Here’s some wisdom from the hardworking innovator running Frontier Communications:
Burr said there are no plans to offer the super-high speed fiber network in Rochester, known as FiOS. She said most customers do not need speeds that fast, and Frontier’s broadband service is available in 95 percent of the market.
Never mind that socialist hellholes are much faster. But I’m not hating the player, it’s just the game.
Greenstein says that a 2003 decision to leave regulation up to the broadband companies themselves has caused much of the stagnation in broadband service prices. In most urban markets, only two wireline providers supply the vast majority of homes, and the remainder are served by a range of wireless Internet providers. Revenue from homes makes up 70 to 80 percent of revenue in wireline Internet access market, while business demand makes up the rest.
“So if you were in such a market as a supplier, why would you initiate a price war?” Greenstein asks. With no new entries on the market, suppliers can compete by slowly increasing quality but keeping prices the same. According to Greenstein, quality is where providers channel their competitive urges.
Meanwhile, once companies have installed the lines, their costs are far below prices. “At that point, it becomes pure profit,” Greenstein says. A company might spend around $100 per year to “maintain and service” the connection, but people are paying nearly that amount every other month. [Emphasis mine]
Where’s that invisible hand when you need it? Oh yeah, internet service and cable TV in this country is segregated into monopolies and duopolies that prevent any new actors from getting into the geographical area.
Comcast owns the city I live in. I don’t have any other choices for cable TV/Internet.
It’s just so damn sad and stupid. Maybe we could you know, regulate the market to improve competition?
Instead of letting the robber barons just pilfer as much as they can from citizens who want their cable internet/TV while they give us shitty speeds, shitty customer service and a condescending attitude.
The next Eisenhower interstate like social project should be to create a large data highway connecting any town with a pop of like 1000 with fiber optics. Onto which anyone who pays a fee can setup a connection. It would be great for starting up thousands of small ISP businesses in places that would otherwise lack the service and it would give the cable companies something to compete with be sides AT&T.
The problem is that running the cables is a monopoly, and should be a monopoly. I don’t want 7 sets of cables running down my street and a tech coming out to run a new line from a pole if I switch Internet providers. The ideal solution would have been for the government to run all the lines and sell the access to any company that wants it, who could then resell services to individual subscribers. Unfortunately, now one thought of that when they were laying all the lines 100 years ago.
So we have to accept that Comcast, Verizion or AT&T owns the lines. We need to start seriously regulating them. If we are going to grant them a monopoly, they need to compromise a little themselves.
I have to say though, I’m pretty happy with my Comcast. I pay a fuck ton a month for service. But they haven’t batted an eye when I wanted to use my own cable modem and switched to a Windows Media Center with a Cable Card. Plus, the internet speed I get is faster than anyone site will let me download.
I have Comcast internet. As far as it goes — given existing circumstances — it’s fine.
However, if you don’t get their cable TV service along with it, they charge you more.
I don’t want their fucking 6 basic channels. I don’t need to watch TV and where I live I can watch 4 times as many channels just from my antenna.
They’re complete assholes for this and they just do it to sell my name to their TV advertisers as ‘a viewer’.
You know what’s the most ironic thing about broadband?
Just an observation, but the folks I see bitch the most about the quality and price of broadband access the most, are the same pasty whitebread idiot libertarian nerds who fly Gadsden flags and complain about government.
Oh to be able to harness the power of philosophical disconnect…
Like I was saying. Disconnect.
I pay a lot, but I get a lot. I have 20Mb/s Internet. I have have 100+ HD channels including HBO, Showtime, Starz. I have an HD cable box that gives me On Demand streaming. I have a Multi Stream cable card that allows me to record four channels at once on my computer and stream them to any TV I own. And they gave me a phone I never use (for some reason getting the phone lowered my bill by $20/month). All of that is worth a fuckton of money from me.
You remember the 90s? When DSL was the thing? The DSL lines went over phone lines (probably owned by AT&T) and then Covad owned the DSL lines….and resold them to hundreds and hundreds of ISPs resellers.
I don’t see why a model like that couldn’t be applied to cable service or FIOS or what have you.
