Feds to Cable Industry: Embrace Broadband Competition or Else

CommanderFrank

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The FCC’s Tom Wheeler is still playing hardball with the cable industry, telling cable companies to basically get with the future of the broadband program and the needs of their subscribers. Wheeler delivered his message at the annual cable conference telling the companies that the times, they are a-changing, with apologies to Bob Dylan. :D

The Internet and Television Expo, Wheeler said the cable industry has reached a tipping point at which its broadband subscribers outnumber its pay TV subscribers.
 

fdiaz78

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How about banning ISPs from making local deals with municipalities on where and who can provide broadband service. People should have multiple providers to choose from.
 

Jagger100

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Crock of shit piece.

Net Neutrality rules - I'll believe the consequences when I see them
Preventing Comcast/TWC merger - since they have regional monopolies and they pool their influence and align their goals in Washington, the merger would have very little consequence for consumers and its just a wallstreet payday that's delayed one more time to later
Broadband definition changed to 25 Mbps - purely a marketing rule. One that's designed to prevent DSL and low end ISP upstart competition from advertising itself as broadband in most markets.
Defending a couple of municipal owned Broadband services - Muni Broadband is so rare its a non-threat for now so interfering now is a lot of bad press and bad politics for little gain.

The only thing I got from that speech is that the ISP's are still free to fuck us over on fees and he was almost goading them into doing so.
 

heatlesssun

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The only thing I got from that speech is that the ISP's are still free to fuck us over on fees and he was almost goading them into doing so.

Huh?

"History proves that absent competition a predominant position in the market such as yours creates economic incentives to use that market power to protect your traditional business in a way that is ultimately harmful to consumers," he said. "Your challenge will be to overcome the temptation to use your predominant position in broadband to protect your traditional cable business."

Isn't this the same thing that people on this very forum say repeatedly?
 

trudude

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It isn't the ISP's that are preventing competition. The government is the one who writes the regulations for their cronies in the ISP industry. The government needs to get out of the business of attempting to regulate the internet and prices will come down, speed will go up, and reliability will be at an all time high.
 

heatlesssun

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It isn't the ISP's that are preventing competition. The government is the one who writes the regulations for their cronies in the ISP industry. The government needs to get out of the business of attempting to regulate the internet and prices will come down, speed will go up, and reliability will be at an all time high.

So when did government force ISPs to implement "fast lanes"? How would the merger of Comcast and Time Warner have achieved the things you mention?
 

maxius

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trudude said:
It isn't the ISP's that are preventing competition. The government is the one who writes the regulations for their cronies in the ISP industry. The government needs to get out of the business of attempting to regulate the internet and prices will come down, speed will go up, and reliability will be at an all time high.

So when did government force ISPs to implement "fast lanes"? How would the merger of Comcast and Time Warner have achieved the things you mention?

i am also interested in his explanation but im willing to bet it will amount to uninformed right wing opinions that have been paid for like "its obamacare for the internet" :rolleyes:
 

heatlesssun

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i am also interested in his explanation but im willing to bet it will amount to uninformed right wing opinions that have been paid for like "its obamacare for the internet" :rolleyes:

Who their right mind, pun intended, didn't think the merger of Comcast and Time Warner would have led to exactly the opposite of the supposed benefits of free market capitalism that he mentions? Who the hell believes that a mega-cable company would in any way benefit consumers? Even Comcast couldn't explain it.
 

Ducman69

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We need to do with internet the same thing we did with deregulation of electricity in Texas.

We used to have all of these local monopolies, and the only way that anyone could compete with an existing power company was to build power lines to your neighborhood which is nonsense. You can't have a whole bunch of redundancy like that, its not efficient, and its not worth the investment for someone if an existing power company already services an area since you will only get a fraction of the business.

