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(The Week)   Why are US internet connections so slow? "We deregulated high-speed internet access 10 years ago... Left to their own devices, companies that supply internet access will charge high prices, because they face neither competition nor oversight"   (theweek.com) divider line 138
    More: Obvious, united states ranked, Google Fiber, download speeds, Tom Wheeler, regulated markets  
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2786 clicks; posted to Business » on 06 Mar 2014 at 11:41 AM (41 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-06 11:00:01 AM  
You mean the free market didn't lead to internet utopia?

Shocking.
 
2014-03-06 11:19:39 AM  
I'm absolutely shocked. Seriously, regulation NEVER WORKS!!! FREE MARKET biatchES!!!11one1!!
 
2014-03-06 11:20:41 AM  
Ric Romero reporting
 
2014-03-06 11:21:14 AM  
But I can choose between FIOS and Comcast!
 
2014-03-06 11:40:31 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: But I can choose between FIOS and Comcast!


At least they offer similar speeds. I have Time Warner (and they don't offer the higher speeds they advertise on TV here) or ADSL which gets me 3Mbps down and 768Kbps up (at best).
 
2014-03-06 11:47:47 AM  
Why would Estonia be more backwards than USA? Article writer is somehow surprised that it isn't.
 
2014-03-06 11:48:57 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: But I can choose between FIOS and Comcast!


I get to choose between crappy Comcast customer service and crappy AT&T bandwidth.
 
2014-03-06 11:49:14 AM  

Angela Lansbury's Merkin: Marcus Aurelius: But I can choose between FIOS and Comcast!

At least they offer similar speeds. I have Time Warner (and they don't offer the higher speeds they advertise on TV here) or ADSL which gets me 3Mbps down and 768Kbps up (at best).


Yup. TW is terrible.

Google fiber will be delivered to me sooner or later though. Sweet sweet fiber.

I can't believe the ISPs get away with such varying connection speeds. It should not be legal to advertise 8mb download when most of your customers never see anything close to that. This is like advertising a car that get's 100mpg, but with fine print that it only that efficient when it is in idle going down a hill with a tail wind.

Of course we have an evil gubmint agency that somewhat monitors MPG claims.
 
2014-03-06 11:56:40 AM  
Is this going to be another Time Warner bashing thread? Because let me just say, Time Warner is not just a faceless corporation. Time Warner is tens of thousands of dedicated employees, all working together to bring the best entertainment available to your living room. Now, I know, they might not face the same pressures in their jobs as you face in yours. They don't have to worry about things like snarling competitors taking their customers with better service or lower prices, things most working people in America worry about every day. But c'mon. They're doing the best they can. If they didn't work for Time Warner, they'd be working for an airline, or a phone company. We're not talking about the best and the brightest here. These aren't people we want facing down the Chinese. They're like the droolers at the Goodwill Store. Do you make fun of them? Then you shouldn't make fun of TWC employees, either.
 
2014-03-06 11:58:22 AM  

Mitch Taylor's Bro: Marcus Aurelius: But I can choose between FIOS and Comcast!

I get to choose between crappy Comcast customer service and crappy AT&T bandwidth.


Unless you live in an enforced municipal monopoly area, an apartment building, or an underserved area with only 1 player.

// and I'm betting that covers something like 60-75% of people
 
2014-03-06 11:58:36 AM  
That article is a pack of lies. The free market is ALWAYS the superior solution.
 
2014-03-06 12:02:02 PM  
Well, duh. No competition means you have no need to build out infrastructure; as a result, your service suffers, but do the customers blame their ISP? Nope, they blame Netflix, which means Netflix has to pay to upgrade your ISP's infrastructure.

Also, because it belongs in every thread on this subject:
i.imgur.com
 
2014-03-06 12:02:05 PM  
I'm likely going to get stuck with satellite when I move...
 
2014-03-06 12:02:20 PM  
I'm happy with my speeds and they're consistently this fast at all hours. So.. Meh.. I can't fathom any other reason I need more than this..

www.speedtest.net
 
2014-03-06 12:02:25 PM  
Yeah, we all know what that Invisible Hand has been up to in this arena.

