Skip to content
Do you have adblock enabled?
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(The Markup)   AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, and EarthLink are using redlining maps to decide who wins and who stays poor   (themarkup.org) divider line
    More: Murica, Broadband Internet access, Internet service provider, crappy internet service, Internet, AT&T, service offers, download speeds, FCC's definition  
•       •       •

1017 clicks; posted to Business » on 24 Oct 2022 at 11:52 AM (14 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



28 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2022-10-24 10:40:49 AM  
Poor people have less time to annoy them and fewer alternatives.
 
2022-10-24 11:13:43 AM  
What about AOL, CompuServe and Prodigy?
 
2022-10-24 12:07:11 PM  
Trillions to telecoms for rural access.

Nada
 
2022-10-24 12:11:00 PM  
the government should own the infrastructure and let the people have their choice of provider.


these monopolies have to go.
 
2022-10-24 12:35:41 PM  
ATnT is a farking ripoff. Personally I think I would send someone to the local office, strapped, to inquire as to how many minutes it takes to give me gigabit service. Start with the office manager, since they are useless.
 
2022-10-24 12:37:19 PM  

ltdanman44: the government should own the infrastructure and let the people have their choice of provider.


these monopolies have to go.


It's the real answer.  We shouldn't allow monopolistic franchise agreements or privatization of utility poles/conduits, with the best solution being the government installing fiber on its own and leasing it out, but that can be wildly expensive which is why many municipalities don't do it.  If they can't do it, they need to simplify the processes for getting access to poles and conduits, which has been a nightmare in cities looking to challenge AT&T when they own the poles.

Also, the best thing to happen to the DSL market was when the government forced ILECs to offer resale at wholesale rates to any CLEC with the Telecommunications Act.  It needs to be expanded to every means of service delivery to customers, whether it's fiber, cellular, satellite, can and string, whatever.
 
2022-10-24 12:49:53 PM  
Not wanting to defend anyone (lol especially Verizon) but Vegas is a unique situation. Could use a little more information.

CenturyLink is not a good example for Vegas. With them, you are either using their standard service (slow as dirt by design) or fiber (hilariously fast). Standard is everywhere and fiber is very, very, very sparse. It's only in the newer build areas as they are able to lay the fiber as they construct and those are... more affluent because they are new. If they are not drawing a line between standard and fiber, that will give them skewed results that favor their point unfairly.

To the sound bite in the article, if their connection couldn't handle virtual meeting connections, it's less because of "redlining" and more because standard CenturyLink sucks for everyone. I am not surprised it cannot handle any sort of multi-stream. I guarantee those people's phones are faster.

Also back to the new construction thing, in Vegas, that radiates outward, so the edges of the city are newer houses and by default, more valuable homes which require higher incomes. They have better service because they are newer. Meanwhile closer to the Strip and the center of the city is older and has older infrastructure, where property is worth less and incomes are lower. My point here is it may not be intentional that they are nerfing poor people - the hardware is just crappier.

Should they improve it? Yes. However in Vegas, and this is the other thing, the one provider they focused on, CenturyLink, does not have the majority of internet customers. That belongs to Cox, which was not included in this study. I am 100% certain that Cox is shiatty to everyone equally, because as Vegas resident, you complain about 3 things: drivers (I'm not sure how anyone from California made it here without crashing into a telephone pole on the way), the school district and Cox.

So while CenturyLink is made to look like the bad guy, they are C list villains. A fair study of Vegas internet would include Cox as well as T-Mobile, which is a choice growing in popularity. If people interviewed are having issues, they need to switch to T-Mobile immediately because it's cheap ($50ish) and good. The study also makes it seem like there are no other options for these people and that is not true.

I would be suspect of any other city profiled because of this.
 
2022-10-24 12:53:00 PM  
they're denied the ability to participate in remote learning, well-paying remote jobs, and even family connection and recreation-ubiquitous elements of modern life.

No they aren't.  What kind of 21st-century crapola is this?  I"m sick of seeing this little blurb at the beginning of every sales pitch for high-speed internet.  And that's what it is--a sales pitch.  You know why your government buys into it, even so?   Because good internet connections are great at one thing--making us into better consumers.  The path to our own destruction has to be easy, addictive, and compulsive, and a slow connection just doesn't deliver.  If you have five seconds between the time you decide to buy something, and the time it takes for the 400 computers to verify it and suck the money from your bank account, that's five seconds that you might change your mind.  it will be better when we get the high-speed connections directly in our heads, so that there won't be so much lag time between our desires and our purchases.

