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Old May 5, 2014, 5:40 AM   #11
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Alan - I don't want to get in an argument.

I will clarify my statements which you have questioned from my personal experience. I'm not going to provide links because well like politics the internet has a link to support any argument you want to make.

1. Improved value proposition. Personally I was paying $40 for a phone line and $20 for dialup internet, now I pay less (especially when adjusted for inflation) for high speed internet that is much faster, more reliable and serves as a phone line too. I get more and pay less, that's an improved value proposition.

2. More choice. I personally can choose between; 4G wireless internet from Verizon, 4G wireless internet from AT&T, 4G wireless internet from Sprint, 4G wireless internet from FreedomPop and a few other B level resellers, Verizon FIOS fiber optic to my house, Comcast, and Satelitte providers for internet. Most people in densly populated areas have similar choice. Such was not the case a few years back. I can get a phone/TV/internet bundle for $89-99 per month from FIOS or Comcast, because of competition, I used to pay $99 for TV/internet only and another $24 to Vonage not so long ago.

BTW - writing in black font makes your text invisible for those of us who have chosen a dark theme.

p.s. I would highly suggest you read this about the Netflix Comcast deal

http://mashable.com/2014/02/26/comca...et-neutrality/
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Old May 5, 2014, 7:40 AM   #12
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you have insinuated that I might have a horse in this race, I'll say this; I live in a state with no personal income tax, no liquor tax, no deposit and no sales tax, the free state of New Hampshire, where we live by the moto, "Live free or Die". My motivation is in support of small government with less intrusion into people's lives, businesses, bodies and choices on what to do with them and who to do it with. I don't think we should have any regulation of the internet including "net neutrality". It has a nice name that sounds great, it's neutral, right? what could be wrong with that?

What net neutrality really means is that the FCC will invoke Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 that has previously been used to regulate the phone industry to regulate the internet backbone providers. Remember that $40 phone line I had in the late 90's 2/3 of my bill was FCC regulated Intralata line charges. Remember paying separately on top of that $40 for long distance? Yeah I do. That is what FCC regulation under Title II created, a charge back scheme adminsitered inefficiently by the federal government, that resulted in a crappy service at a high price, a bad value proposition if you will. Once the service known as telephone was ported to the internet away from those FCC regulated phone lines prices dropped; today I can get services like Ooma, Vonage or others for next to free with the internet or I can go by a track phone and pay very low per minute costs. Paying extra for long distance? ha, not any more. Paying huge prices to call internationally? nope not anymore I can pay pennies per minute to use a service like Skype and call Europe. All of this because the FCC isn't part of the equation.

Do you really think that anything will be different this time around?

The CEO of Netflix is biased, he wants to make it out like his little company Netflix is being picked on by Comcast. The reality is his company has tens of millions of subscribers and he does pay large fees to Cogent for access to the internet backbone. From there it was free to the subscribers based on the idea that each backbone provider gave access for access. The problem was that most of the traffic for Netflix is one way and left the other backbone owners who were not hosting Netflix but hosting it's subscribers with an unfair balance. Netflix was forced to pay those other backbone owners a piece of it's very profitable business, in this case Comcast. But don't get confused, they also have made arrangements to pay the other backbone providers including Verizon. Netflix could say no and Comcast could say we won't carry your traffix or we will throttle it as we see fit. But neither company wants that. Netflix could lose subscribers who want or have to use Comcast internet service to another service like Amazon or Hulu that wasn't being throttled. On the flip side Comcast could lose internet customers to competitors like Verizon FIOS who provided faster, better access to Netflix. This is why insiders who follow the industry understood that Comcast made this deal to avoid being at a competitive disadvantage since Verizon was also making a deal with Netflix.

