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(The Consumerist)   Cable industry admits that data caps have nothing to do with network congestion   (consumerist.com ) divider line
    More: Obvious, cable industry, bandwidth cap, fixed costs, flat rate, Weather Channel%  
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5464 clicks; posted to Business » on 20 Jan 2013 at 3:15 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



78 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2013-01-20 11:40:27 AM  
Say it aint so!

You mean data caps are just a cash grab?
 
2013-01-20 12:17:15 PM  
It's almost as if cable companies were for-profit enterprises!
 
2013-01-20 02:19:43 PM  

bronyaur1: It's almost as if cable companies were for-profit enterprises?


And exploiting what is basically a monopoly over the last mile....

How many people have a choice between either a specific cable company and a specific phone company to get last mile service?
How many people have a choice between two competing cable companies? Are their neighborhoods served by two or more cable companies using different lines?
How many people have a choice between two competing phone companies? Are their neighborhoods served by two or more phone companies using different lines?

Sadly, I don't know the answer to these questions. In the places I have lived for the past 20 years it's always been one cable company and one phone company and that's your choice, except for a small duration in which phone companies were required to make their last mile service available to other phone services.
 
2013-01-20 03:09:49 PM  
The goal of any company is to extract the most money possible from the people they serve. Who else is most willing to shell out money for internet than the very people who use it the most? How do they identify those people?

This is pretty "duh" as far as economics goes.
 
2013-01-20 03:11:07 PM  
And?
 
2013-01-20 03:24:49 PM  
This is my shocked face.

It looks an awful lot like my "Ya think, Dinozzo?" face.
That is just a coincidence, though.
 
2013-01-20 03:31:46 PM  
5GB a month?  I'd go through that in a couple days...easily.
 
2013-01-20 03:44:38 PM  
Time Warner Cable recently announced its intentions to make its Essentials broadband service, which provides a $5 discount to customers who agree to stay below 5GB/month in data usage, available nationwide.

Oh shiat! I'd be in the money then!!!!

and

"If usage caps were about 'fairness,' carriers would offer the nation's grandmothers a $5-$15 a month tier that accurately reflected her twice weekly, several megabyte browsing of the Weather Channel website," writes DSLreports.com's Karl Bode.
 
2013-01-20 04:01:52 PM  
"Instead, what we most often see are low caps and high overages layered on top of already high existing flat rate pricing, raising rates for all users. Does raising rates on a product that already sees 90% profit margins sound like 'fairness' to you?"

So, isn't this where the free market steps in with its invisible hand to lower prices? If margins are so high, why don't investors jump into the market with new start-ups that undercut Time Warner until the price reaches a fair level that allows everyone involved to just make what they are worth?
 
2013-01-20 04:03:03 PM  

slayer199: 5GB a month?  I'd go through that in a couple days...easily.


No shiat, I might pull that down on my phone.
 
kab
2013-01-20 04:08:47 PM  
uhh.. no shiat?
 
2013-01-20 04:11:16 PM  

Tommy Moo: "Instead, what we most often see are low caps and high overages layered on top of already high existing flat rate pricing, raising rates for all users. Does raising rates on a product that already sees 90% profit margins sound like 'fairness' to you?"

So, isn't this where the free market steps in with its invisible hand to lower prices? If margins are so high, why don't investors jump into the market with new start-ups that undercut Time Warner until the price reaches a fair level that allows everyone involved to just make what they are worth?


Ha, you think cable companies work in a free market?
 
2013-01-20 04:12:08 PM  
My surprise?
Wait here, I'll go get it....
 
2013-01-20 04:14:19 PM  
And nothing good will happen & there will be no positive change, because this is America. Shiat only gets worse.
 
2013-01-20 04:43:45 PM  

SilentStrider: This is my shocked face.


You're not the only one recoiling in surprise. Look at this panel of judges who are just as shocked as you or I on this breaking news story:

i344.photobucket.com
 
2013-01-20 05:12:22 PM  

T-Servo: Tommy Moo: "Instead, what we most often see are low caps and high overages layered on top of already high existing flat rate pricing, raising rates for all users. Does raising rates on a product that already sees 90% profit margins sound like 'fairness' to you?"

So, isn't this where the free market steps in with its invisible hand to lower prices? If margins are so high, why don't investors jump into the market with new start-ups that undercut Time Warner until the price reaches a fair level that allows everyone involved to just make what they are worth?

Ha, you think cable companies work in a free market?


Explain. Let's start one. You and me. What is physically preventing us from starting an ISP? Granted it has a high barrier to startup. It would probably take hundreds of millions in venture capital funds, but some team of VC investors will pony up any amount if it is guaranteed to return 15%/year for the first ten years.
 
2013-01-20 05:21:29 PM  
"is a completely rational and acceptable process to figure out how to fairly allocate those costs among your consumers who are choosing the service and will pay you to recover those costs."

I can't wait for google fiber to put a bullet in your company's head.
 
2013-01-20 05:26:54 PM  

Tommy Moo: T-Servo: Tommy Moo: "Instead, what we most often see are low caps and high overages layered on top of already high existing flat rate pricing, raising rates for all users. Does raising rates on a product that already sees 90% profit margins sound like 'fairness' to you?"

So, isn't this where the free market steps in with its invisible hand to lower prices? If margins are so high, why don't investors jump into the market with new start-ups that undercut Time Warner until the price reaches a fair level that allows everyone involved to just make what they are worth?

Ha, you think cable companies work in a free market?

Explain. Let's start one. You and me. What is physically preventing us from starting an ISP? Granted it has a high barrier to startup. It would probably take hundreds of millions in venture capital funds, but some team of VC investors will pony up any amount if it is guaranteed to return 15%/year for the first ten years.


We're not talking about ISPs. We're talking about cable companies, which have government-granted monopolies. You literally cannot start a new cable company. Therefore, they don't operate in a free market, because the government protects them. That's the problem.

If you want to start an ISP, you're going to have to lease backbone Internet -- probably from the cable company. (Perhaps you see the problem.)
 
2013-01-20 05:38:46 PM  

Dokushin: Tommy Moo: T-Servo: Tommy Moo: "Instead, what we most often see are low caps and high overages layered on top of already high existing flat rate pricing, raising rates for all users. Does raising rates on a product that already sees 90% profit margins sound like 'fairness' to you?"

So, isn't this where the free market steps in with its invisible hand to lower prices? If margins are so high, why don't investors jump into the market with new start-ups that undercut Time Warner until the price reaches a fair level that allows everyone involved to just make what they are worth?

Ha, you think cable companies work in a free market?

Explain. Let's start one. You and me. What is physically preventing us from starting an ISP? Granted it has a high barrier to startup. It would probably take hundreds of millions in venture capital funds, but some team of VC investors will pony up any amount if it is guaranteed to return 15%/year for the first ten years.