Computers don't make relationships.  Computers don't make you closer to people--in fact, there's plenty of evidence now that the internet has isolated us more than ever.  So much for those farking commercials where the internet connection is ONLY so that the loving family member can skype with his loved ones daily.
If I loved my family that much, i could also call them, sent them an email, a text.  Or hey, even better--maybe I would live near my loved ones, since I didn't abandon them to go find a high-paying job, and now have to beg for a better internet connection, so that you can be happy raping the planet for your high-speed internet, intead of just living near your damn family.

I got half a college degree over the internet, at the library.  I'm sure the connection was quite slow.  I think my connection right now is pretty slow.  THIS IS AN OUTRAGE.  No it isn't.  It's just one more consumer "necessity" that we have shoved down our throats, because it's going to save us or something.  Which is the first, biggest, number one lie, and it runs everything.  And it will kill everything, while you're sitting there watching your farking high-speed porn.

You have some kind of mental problem, you can't remember your loved ones faces?  Now that IS a problem.  But that's not why we need broadband either.  Nobody is pushing the high-speed internet so that Jake in the wheelchair can hear his computer and have a better quality of life.
They might be pushing it so that Jake can get a gig job selling shiat over the internet though.  Farking disabled people.   DON'T YOU WANT TO WORK, JAKE?  Don't you want to contribute?  Good boy, then!  Here's your telemarketing job.

And what is "recreation-ubiquitous elements?"  Is that a fancy, marketing puke way of saying, "We have to sell you clowns tons of travel and expensive travel experiences, and we can only do that with interactive videos and youtube influencers?"
That's what it says, you dippy consumers.  You're being tuned like a piano to blow your paycheck on a trip to Europe, and you'll do it too.  You got yours--your high-speed internet, of course.  You wouldn't have anything else. Gaw.  What are you, a peasant?

Now if only we could train several million people to work fast enough to keep up with your high-speed orders.  It's only going to get worse, too, as we hook up millions of goombas to sights that they have never seen before, out there in their mud huts.  They'll have to leave their jobs at the Amazon warehouse to order these wonderful new things, but then no one will be there to pack boxes, and they will never get their things.
And the high-speed internet looks down and says, "It was all for THE MARKET.  THE MARKET rules all."
 
2022-10-24 12:53:37 PM  
As someone in a decently sized town where AT&T sends me flyers almost every week for their fiber while actually only offering me $55/month 768k/128k DSL, getting a kick.  Fortunately I have a regional cableco that could be worse.  AT&T has fiber within six blocks of me in any direction.  Not a poor neighborhood, not a particularly low-density one, just not on their priority list.

Seriously, though, they must be paying a lot to keep their unholy abominable mix of four different generations of ADSL/VDSL access modules active.  Nobody is making equipment for that any more, while fiber (GPON) is off-the-shelf with a bajillion vendors these days.  I know, rolling out fiber isn't free, but after a while it's like you're actively spending money to be discriminatory.
 
2022-10-24 1:11:49 PM  
The only reason my predominantly Hispanic former neighborhood got fiber at all was because Colorado had a rule than any new residential construction had to have proper, modern broadband.  And to get to the new housing development, they had to go through my neighborhood to get there, above ground on poles.  So might as well let us have it.

As I have said for years, internet needs to be considered a necessary utility, preferably at a more municipal level like water, but if we must, like power.  If we're gonna have monopolies, they need to be controlled as tightly as anything under a public utilities commission.  Of course, Texas will want to set up their own internet which will fail in bad weather.
 
2022-10-24 1:27:09 PM  
VZ 4G LTE home router ASK-RTL108 with line of sight to the tower.
3.4 down and 1.2 up, generally.

They can't do anything.

I added a $8 antenna. Some improvement, and added lan, to the box for work, some improvement

But for the money ... Our tax money... There should be fiber up the cowpath.

I'm adding a $30 antenna this week.
 