So what we do now is anyone can lay down the infrastructure and they are compensated at cost so there is no business risk. But you have huge competition now in the marketplace, because anyone can simply build a new powerplant (coal, nuclear, wind, solar, or any combination, etc) and sell to consumers directly that are on the grid. On powertochoose, I have more options than I could shake a stick at, and if I want a place that uses all renewable energy sources for example that's an option or just go for the cheapest one or the one with the best customer service.

Likewise, there is no excuse to not wire all homes at least in the cities and suburbs with fiber, with a no risk at-cost business model for that, but which once laid you can pick any ISP company you want. So if you decide you want phone service or TV or whatever from XYZ Incorporated instead of just Comcast/ATT because those were the only two previous options in your area, then you can.
 

Spidey329

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We need to do with internet the same thing we did with deregulation of electricity in Texas.

We used to have all of these local monopolies, and the only way that anyone could compete with an existing power company was to build power lines to your neighborhood which is nonsense. You can't have a whole bunch of redundancy like that, its not efficient, and its not worth the investment for someone if an existing power company already services an area since you will only get a fraction of the business.

So what we do now is anyone can lay down the infrastructure and they are compensated at cost so there is no business risk. But you have huge competition now in the marketplace, because anyone can simply build a new powerplant (coal, nuclear, wind, solar, or any combination, etc) and sell to consumers directly that are on the grid. On powertochoose, I have more options than I could shake a stick at, and if I want a place that uses all renewable energy sources for example that's an option or just go for the cheapest one or the one with the best customer service.

Likewise, there is no excuse to not wire all homes at least in the cities and suburbs with fiber, with a no risk at-cost business model for that, but which once laid you can pick any ISP company you want. So if you decide you want phone service or TV or whatever from XYZ Incorporated instead of just Comcast/ATT because those were the only two previous options in your area, then you can.

That's interesting. Here in Vegas, if you want to develop the land, you have to pay for the sidewalks, streets, easement landscape, streetlights, sewer/stormdrain, and everything that comes with making it a street.
I don't see an issue with making it part of the permit process.

Although I think it's a tad easier to put power into the line versus putting data without conflicts. I suppose the ISP could start and end at the home (their modem/equipment), it'd then plug into the municipal network.
 

Makaveli@BETA

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i am also interested in his explanation but im willing to bet it will amount to uninformed right wing opinions that have been paid for like "its obamacare for the internet" :rolleyes:

He won't have anything to back up that as he clearly pulled that out of his ass.
 

Maxed

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It isn't the ISP's that are preventing competition. The government is the one who writes the regulations for their cronies in the ISP industry. The government needs to get out of the business of attempting to regulate the internet and prices will come down, speed will go up, and reliability will be at an all time high.

R.I.P.
 

McFry

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i am also interested in his explanation but im willing to bet it will amount to uninformed right wing opinions that have been paid for like "its obamacare for the internet" :rolleyes:

He represents the rounding error in society that amounts to people who believe "batshit crazy" logic. You know like the woman who is suing all homosexuals in the world? There's always a few nutjobs out there.
 

TechLarry

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Cox just sent me a notice stating that if I continue to use them, I give up all rights for class-action, suing them in any way, and agree only to arbitration for any conflicts.

Fuck Cox Cable. I'm opting out. They can close my shit
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Cox just sent me a notice stating that if I continue to use them, I give up all rights for class-action, suing them in any way, and agree only to arbitration for any conflicts.

Fuck Cox Cable. I'm opting out. They can close my shit

Those arbitration clauses rarely hold up in court should something warranting suing them come up. They are essentially just there to scare a certain percentage of people away from trying to sue.
 

sfsuphysics

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Broadband definition changed to 25 Mbps - purely a marketing rule. One that's designed to prevent DSL and low end ISP upstart competition from advertising itself as broadband in most markets.
Holy shitballs... .

It isn't to prevent DSL from saying they're broadband, shit they've been using the term "high speed internet" for ages now. It's to prevent some low end ISP or DSL from getting their hands on any sort of grant money to bring BROADBAND to a particular area/school/etc without actually bringing broadband, the whole we'll just bounce off satellites and give you 4Mbps now write us a check days are over.
 

