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Old 02-17-2013, 12:19 PM   #16
fjtorres
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Not that what the cablecos are doing is right, but they might actually win in court.
Remember that cablecos have to negotiate with and pay the municipalities for licenses to lay down cable and the rest of their infrastructure. Which means there are contracts at issue.
There's no telling what ambiguous clauses are in there.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Not that what the cablecos are doing is right, but they might actually win in court.
Remember that cablecos have to negotiate with and pay the municipalities for licenses to lay down cable and the rest of their infrastructure. Which means there are contracts at issue.
There's no telling what ambiguous clauses are in there.
Are the cable companies laying down cable that can handle broadband connections? Are they throttling access per-house, on the old per-block system, or maybe some per-municipality system that gives enough bandwidth for someone to get 1/5 meg/second if they're the only one on and nobody's watching TV?

Remember, these aren't public utilities whose job is to provide service. Their job is to make as much money as they can as fast as they can.
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teh603 View Post
Are the cable companies laying down cable that can handle broadband connections? Are they throttling access per-house, on the old per-block system, or maybe some per-municipality system that gives enough bandwidth for someone to get 1/5 meg/second if they're the only one on and nobody's watching TV?

Remember, these aren't public utilities whose job is to provide service. Their job is to make as much money as they can as fast as they can.
When has the government provided service ever been able to compete with
what a free market can provide? They only survive where they have an
effective monopoly. Would there be 4G without the competitive market?

The phone/cable companies portion out their existing bandwidth based on
who will pay for it (a tiered system). That means that there is an incentive
for the development of faster and greater bandwidth offerings, to as many
as will pay for it. There is also some profit to be made providing for the very
many who are willing to be satisfied with a lessor service, at a lower cost.

Overall, and historically the most used/asked for high end features eventually
are offered to the lower tiers, in a competitive free market environment. Not
so in a bureaucratically run government "service", there is no incentive. All are
equal in the government's eyes, all will get the same mandated "service". "One
Size Fits All", it's only "Fair", right?

Luck;
Ken

P.S.; The Municipal Service will most likely be a "special" monopoly contract with
an existing provider. Something that gives the city bureaucracies "free" internet,
(paid for with taxes).

Last edited by Ken Maltby; 02-17-2013 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:53 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
When has the government provided service ever been able to compete with
what a free market can provide? They only survive where they have an
effective monopoly. Would there be 4G without the competitive market?
4G is the exception to the rule. Cell phone towers are insanely cheap to build compared to laying telephone or power line.

Quote:
The phone/cable companies portion out their existing bandwidth based on
who will pay for it (a tiered system). That means that there is an incentive
for the development of faster and greater bandwidth offerings, to as many
as will pay for it. There is also some profit to be made providing for the very
many who are willing to be satisfied with a lessor service, at a lower cost.

Overall, and historically the most used/asked for high end features eventually
are offered to the lower tiers, in a competitive free market environment. Not
so in a bureaucratically run government "service", there is no incentive. All are
equal in the government's eyes, all will get the same mandated "service". "One
Size Fits All", it's only "Fair", right?
See, here's how it works out in the country. When you phone up a cable provider to ask how much it'd cost to get high-speed internet, they quote a figure that's much higher than you'd get in the city. They give you a horse and pony show about how much it would cost them to extend service, and then hang up the phone on you if you aren't willing to pay the price they dictated. Now, if you and your whole municipality were to get together, they might have to change their tune, or as we're seeing here just go to congress and try to get a law passed prohibiting you from getting together to negotiate.

Ever wonder why rural areas in other parts of the world don't have electricity or clean tap water? This is exactly why. Companies have to be *forced* to build infrastructure that doesn't directly benefit them and only them. You have to have the government back there, holding a gun to their head if necessary, to make sure that citizens can have access to basic services. Otherwise they'll to restrict as much as they can to a privileged rich few and try to claim that the cost of extending those services to others is too great.

To make the analogy of building a road, the companies have built huge interstate highways, but are refusing to link up smaller towns and then trying to prevent those towns from building their own roads and bridges.

Then again, I'm quoting functionality here and you're coming from a theoreticial and ideological standpoint.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:47 PM   #20
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If municipal Wi-Fi couldn't compete with privately provided Wi-Fi, then why are the private providers be so upset? I can choose between cable internet, DSL though the phone company or municipal Wi-Fi. The municipal Wi-Fi is cheaper, but tops out at 6mbps. There are tiers of service, you can choose from 1.5mbps, 3mbps or 6mbps. The private providers can compete if they can offer a better service.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:28 PM   #21
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If municipal Wi-Fi couldn't compete with privately provided Wi-Fi, then why are the private providers be so upset?
Because they *paid* for a monopoly and now the politicians are undercutting their paid-for right to fleece the locals.