/feels like about the elbow
 
2014-03-06 12:02:56 PM  
I've said it before here but the UK system seems to be working. Here government regulation means more competition. The old phone company BT, who own the network, were ordered to allow any ISP access to the network on identical terms and prices. Result is I have over 200 ISP to choose from, all offering deals that try to beat the rest. I could start an ISP tomorrow and be able to serve the whole country and be competitive on price.
They even have to allow ISPs access to the physical exchanges across the country so they can install their own equipment if they want. With fibre now commonplace (FTTC with FTTP rolling out) speeds are good, though not quite in the South Korea league.

Let me repeat the key point. Government regulation means more competition. Barriers to entry are low and everyone has dozens of ISP available, from the big multinationals to ISPs with five employees.
 
2014-03-06 12:05:50 PM  

rumpelstiltskin: Is this going to be another Time Warner bashing thread? Because let me just say, Time Warner is not just a faceless corporation. Time Warner is tens of thousands of dedicated employees, all working together to bring the best entertainment available to your living room. Now, I know, they might not face the same pressures in their jobs as you face in yours. They don't have to worry about things like snarling competitors taking their customers with better service or lower prices, things most working people in America worry about every day. But c'mon. They're doing the best they can. If they didn't work for Time Warner, they'd be working for an airline, or a phone company. We're not talking about the best and the brightest here. These aren't people we want facing down the Chinese. They're like the droolers at the Goodwill Store. Do you make fun of them? Then you shouldn't make fun of TWC employees, either.


No, when I mock Time Warner, I'm mocking the board of directors. The ones responsible for their company. The buck stops there, and the blame is on their shoulders for not steering their company into the right direction.

8/10 nice troll.
 
2014-03-06 12:06:22 PM  
FTA- "The new head of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler, is a former lobbyist for two sets of vested interests: the cell-phone operators and, you guessed it, the cable companies."

Any more questions?

The politicians have done a good job of distracting our attention with "FRIGGIN' REPUBLICANS SUCK" or "FRIGGIN' DEMOCRATS SUCK", all the while dividing the pie up between them, and screwing us up the arse.

This country is truly boned.
 
2014-03-06 12:07:18 PM  
There's no yellow in this thread.
Where, oh, where are Fark's resident political/economic creationists?
C'mon fark libertarians, you have a perfect opportunity here to prove that there is no such thing as the common good. And that no regulation lets the market create optimal solutions, that there are no barriers to entry - that competition always springs up automatically to challenge the big guys, that the playing field is always level, that in all properly free markets, buyers and sellers have equal power and information, that monopoly, oligopoly, and cartel aren't the natural result of markets with no regulation, that markets regulate themselves, and all your other articles of faith.

Well, where are you?
 
2014-03-06 12:07:56 PM  

Dr Dreidel: Mitch Taylor's Bro: Marcus Aurelius: But I can choose between FIOS and Comcast!

I get to choose between crappy Comcast customer service and crappy AT&T bandwidth.

Unless you live in an enforced municipal monopoly area, an apartment building, or an underserved area with only 1 player.

// and I'm betting that covers something like 60-75% of people


Fios website pretends my address doesn't exist.
 
2014-03-06 12:09:31 PM  

Angela Lansbury's Merkin: Marcus Aurelius: But I can choose between FIOS and Comcast!

At least they offer similar speeds. I have Time Warner (and they don't offer the higher speeds they advertise on TV here) or ADSL which gets me 3Mbps down and 768Kbps up (at best).


Good news or bad news - Comcast is working to buy Time Warner
 
2014-03-06 12:09:38 PM  

Dr Dreidel: enforced municipal monopoly area


In theory, these haven't existed since the mid-1990s.  Federal law pre-empts any municipal exclusive franchise agreement.  Cable or pure-play-internet overbuilding is allowable basically everywhere.

The reality is quite a lot different.  The incumbent cable companies draw up the model franchise agreement.  Basically, if you start as a competitor, you have to put up millions in indemnity, serve every address in the community within six months, run government/educational channels (even if you're a pure-internet-provider), etc, etc.  Huge and intentional roadblocks.

