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Bill to give FTC power to veto broadband capsFollow

#1 Jun 18 2009 at 10:33 AM Rating: Good
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http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/06/congressman-has-a-bill-ready-to-combat-usage-caps.ars

Seems like a good idea to me, but I'm not very imaginative in thinking of any repercussions this could have.
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#2 Jun 18 2009 at 12:02 PM Rating: Decent
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Bad idea. If you don't like the service your provider gives you don't have to use them. This is like forcing a restaurant to make all dishes all you can eat.
#3 Jun 18 2009 at 12:03 PM Rating: Good
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Except when it's the only restaurant in town.
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#4 Jun 18 2009 at 12:07 PM Rating: Decent
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Dwizardx wrote:
Except when it's the only restaurant in town.


That doesn't give the government the right to tell it how to price its product.
#5 Jun 18 2009 at 12:07 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yodabunny wrote:
Bad idea. If you don't like the service your provider gives you don't have to use them. This is like forcing a restaurant to make all dishes all you can eat.


So who should I go to for my broadband? We have exactly one cable company in town. DSL is NOT a replacement.
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#6 Jun 18 2009 at 12:08 PM Rating: Good
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In fact, Time Warner is suing a community in SC I think it is for starting their own municipal cable provider, says they can't compete with their pricing. So even that isn't an option, unless you want to deal with litigation.
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#7Yodabunny, Posted: Jun 18 2009 at 12:11 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Not important. The people who run the company decide what they want to charge for their services, just like I decide what I'm willing to work for. You don't have to use their service you choose to. Internet is not an essential service, you will not die if you don't have it. It does not need to be regulated.
#8 Jun 18 2009 at 12:12 PM Rating: Excellent
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Wint wrote:
In fact, Time Warner is suing a community in SC I think it is for starting their own municipal cable provider, says they can't compete with their pricing. So even that isn't an option, unless you want to deal with litigation.


That's what your government should be regulating, ridiculous lawsuits.
#9 Jun 18 2009 at 12:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yodabunny wrote:
Wint wrote:
So who should I go to for my broadband? We have exactly one cable company in town. DSL is NOT a replacement.


Not important. The people who run the company decide what they want to charge for their services, just like I decide what I'm willing to work for. You don't have to use their service you choose to. Internet is not an essential service, you will not die if you don't have it. It does not need to be regulated.


Actually, the argument is that it IS an essential service.
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#10 Jun 18 2009 at 12:16 PM Rating: Good
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Not important. The people who run the company decide what they want to charge for their services, just like I decide what I'm willing to work for. You don't have to use their service you choose to. Internet is not an essential service, you will not die if you don't have it. It does not need to be regulated.


So television doesn't need to be regulated either?

Besides that, many people DO need it to do their jobs.

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 4:16pm by Dwizardx
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#11 Jun 18 2009 at 12:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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Dwizardx wrote:
So television doesn't need to be regulated either?


No, it shouldn't be. Very few things should be regulated.
#12 Jun 18 2009 at 12:21 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yodabunny wrote:
Dwizardx wrote:
So television doesn't need to be regulated either?


No, it shouldn't be. Very few things should be regulated.


Not saying I don't agree, I'm undecided. I don't want too much government, but in this case I would definitely benefit from the regulation by not having caps imposed. However, I'm not sure what effects this would have elsewhere. I seriously doubt Time Warner is hurting from the exorbitant amount they charge me monthly.
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#13 Jun 18 2009 at 12:29 PM Rating: Default
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Wint wrote:
Not saying I don't agree, I'm undecided. I don't want too much government, but in this case I would definitely benefit from the regulation by not having caps imposed. However, I'm not sure what effects this would have elsewhere. I seriously doubt Time Warner is hurting from the exorbitant amount they charge me monthly.


There's no question that the average Joe would save some money, but it's morally wrong to take away an entities choice. I'm pro-choice, you have the right to choose to use their service or not, they have the right to choose how to price it. If you have a choice they should have a choice.