2022-10-24 1:34:53 PM  
I left AT&T for Visible. I have the $50 a month plan, but the $25 one was probably fine for my needs. I left Cox for T-Mobile him internet, which is also $50 a month. I went from paying about $300 a month for internet and cell service to paying $100.

I'm at a point where I'll take slower speeds with better cost. I have no problem streaming 4k TV on my home internet or doing the few things I do on my phone.

Fark AT&T.
 
2022-10-24 1:34:56 PM  
My wife pays for a moderately fast service with Comcast, because she's WFH and the secure VPN is a bandwidth hog.
 
2022-10-24 1:37:43 PM  

cryinoutloud: they're denied the ability to participate in remote learning, well-paying remote jobs, and even family connection and recreation-ubiquitous elements of modern life.

No they aren't.  What kind of 21st-century crapola is this?  I"m sick of seeing this little blurb at the beginning of every sales pitch for high-speed internet.  And that's what it is--a sales pitch.  You know why your government buys into it, even so?   Because good internet connections are great at one thing--making us into better consumers.


Right. Another reason upgrading Internet service in poorer neighbourhoods is not a priority. Poor folks don't have much money to spend on crap they don't need and are uninteresting to advertisers.
 
2022-10-24 1:57:37 PM  
Its amazing to see the many ways that the poor subsidize the rich.  If they're all paying the same rate for service, the people with the good service took resources from everybody else.
 
2022-10-24 2:52:46 PM  
But I still don't have reliable Verizon wireless service at our house and use wifi calling. BTW, this is the wireless result from my laptop.  Not sure how much faster the wired connection would be.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-10-24 2:53:45 PM  
I stayed at 50Mbs for years until Verizon made an offer I couldn't refuse.  Upgraded to their gigabit connection which actually costs less than what I was paying previously.
 
2022-10-24 2:55:39 PM  

TheSubjunctive: As someone in a decently sized town where AT&T sends me flyers almost every week for their fiber while actually only offering me $55/month 768k/128k DSL, getting a kick.  Fortunately I have a regional cableco that could be worse.  AT&T has fiber within six blocks of me in any direction.  Not a poor neighborhood, not a particularly low-density one, just not on their priority list.

Seriously, though, they must be paying a lot to keep their unholy abominable mix of four different generations of ADSL/VDSL access modules active.  Nobody is making equipment for that any more, while fiber (GPON) is off-the-shelf with a bajillion vendors these days.  I know, rolling out fiber isn't free, but after a while it's like you're actively spending money to be discriminatory.


I can see AT&T world Headquarters from my house and they can offer me 20MB DSL for $55 ( or that's what they claim) Cable company believe it or not gets me 200MB.
 
2022-10-24 2:59:24 PM  
It's not just poor, urban, minority neighborhoods that lack low-cost access to high-speed net, it's rural areas as well.

The cable/teleco providers don't want to run fiber to poor neighborhoods because those old buildings are notoriously difficult to wire up.    High tenant turnover, and a much higher rate of late/no-pay are more nails in that coffin.

Rural customers present another problem in addition to being poor.   It costs a metric ass-ton to wire up low population density counties.

I've got FIOS were I live for very little money.  In addition to net, I use it for streaming vid and telephone (VoIP).   I have two VoIP numbers that I pay about $10/month combined, very handy when working from home.

Yup, there is a digital divide in US Murica, and there will be no 'free market' solution.   Don't expect the government to do anything about it either, since the people who most need help to get proper net access have been brainwashed to reject all 'socialism'.    Gotta hand it to the rich and powerful in this country.   If Nazi Germany had access to the same propaganda machine the US has today, Hitler and his buddies would have convinced the Jews to kill themselves and pay the Nazis for the privilege.
 
2022-10-24 4:17:10 PM  
Having had to pay Spectrum 70 bucks for 200 MB down and 10 MB up, and then I get a GB fiber full speed both ways, I feel the pain fo those suffering the higher charges.
If only anti monopoly charges could be filed on these compaines by non corrupt business officials.
 
2022-10-24 4:21:08 PM  

bhcompy: with the best solution being the government installing fiber on its own and leasing it out, but that can be wildly expensive which is why many municipalities don't do it.


This is why it's expensive...