We're not talking about ISPs. We're talking about cable companies, which have government-granted monopolies. You literally cannot start a new cable company. Therefore, they don't operate in a free market, because the government protects them. That's the problem.

If you want to start an ISP, you're going to have to lease backbone Internet -- probably from the cable company. (Perhaps you see the problem.)


Actually, the articles does talk about ISP's, which are not necessarily (but usually are) cable companies. It's entirely possibly to get your internet off a DSL from the local phone company.

But you are correct on everything else. To start up a new ISP in any geographic area, you'll either need to lease the equipment from your direct competitor, or spend several million dollars up front and hope you eventually get enough customers before the cable companies lawyers bleed you dry.

Personally, I'd like to see municipalities get into the ISP business. Stick wireless broadcasters on the pre-existing power company poles. Advertise it as 'hey, it might not be as fast as the cable company, but it's only $5 a month and we're never going to bother with throttling, data limits, or disabling torrents'.
 
2013-01-20 05:53:39 PM  

Karac: Dokushin: Tommy Moo: T-Servo: Tommy Moo: "Instead, what we most often see are low caps and high overages layered on top of already high existing flat rate pricing, raising rates for all users. Does raising rates on a product that already sees 90% profit margins sound like 'fairness' to you?"

So, isn't this where the free market steps in with its invisible hand to lower prices? If margins are so high, why don't investors jump into the market with new start-ups that undercut Time Warner until the price reaches a fair level that allows everyone involved to just make what they are worth?

Ha, you think cable companies work in a free market?

Explain. Let's start one. You and me. What is physically preventing us from starting an ISP? Granted it has a high barrier to startup. It would probably take hundreds of millions in venture capital funds, but some team of VC investors will pony up any amount if it is guaranteed to return 15%/year for the first ten years.

We're not talking about ISPs. We're talking about cable companies, which have government-granted monopolies. You literally cannot start a new cable company. Therefore, they don't operate in a free market, because the government protects them. That's the problem.

If you want to start an ISP, you're going to have to lease backbone Internet -- probably from the cable company. (Perhaps you see the problem.)

Actually, the articles does talk about ISP's, which are not necessarily (but usually are) cable companies. It's entirely possibly to get your internet off a DSL from the local phone company.


Depends. For example, my local government prohibits Verizon from providing DSL service within city limits due to an exclusivity agreement with TWC on internet service rights.

The startup costs to creating a new ISP would have to include line items for bribery because otherwise it's not going to happen.
 
2013-01-20 06:18:22 PM  
My observations after reading the source Link article:

There's absolutely no nicer way to put this: Powell is a liar. This panel was more likely about synchronizing their talking points than educating the public on this industry's real business plan. The fact that this hack is now the industry's regulator bodes ill for the customers the FCC is supposed to protect.

Obviously, it's not about fairness. It's about maintaining a fictional shortage which makes it easier for them to negotiate price hikes. They need not concern themselves with the "fair" rationing of an expensive resouce with a high fixed cost, when In fact, their costs are quite low, and constantly dropping. I suspect even the 95% profit margin that came to light recently is understated. There are surely a considerable number of obscenely large entitlements which they bundle with their fixed expense figures.

In a nutshell it works like this: their network costs something to keep powered, cooled, and maintained. Add the costs of their staff who facilitate these tasks. The networks were paid for long ago and there are no more amortization costs. A large amount of those costs were paid for with public funds, which now has been siezed by the industry, which will not share it's lines with competing businesses. They did not "spend a bunch of money" so much as they pocketed a bunch of money. Over time, the original equipment is being replaced with much more compact equipment that has much higher capacity. Staff are reduced as better management methods replace pioneering ones. The result is that the network aquires more capacity at lower expense to the industry. Yet prices keep rising!

The expense of maintaining the network does not rise or fall with the load of data moving across it. In truth, that "hot tub" and "lights" is on 24/7 no matter what, and it's expense is orders of magnitude lower than the cable bill would suggest. Noone is "subsidizing" anyone else. Everyone's connections, regardless of their capacity or consumption, costs about the same small amount to keep humming. There's simply no reason to charge based on consumption. Why charge on a "consumption" basis then? Powell said himself, "consumers are familiar and comfortable with usage-based pricing". So it's because the industry wishes to. It's easier to hike prices up for something they can themselves make scarce, than it is to invest in a higher quality network and market better and faster connections. Consumers don't know any better.

The arguement about pressuring web app designers is a new one to me. However, it's invalid. Web app designers don't need to care how much bandwidth their apps generate. Their costs are completely disengaged from the costs of their consumers. It should also be said that the content consumed by their customers is none of the industry's concern. Their meddling in these affairs (VOIP, streaming video, torrents) is merely to give their own competing services an unfair advantage.

Lastly, while concern for reaching a broader market of customers seems laudable, my inner cynic says it is likely the prologue of a new effort to extract no-strings "infrastructure improvement" funds from an industry-friendly government. It's not lost on me that Michael Copps essentially says there will be no change in attitude until there is a new FCC chairman, though I don't think that's quite how he intended it to sound.
 
2013-01-20 07:00:45 PM  

Tommy Moo: "Instead, what we most often see are low caps and high overages layered on top of already high existing flat rate pricing, raising rates for all users. Does raising rates on a product that already sees 90% profit margins sound like 'fairness' to you?"

So, isn't this where the free market steps in with its invisible hand to lower prices? If margins are so high, why don't investors jump into the market with new start-ups that undercut Time Warner until the price reaches a fair level that allows everyone involved to just make what they are worth?


Because what began as a niche service turned into a must-have utility. Like phones.
I don't know what the crossover period was, I'll have to ask Europe or the northeast, but at some point running water stopped being niche and everybody needed that shiat. I don't know how they decided to municipalizipate any of this shiat, but with rednecks goin 'oh dem commynists' I think we're basically farked here in 'murica.
 
2013-01-20 07:04:02 PM  

Austinoftx: The arguement about pressuring web app designers is a new one to me. However, it's invalid. Web app designers don't need to care how much bandwidth their apps generate.


Maybe irresponsible dickheaded programmers who work for Paypal. Any decent dev does their best to optimize speed without sacrificing performance. It's a biatch to handle, but if they don't think about it, they probably suck at their job (which is common).
 
2013-01-20 07:44:50 PM  

RoyBatty: bronyaur1: It's almost as if cable companies were for-profit enterprises?

And exploiting what is basically a monopoly over the last mile....

How many people have a choice between either a specific cable company and a specific phone company to get last mile service?
How many people have a choice between two competing cable companies? Are their neighborhoods served by two or more cable companies using different lines?
How many people have a choice between two competing phone companies? Are their neighborhoods served by two or more phone companies using different lines?

Sadly, I don't know the answer to these questions. In the places I have lived for the past 20 years it's always been one cable company and one phone company and that's your choice, except for a small duration in which phone companies were required to make their last mile service available to other phone services.