Electricity should be regulated, you must have electricity to survive these days (a lot of people would freeze/starve to death otherwise). You have to have it to survive so you have no choice, it needs to be regulated because you have no choice in whether you pay for it or not.
#14 Jun 18 2009 at 12:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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If broadband (especially cable) was opened to honest competition where the market allowed switching providers once one decided to do something retarded, I might feel worse for them. Given that they have instead tried their damnedest to maintain monopolies, or at best corporate oligarchies, I can't cry too many tears if the government steps in.
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#15 Jun 18 2009 at 1:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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Internet is not an essential service, you will not die if you don't have it.


You won't die without electricity, but it sure as **** is an essential service.

And please, before you say that not having electricity puts you in mortal peril, please, think for a moment.

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My bad, you already demonstrated a total lack of thought in that regard.

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 5:04pm by Pensive
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#16 Jun 18 2009 at 1:03 PM Rating: Good
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What Joph said.
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#17 Jun 18 2009 at 1:10 PM Rating: Good
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Electricity should be regulated, you must have electricity to survive these days (a lot of people would freeze/starve to death otherwise). You have to have it to survive so you have no choice, it needs to be regulated because you have no choice in whether you pay for it or not.


You are totally free and able to generate heat in a fireplace and open the @#%^ing window. This isn't something out of the 18th century; my grandparents did it. My parents didn't even grow up with modern centralized air and heating; that's why shotgun houses still exist in the middle of the **** city.

Food preservation? You're totally free to invest in an icebox. Again, grandparents did it. My grandmother even still has one in a house that she rents out. You don't have to eat perishables; my late aunt's house still has two walk in pantries completely stuffed to the brim with canned goods and dry food.

Light? Go to bed when it's dark or get some candles. That's not even a hard one.

I can't think of anything else powered by electricity that is not an obvious and total luxury.

***

We need more regulation of the market, especially when the internet is no more a luxury than the freaking electrical company. **** I can't even turn in papers sometimes without email. It would be impossible to go to university without it.

As long as they don't regulate content, and stick purely to regulating price, I think it's wonderful.

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 5:14pm by Pensive
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#18 Jun 18 2009 at 1:16 PM Rating: Excellent
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TirithRR wrote:
What Joph said.


Agreed. Telecommunication companies have feigned 'competition' between each other for decades now. Most parts of the country only have one company that offers broadband to people. Where there's more than one company to choose from, they all offer the same service at the same prices.

When I lived in Shreveport, LA, there were two companies to choose from. Their standard broadband plans were 4 or 5mbs; one company's plan was $39.99, the other company offered it for $34.99. The only difference was the cheaper company had a $5/month 'damage protection fee'. I have no clue what a damage protection fee is, but as far as I can tell the only purpose it served was to bring the total cost to be in line with the other company while giving the appearance of being five bucks a month cheaper.
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#19 Jun 18 2009 at 1:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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Tzemesce wrote:
Most parts of the country only have one company that offers broadband to people. Where there's more than one company to choose from, they all offer the same service at the same prices.
It's classic behavior in a limited market.

You have Company A and Company B both selling essentially the same product. Let's say both sell it for $30. If Company B lowers their price to $25, the result will simply be that Company A lowers their price to $25 and both companies are out $5 a unit. Both companies are losers. As a result, what happens is neither company actually acts competitively against the other when it comes to prices. They instead "compete" via advertising to try to gain customers without adjusting their price.
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#20 Jun 18 2009 at 3:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yodabunny wrote:
Bad idea. If you don't like the service your provider gives you don't have to use them. This is like forcing a restaurant to make all dishes all you can eat.
Unfortunately you can only choose between McDonald's and Wendy's. Dial-up is the little taco truck.
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#21 Jun 18 2009 at 3:13 PM Rating: Decent
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Pensive wrote:
You are totally free and able to generate heat in a fireplace


Maybe we should regulate the firewood industry too then.
#22 Jun 18 2009 at 3:38 PM Rating: Decent
Yodabunny wrote:
Pensive wrote:
You are totally free and able to generate heat in a fireplace


Maybe we should regulate the firewood industry too then.


There's a distinct inarguable difference between a man made service and living off the land.
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#23 Jun 18 2009 at 4:08 PM Rating: Default
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While there's certainly limited competition to consider, I think putting a government agency "in charge" is the wrong approach. I'm not to thrilled with bandwidth caps, but I don't see how they violate any sort of "emergency service" requirement. Certainly not to the extent to which we need the government to step in. How many people rush to their computer to report a break-in, or a fire, or that they're having a heart attack? An internet connection is still a luxury, and I think we should leave the market up to coming up with the prices and rules.