Uvaman

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Cox just sent me a notice stating that if I continue to use them, I give up all rights for class-action, suing them in any way, and agree only to arbitration for any conflicts.

Fuck Cox Cable. I'm opting out. They can close my shit

WFT? for a cable/internet service?.. i mean WTF!!!?
 

ICOM

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It isn't the ISP's that are preventing competition. The government is the one who writes the regulations for their cronies in the ISP industry. The government needs to get out of the business of attempting to regulate the internet and prices will come down, speed will go up, and reliability will be at an all time high.

We're talking about corporate scumbags like Comcast. We have more to be concerned about with corporate greed and corruption than we do with the government.
 

Riccochet

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Holy shitballs... .

It isn't to prevent DSL from saying they're broadband, shit they've been using the term "high speed internet" for ages now. It's to prevent some low end ISP or DSL from getting their hands on any sort of grant money to bring BROADBAND to a particular area/school/etc without actually bringing broadband, the whole we'll just bounce off satellites and give you 4Mbps now write us a check days are over.

Exactly. The FCC can raise the bar all they want. ISP's will just build a new bar. Redefine broadband eh? Fine, we'll just call our service "SuperDopeMegaBand", cut the speeds we currently offer in half and double the price.

With no competition in ANY area there's nothing to stop them.
 

Lith1um

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Maybe Wheeler can look a little deeper at Comcast's business practices.

For instance, a few weeks ago I decided to reduce my cable and internet tiers. Comcast's web site does not offer the ability to remove services, it only offers the ability to add services. As a result I had to call a Comcast rep to make the changes.

First thing I noticed is that before they even speak with you about your service they preface the conversation by asking you if it's alright if they contact you after you have completed the call. This dictates the tone of your experience, if you say yes they give you their standard hard sell in the knowledge that you just gave them a life line, if you say no, they suddenly become much more reasonable because they know that once you hang up you're out of their reach. (They'll still blow up your mail box with offers though)

If you tell them that they cannot call you, they will extend better offers right of the bat. They will do virtually anything they can to extend you a drastically discounted 6 month deal or even a 12 month deal instead of reducing your services, because they know that when the deal expires your bill will automatically jump back up to the premium level and most people wait a month or two before calling in for another deal. Even if they only get a month or two from people here or there, Comcast craves money like a crack head. /It also lets them manipulate statistics by saying that they have more subscribers to a specific tier or service.

Second thing I noticed, after I had proposed the changes that I wanted to make I inquired about how those changes would affect my bill. The representative flat out fucking lied, saying my bill would be X when in reality the monthly bill ended up being over $35 cheaper than what she quoted. This I believe is a tactic by which they try to discourage you from making changes by leading you to believe that the saving you realize won't be as great as they really are.

Regardless, their system is designed to place the power solely in their court and obfuscate information which allows the consumer to make an informed decision.

If you're bored visit Comcast's site and try to reduce your service, you'll see what I mean.
 

OP20

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Local government are the ones that limit who can install lines for service. Government... Not buisnesses. Limiting who can deliver service is what is killing competition and without competition isp's keep their 97% profit margins.

Government is the problem here. Big ISP's are just taking advantage of the fact. Its not just isps as well. Take any business where government has its hands in too deep and you will find big corporations lobbying to get what they want. Big government always leads to the little guy getting fucked in the end.
 

mesyn191

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Actually that is false. Industry can, that is why understanding what a natural monopoly is and what it can do is critical here, even more so than lobbying practices.

You're also ignoring the fact that businesses also have a say in govt. via lobbying and that most of the restrictions they've been able to get are via lobbying on a local and state level to block competition, get land grants and tax benefits ($$$), and install favorable politicians into various offices.

This is to some extent a failure of small govt. and its big govt. that is stepping in to try and fix at least some of the mess. Historically this is quite a common thing and has happened in other industries (ie. food and drugs, electricity, highways, etc.) before.