So this is how businesses work. If "net neutrality" were in place this would all be governed by the FCC who would want a cut and would not feel the market forces that Comcast and Netflix felt that forced them to come to a deal that they could live with (even if the CEO says otherwise). The end result is a less efficient and more costly means of providing the same service. Big Government wins with more power and control and the business has to pass on the costs of regulation to the consumer along with the added FCC taxes that will be needed to adminster the "net neutrality".
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Old May 5, 2014, 10:46 AM   #13
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I've got a few miles on my tires but I can remember when we got three channels and everyone was just happy we had a TV to watch. Cable was never heard of and if you wanted more channels you put up a tower but the cost wasn't worth the few additional channels. I think the birth of cable came when those huge dishes became available. There was no service charge and you could grab whatever channel you wanted off the air waves. That didn't last long as people saw a way in making money by simplifying the process of acquiring channels without hunting for them. Aha, pay TV was born. Now it went over the hill. I pay 135.00 a month for internet and TV service with ATT Uverse. They aren't much cheaper than anyone else but their service is great. If you have a problem they don't BS you and tell you it's your HDMI cables causing the problem etc, they come right out to take care of it for no charge unless the problem is that you didn't have the receiver plugged in. I have well over 300 per month going out just for phone, internet, and TV service. My wife and I share minutes on two cell phones and I'm seriously thinking about dropping one of the phones and get Verizons home phone with unlimited minutes/long distance for 20 bucks a month and keep my cell phone number. Did I need a phone in the car before, NO, do I need one now, NO. I figure whoever is out with the car can take the phone and since we only have one car I see no problem...there will be a phone at home for much less $ than a cell phone. Technology is great but seriously, it is also removing jobs because less people are needed to run a business, factory, etc. At present there are more people than jobs available in the US and I don't see that changing in the near future...at least to the positive side.

I like to watch baseball and football and Fox Sports has that tied up with the cable companies and rarely is a baseball game shown on local channels. If you want to enjoy TV it will cost you.
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Old May 5, 2014, 11:11 AM   #14
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Comcast is about the only game in town in this . . . err, town. Though to be fair their service is good and the people you speak to on the phone aren't idiots.

In principle I don't like the idea of having any other place to turn. In practice my main gripe is that their price structure is totally messed up.
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Old May 5, 2014, 12:17 PM   #15
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I've got mixed feelings on the subject.

The infrastructure needed to deliver high bandwidth content is substantial. So, if everyone "on the block' were watching 1080p video content all of the time (especially with higher quality bit rates), then ISPs would probably have to spend a lot of money to upgrade their network to support the increased bandwidth requirements.

I've been a Comcast customer for years, and I've had my complaints (mostly on the TV side versus the Internet side), and for what I pay for service, I can't complain too much.

For example, I tend to get around 28Mbps download speeds and around 6Mbps Upload speeds with a $49.99/month plan from what speedtest.net reported a few minutes ago (not an introductory price, but the same plan I've had for years), and that's using an older DOCSIS 2.0 modem versus one of the newer DOCSIS 3.x modems.

My plan has just gotten faster over the years compared to when I first got it (so, I'm not complaining about them offering faster and faster speeds over time with the same plan). I have not changed plans in around 10 years now (although I think they change plan name from time to time to fit in with their current offerings). But, it's still gotten faster and faster and faster over time (for almost the exact same price I was paying 10 years ago).

The last thing I changed was buying a refurb Netgear DOCSIS 2.0 Cable Modem from newegg.com a while back for around $19.99 delivered for use with my plan (so that I'm not paying monthly rental fees for Comcast for a cable modem).

Before that I owned an RCA modem for years with the same plan (versus renting one), until it started having problems, where you'd have to twist and turn and bend the adapter plug up and down to get it working, so it was time to spend $20 for a new [refurbished in my case] cable modem. lol

Of course, they have even faster plans for more money here (including 50Mbps and 100Mbps plans) if you want to install a newer DOCSIS 3.0 modem type.

But, for the way I use my plan, getting around 28Mbps download speeds and 6Mbps uploaded speeds is "good enough" for me. Frankly, I find it amazing that I can get service that fast for what we are paying for it.

Bandwidth caps are also very reasonable. For example, my current plan lets me use up to 300GB/Month. If I go over that for any reason, they even allow 2 months of "grace period". Then, they charge you an extra $10/month for each additional 50GB of usage.