The house I owned in Minneapolis has a choice of 5 Internet providers (cable, dsl, and several forms of wireless). My apartment in San Diego has one choice. Guess which is cheaper and guess which service is better?

It also took Cox cable four attempts to deliver the service I asked for and two techs blamed my wireless router for poor performance even when I showed them I was directly connected into their fark'n router via a fark'n Ethernet cable. After complaining a fourth time - my service mysteriously started working again. With no explanation. As if some one discovered a configuration error and refused to admit to it.
 
2013-01-20 07:58:22 PM  
bandwidth isn't like water or electricity.

you don't have to burn coal to generate it, or pump it. It's basically there as a side affect of the network's existence. using it at max costs essentially the same resources as not using it. The problem is the ISP have oversold their capacity past the point their infrastructure could bear. Since real level competition will probably never be in the consumer level ISP business again, I'd vote for nationalizing the home internet connectivity business. I mean, how much would it cost to run a real fiber line to the majority of houses in america? and 4G for the rural parts? I mean, didn't the fed spend 200B for a similar purpose back in the 90s?

could you imagine if almost any company could bring you google fiber-like service? for no more than line rental from the gov, at the same rate as everyone else?

for an example, remember what early dsl was like?
 
2013-01-20 08:17:18 PM  
My current monthly Internet allocation is 75GB. My TV is also delivered by the same fibre optic cable, and I was told they allow me 300,000GB/month bandwidth for that, but no extra if it goes over.

The upshot is that your Internet usage, if it's anything other than gargantuan, is trivial to your provider.
 
2013-01-20 08:18:18 PM  

SuperT: bandwidth isn't like water or electricity.

you don't have to burn coal to generate it, or pump it. It's basically there as a side affect of the network's existence. using it at max costs essentially the same resources as not using it. The problem is the ISP have oversold their capacity past the point their infrastructure could bear. Since real level competition will probably never be in the consumer level ISP business again, I'd vote for nationalizing the home internet connectivity business.


I think that's pretty much right, except that you forgot about all that dark fiber the monopoly telco/ISPs have. They certainly wouldn't have a shortage if they lit one of these up now and then. At present, they're probably already operating with late-generation equipment, but over-centralizing it in order to produce bottlenecks, as well as other things to mismanage the backbone so that it looks like they are overwhelmed.
 
2013-01-20 08:19:17 PM  
"Despite the substantial decrease in the cost of operating a network and transporting data, consumers have not seen a resulting decline in the cost of service,"

Nor will you. Why would a for-profit company operating in a near-monopoly situation (sorry, DSL is not a serious competitor to cable) willingly lower its prices?

This is why cable execs are shiatting bricks about Google fiber.
 
2013-01-20 08:21:13 PM  

KWess: My current monthly Internet allocation is 75GB. My TV is also delivered by the same fibre optic cable, and I was told they allow me 300,000GB/month bandwidth for that, but no extra if it goes over.

The upshot is that your Internet usage, if it's anything other than gargantuan, is trivial to your provider.


It's undeniably trivial as long as that traffic stays on your provider's own network, like the video services or customer-to-customer. And they're clearly equipped to differentiate the two. But it's "too hard" to do so if it threatens their overage-fee profits. ;)
 
2013-01-20 08:25:14 PM  

arcas: "Despite the substantial decrease in the cost of operating a network and transporting data, consumers have not seen a resulting decline in the cost of service,"

Nor will you. Why would a for-profit company operating in a near-monopoly situation (sorry, DSL is not a serious competitor to cable) willingly lower its prices?

This is why cable execs are shiatting bricks about Google fiber.


Which, in turn, is why I'm surprised that those same cable execs haven't yet bribed Congress and/or state legislatures to make fiber internet illegal.

/unless they have already tried and Google out-bribed them
 
2013-01-20 08:36:21 PM  

gingerjet: After complaining a fourth time - my service mysteriously started working again. With no explanation. As if some one discovered a configuration error and refused to admit to it.


This exact thing happened to me. I guess some 'techs' out there presume that all computer users are idiots. Of course I went through every possibility for failure on my end before even bothering to call. When they came out, They blamed a faulty router. I asked him if he noticed the direct ethernet connection, and he sighed. Then he went into my system and started dicking around. When I very politely asked what he was doing, he more or less told me to "leave [him] alone." Well, asshole, if you're digging in my system I want to watch everything you do.

 After he failed to notice anything (and after a series of questions designed for my grandmother), he left and promised another tech between 8am and noon. Later that night, with no changes made - not even a modem reset - everything was hunky dory.

-----------------

 When I recently moved, I discovered that my place was so old that Cox would have to come out and rig the whole place (It's New Orleans; everything is old here, and an older Luddite had lived here for decades prior). But unlike the usual free installation, they wanted $350 because I wasn't a new customer. To this point I had never looked into DSL, but I saw that AT&T "U-verse" was only $20 a month for a year. Yes, it's slower than Cox, but only for direct downloads. Simple browsing and streaming (what I do most often) is just as quick as Cox's network, but here's the kicker...the DSL NEVER blacks out. With Cox it would happen for hours a time at least once a week. So what if it takes me a little longer to download an album. All I did was call, and they sent me the modem/router combo. Plugged it in, waited a few minutes, and booya, I was here on Fark making an ass of myself in no time. And I save about $40 a month over my last package, which was really only superior when downloading something huge like Office, et al. Now I just cue it up and let it run while I sleep. No biggie.

 Also, Cox's similar $20 package is basically as slow as DSL. But the DSL just seems far more reliable in my few months' experience.
 
2013-01-20 08:40:59 PM  

Austinoftx: KWess: My current monthly Internet allocation is 75GB. My TV is also delivered by the same fibre optic cable, and I was told they allow me 300,000GB/month bandwidth for that, but no extra if it goes over.

The upshot is that your Internet usage, if it's anything other than gargantuan, is trivial to your provider.

It's undeniably trivial as long as that traffic stays on your provider's own network, like the video services or customer-to-customer. And they're clearly equipped to differentiate the two. But it's "too hard" to do so if it threatens their overage-fee profits. ;)


My provider is Bell Canada. Their principal competition in my area is called Vidéotron. Wouldn't they effectively blow their competition out of the water by folding my tiny Internet use into my TV bandwidth at a nominal charge, and forget about the accounting hassles? After all, as I said to the technician 'data is data.'
 
2013-01-20 09:07:37 PM  

Austinoftx: They did not "spend a bunch of money" so much as they pocketed a bunch of money.


Actually, they did spend a lot of money. They spent the money debt financing, and over paying for a bunch of smaller companies to build their national monstrosities.
 
2013-01-20 09:13:05 PM  

KWess: Austinoftx: KWess: My current monthly Internet allocation is 75GB. My TV is also delivered by the same fibre optic cable, and I was told they allow me 300,000GB/month bandwidth for that, but no extra if it goes over.

The upshot is that your Internet usage, if it's anything other than gargantuan, is trivial to your provider.