Why would cities do that?  Because they get a cut.  If they have a 5% franchise fee agreement, why would they want a competitive market where a broadband connection drops to $30 a month (from each of two providers) from $70?  5% of $30 is a lot less than 5% of $70.
 
2014-03-06 12:10:22 PM  
I get a choice between Verizon Wireless or dial-up

/too many trees for satellite
 
2014-03-06 12:13:33 PM  

nocturnal001: Of course we have an evil gubmint agency that somewhat monitors MPG claims


No we don't. We have private Consumer Reports and Motorweek to verify mileage claims with real users.
 
2014-03-06 12:13:48 PM  
i like my ISP a lot. and the reason i like my ISP is because they are a smaller company in a market with more than 1 competitor, so they have to offer me a superior service to compete with comcast and verizon. funny how that works
 
2014-03-06 12:17:49 PM  

styckx: I'm happy with my speeds and they're consistently this fast at all hours. So.. Meh.. I can't fathom any other reason I need more than this..


50/10 isn't terrible.  A lot of the world takes 50/10 speeds (even when faster optical rates are possibly available).  A lot of people in the US would cut you to get anywhere near that fast.

However, what do you pay for that?  Looking at Comcast... $75+ (a little more if you aren't also taking video service) a month?   THAT'S where the first-world is pointing at you and laughing.
 
2014-03-06 12:24:04 PM  

Wellon Dowd: That article is a pack of lies. The free market is ALWAYS the superior solution.


It is when it's actually a free market. But wired internet isn't despite being "deregulated." But you know that and you're just being intellectually dishonest.

Yawn.
 
2014-03-06 12:29:30 PM  

nocturnal001: Angela Lansbury's Merkin: Marcus Aurelius: But I can choose between FIOS and Comcast!

At least they offer similar speeds. I have Time Warner (and they don't offer the higher speeds they advertise on TV here) or ADSL which gets me 3Mbps down and 768Kbps up (at best).

Yup. TW is terrible.

Google fiber will be delivered to me sooner or later though. Sweet sweet fiber.

I can't believe the ISPs get away with such varying connection speeds. It should not be legal to advertise 8mb download when most of your customers never see anything close to that. This is like advertising a car that get's 100mpg, but with fine print that it only that efficient when it is in idle going down a hill with a tail wind.

Of course we have an evil gubmint agency that somewhat monitors MPG claims.


That is exactly what they do with cars, i think i just saw an article about that here in the last few weeks.  the MPG car makers advertise is a bunch of BS.  Our whole economy is based on lying.  Its part of what makes us a christian country.
 
2014-03-06 12:33:15 PM  
My podunk local telco-ISP actually spent millions over the last few years running fiber to every house in their service area, some 300 miles of cables. They're still finalizing everything, but it looks like we'll be in 100gb/s land sometime in the next couple of months.

http://savannahnow.com/bryan-county-now/2014-02-21/pac-completes-fib er -home-network-bryan-county#.UxiwW9JDtBM

"Founded in 1906, PAC continues to be a locally, family-owned business that employs about 40 members of the community. Through salaries, taxes and charitable giving, PAC invests significantly each year back into the community it serves.

"Our family has owned Pembroke Telephone for more than 65 years and owes its continued success to the people of north Bryan County," shares Mary Anna Hite, co-owner and CFO. "I don't think any other company cares as much personally about north Bryan County as do all of us who work here."


For some strange reason, people here prefer PAC over Comcast. Who would've thought that being a benefit to the community you serve could be profitable too?
 
2014-03-06 12:33:57 PM  

Likwit: Wellon Dowd: That article is a pack of lies. The free market is ALWAYS the superior solution.

It is when it's actually a free market. But wired internet isn't despite being "deregulated." But you know that and you're just being intellectually dishonest.

Yawn.


No. A free market can easily result in a natural monopoly. It would be if it was actually a perfect market, which a) don't exist, and b) are not the same as free markets. But you didn't know that and you're just being intellectually deficient.

Yawn.
 