"An honest poitician is the one that *stays* bought."
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:30 PM   #22
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Still, I think it's kinda silly to regard the Internet as an essential service (never mind a human right). There are certainly strong arguments to fund the Internet, from an economic perspective, since it is an important tool for modern businesses and provides educational opportunities. On the other hand, there wouldn't be a negative impact upon quality of life if it disappeared tomorrow. Things would have to be done differently. But different is just that: different, not worse.
You are right about what would happen if there were *no* internet. But these discussions (including the UN resolution) are in the context of the internet existing, but some people being denied access to it. It is an essential service because in a world where so much is being done via the internet, people who don't have it are at a disadvantage.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:31 PM   #23
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Out where I live, the house lots are a minimum of 5 acres, and most are 10 to 20 acres. The cable company has flat out said that they have no intention of ever running cable out to us. DSL is a laugh - most of us live too far from the nodes to have it (a neighbor of ours has DSL, but we live something like 500 feet too far from the nearest node. We tried it anyway, and the internet would disconnect every time the wind blew.)

Our option is satellite. We have pitiful bandwidth, and it costs us $10.60 every time we exceed it to reset it - and every time my daughter has a grahphics- intensive homework to do, we exceed it. Upload speeds are pathetic. But - it's the only game in town.

Yeah, I'd love it if some government mandated muni internet for us.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:20 PM   #24
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Hmm... "functionality", I thought there was a good deal of that in my post.

So it seems that many of you believe that companies have extra or unlimited resources
that they can spend on unprofitable endeavors? It seems to me that, functionally, you
want other peoples tax dollars to subsidize something, for you, that the companies see
as impractical due to the lower population density of your rural environment.

I live in the suburbs of San Antonio, while technically within the city limits, I would in no way describe it as an urban environment. Still, I can dream of living out in the real country with my own isolated little piece of heaven. I fully realize that there would be
a number of things that I would have to give up, to have my own slice of paradise. In
today's mobile society I already gave up ice fishing, for a nearly endless summer. There
are plenty of trade offs between living in or near a city and living in the country.

I also feel that this idea that we should have laws passed to protect established
companies and/or their unionized labor force, from the forces of a free marketplace,
to be one of the worst perversions of our system.

If you want any real hope that a technology will be developed, that makes it both
practical and profitable to provide a better broadband service to rural locations, I
would put my money in a private entrepreneur, rather than depending on a government
bureaucrat.

By the way, how is it that you all see a "Muni" broadband as providing more service to
rural locations? How far outside of a small farming community's "city limits" do you expect that the small community network will be willing to support?

In any case you have to pay one way or another, in taxes or provider billing (or both).

Luck;
Ken
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:21 PM   #25
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Municipal Wi-Fi is small government in action.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:03 PM   #26
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Back when the cable companies tried to prevent municipalities from starting their own cable companies, they usually did have a monopoly. Back then where I live you could get CBS and NBC over the air. Anything else required cable. The cable companies charged out the wazoo and did not want the municipalities under cutting them.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:38 PM   #27
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If you want any real hope that a technology will be developed, that makes it both practical and profitable to provide a better broadband service to rural locations, I would put my money in a private entrepreneur, rather than depending on a government bureaucrat.
Electricity, water, sewage, garbage collection, roads, and mail service are handled by the government in many jurisdictions. In other words, those government bureaucrats can be mighty effective.

The issue with private enterprise is pretty much as you suggested: they tackle the low hanging fruit, which leads to inequitable access to services and infrastructure. They also tend to ignore large scale projects because of the risks involved.

I'm not suggesting that government intervention is the best solution. The problem is that there are times when government intervention is the only solution.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:41 AM   #28
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Back when the cable companies tried to prevent municipalities from starting their own cable companies, they usually did have a monopoly. Back then where I live you could get CBS and NBC over the air. Anything else required cable. The cable companies charged out the wazoo and did not want the municipalities under cutting them.
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Electricity, water, sewage, garbage collection, roads, and mail service are handled by the government in many jurisdictions. In other words, those government bureaucrats can be mighty effective.

The issue with private enterprise is pretty much as you suggested: they tackle the low hanging fruit, which leads to inequitable access to services and infrastructure. They also tend to ignore large scale projects because of the risks involved.

I'm not suggesting that government intervention is the best solution. The problem is that there are times when government intervention is the only solution.
True. As I pointed out we only received two channels over the air. You had to have cable to view more. Cable was only available in the city limits. The local cable company did not want to invest in cable, in the county, because of the lower population density and size of the the county. The county did not get cable until the middle of the 1990's.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:04 PM   #29
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Still, I think it's kinda silly to regard the Internet as an essential service... there wouldn't be a negative impact upon quality of life if it disappeared tomorrow. Things would have to be done differently. But different is just that: different, not worse.
You could use that argument for a lot of things. Who's to say what's worse and what's just different?

I know that my life certainly would take a turn for the worse in a number of ways if the internet disappeared tomorrow.

The best example is probably the impact it would have on my professional life.

I run a small business which rely entirely on the internet. Without it, I couldn't make a living working from home. Getting another type of job would mean a daily commute, which I loathe, and it would mean buying a car, which would be very costly.

That loss in free time and money would very much mean a lessened quality of life for me. And I haven't even touched upon all the ways it would impact my personal lifestyle in a negative way.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:24 AM   #30
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True. As I pointed out we only received two channels over the air. You had to have cable to view more.
Do you not have satellite TV available in your part of the world?
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