It's undeniably trivial as long as that traffic stays on your provider's own network, like the video services or customer-to-customer. And they're clearly equipped to differentiate the two. But it's "too hard" to do so if it threatens their overage-fee profits. ;)

My provider is Bell Canada. Their principal competition in my area is called Vidéotron. Wouldn't they effectively blow their competition out of the water by folding my tiny Internet use into my TV bandwidth at a nominal charge, and forget about the accounting hassles? After all, as I said to the technician 'data is data.'


But why give you data for free with your TV when they can charge you for both? I think they tacitly know that pure TV service is doomed, so the industry now days is literally offering TV for ten bucks more if you're ordering Internet service. Data IS data. And data is really cheap. But how does a greedy industry keep their profits soaring when people are leaving their expensive monopoly TV and phone services for cheap monopoly data service? By jacking up the price of the data to achieve the desired profit, and lying about how much it costs. You may be dealing with a "duopoly" in your part of Canada, but it works essentially the same as a monopoly.

Recently, someone in the industry claimed that Internet service really cost more than their own books historically said, because their figures were manipulated in order to hide some "data" costs as "television" costs. He promised that they would re-manipulate the books to back up their more recent claims that data is expensive, so we should all be satisfied then, LOL.
 
2013-01-20 09:14:43 PM  

Harry_Seldon: Austinoftx: They did not "spend a bunch of money" so much as they pocketed a bunch of money.

Actually, they did spend a lot of money. They spent the money debt financing, and over paying for a bunch of smaller companies to build their national monstrosities.


Ok, they spent a lot of money given to them by the government. I call that pocketing it because they didn't earn it.
 
2013-01-20 09:25:58 PM  

dickfreckle:

...Also, Cox's similar $20 package is basically as slow as DSL. But the DSL just seems far more reliable in my few months' experience.


I dumped Comcast when Century Link brought VDSL to my old neighborhood. The fiber was installed right across the street from my house, so the copper run was maybe 100' from the side of my house to the node. I never once regretted the decision, because I went from 2 or so multi-hour outages with Comcast to months of continuous uptime, improved speed, and a lower bill.

I was so sold on the reliability that when I moved to another city that didn't have FTTN, at least in my neighborhood, I went with DSL anyway because I hated Comcast so much for the outages that I didn't even consider using them.

/Don't get me started on Comcast's "we've changed the payment date to be a few days earlier" scam. If you have Comcast, and use automatic bill pay, watch out for that one. You'll get hit with late fees otherwise.
 
2013-01-20 09:43:02 PM  

Austinoftx: KWess: Austinoftx: KWess: My current monthly Internet allocation is 75GB. My TV is also delivered by the same fibre optic cable, and I was told they allow me 300,000GB/month bandwidth for that, but no extra if it goes over.

The upshot is that your Internet usage, if it's anything other than gargantuan, is trivial to your provider.

It's undeniably trivial as long as that traffic stays on your provider's own network, like the video services or customer-to-customer. And they're clearly equipped to differentiate the two. But it's "too hard" to do so if it threatens their overage-fee profits. ;)

My provider is Bell Canada. Their principal competition in my area is called Vidéotron. Wouldn't they effectively blow their competition out of the water by folding my tiny Internet use into my TV bandwidth at a nominal charge, and forget about the accounting hassles? After all, as I said to the technician 'data is data.'

But why give you data for free with your TV when they can charge you for both? I think they tacitly know that pure TV service is doomed, so the industry now days is literally offering TV for ten bucks more if you're ordering Internet service. Data IS data. And data is really cheap. But how does a greedy industry keep their profits soaring when people are leaving their expensive monopoly TV and phone services for cheap monopoly data service? By jacking up the price of the data to achieve the desired profit, and lying about how much it costs. You may be dealing with a "duopoly" in your part of Canada, but it works essentially the same as a monopoly.

Recently, someone in the industry claimed that Internet service really cost more than their own books historically said, because their figures were manipulated in order to hide some "data" costs as "television" costs. He promised that they would re-manipulate the books to back up their more recent claims that data is expensive, so we should all be satisfied then, LOL.


These people are worse liars than politicians.

Anyway, my thought was that there are more people willing to pay $50-100/month for TV, so that they could charge me $20 for unlimited Internet, which is still a healthy fraction of what they charge me now, and whatever they lost on that they'd more than make up for in pulling customers from the other guy. All at zero added cost to them, and simplified billing processes.

You're right though, the TV data is essentially free, it's the content you pay for.

I'm so confused...this is more information than I need reasonably to know.
 
2013-01-20 11:21:13 PM  

dickfreckle:

 When I recently moved, I discovered that my place was so old that Cox would have to come out and rig the whole place (It's New Orleans; everything is old here, and an older Luddite had lived here for decades prior). But unlike the usual free installation, they wanted $350 because I wasn't a new customer. To this point I had never looked into DSL, but I saw that AT&T "U-verse" was only $20 a month for a year. Yes, it's slower than Cox, but only for direct downloads. Simple browsing and streaming (what I do most often) is just as quick as Cox's network, but here's the kicker...the DSL NEVER blacks out. With Cox it would happen for hours a time at least once a week. So what if it takes me a little longer to download an album. All I did was call, and they sent me the modem/router combo. Plugged it in, waited a few minutes, and booya, I was here on Fark making an ass of myself in no time. And I save about $40 a month over my last package, which was really only superior when ...


I recently moved too and went from having cable to only DSL. DSL has never blacked out for me, but the problem is I'm so far out of town, I only get 1 Mbps service (120 kb download). They won't upgrade unless they get a government grant to make it profitable either. I'm having charter dig a cable line this summer from the street to the house so I can get cable. I know I'll have issues and outages, but to have speeds 20-30 times faster for the same price? Yeah, worth it to me.
 
2013-01-21 01:24:41 AM  

Tommy Moo: "Instead, what we most often see are low caps and high overages layered on top of already high existing flat rate pricing, raising rates for all users. Does raising rates on a product that already sees 90% profit margins sound like 'fairness' to you?"

So, isn't this where the free market steps in with its invisible hand to lower prices? If margins are so high, why don't investors jump into the market with new start-ups that undercut Time Warner until the price reaches a fair level that allows everyone involved to just make what they are worth?


What as the free market got to do with it? TW and AT&T in this area just pay off the North Carolina assembly to keep an unregulated monopoly that block others from offering any competition and that is how they like it.
 
2013-01-21 01:44:01 AM  

KWess: My current monthly Internet allocation is 75GB. My TV is also delivered by the same fibre optic cable, and I was told they allow me 300,000GB/month bandwidth for that, but no extra if it goes over.

The upshot is that your Internet usage, if it's anything other than gargantuan, is trivial to your provider.


I got the same info from Dreamhost (as it applies to server space). Basically 0.1% of users gobble 99.9% of the capacity.

On servers, it's the guy running the porn site. On internet, it's probably that tard with p2p who wants to download and archive every mp3 ever made by humankind.
 