2014-03-06 12:37:13 PM  
In Order for the big ISP's to take Google fiber serious, Google needs to roll out to a major metro area(4 million plus). I just don't think Google's investors want that.
/I would love to see them light up Philly(Comcast backyard)
 
2014-03-06 12:39:53 PM  

Lawnchair: styckx: I'm happy with my speeds and they're consistently this fast at all hours. So.. Meh.. I can't fathom any other reason I need more than this..

50/10 isn't terrible.  A lot of the world takes 50/10 speeds (even when faster optical rates are possibly available).  A lot of people in the US would cut you to get anywhere near that fast.

However, what do you pay for that?  Looking at Comcast... $75+ (a little more if you aren't also taking video service) a month?   THAT'S where the first-world is pointing at you and laughing.


I'm with Time Warner.

$65+tax for 20MBs down/2MBs up.

Netflix still buffers.
 
2014-03-06 12:40:21 PM  
If you think your internet speeds are awesome now, wait until we kill net neutrality!
ALL HAIL FREE MARKETS
 
2014-03-06 12:42:10 PM  

monoski: Angela Lansbury's Merkin: Marcus Aurelius: But I can choose between FIOS and Comcast!

At least they offer similar speeds. I have Time Warner (and they don't offer the higher speeds they advertise on TV here) or ADSL which gets me 3Mbps down and 768Kbps up (at best).

Good news or bad news - Comcast is working to buy Time Warner


Great!  Same bad performance, but now with data caps!
 
2014-03-06 12:44:49 PM  

mcreadyblue: Lawnchair: styckx: I'm happy with my speeds and they're consistently this fast at all hours. So.. Meh.. I can't fathom any other reason I need more than this..

50/10 isn't terrible.  A lot of the world takes 50/10 speeds (even when faster optical rates are possibly available).  A lot of people in the US would cut you to get anywhere near that fast.

However, what do you pay for that?  Looking at Comcast... $75+ (a little more if you aren't also taking video service) a month?   THAT'S where the first-world is pointing at you and laughing.

I'm with Time Warner.

$65+tax for 20MBs down/2MBs up.

Netflix still buffers.


I'm also on Time Warner with that same tier/price and I got a price hike notice in the mail yesterday, so I'm getting a kick out of... etc. etc.
 
2014-03-06 12:45:58 PM  
Once again, the Invisible Hand flips the bird to the public.
 
2014-03-06 12:46:38 PM  

styckx: I'm happy with my speeds and they're consistently this fast at all hours. So.. Meh.. I can't fathom any other reason I need more than this..

[www.speedtest.net image 300x135]


What you may not have realized in this is that you are getting over charged for subpar service.
 
2014-03-06 12:53:47 PM  

Flint Ironstag: I've said it before here but the UK system seems to be working. Here government regulation means more competition. The old phone company BT, who own the network, were ordered to allow any ISP access to the network on identical terms and prices. Result is I have over 200 ISP to choose from, all offering deals that try to beat the rest. I could start an ISP tomorrow and be able to serve the whole country and be competitive on price.
They even have to allow ISPs access to the physical exchanges across the country so they can install their own equipment if they want. With fibre now commonplace (FTTC with FTTP rolling out) speeds are good, though not quite in the South Korea league.

Let me repeat the key point. Government regulation means more competition. Barriers to entry are low and everyone has dozens of ISP available, from the big multinationals to ISPs with five employees.


Too many people think in extremes.  Some people want NO regulation.  More people mock people who want "reasonable" regulation as being loonies who want no regulation.

And then there's the flip side of that.

Some regulation is good and necessary in certain industries and situations and as you point out increases competition by lowering barriers to entry.
 
2014-03-06 12:55:50 PM  
our local provider (Insight) was bought by TWC last year.  theyre changing rates in May after a year when they got caught up on integrating Insight's properties into TWC.  i called and found out for the same price (for one year) i'd get 20mbs/s vs the 10 i was getting.  we updated over the phone, i just had to reboot the router/modem and voila! my speeds dropped, page loads suffered, videos buffered incessantly, etc.  yay upgrade!
 
2014-03-06 12:57:18 PM  
I've noticed some speed improvements in urban centers recently (both my own local experience and advertised speeds elsewhere).  I assume that's in part due to the threat from Teh Googlez forcing some companies out of their complacence.