Small govt. is and always be trivial for private interests to corrupt. Bigger govt. is always harder for private interests to corrupt and far harder to keep corrupted too since national elections are hard to sway in favor of more localized private interests.
 

trudude

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Since the government has a monopoly on force corrupt corporate entities will always be tempted to use that monopoly on force to destroy their competition. Remove the government's ability to regulate the Internet and ISP's will no longer try to buy off the government to dominate their competition. If this is not logical to you then you are not thinking like the execs at these ISP's.
 

trudude

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The "too big to fail" ISP's wrote the new regulations because they can afford to pay the fines. The smaller ISP's can't so therefore the "too big to fail" ISP's are essentially using their capital and their connections in government to destroy their competition.
 

JMccovery

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The "too big to fail" ISP's wrote the new regulations because they can afford to pay the fines. The smaller ISP's can't so therefore the "too big to fail" ISP's are essentially using their capital and their connections in government to destroy their competition.

But isn't that the 'American way' to do business?
 

trudude

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Local government are the ones that limit who can install lines for service. Government... Not buisnesses. Limiting who can deliver service is what is killing competition and without competition isp's keep their 97% profit margins.

Government is the problem here. Big ISP's are just taking advantage of the fact. Its not just isps as well. Take any business where government has its hands in too deep and you will find big corporations lobbying to get what they want. Big government always leads to the little guy getting fucked in the end.
Right on target.
 

trudude

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Actually that is false. Industry can, that is why understanding what a natural monopoly is and what it can do is critical here, even more so than lobbying practices.

You're also ignoring the fact that businesses also have a say in govt. via lobbying and that most of the restrictions they've been able to get are via lobbying on a local and state level to block competition, get land grants and tax benefits ($$$), and install favorable politicians into various offices.

This is to some extent a failure of small govt. and its big govt. that is stepping in to try and fix at least some of the mess. Historically this is quite a common thing and has happened in other industries (ie. food and drugs, electricity, highways, etc.) before.

Small govt. is and always be trivial for private interests to corrupt. Bigger govt. is always harder for private interests to corrupt and far harder to keep corrupted too since national elections are hard to sway in favor of more localized private interests.

EL OH EL. The Fascism is strong with this one.
 

trudude

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The corruption is at its highest point ever. We also have the largest most bloated crony government EVER. The more insignificant the government is the lest tempting it is to attempt to control the government's monopoly on force. This is just how it is.
 

heatlesssun

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The corruption is at its highest point ever.

It's easy to say something like this and indeed many would agree with it. But how would one even begin to verify the veracity of such a thing? Just because we hear more about in modern times due to much more media doesn't mean that there wasn't as much corruption in percentage terms always going on. We just didn't hear about it or even so much care. Sex scandals come to mind as there's a lot of history of notable historical figures who had some pretty steaming sex lives but people really never talked about that stuff until pretty recently. An number of things that would considered corrupt in this day and age used to be perfectly legal, like insider trading.

Perhaps today is more corrupt but if he took modern standards and media and applied them times past there'd be more than a few cases of corruption that would rival what's going on today.
 

mesyn191

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Remove the government's ability to regulate the Internet and ISP's will no longer try to buy off the government to dominate their competition. If this is not logical to you then you are not thinking like the execs at these ISP's.
History has proven this sort of logic to be false though. Read up on company towns and the Pinkertons if you want a historical US example of private interests forcing people into near slave like conditions for profit.

Lobbying allows private interests to influence the govt's monopoly on force but even in situations where the govt. doesn't have that monopoly private interests will step in with their own mercenaries or even small armies to fill that power vaccuum.

Only because we let the government regulate everything. Get the government out of the regulating business and competition will occur.
In mature markets where the cost of entry is incredibly high and established companies already exist more competition is not beneficial to anyone FYI. You have to read up on natural monopolies to understand this.