2013-01-21 03:32:13 AM  

Suckmaster Burstingfoam: KWess: My current monthly Internet allocation is 75GB. My TV is also delivered by the same fibre optic cable, and I was told they allow me 300,000GB/month bandwidth for that, but no extra if it goes over.

The upshot is that your Internet usage, if it's anything other than gargantuan, is trivial to your provider.

I got the same info from Dreamhost (as it applies to server space). Basically 0.1% of users gobble 99.9% of the capacity.

On servers, it's the guy running the porn site. On internet, it's probably that tard with p2p who wants to download and archive every mp3 ever made by humankind.


You do understand that this is the provider pointing fingers and diverting your rage away from them, right? They don't want to admit that their greed led to them overselling their capacity 100x.
 
2013-01-21 04:02:29 AM  
Rent seeking by monopolists. Free market? Nope.State House corporate greased palm monkeys.

limeyfellow

What as the free market got to do with it? TW and AT&T in this area just pay off the North Carolina assembly to keep an unregulated monopoly that block others from offering any competition and that is how they like it.

I like, your neighbor, South Carolina. Rural Counties? If they can get 190Kbps from a private carrier, no publicly funded system that can achieve a speed of 191Kbps is allowed (consider your rural ass served, citizen). The cable/telcos aren't required to build out jack shiat (yeah, expand mobile and keep charging for incoming calls). In CA, ATT was fined for predatory pricing in and around municipality that was building out their own system. Plenty of examples of this shiat (nickels/dimes add up faster the harder one squeezes - cheaper than improving one's private enterprise (all one is ultimately serving).

LEC's, in particular, now that skimming the 20 billion a year through `traditional' (slipped the third party charges in by lobbying$$ - `96 telcom act) cramming and slamming on landlines is drying up, prevention of Any competition to improve substandard service and cut into low overhead profit racket, is fixed in the state legislatures with a mere pittance (cheap whores).

Rural Electric Coop, here. All money collected that exceeds amount for capital improvements/elec. purchase/maintenance - is returned to members at the end of the year (sign over checks to provide support for payment program for those members who come up short in dead of winter). Farking user owned utilities? Nonprofit and too `pink' (can't be gamed to bleed the customers).
 
2013-01-21 10:02:56 AM  

Raharu: Say it aint so!

You mean data caps are just a cash grab?



i knew that 10 years ago because i know this Country. i also know there is alot of unused dark fiber laying in the ground too.

so much for the "free market" and "competition" and all that noise.
 
2013-01-21 10:09:25 AM  

bronyaur1: It's almost as if cable companies were for-profit enterprises!



oh, they're for profit alright. and they love the fact that there is little/no competition so they can set their own prices and rob their 'customers'

so much for your 'free market enterprise' america.
 
2013-01-21 10:11:04 AM  
eventually, those 'freedom' loving f*ck cable companies (and DSL folks too) are going to own the Internet. they call that 'freedom'.
 
2013-01-21 10:12:39 AM  

JerkyMeat: And nothing good will happen & there will be no positive change, because this is America. Shiat only gets worse.



sh*t only gets worse when you allow a bunch of CEO's/boardroom f*cks own your government/Legislators.

if we had an actual representative Democracy, this crap would not happen.
 
2013-01-21 10:14:00 AM  

arcas: "Despite the substantial decrease in the cost of operating a network and transporting data, consumers have not seen a resulting decline in the cost of service,"

Nor will you. Why would a for-profit company operating in a near-monopoly situation (sorry, DSL is not a serious competitor to cable) willingly lower its prices?

This is why cable execs are shiatting bricks about Google fiber.



i hope those bricks are nice and dry.
 
2013-01-21 10:31:36 AM  

Karac: Personally, I'd like to see municipalities get into the ISP business.


Of course, when municipalities get into the ISP business, the cable companies start bribing politicians until they legislate away their ability to do that. So, there's that.
 
2013-01-21 11:03:52 AM  
bandwith is free guys!!

all the data centers, and techs in the fields and equiptment all is free.. cisco is a non proft company who donates their engieneers and gear to help america, electric companys provide free electricy for the hvac, people donate their time because they love working for such a great company

yah bandwith is completely free!
 
2013-01-21 11:06:48 AM  

Linux_Yes: dark fiber


Wallmart has all tthose tvs laying around walmart, but if i want one they make ME pay for it... thanks obama

It is not fair wallmart has all the tv's just sitting there, unused... i want one!
 
2013-01-21 12:30:38 PM  

Karac: Personally, I'd like to see municipalities get into the ISP business. Stick wireless broadcasters on the pre-existing power company poles. Advertise it as 'hey, it might not be as fast as the cable company, but it's only $5 a month and we're never going to bother with throttling, data limits, or disabling torrents'.


It's been tried all over the place. Municipalities don't have the funding for this. Oakland County, Michigan is one example that tried to implement this and failed due to lack of money. They never got past the pilot project: Link
 
2013-01-21 01:06:34 PM  

Austinoftx: I think that's pretty much right, except that you forgot about all that dark fiber the monopoly telco/ISPs have. They certainly wouldn't have a shortage if they lit one of these up now and then. At present, they're probably already operating with late-generation equipment, but over-centralizing it in order to produce bottlenecks, as well as other things to mismanage the backbone so that it looks like they are overwhelmed.


Never attribute to malice what is adequately explained by incompetence.

That said, the solution is still the same. Gov't infrastructure with real competition for delivery.
 
2013-01-21 02:16:16 PM  

tbhouston: Linux_Yes: dark fiber

Wallmart has all tthose tvs laying around walmart, but if i want one they make ME pay for it... thanks obama

It is not fair wallmart has all the tv's just sitting there, unused... i want one!


The costs of that Wal-Mart are subsidized by the government (low labor costs, corporate tax breaks)...at least some of the reduction in price is passed onto the customer.

The costs of the network are subsidized by the government and the companies have a monopoly...the consumer price is high and always increasing.
 
2013-01-21 02:30:23 PM  

gimmegimme: tbhouston: Linux_Yes: dark fiber

Wallmart has all tthose tvs laying around walmart, but if i want one they make ME pay for it... thanks obama

It is not fair wallmart has all the tv's just sitting there, unused... i want one!

The costs of that Wal-Mart are subsidized by the government (low labor costs, corporate tax breaks)...at least some of the reduction in price is passed onto the customer.

The costs of the network are subsidized by the government and the companies have a monopoly...the consumer price is high and always increasing.



I wasn't talk about cost, but availability. just because there is dark fibre laying around unused, doesn't mean it has no value and should be given away for free.
 
2013-01-21 02:42:29 PM  

moothemagiccow: Austinoftx: The arguement about pressuring web app designers is a new one to me. However, it's invalid. Web app designers don't need to care how much bandwidth their apps generate.