The Federal Communications Commission in February 2015 voted to block laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that prevent municipal broadband providers from expanding outside their territories. After that vote, Wilson's Greenlight fiber Internet service expanded to the nearby town of Pinetops.

But the states of North Carolina and Tennessee sued the FCC to keep their anti-municipal broadband laws in place, and last month they won a federal appeals court ruling that reinstated the law that prevents Wilson from offering Internet service to nearby municipalities.


https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/09/muni-isp-forced-to-shut-off-fiber-to-the-home-internet-after-court-ruling/
 
2022-10-24 4:31:42 PM  

ltdanman44: the government should own the infrastructure and let the people have their choice of provider.


these monopolies have to go.


In Denmark the solution was ultimately the government forcing the telcos to resell their infrastructure, rather than making any "25 mbit" goals. Free and unlimited competition was what worked. It proved that when consumers has the choice between 20+ providers, they'll choose the best option, and there'll be competition to provide that.
 
2022-10-24 4:37:53 PM  

Fissile: It's not just poor, urban, minority neighborhoods that lack low-cost access to high-speed net, it's rural areas as well.

The cable/teleco providers don't want to run fiber to poor neighborhoods because those old buildings are notoriously difficult to wire up.    High tenant turnover, and a much higher rate of late/no-pay are more nails in that coffin.

Rural customers present another problem in addition to being poor.   It costs a metric ass-ton to wire up low population density counties.

I've got FIOS were I live for very little money.  In addition to net, I use it for streaming vid and telephone (VoIP).   I have two VoIP numbers that I pay about $10/month combined, very handy when working from home.

Yup, there is a digital divide in US Murica, and there will be no 'free market' solution.   Don't expect the government to do anything about it either, since the people who most need help to get proper net access have been brainwashed to reject all 'socialism'.    Gotta hand it to the rich and powerful in this country.   If Nazi Germany had access to the same propaganda machine the US has today, Hitler and his buddies would have convinced the Jews to kill themselves and pay the Nazis for the privilege.


What's worse, solutions exist. In other parts of the world cellular broadband is what's commonly used in dense urban and rural areas but in the US major cell providers like AT&T and Verizon are also ISP's selling more profitable competing broadband services. Even though we've been giving corporate tax subsidies to these companies for decades to build out cellular broadband networks they just pocketed the money while forcing consumers to use their more expensive competing broadband services by refusing to provide the most viable alternative.
 
2022-10-24 6:07:10 PM  

Rage Against the Thorazine: bhcompy: with the best solution being the government installing fiber on its own and leasing it out, but that can be wildly expensive which is why many municipalities don't do it.

This is why it's expensive...

The Federal Communications Commission in February 2015 voted to block laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that prevent municipal broadband providers from expanding outside their territories. After that vote, Wilson's Greenlight fiber Internet service expanded to the nearby town of Pinetops.

But the states of North Carolina and Tennessee sued the FCC to keep their anti-municipal broadband laws in place, and last month they won a federal appeals court ruling that reinstated the law that prevents Wilson from offering Internet service to nearby municipalities.

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/09/muni-isp-forced-to-shut-off-fiber-to-the-home-internet-after-court-ruling/


That's a problem in certain states, yes, but in general fiber cost per mile is pricey, as Google found out when they went into states/municipalities that didn't have the problems you're describing and ended up giving up and pivoting to other means(radio[Webpass] and leasing municipal dark fiber).  If they're overhead, the poles might be privately owned, which causes all sorts of problems(pole owners like AT&T would refuse to work with Google, schedule techs to do the necessary work months out from now, etc).  Burying the utilities has its own challenges and much higher cost(nanotrenching completely failed and microtrenching can be almost as expensive as putting in regular trenching).  You're generally talking anywhere from $25k to $75k per mile depending on what you're doing, plus dealing with whoever owns the utility poles and jumping through their hoops.
 
2022-10-24 6:07:36 PM  
America needs to nationalize the telecommunications industry. The internet isn't a luxury anymore, it's a necessity, and it's time to treat it like the utility that it is today.

https://jacobin.com/2022/06/internet-privatization-profit-centralization-democracy/
 
2022-10-24 6:33:42 PM  

TheSubjunctive: As someone in a decently sized town where AT&T sends me flyers almost every week for their fiber while actually only offering me $55/month 768k/128k DSL, getting a kick.  Fortunately I have a regional cableco that could be worse.  AT&T has fiber within six blocks of me in any direction.  Not a poor neighborhood, not a particularly low-density one, just not on their priority list.