I have not exceeded the allowed 300GB/month usage yet, even though we have a newer "Smart TV" with plenty of 1080p video offerings from various providers (as well as an Android TV Box with plenty of content available from it, too), and in addition, my wife and I both watch videos from various providers on our computers on a regular basis. I've been averaging around 150GB/Month with it lately (despite usage like downloading huge MS Windows 8.x updates and a few .iso files to test drive linux distros)..

IMO, that's one heck of deal (300GB/Month bandwidth usage included with a $49.99/month plan, with a fee of only $10/month of each additional 50GB) with the speed we have available with it.

BUT, some of the providers like Netflix want to offer higher bit rate encoding for their 1080p video for even better quality, as well as providing 4K video in the future (which would mean that bandwidth usage would go up, and someone would have to cover the cost of any network upgrades needed to support it).

Yea... I'm keeping an eye on the net neutrality debate, and I can see service providers points of view in some cases.

Yet, in order to keep costs for services lower for consumers, ISPs like Comcast have to take into consideration how much it could cost them in upgrades to their network in order to support more usage of higher bandwidth offerings (as again, providers like Netflix want to offer higher bit rate video, and that's probably going to saturate the existing network infrastructure that ISPs have in place in many areas now).

So, I can understand Comcast wanting to negotiate pricing with content providers like Netflix that want to use far more bandwidth than other service providers, so that they can afford the cost of the network infrastructure needed to support those higher bandwidth services. Otherwise, the cost of the upgrades needed would be passed on to all of their customers (even if most of them were "typical" users that didn't take advantage of the higher bit rate video that Netflix wants to provide)
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Old May 5, 2014, 3:57 PM   #16
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So, I can understand Comcast wanting to negotiate pricing with content providers like Netflix that want to use far more bandwidth than other service providers, so that they can afford the cost of the network infrastructure needed to support those higher bandwidth services. Otherwise, the cost of the upgrades needed would be passed on to all of their customers (even if most of them were "typical" users that didn't take advantage of the higher bit rate video that Netflix wants to provide)
I so wish it were true. A recent study indicates if large ISPs can charge for priority service it actually acts as a disincentive to improving infrastructure. Please see this enlightening explanation from the study:

"This is a key claim, used widely by ISP companies in arguing against maintaining a net neutral internet. The money from fees levied on content providers, they say, would be incentive to improve and expand infrastructure. In this argument, web surfers gain access to a faster internet. But our analysis shows that if net neutrality were abolished, ISPs actually have less incentive to expand infrastructure.

Here is the intuition behind this result: Think of any road or highway you hate to drive on during rush hours. Say, I-5 in Seattle or the 495 loop in Washington, D.C. The highway is like the Internet, and the individual cars are the packets of data. The ISP is essentially the gatekeeper that controls the flow of cars on the highway.

If the ISP is allowed to snatch any car from the back of a very long line and put it in front of everybody else when the driver of the car pays a “priority delivery fee”, would the ISP have an incentive to keep the road congested, or, to expand the road capacity?

In this scenario, ISPs profit more when the roads are congested — if traffic is cruising, no one would feel the need to pay for faster service."

Last edited by chiPersei; May 5, 2014 at 5:38 PM. Reason: readability and close quotes.
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Old May 5, 2014, 4:26 PM   #17
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Comcast? ATT? Here in Northern California we have a much bigger fish to fry...it's called PG&E. I get a lot of good stuff from Comcast for less than $100/mo. With PG&E on the other hand, I pay almost $400/month during the Winter months just to heat up my house to 65 degrees and if I don't like that I can switch to...well, NO ONE. They are it!
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Old May 5, 2014, 5:20 PM   #18
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G'day Alan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozzie_Traveller View Post
G'day Alan ..... we keep being told 'there's no such thing as a free lunch' Phil
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Originally Posted by chiPersei View Post
Hi Phil- I'm grappling with the 'no free lunch' you've heard. I get my internet through a phone company too (CenturyLink) but it's not free. In fact it's monthly $47.99 USD. Is your internet free just because you have phone service?
No mate - it's the old line that if you accept a 'free lunch' from someone, then in all liklihood they'll tap you on the shoulder some time and remind you they need a favour from you ...