Having only two major competitors does limit competition in terms of getting a "great" price, but it's sufficient to prevent "unfair" prices IMO. What I'm getting at is that while having more competitors will benefit consumers by lowering prices, you're not going to see ridiculous prices and service as long as you have two competitors.

Most areas do have at least two competitors in the market. And if a company attempts to take ridiculous advantage of being the only one, it will drive someone else to compete with them. At a minimum, every home is wired for telephone and usually cable. Certainly in any area where we'd even be worried about bandwidth restrictions, there's going to be both available. If the cable company offers broadband, but the phone company doesn't, it's a good bet that if the cable company is bad enough, the phone company will step up to take the unhappy customers away from them. Barring some wacky local regulations preventing this (or even just inhibiting it), there's no reason why both can't compete and customers can use this to prevent problems.


If such regulation is in place, the proper approach is for the folks in that locality to change their laws to remove whatever is preventing competition, not "solve" that problem with another layer of government control.


I just don't see that the need is sufficient to justify this sort of action.
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#24 Jun 18 2009 at 4:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Most areas do have at least two competitors in the market. And if a company attempts to take ridiculous advantage of being the only one, it will drive someone else to compete with them. At a minimum, every home is wired for telephone and usually cable. Certainly in any area where we'd even be worried about bandwidth restrictions, there's going to be both available. If the cable company offers broadband, but the phone company doesn't, it's a good bet that if the cable company is bad enough, the phone company will step up to take the unhappy customers away from them. Barring some wacky local regulations preventing this (or even just inhibiting it), there's no reason why both can't compete and customers can use this to prevent problems.


I disagree, the phone company can't provide anything anywhere near comparable to my internet connection via cable. It's apples and oranges here.


gbaji wrote:
If such regulation is in place, the proper approach is for the folks in that locality to change their laws to remove whatever is preventing competition, not "solve" that problem with another layer of government control.


Again, I would like to cite that community in NC that is being sued for setting up their own alternative.
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#25 Jun 18 2009 at 4:59 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
If such regulation is in place, the proper approach is for the folks in that locality to change their laws to remove whatever is preventing competition, not "solve" that problem with another layer of government control.
What's prohibiting competition is infrastructure and start-up costs. The cable companies have hundreds of thousands of miles of cable running through easements or strung from lines with the government's blessing since the 1970's. The only way a new competing cable service could break into the market is to either be allowed use of that infrastructure or to tear up easements and bore under roads, sidewalks, driveways, etc throughout their entire operating area.

For prices to be realistically controlled, either the government should treat the service as a utility (which is fair in my opinion as they use the same real estate the other utilities do in order to operate) or to allow open usage of their infrastructure without any leasing fees that would prevent the other company from financially competing. It's not as simple as just changing some laws.

As an amusing side note on this issue, back when Flea moved in I didn't have either cable nor satellite. Flea wanted to get satellite TV and cable internet. The satellite guy came first and, a few days later, the cable guy came. When the cable left, we noticed the satellite no longer worked. So we called the satellite guy again, he came back out and found out that the cable guy had disconnected all of the satellite coaxial and tosses it aside in hooking up the cable. We called the cable company to tell them to come out and install it the right way and they insisted that all the coaxial on the property was their property. We told them to either come out and install it without disconnecting the satellite or to cancel the service and that finally got them out, ******** the whole time about how someone else was using their hookups.
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#26 Jun 19 2009 at 2:27 AM Rating: Good
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I don't know if this is the solution or not, but honestly, something needs to be done. In the area I live, we have Verizon DSL or Comcast cable to choose from. Where my house is, I can't get the DSL, I apparently live too far out in the middle of nowhere. That means if I want a fast internet connection, I have to get Comcast, there is no choice in the matter. Now, my Comcast connection is very good, there is really no downtime and I get fantastic speeds, but I have to pay whatever Comcast decides they want me to pay, and I have to put up with the newly introduced bandwidth cap, or go back to dial-up. Which honestly, isn't an option for my needs.
#27 Jun 19 2009 at 7:48 AM Rating: Decent
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Yodabunny wrote:
Pensive wrote:
You are totally free and able to generate heat in a fireplace


Maybe we should regulate the firewood industry too then.