Maybe irresponsible dickheaded programmers who work for Paypal. Any decent dev does their best to optimize speed without sacrificing performance. It's a biatch to handle, but if they don't think about it, they probably suck at their job (which is common).


I've got to disagree. In a perfect world - sure. In the real world, in 90% of the cases, it doesn't matter.
 
2013-01-21 02:43:41 PM  

China White Tea: Karac: Personally, I'd like to see municipalities get into the ISP business.

Of course, when municipalities get into the ISP business, the cable companies start bribing politicians until they legislate away their ability to do that. So, there's that.


Or when they do have the funding, they can't keep up with their competitors and end up going deep into the red, like my municipality did.

Link
 
2013-01-21 02:52:22 PM  

tbhouston: bandwith is free guys!!

all the data centers, and techs in the fields and equiptment all is free.. cisco is a non proft company who donates their engieneers and gear to help america, electric companys provide free electricy for the hvac, people donate their time because they love working for such a great company

yah bandwith is completely free!


Yeah, it is, actually. Bandwidth is like the *meaning* of the words you say during a telephone conversation. The telephone company shouldn't bill you differently depending on the language you use, who you talk to or how fast you talk. They need only maintain the infrastructure that makes a call possible. Your phone conversation does not cause a surge of operating expenses for the phone company. And if the phone company's capacity is so limited that they want you to keep your calls short so that other people can make calls, then the phone company simply needs to expand it's capacity.

The above analogy isn't perfect, but it covers most of the distance. The cost of the "electrical impulses" is negligible. The licenses and exchange tolls are far higher than the actual cost of maintaining the infrastructure, but would still be negligible if spread out over all of the customers. Some people call this "subsidizing heavy users" but that's bullshiat if you understand how the industry calculates it's entitlements.

Say it cost $1,000,000/day to maintain a phone system and pay various tolls to municipalities your calls are routed through. Say you have 10,000,000 customers. So you *could* charge everyone $.10/day. But you are required to raise $500,000 in revenues per day to cover the cost of the executive board's executive pay. So you charge every customer $.15/day. That doesn't sound like much, does it?

In the case of providing Internet service, the outlook is more like this: Say you have 10,000,000 customers, who you charge $40/mo for their Internet service. Given that your profit margin is 90-95%, this means that *including entitlements* like executive pay, and arbitrary bandwidth access fees, it only costs you $2-4/mo to provide the service to each customer. And still you send your suits to the media to cry in front of cameras about how limited and expensive bandwidth is so you can regularly jack the price up even more.

I don't begrudge a company it's profits, but this... This is going too far. Whether they're legally operating as a regulated monopoly in your area or not, they operate like unregulated monopolies. And unregulated monopolies must either become properly regulated, or they must face fair competition.
 
2013-01-21 04:01:14 PM  

Austinoftx: tbhouston: bandwith is free guys!!

all the data centers, and techs in the fields and equiptment all is free.. cisco is a non proft company who donates their engieneers and gear to help america, electric companys provide free electricy for the hvac, people donate their time because they love working for such a great company

yah bandwith is completely free!

Yeah, it is, actually. Bandwidth is like the *meaning* of the words you say during a telephone conversation. The telephone company shouldn't bill you differently depending on the language you use, who you talk to or how fast you talk. They need only maintain the infrastructure that makes a call possible. Your phone conversation does not cause a surge of operating expenses for the phone company. And if the phone company's capacity is so limited that they want you to keep your calls short so that other people can make calls, then the phone company simply needs to expand it's capacity.

The above analogy isn't perfect, but it covers most of the distance. The cost of the "electrical impulses" is negligible. The licenses and exchange tolls are far higher than the actual cost of maintaining the infrastructure, but would still be negligible if spread out over all of the customers. Some people call this "subsidizing heavy users" but that's bullshiat if you understand how the industry calculates it's entitlements.

Say it cost $1,000,000/day to maintain a phone system and pay various tolls to municipalities your calls are routed through. Say you have 10,000,000 customers. So you *could* charge everyone $.10/day. But you are required to raise $500,000 in revenues per day to cover the cost of the executive board's executive pay. So you charge every customer $.15/day. That doesn't sound like much, does it?

In the case of providing Internet service, the outlook is more like this: Say you have 10,000,000 customers, who you charge $40/mo for their Internet service. Given that your profit margin is 90-95%, this means that *inc ...


don't quit your day job.
 
2013-01-21 04:09:14 PM  

tbhouston: don't quit your day job.


And don't you ever stop dreamin' you adorable sock puppet, you!
 
2013-01-21 04:22:40 PM  

fortheloveofgod: Karac: Personally, I'd like to see municipalities get into the ISP business. Stick wireless broadcasters on the pre-existing power company poles. Advertise it as 'hey, it might not be as fast as the cable company, but it's only $5 a month and we're never going to bother with throttling, data limits, or disabling torrents'.

It's been tried all over the place. Municipalities don't have the funding for this. Oakland County, Michigan is one example that tried to implement this and failed due to lack of money. They never got past the pilot project: Link


Damn, don't you read fark? UNC Samurai never shuts up about Greenlight in his hometown, Wilson NC.
 
2013-01-21 05:15:40 PM  

moothemagiccow: Austinoftx: The arguement about pressuring web app designers is a new one to me. However, it's invalid. Web app designers don't need to care how much bandwidth their apps generate.

Maybe irresponsible dickheaded programmers who work for Paypal. Any decent dev does their best to optimize speed without sacrificing performance. It's a biatch to handle, but if they don't think about it, they probably suck at their job (which is common).


But there are so many irresponsible dickheaded programmers - who are also probably helped along by unrealistic requirements from management that doesn't understand such things.
 
2013-01-21 05:29:58 PM  

Tommy Moo: "Instead, what we most often see are low caps and high overages layered on top of already high existing flat rate pricing, raising rates for all users. Does raising rates on a product that already sees 90% profit margins sound like 'fairness' to you?"

So, isn't this where the free market steps in with its invisible hand to lower prices? If margins are so high, why don't investors jump into the market with new start-ups that undercut Time Warner until the price reaches a fair level that allows everyone involved to just make what they are worth?


Because there is no free market where municipal monopolies are in place.
 
2013-01-21 11:23:32 PM  

Tommy Moo: T-Servo: Tommy Moo: "Instead, what we most often see are low caps and high overages layered on top of already high existing flat rate pricing, raising rates for all users. Does raising rates on a product that already sees 90% profit margins sound like 'fairness' to you?"

So, isn't this where the free market steps in with its invisible hand to lower prices? If margins are so high, why don't investors jump into the market with new start-ups that undercut Time Warner until the price reaches a fair level that allows everyone involved to just make what they are worth?

Ha, you think cable companies work in a free market?

Explain. Let's start one. You and me. What is physically preventing us from starting an ISP? Granted it has a high barrier to startup. It would probably take hundreds of millions in venture capital funds, but some team of VC investors will pony up any amount if it is guaranteed to return 15%/year for the first ten years.