Australia is very different from mainland USA. In Australia we have one country-wide telco called Telstra and 2-dozen other hi-level telcos & 100 lower-level operators who all buy cable-space from Telstra.

Because 90% of the Australian mainland is 'remote' with many, many miles between communities of maybe 100 houses, the federal gov't has made rules for Telstra as to their mandatory coverage for these small communities. The increased costs for this coverage is amortised across their entire product range and thus city people are helping reduce costs for outback people

[in my travels yesterday thru mid-outback Queensland, I have travelled some 400km / 300miles and gone from one village of 3 houses + a dozen cattle stations thru a town of maybe 800 people and into another town 2-hours up the road where this town has maybe 600 people. And Telstra has phone coverage for all these tiny communities]

My personal internet arrangements are:- a mobile USB-modem, pre-paid, 12-months duration x 12Gb @ $180

Internet traffic speeds in the outback are abysmal ...
speedtest results= Download speed 2,45Mbps with Upload speed 0,24Mbps

Hope this helps a bit - tho it's quite different from your issues
Phil
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Old May 5, 2014, 6:36 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by chiPersei View Post
I so wish it were true. A recent study indicates if large ISPs can charge for priority service it actually acts as a disincentive to improving infrastructure. Please see this enlightening explanation from the study:

"This is a key claim, used widely by ISP companies in arguing against maintaining a net neutral internet. The money from fees levied on content providers, they say, would be incentive to improve and expand infrastructure. In this argument, web surfers gain access to a faster internet. But our analysis shows that if net neutrality were abolished, ISPs actually have less incentive to expand infrastructure.

Here is the intuition behind this result: Think of any road or highway you hate to drive on during rush hours. Say, I-5 in Seattle or the 495 loop in Washington, D.C. The highway is like the Internet, and the individual cars are the packets of data. The ISP is essentially the gatekeeper that controls the flow of cars on the highway.

If the ISP is allowed to snatch any car from the back of a very long line and put it in front of everybody else when the driver of the car pays a “priority delivery fee”, would the ISP have an incentive to keep the road congested, or, to expand the road capacity?

In this scenario, ISPs profit more when the roads are congested — if traffic is cruising, no one would feel the need to pay for faster service."
What study is that? Who was it funded by and how did they arrive at the conclusion?

The analogy you quote is flawed because it ignores the competiting providers. The reality is we have multiple roads, if you live in the 495 loop of Washington, and find the traffic is too much you can't switch to a parralel 495. However when talking about ISPs in that same beltway market you have choice to go over to FIOS if you find the Comcast road has too much traffic, or you can go to Verizon wireless 4g, or at&t 4g... Etc. So yes maybe the ability to give priority to one stream doesn't incent network improvements the direct competition does. Like jimc I have watched my speed go up and the package offerings get better as FIOS became competitive in my market.

I go back to the FCC regulated land line phones, there was zero competition and zero improvement in service being offered, that's not some study but factual history. Regulation lowered competition because there was no room to innovate because there was no profit to be had by offering a better service.

Listen I got my first computer a commodore vic-20 when I was 7. I was using pine in 1992 to send emails to my friends at other colleges. I was on the internet looking for a job out of college in 1997 when only 10% of the population was even using it. I've spent my time since then working in IT. I don't speak from a lack of understanding about the internet, I matured alongside the internet, and the last thing we need is government regulation under the FCC

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Old May 5, 2014, 7:46 PM   #20
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What study is that? Who was it funded by and how did they arrive at the conclusion?
Dr. Hsing Cheng and Shubho Bandyopadhyay, University of Florida, and Hong Guo, University of Notre Dame.

If you grew up with the internet I would have thought you would have known how to Google.
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