If building a dam was as easy as chopping down a small tree, you'd almost have a point.

I will say that, though I may be wrong, the last time this discussion of bandwidth caps came up, I thought that comcast was setting a 200GB limit per month, which is pretty **** high. Did that change?
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#28 Jun 19 2009 at 7:57 AM Rating: Good
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Pensive wrote:
Yodabunny wrote:
Pensive wrote:
You are totally free and able to generate heat in a fireplace


Maybe we should regulate the firewood industry too then.


If building a dam was as easy as chopping down a small tree, you'd almost have a point.

I will say that, though I may be wrong, the last time this discussion of bandwidth caps came up, I thought that comcast was setting a 200GB limit per month, which is pretty **** high. Did that change?


This bill was created as a result of Time Warner wanting to impose it's caps, which are much smaller, and tiered. The absolute max you could get I believe was something like 40gb, which a couple of netflix streamed movies would eat through.

They have since backed off that plan, but the damage was done.
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#29 Jun 19 2009 at 9:01 AM Rating: Decent
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My ISP is capped at 60GB. If I go above that I have to pay a surcharge up to a max of $25.00 above my normal bill.

I get a consistent 7mbs. I can pay a little extra for even higher speed and 100GB/mth, but there's really not much you can't do with 7mbs and 60GB. It is very difficult to burn through that cap. It took me 2 weeks going full bore when I tried. When I don't try I'm in the 8-15GB range and even that's high compared to most people.

I don't think these caps are really that big of an issue. It only effects a very small portion of the customer base. You don't regulate a luxury industry over a business decision that may **** off a very small percentage of the companies own customers. It's ludicrous.

The best is the argument of treating it like a utility. Your utility bill is based on your usage for the month...it is running like a utility.
#30 Jun 19 2009 at 9:27 AM Rating: Good
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Yodabunny wrote:
My ISP is capped at 60GB. If I go above that I have to pay a surcharge up to a max of $25.00 above my normal bill.

I get a consistent 7mbs. I can pay a little extra for even higher speed and 100GB/mth, but there's really not much you can't do with 7mbs and 60GB. It is very difficult to burn through that cap. It took me 2 weeks going full bore when I tried. When I don't try I'm in the 8-15GB range and even that's high compared to most people.

I don't think these caps are really that big of an issue. It only effects a very small portion of the customer base. You don't regulate a luxury industry over a business decision that may **** off a very small percentage of the companies own customers. It's ludicrous.

The best is the argument of treating it like a utility. Your utility bill is based on your usage for the month...it is running like a utility.


Do you have Netflix? Do you stream HD video from their library 3-5 times a week?
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#31 Jun 19 2009 at 9:53 AM Rating: Decent
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Yodabunny wrote:
but there's really not much you can't do with 7mbs and 60GB. It is very difficult to burn through that cap. It took me 2 weeks going full bore when I tried.


Obvious comment is Obvious, but what is sufficient now will not be in the future. The cable companies are looking to create "reasonable" caps now, in order to benefit from them later.

Relevant quote is Relevant:

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640K ought to be enough for anybody.

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#32 Jun 19 2009 at 9:54 AM Rating: Excellent
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Yodabunny wrote:
Your utility bill is based on your usage for the month...it is running like a utility.
My natural gas bill was around $120 in February. It was $20 for the last month. Guess why.

When my ISP bill is only $5 for a month where I only checked e-mail and casually browsed the net, I'll say that it's being run like a utility. Charging a flat rate with penalties for going over isn't "running it like a utility".
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#33 Jun 19 2009 at 10:01 AM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Yodabunny wrote:
Your utility bill is based on your usage for the month...it is running like a utility.
My natural gas bill was around $120 in February. It was $20 for the last month. Guess why.

When my ISP bill is only $5 for a month where I only checked e-mail and casually browsed the net, I'll say that it's being run like a utility. Charging a flat rate with penalties for going over isn't "running it like a utility".


Lots of services have a minimum monthly bill with increasing costs on higher use. Hydro for example, I could flip my breaker for the month and I'd still get a bill. This is no different.
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If your base electric bill is in excess of $100 before you even flip the lights on, it's time to move to a new location.