So in 10 years, most of us will probably be on Google fiber or some equivalent...

...and South Korea will have moved on to quantum filament mega-hyper-plaid-transmission at 30 IPS*.

/IPS - Internets Per Second, i.e. the number of times entire quantity of the internet can be transmitted in one second.
 
2014-03-06 12:58:26 PM  

wildcardjack: nocturnal001: Of course we have an evil gubmint agency that somewhat monitors MPG claims

No we don't. We have private Consumer Reports and Motorweek to verify mileage claims with real users.


Yes we do. The EPA monitors that, they just don't do a great job because they don't have the resources.

The real difference is that Ford may fudge the numbers by 10%, but TW might give me 500% slower than promised (or worse).
 
2014-03-06 12:59:51 PM  
Hey, look, it's a dick measuring constest !

My ookla speed test gave me a 85.02upload on download, and 36.34 on download, for 34 euros a month (for which I get also unlimited phone service to most of the world, and the equivalent of basic cable.
 
2014-03-06 01:01:02 PM  
So we're calling two huge companies that own basically the entirety of the internet world the "free market" now?  And we're INTENTIONALLY doing this for no reason other than wanting to having yet another republican bashing thread?

Ok, cool.
 
2014-03-06 01:01:11 PM  

styckx: I'm happy with my speeds and they're consistently this fast at all hours. So.. Meh.. I can't fathom any other reason I need more than this..

[www.speedtest.net image 300x135]


That's twice what I get, but hopefully I pay less than you.

In all honesty, I have been pretty happy with Comcast since I moved close to one of their main offices. It's amazing how much better customer service gets when the employees know you can lunge across a counter and choke the living shiat outta them if you aren't satisfied with their service. The horror stories I've heard and experienced personally mostly dealt with people calling tech support or customer service toll-free lines. Of course, it took three tries to get my cable TV installed and another three tries to get a guy out to get my internet set up, but once everything was working, it's been pretty reliable.

I guess that's the problem. They've lowered our expectations so far, we're satisfied when things just don't break.
 
2014-03-06 01:02:05 PM  
I work for a CDN so I'm getting a kick out of these replies

/ You know nothing
// The truth is far, far uglier than you can even imagine
 
2014-03-06 01:03:16 PM  

Gergesa: styckx: I'm happy with my speeds and they're consistently this fast at all hours. So.. Meh.. I can't fathom any other reason I need more than this..

[www.speedtest.net image 300x135]

What you may not have realized in this is that you are getting over charged for subpar service.


Why is that sub-par?
 
2014-03-06 01:06:36 PM  
What exactly do you expect when you leave the building of the national internet infrastructure to a system based on the concept of providing the least amount of service for the highest fees possible?
 
2014-03-06 01:09:53 PM  
weird that a law from 1996 focused on television broadcasting and telephone services and  would do a poor job at taking the internet into consideration. who would have guessed?
 
2014-03-06 01:10:15 PM  
Why are US internet connections so slow???


cause 'merica's #1!   that's why.


also, the Department of the Defense (the government) invented the Internet.  back then it was called the ARPANET.


just fyi, for all you Turds who whine about taxes and blame the government for your not being as rich as your buddy next door in your gated community.
 
2014-03-06 01:10:39 PM  

Lawnchair: styckx: I'm happy with my speeds and they're consistently this fast at all hours. So.. Meh.. I can't fathom any other reason I need more than this..

50/10 isn't terrible.  A lot of the world takes 50/10 speeds (even when faster optical rates are possibly available).  A lot of people in the US would cut you to get anywhere near that fast.

However, what do you pay for that?  Looking at Comcast... $75+ (a little more if you aren't also taking video service) a month?   THAT'S where the first-world is pointing at you and laughing.


109.99/m (then $20 more after the first year).. Triple Play is a great deal.. We used to pay for cable (30/5) and a regular phone service through some other company.. Combined we were close to $100 between the two. So For another $30 to get Cable TV and their phone service (HBO, Starz, Showtime, Cinemax) and 50/10.. Couldn't really beat it.
 
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