J. Frank Parnell: Out of curiosity, does anyone in the states have an ISP that doesn't cap their internet usage?


Time Warner hasn't done caps yet. This is mostly because they tested a 50GB cap in Texas, and the whole farking internet blew up telling them how stupid that was.
 
2012-09-17 10:44:27 AM

HeartBurnKid: J. Frank Parnell: Out of curiosity, does anyone in the states have an ISP that doesn't cap their internet usage?

Time Warner hasn't done caps yet. This is mostly because they tested a 50GB cap in Texas, and the whole farking internet blew up telling them how stupid that was.


Technically Comcast doesn't cap right now either, but they are reimplementing them at some point.

Or if you're so inclined, get a business account. The monthly costs are not much different, you usually just have to pay an up front fee and agree to a term of service length. But they are typically uncapped.
 
2012-09-17 11:57:12 AM

starsrift: I don't get it. Google knows that most users connect wirelessly to their router via the 802.11 g and n protocols, which provide nowhere near 1 GB/sec transmission, right?

I guess the actual numbers don't matter, it's just that it is faster.


Yes, and many servers won't be able to give you 1GB/sec. That's not the point. The point is that it's fast enough that your connection will not be the bottleneck for anything you do.
 
2012-09-17 03:19:57 PM

theflatline: The telecoms have the bandwidth, they just pretend they do not.


Am I the only person here who read this in darth vaders voice?

HeartBurnKid: starsrift: I don't get it. Google knows that most users connect wirelessly to their router via the 802.11 g and n protocols, which provide nowhere near 1 GB/sec transmission, right?

I guess the actual numbers don't matter, it's just that it is faster.

Yes, and many servers won't be able to give you 1GB/sec. That's not the point. The point is that it's fast enough that your connection will not be the bottleneck for anything you do.


Just think, a 1GB cap would be used up in 8 seconds...
 
2012-09-17 08:26:18 PM

HeartBurnKid: J. Frank Parnell: Out of curiosity, does anyone in the states have an ISP that doesn't cap their internet usage?

Time Warner hasn't done caps yet. This is mostly because they tested a 50GB cap in Texas, and the whole farking internet blew up telling them how stupid that was.


I can attest to the veracity of this statement, having pulled down over 1Tb of data over a TW link in less than a week.

/Free Linux distros are awesome
 
2012-09-19 02:55:28 AM

J. Frank Parnell: There's clearly some sort of agreement between providers, where they all decided to keep their old infrastructure and simply just put bandwidth caps on everyone. So instead of spending money to provide better service, they can all just make more money penalizing anyone who goes over their limit. There's no other explanation for why they're all comfortable with outdated infrastructure and have no interest in outdoing the competition.


Consider the peering arrangements between ISPs who run their own backbones:

Hypothetically, it costs a penny to transmit a gigabyte. This is really just the cost of keeping the infrastructure powered on, and in working order, divided by the number of gigabytes transmitted in a billing period. It costs about the same if none of your customers are on the web, as it does if they're all downloading movies at the same time.

Suppose, though, these ISPs have a back room agreement to charge each other $10/gigabyte. They manage their peering traffic to ensure that they each earn about as many credits as they are charged, resulting in no actual cost to themselves, but they can sob to the press and government that their bandwidth costs are "$$$upmpty million" per month. Gotta cap, right? It's only fair to your grandma who only sips a little bandwidth each month. And if any upstart ISPs need a backbone provider, they find that the cost for a feed from this cartel is exactly high enough that, after charging their customers, they'll make a razor-thin profit margin, if anything.
 
2012-09-19 03:00:11 AM
OOf, hit 'Add' too soon!

So yes, this is price fixing. It's an embargo. A false shortage to drive the price up.

Anyway, what's with so many people in this thread spelling "cities" as "citys" or "city's"?
 
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