It is different exactly because of the scale involved. If the ISP was charging a base $15 a month with a charge for usage (adjusted for peak periods, yadda yadda) they might be comparable. They're not.

Edited, Jun 19th 2009 1:10pm by Jophiel
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#35 Jun 19 2009 at 10:12 AM Rating: Decent
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Wint wrote:
Do you have Netflix? Do you stream HD video from their library 3-5 times a week?


No, but if you need that level of service I see no reason why a company shouldn't be able to charge you more than the guy who checks his email twice a month for providing it. I DEFINATELY don't see why the government should be able to tell them not to.

I can rent a cheap car, but if I need to move a couch a car's just not going to do it, I have to spend more and rent a truck. The system you want forces everyone to rent the truck. If I don't like that rental companies prices I can go to another rental company, if it's the only rental company in town, well, I either suck it up or I don't rent a vehicle.

It is not the governments job to tell a company what service level to provide or what price to charge for it.
#36 Jun 19 2009 at 10:20 AM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
It is different exactly because of the scale involved.


How so? You're paying $50.00 base cost with usage charges for anything over the base amount that comes with it. Scale has nothing to do with it. It's a valid business model, it doesn't hurt anyone. Heck, it's exactly how cell phone plans work.
#37 Jun 19 2009 at 10:21 AM Rating: Excellent
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The primary difference here is that the cable company is the only game in town because the government allowed it to be that way through giving them access to utility easements and other line rights. The gas company or electric company or whoever is allowed to operate as a monopoly through land usage in an area because they give up part of their corporate freedom. Cable companies get the same land usage privileges allowing them de facto monopoly status (since no one else can just lay down the infrastructure to compete) and yet are mysteriously exempt from the same controls the government places upon everyone else using that same land.
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#38 Jun 19 2009 at 10:22 AM Rating: Decent
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Lots of services have a minimum monthly bill with increasing costs on higher use.


Well that's ******* retarded. It's only slightly less retarded than HMOs who require human child sacrifices to appease their coverage and then pay out stupidly low maximums for any medical procedure of note. It's only slightly less retarded and not equally so because medical procedures are of a greater need than utilities.
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#39 Jun 19 2009 at 10:22 AM Rating: Excellent
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Yodabunny wrote:
Heck, it's exactly how cell phone plans work.
Cell phone plans have much more legitimate competition.
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#40 Jun 19 2009 at 10:29 AM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
The primary difference here is that the cable company is the only game in town because the government allowed it to be that way through giving them access to utility easements and other line rights. The gas company or electric company or whoever is allowed to operate as a monopoly through land usage in an area because they give up part of their corporate freedom. Cable companies get the same land usage privileges allowing them de facto monopoly status (since no one else can just lay down the infrastructure to compete) and yet are mysteriously exempt from the same controls the government places upon everyone else using that same land.


This is a valid argument. The solution to which is to fix this: "no one else can just lay down the infrastructure to compete". Allow other companies to install infrastructure (within reasonable guidelines obviously) and you now have an environment where companies compete while upgrading infrastructure.
#41 Jun 19 2009 at 10:40 AM Rating: Good
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Yodabunny wrote:
Wint wrote:
Do you have Netflix? Do you stream HD video from their library 3-5 times a week?


No, but if you need that level of service I see no reason why a company shouldn't be able to charge you more than the guy who checks his email twice a month for providing it. I DEFINATELY don't see why the government should be able to tell them not to.

I can rent a cheap car, but if I need to move a couch a car's just not going to do it, I have to spend more and rent a truck. The system you want forces everyone to rent the truck. If I don't like that rental companies prices I can go to another rental company, if it's the only rental company in town, well, I either suck it up or I don't rent a vehicle.

It is not the governments job to tell a company what service level to provide or what price to charge for it.


The guy who needs to check email twice a month doesn't need broadband, dial up will do fine for him. They advertise their lightning fast speeds, "Download movies at a click of a button!!!oOMG1", etc. Yet they want to penalize me for doing what they are advertising I can do with my connection I pay for?
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#42 Jun 19 2009 at 10:46 AM Rating: Decent
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Wint wrote:
They advertise their lightning fast speeds, "Download movies at a click of a button!!!oOMG1", etc. Yet they want to penalize me for doing what they are advertising I can do with my connection I pay for?