And if that isn’t feasible, then some proper regulations to encourage innovation and increased speeds while keeping costs to consumers low would be nice. I mean, we used to lead the world in internet adoption and speed, and now we’re 26th? Not 2nd, not 3rd, but 26th? That’s just fucking pathetic.
Well, it’s within an hour of your original post, so I’m presuming that the statute of grammatical limitations is still in effect. Your headline should be:
“Competition and Innovation
RunsRun Rampant in Our Free Market Paradise.”
As more and more people on the Interwebs come to embrace the awesome that is the Juice, let’s not give them any reason to waver, however trivial. Politeness, clean underwear, good grammar. The enduring values. (I’m hoping that we can one day consistently hit one of those goals.)
How the hell can you even know that in a monopoly or a duopoly?
I compare it to similar services that I pay for. All of that from Comcast is LESS per month than cell phone bill for my wife and I. It’s much less than buying the same amount of content that we consume on Blu-Ray.
Oh, you reach slashdot too, eh?
These monopolies are from the city governments.. so it’s really the city governments at fault here. I wish we could break this stuff up so that we can have multiple carriers of wired broadband.
Also what the fuck is up with tv with these people? They charge me to get TV, but then want to rent me a set top box to watch the content? Worse, the content gets loud when it switches to commercial. Uncool.
I ended up going to OTA because 1) I don’t have to adjust the channel volume 2) I get HD without having to pay 10 bucks a month per TV. That’s some awesome profit these guys are getting.
Just remember, if phone companies started offering (say) 100-megabit (or even 20-megabit) fibre to customers for under $100/month, then they wouldn’t be able to charge $4000+/month to businesses for 45 mbps (DS3), and $400/month for 1.5 mbps (T1). And they’d have to upgrade their backbones and such, too.
That would seriously interfere with their ability to print money.
just curious about the costs before vs after installation? How big was that installation cost? I agree that competition would be good, but still, with or without competition, there’s a lot of cost in deploying the lines, especially a new technology like fiber. (In that you have to run new lines, not just make your existing lines do more with better compression/equipment.) Plus, we do expect the linemen (and women) to earn a decent wage and get good benefits, don’t we?
I know that internet service in the US is a cash cow (with 300 million potential tits!) but simply saying ‘here’s the line, it only costs us $100 per year’ isn’t entirely accurate.
@El Cid: Hmmm. I’m a DirecTV customer and just got Comcast cable (only) @ $29.99 for three months, then $39.99/mo thereafter. 20mb down and 4mb up. Their website offered the same speed for existing customers @ $52/mo.
I’m near a socialist hellhole (Seattle) so maybe that’s the difference.
That would be a valid point is the government hadn’t already given telecom companies billions upon billions of dollars to build more and faster infrastructure.
They got free money to defray the setup costs and not only did the private sector utterly fail to deliver the product promised, they’re gouging everyone on the crap they did produce.
The next time they want subsidies, price controls better be attached to them.
Shoutout for Frontier dsl
On the other hand, Frontier has extremely good service for its rural and seasonal subscribers.
Frontier coverage includes the Adirondacks, where there are very few customers, and a significant fraction are seasonal. Still, it’s possible to get reasonable ($20/month) 1Mbit DSL in some very unlikely places, and you don’t have to pay year-round. (You pay an on-demand $8/mo maintenance fee for the months in which you are not around.)
Our family has a cottage in the ‘Dacks, and for a week or two during a reunion, we had 2 iPhones and 4 computers sharing the DSL line over wireless. Nobody’s watching video, but it is a very good deal.
So don’t dis Frontier too much. We are getting a much better deal from them than we would from any nationwide carrier.
Props to Frontier for having “extremely good service” in your neck of the boonies. As it is, Frontier has extremely sucky service in rural northeastern Pennsylvania where it has a monopoly on hard-wired DSL.
There are frequent signal drops, noticeable slowdowns early each weekday evening as people arrive home and go online, and their customer service is horrendous.
Verizon sold their land lines to Frontier, saddling Frontier with enormous debt.
No worries tho, when Frontier goes belly up, Verizon will be there with wireless.