I ran an ISP that was a 2.4ghz based WAN that served about a hundred businesses and was pretty well breaking even, but it just want profitable enough to survive a change in ownership. If you start small and build carefully it can be done. I've thought about starting an internet coop before. You just need density and backhaul.
 
2013-01-22 12:20:17 AM  
I don't know about other companies, but prior to suspending their 250G a month limit, Comcast didn't charge people who went over that limit. Customers who went over would get a warning the first time and if it happened again within 6 months, they'd get a one year suspension of internet service. During which, I assume, said customer didn't have an internet bill because there'd be a huge outcry if Comcast tried to charge customers for a service that they were suspended from using. In other words, enforcing the cap would cost Comcast money. So if Comcast didn't have a cap to increase profit, what did they have it for?
 
2013-01-22 12:30:10 AM  

davidphogan: I ran an ISP that was a 2.4ghz based WAN that served about a hundred businesses and was pretty well breaking even, but it just want profitable enough to survive a change in ownership. If you start small and build carefully it can be done. I've thought about starting an internet coop before. You just need density and backhaul.


What would you say was the biggest expense in running your own ISP? My bet is that it was paying for bandwidth at the cartel's rates? It was the biggest expense at 3 local ISPs I worked for, all of whom were operating on razor-thin margins.
 
2013-01-22 01:28:43 AM  

Austinoftx: What would you say was the biggest expense in running your own ISP? My bet is that it was paying for bandwidth at the cartel's rates? It was the biggest expense at 3 local ISPs I worked for, all of whom were operating on razor-thin margins.


This was 2002-2003, but the bandwidth definitely was since almost all the other costs were going to be incurred no matter what. We justified it as it paid for our internet usage (which was pretty high in the first place), and by being creative. We had friends at SBC and Quest, so we were able to get several DSL lines that we were allowed to resell at 6/1.5, and route those in conjunction with some cheap T-1 lines we were able to get as we also sold those. Neither of these were our primary business, but they made our primary business cheaper as we needed a lot of DSL lines, dial up accounts with phone lines, as well as a few customers who had purchased T-1s from us.

As a standalone business it probably wouldn't make business sense to try starting one now, but you might be able to do a coop deal where you light up dense neighborhoods (business parks or condos/apartments would be ideal) as an outside consultant.

It helped that we already had a core business that happened to coincide with reselling internet access to businesses. The core business was placing computers into public spaces in hotels, coffee shops, copy stores,etc. We pretty much had a "you're responsible for the internet" clause, which makes me think the better idea would be a coop route. In short, the best way to compete with the big guys now would be to get a bunch of people (a condo, apartment, office building, etc) to agree that as part of their lease/HOA/rental agreement they pay x share of the internet bill, which is brought into a central location and served throughout the neighborhood.

Another option would be a WiFi setup using directional antennas to backhaul the signal between different houses, and get everyone to sign a deal to chip in for a commercial line to the block ISP. A few dedicated lines bundled and shared among 30 neighbors might work out well for everyone and get a bulk deal from the ISP's.
 
2013-01-22 02:30:03 AM  

Zarquon's Flat Tire: slayer199: 5GB a month?  I'd go through that in a couple days...easily.

No shiat, I might pull that down on my phone.


Sometimes, I'll pull that much down on my PC in just a few hours.
 
2013-01-22 11:46:32 AM  

JerkyMeat: And nothing good will happen & there will be no positive change, because this is America. Shiat only gets worse.


So you want to go back in time to when access to Internet was so much faster, like 1996? Since, as you say, things have gotten so much worse since then.
 
2013-01-22 02:12:11 PM  

King Something: You're not the only one recoiling in surprise. Look at this panel of judges who are just as shocked as you or I on this breaking news story:

[i344.photobucket.com image 700x950]


maybe you should have a seat over there.


SuperT: I'd vote for nationalizing the home internet connectivity business


that's never going to happen. there are alot more services that the government subsidies but hasn't taken over even though it's being ran like crap, like electric companies (lipa for instance). then there's the thought of government having direct access to every subscriber's browsing habits.
 
2013-01-23 06:52:23 AM  

Austinoftx: tbhouston: bandwith is free guys!!

all the data centers, and techs in the fields and equiptment all is free.. cisco is a non proft company who donates their engieneers and gear to help america, electric companys provide free electricy for the hvac, people donate their time because they love working for such a great company

yah bandwith is completely free!

Yeah, it is, actually. Bandwidth is like the *meaning* of the words you say during a telephone conversation. The telephone company shouldn't bill you differently depending on the language you use, who you talk to or how fast you talk. They need only maintain the infrastructure that makes a call possible. Your phone conversation does not cause a surge of operating expenses for the phone company. And if the phone company's capacity is so limited that they want you to keep your calls short so that other people can make calls, then the phone company simply needs to expand it's capacity.

The above analogy isn't perfect, but it covers most of the distance. The cost of the "electrical impulses" is negligible. The licenses and exchange tolls are far higher than the actual cost of maintaining the infrastructure, but would still be negligible if spread out over all of the customers. Some people call this "subsidizing heavy users" but that's bullshiat if you understand how the industry calculates it's entitlements.

Say it cost $1,000,000/day to maintain a phone system and pay various tolls to municipalities your calls are routed through. Say you have 10,000,000 customers. So you *could* charge everyone $.10/day. But you are required to raise $500,000 in revenues per day to cover the cost of the executive board's executive pay. So you charge every customer $.15/day. That doesn't sound like much, does it?

In the case of providing Internet service, the outlook is more like this: Say you have 10,000,000 customers, who you charge $40/mo for their Internet service. Given that your profit margin is 90-95%, this means that *inc ...


Why aren't we still using dialup?
 
2013-01-23 03:56:41 PM  
Dokushin:

Maybe because the telcos built DSL just so people wouldn't tie up the more expensive voice circuits? :D
 
2013-01-23 05:05:42 PM  

Austinoftx: Dokushin:

Maybe because the telcos built DSL just so people wouldn't tie up the more expensive voice circuits? :D


Why is DSL faster than dial-up?
 
2013-01-23 08:03:42 PM  

Dokushin: Austinoftx: Dokushin:

Maybe because the telcos built DSL just so people wouldn't tie up the more expensive voice circuits? :D

Why is DSL faster than dial-up?


My DSL wasn't. You need to take your questions to Google.
 
2013-01-23 08:32:51 PM  

Austinoftx: Dokushin: Austinoftx: Dokushin:

Maybe because the telcos built DSL just so people wouldn't tie up the more expensive voice circuits? :D

Why is DSL faster than dial-up?

My DSL wasn't. You need to take your questions to Google.


Your DSL was slower than 56k? Do you know how DSL works? Do you know how data is moved? Do you know why Google spends billions laying new cables instead of using the ones that are there? Do you know why radio spectrum isn't free? Do you know what a router is and does? Do you know why cable is faster than DSL in many markets?