You can download movies at the click of a button, in fact even with caps you can download many movies. They give you exactly what they're advertising. If there's a specific instance you can point out I'll agree with you that it's false advertising, but that has nothing to do with regulating the industry.
#43 Jun 19 2009 at 10:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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Yodabunny wrote:
The solution to which is to fix this: "no one else can just lay down the infrastructure to compete".
The start-up costs to install in the existing areas would be magnitudes greater than it was to install originally. Every road in the area would need to be bored under to install the sleeves and cable which everyone else got in before the pavement was laid. Every house would have their front roadside easements torn up, trenched (try not to hit the other wires & pipes!), laid with cable, regraded and reseeded/sodded. The cable company got it all in when the lot was nothing but a sheet of rough graded dirt.

A real solution would be to force the cable companies to share their infrastructure, like the government did when they broke up the phone company monopolies. This is why you can get DSL through multiple parties but only one guy in an area offers cable. If the cable companies aren't up for that, then treat them like every other company running lines through the town.
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#44 Jun 19 2009 at 10:47 AM Rating: Decent
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Wint wrote:
The guy who needs to check email twice a month doesn't need broadband, dial up will do fine for him.


Lol, I don't think you can even get dial up here anymore.
#45 Jun 19 2009 at 10:49 AM Rating: Good
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Yodabunny wrote:
Wint wrote:
The guy who needs to check email twice a month doesn't need broadband, dial up will do fine for him.


Lol, I don't think you can even get dial up here anymore.


We still have several dialup providers here Smiley: smile In fact, I've fixed PC's for several people who were still on dialup. That was a shock, trying to connect to the internet and hearing the modem go off Smiley: laugh
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#46 Jun 19 2009 at 10:51 AM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
A real solution would be to force the cable companies to share their infrastructure, like the government did when they broke up the phone company monopolies. This is why you can get DSL through multiple parties but only one guy in an area offers cable. If the cable companies aren't up for that, then treat them like every other company running lines through the town.


I actually almost put that solution in my previous post. That's how it was handled up here. Worked quite well actually and is reasonable considering the cables are mostly on government owned land.
#47 Jun 19 2009 at 10:52 AM Rating: Good
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I wanted to add that I just don't think you have the perspective I do. There are areas of my state that until very recently didn't even have electricity much less phone lines or cable service. When I signed up for Road Runner, I was in the beta group for Lincoln, and it was $50 a month 6 years ago. Guess how much it is now? $65. Speed has increased marginally from where it started, yet my monthly costs have gone up $15.

Edited, Jun 19th 2009 1:53pm by Wint
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#48 Jun 19 2009 at 10:56 AM Rating: Decent
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My internet has gone from $45-58 in the last 5 years. Though we did have one speed increase. My wife's grandparents only got electricity hookups on their road a couple years ago.

We are one of the most heavily cabled countries in the world though.

Edited, Jun 19th 2009 2:58pm by Yodabunny
#49 Jun 19 2009 at 11:03 AM Rating: Good
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Well that separates you from us then Smiley: laugh
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#50 Jun 19 2009 at 11:40 AM Rating: Good
Your prices sound awful. We don't have limits like that as far as I know, and last time I checked cable Internet was like €20 a month.

Cable TV is €5 a month for the standard 40 or so channels, plus €2 I think for every additional channel, so it's fair, haha.
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#51 Jun 19 2009 at 11:45 AM Rating: Decent
Wint wrote:
I wanted to add that I just don't think you have the perspective I do. There are areas of my state that until very recently didn't even have electricity much less phone lines or cable service. When I signed up for Road Runner, I was in the beta group for Lincoln, and it was $50 a month 6 years ago. Guess how much it is now? $65. Speed has increased marginally from where it started, yet my monthly costs have gone up $15.



Just want to point out that as of a call to Charter last week, my speeds have doubled (5 to 10Mb) for a whopping $5.50 increase to $55.49 / month.

I'm still in favor of regulation, but Charter is definitely starting to look more customer-friendly these days. Maybe that whole bankruptcy thing is changing some perspective within the company.
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