Seriously, though, they must be paying a lot to keep their unholy abominable mix of four different generations of ADSL/VDSL access modules active.  Nobody is making equipment for that any more, while fiber (GPON) is off-the-shelf with a bajillion vendors these days.  I know, rolling out fiber isn't free, but after a while it's like you're actively spending money to be discriminatory.


I thought the 5Mb DSL AT&T offers me for $55 a month was bad. 768Kb? Holy crap. Why bother?

Rectrum Spectrum is giving me 500Mb for $50 a month.

Of course, if AT&T were to offer me fiber, I'd take it in a heartbeat.
 
2022-10-24 6:49:18 PM  

dustman81: I thought the 5Mb DSL AT&T offers me for $55 a month was bad. 768Kb? Holy crap. Why bother?

Rectrum Spectrum is giving me 500Mb for $50 a month.


From what I've heard of the lowest-bidder fiber install disasters and previous experience with AT&Ts "customer service", I'm dubious I'd bite even if they ran fiber here.  I get 800-odd/20 (sigh) from the cableco, prices creeping up to the $100 mark.  I'd appreciate having a choice and some competition (theoretically) keeping prices in check though.  I'd like the faster upload, but not sure it'd be worth dealing with AT&T.
 
2022-10-25 9:00:57 AM  

portnoyd: Not wanting to defend anyone (lol especially Verizon) but Vegas is a unique situation. Could use a little more information.

CenturyLink is not a good example for Vegas. With them, you are either using their standard service (slow as dirt by design) or fiber (hilariously fast). Standard is everywhere and fiber is very, very, very sparse. It's only in the newer build areas as they are able to lay the fiber as they construct and those are... more affluent because they are new. If they are not drawing a line between standard and fiber, that will give them skewed results that favor their point unfairly.

To the sound bite in the article, if their connection couldn't handle virtual meeting connections, it's less because of "redlining" and more because standard CenturyLink sucks for everyone. I am not surprised it cannot handle any sort of multi-stream. I guarantee those people's phones are faster.

Also back to the new construction thing, in Vegas, that radiates outward, so the edges of the city are newer houses and by default, more valuable homes which require higher incomes. They have better service because they are newer. Meanwhile closer to the Strip and the center of the city is older and has older infrastructure, where property is worth less and incomes are lower. My point here is it may not be intentional that they are nerfing poor people - the hardware is just crappier.

Should they improve it? Yes. However in Vegas, and this is the other thing, the one provider they focused on, CenturyLink, does not have the majority of internet customers. That belongs to Cox, which was not included in this study. I am 100% certain that Cox is shiatty to everyone equally, because as Vegas resident, you complain about 3 things: drivers (I'm not sure how anyone from California made it here without crashing into a telephone pole on the way), the school district and Cox.

So while CenturyLink is made to look like the bad guy, they are C list villains. A fair study of Vegas internet ...


My neighborhood was built in the 60's, and Verizon installed fios years ago.  I don't 'now exactly when they did it it (was long before we bought the house) but when we ditched xFinity and got Verizon to come hook us up, they had to replace the fiber hookup boxes inside and outside the house because they are old (tech guessed at least 10 years old).  I know the DC area is different, and this neighborhood would be consider affluent anywhere else (median HH incomes a bit over $100k) but if they can run fiber here, with 60 year old utilities on poles*, they can do it in Vegas.

Now... what I've heard through techs and some customers is that they won't bother with the installation unless they have a certain number of people who will buy top tier service.  Otherwise, there's no profit from the laying of lines.  People in poorer neighborhoods have less access to country clubs and luxury car dealerships, because there's no way they'd build those in a place that couldn't support them.  We're just seeing high speed internet shift from a luxury to a necessary good, and the physical infrastructure isn't keeping up.

*the fiber is buried by the curb... you ca tell by the flush concrete "VERIZON" covers over their fiber junction boxes every few houses.
 
Displayed 28 of 28 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking




On Twitter


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.