Your assertion that bandwidth is completely free because the amount of it that you use has no impact on infrastructure is ridiculous. Smokescreening like that obscures issues that need solving and contribute to the sluggish pace of accelerated bandwidth deployment in the US.
 
2013-01-23 09:27:26 PM  

Dokushin: Austinoftx: Dokushin: Austinoftx: Dokushin:

Maybe because the telcos built DSL just so people wouldn't tie up the more expensive voice circuits? :D

Why is DSL faster than dial-up?

My DSL wasn't. You need to take your questions to Google.

Your DSL was slower than 56k? Do you know how DSL works? Do you know how data is moved? Do you know why Google spends billions laying new cables instead of using the ones that are there? Do you know why radio spectrum isn't free? Do you know what a router is and does? Do you know why cable is faster than DSL in many markets?

Your assertion that bandwidth is completely free because the amount of it that you use has no impact on infrastructure is ridiculous. Smokescreening like that obscures issues that need solving and contribute to the sluggish pace of accelerated bandwidth deployment in the US.


I'd have to answer "yes" to all of those questions, y'know, being a network engineer for a major corporation and having worked for 3 dialup/dsl/isdn ISPs. This is why I'm part of this conversation. There are too many people like you under the "smokescreen", who object to my relevations of things that run counter to your "common sense". This is why we have crappy, expensive monopoly Internet service in this country.
 
2013-01-23 09:45:59 PM  

Austinoftx: I'd have to answer "yes" to all of those questions, y'know, being a network engineer for a major corporation and having worked for 3 dialup/dsl/isdn ISPs. This is why I'm part of this conversation. There are too many people like you under the "smokescreen", who object to my relevations of things that run counter to your "common sense". This is why we have crappy, expensive monopoly Internet service in this country.


Do you want to play credential bingo? I work for government labs doing research work on network communications. I work with a wide variety of fabrics, topologies, and protocols every week. Your assumption that your "being a network engineer for a major corporation" means you can tell me nonsense like "Bandwidth is like the *meaning* of the words you say during a telephone conversation" and not get called on it is just a little thin on the bottom.

Bandwidth is a physical concept; the fidelity of a communications channel is a real thing. You can't arbitrarily decide to transmit terabits a second over copper wire. There is physical scarcity, and therefore the market motives are valid, if distorted by municipal monopolies. You aren't making "revelations," you're simply giving an interpretation that is completely incorrect.

Oh, and we have "crappy, expensive monopoly Internet service" because those highly distorted markets are government protected. Fortunately, there are end-runs you can do around those laws if you have the money to lay fiber -- as Google is doing.
 
2013-01-23 11:54:55 PM  

gingerjet:
It also took Cox cable four attempts to deliver the service I asked for and two techs blamed my wireless router for poor performance even when I showed them I was directly connected into their fark'n router via a fark'n Ethernet cable. After complaining a fourth time - my service mysteriously started working again. With no explanation. As if some one discovered a configuration error and refused to admit to it. divided by zero.


/hate cox cable san diego
 
2013-01-24 12:34:57 AM  

Dokushin: Austinoftx: I'd have to answer "yes" to all of those questions, y'know, being a network engineer for a major corporation and having worked for 3 dialup/dsl/isdn ISPs. This is why I'm part of this conversation. There are too many people like you under the "smokescreen", who object to my relevations of things that run counter to your "common sense". This is why we have crappy, expensive monopoly Internet service in this country.

Do you want to play credential bingo? I work for government labs doing research work on network communications. I work with a wide variety of fabrics, topologies, and protocols every week. Your assumption that your "being a network engineer for a major corporation" means you can tell me nonsense like "Bandwidth is like the *meaning* of the words you say during a telephone conversation" and not get called on it is just a little thin on the bottom.

Bandwidth is a physical concept; the fidelity of a communications channel is a real thing. You can't arbitrarily decide to transmit terabits a second over copper wire. There is physical scarcity, and therefore the market motives are valid, if distorted by municipal monopolies. You aren't making "revelations," you're simply giving an interpretation that is completely incorrect.

Oh, and we have "crappy, expensive monopoly Internet service" because those highly distorted markets are government protected. Fortunately, there are end-runs you can do around those laws if you have the money to lay fiber -- as Google is doing.


Oh, I had a feeling you were priming for an opportunity to bombast. Thus, the dumb, leading questions, and the hypocritical complaint about spouting credentials followed by... spouting credentials. You must be a joy to work with, and I'm sure your kids hate you.

Let me patiently 'splain. What we have is a cartel that attaches an arbitrary dollar amount to the activity which their network is designed to facilitate. When this activity threatens to grow, the cartel jacks the price up instead of expanding capacity. Changes in the level of this activity does not effect the cost of maintaining the network. An idle network still requires the same amount of electricity and human supervision as one running at maximum capacity. But an idle network or spare capacity is a lost opportunity to reap profit. Data isn't a commodity or investment that needs to be paid for, It is a question of what opportunity they use or lose to profit from their network within it's absolute capacity. In the current farked-up system, their billing, and thus profits, are inappropriately tied to the variable amount of traffic any given customer generates. Thus, their profit growth is tied to limiting access to the network and raising prices to scare off usage growth. Quality and capacity are demonstrably of less concern to them than simply running the legacy network as close to capacity as possible forever.

Now, if the price they demand for access to their network is only reasonably higher than the real cost of running the network, there would be little grounds for complaint. I would still expect them to expand their network regularly. However, they're charging customers at least 10x their costs, and still raising rates, and refusing to expand capacity. The scarcity is deliberate because they're allowed to tie their prices to an arbitrary metric of this scarcity, and not to their costs. It's an embargo to jack prices up. And they're pocketing the money, just like they pocketed the government money they took to build the precious network, when keeping up with customer demand requires so little of this money. Thus, I reject these revealed actual market motives, seek to expose them for the craven manipulations that they are, and pressure our leadership to either bust up their monopoly or regulate them properly. And that's fair, because a regulated monopoly is required to provide enough capacity to meet demand, and is required to bill at a reasonable rate. We've been letting these particular monopolies bill as they wish, and restrict capacity to increase their profits.

Because there are still so many people like you, who think flowing bandwidth is like printing money, the "consumption" model continues to get a pass. This is why there is a shortage of momentum to demand a billing model which makes sense (a set service period at a guaranteed capacity). Fools like you continue to pooh-pooh anything that bucks your common sense, and the telcos and cable companies smile like sharks. Keep fighting for the inappropriate consumption based billing model, and you'll always have slow, expensive unreliable Internet service. Press for a capacity and quality based billing model, and you'll have telcos making faster and better service possible, because that is the metric their billing will be tied to. There would be endless incentive for them to seek higher profits by expanding the network, and encouraging use, instead of choking it off and extorting ever-higher fees for access.

But, whatever you want to believe, man. The truth is obviously outside your comfort zone.
 
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