EL OH EL. The Fascism is strong with this one.
You don't know the definition of the word at all if you think what I said is anywhere near describing fascism.
 

OP20

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I dont think anyone here is saying get rid of government completely. We just want to see a dramatic scale back from what we have today... which is government that has grown too big and influenced too heavily by corporatisms.

Entery into mature markets is easy. Take uber for example. It was impossible for new self employed taxi drivers to enter the market in bigger cities due to regulation. Free market capitalism works. Same with airbnb. Taxi companies are trying to use government to shut them down because its putting money in the pockets of every day average joe instead of their coffers. Big government regulation only helps the established players. And theyll desguise it as public saftey or interest but its really just them screwing the little guy.

Government should perform only basic services which benefit everyone. Do you have any idea what small % of our trillions of tax dollars each year goes to roads, police, and basic functions? I personally feel any liberal who truely looks at what is going on in this country will eventually become a libertarian. Personal freedoms + helathy free market perspective.
 

mesyn191

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We just want to see a dramatic scale back from what we have today... which is government that has grown too big and influenced too heavily by corporatisms.
Govt. has grown in response to the growth of the country and industry over time. Scaling it back won't solve anything since private interests and corporations don't effectively self regulate. You'll just end up with a bunch of monopolies controlling everything and they'd become the de facto neo feudal lord rentiers in everything but name.

Some would argue this has already happened for the most part in various parts of the economy like banking.

Entery into mature markets is easy.
Not when the cost of entry is incredibly high, like I already mentioned. Uber is also only acting as a intermediary, they aren't even buying any cars or hiring drivers. A rival ISP would have to spend hundreds of millions to billions of dollars just to get set up in 1 state much less nationwide. Comparing the 2 is impossible.

On top that Uber is facing various legal issues with essentially promoting and/or running a unregistered taxi service. They're just not a good example of 'easy entry into markets' or 'free markets' at all.

Small govt. has been tried and failed over and over again throughout history precisely because they're weak, ineffective, and ultimately cannot enforce the rules often by de facto or by de jure from private interests.

I personally feel anyone who is a student of history will eventually find Libertarianism, in its modern far Right American form, to be a terrible and myopic ideology that ultimately only benefits the rich at the expense of everyone else.
 

McFry

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Only because we let the government regulate everything. Get the government out of the regulating business and competition will occur.

What's to stop Comcast from approaching a neighborhood HOA and paying them to only allow Comcast to run cables to the houses and nobody else? Where does your competition go then?
 

nightfly

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Only because we let the government regulate everything. Get the government out of the regulating business and competition will occur.

Right. Just like it did back in the 1800's when standard oil had a complete lock on the kerosene business. Free market worked real good back then, didn't it. No regulations means really predatory business practices, because of course there are no ethics in business. Starve your competitors out, etc.. Do whatever you can to get as much money from your customers as you can. Monopolize and then move to the next market area, repeat. That's 'free market'. Doesn't work as well as you want to believe. Or don't you remember how OPEC controlled the oil 'free market' back in the 70's? They decided what oil would cost. You paid it or had no oil. Internet and phone are utilities; TV is not as long as you have over the air broadcast TV, but that, too, is monopolized by a very few companies who collectively decide what will be shown (remember when Sunday morning ALL over the air channels showed religious shows for the first few hours?). As much as I believe in the free market, there are way too many people out there who won't play nice and just go with supply and demand. They work actively to screw over both their competitors and their customers.
 

OP20

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If a company doesnt have to care about what its customers think then its not a free market. Customers will go elsewhere.

In my area and many others comcast has deals with local governments so only they can drop lines to provide service. There is no other option. Comcast has used government to keep out competition so they can keep their rediculous profit margins.

OPEC is a membership of governments. Not what i would call a free market. I dont have much experience with the standard oil case you mention but you dont get to raise prices and not care what your customers think unless you have a lock on who can enter the market. (Comcast)
 

jtm55

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The corruption is at its highest point ever. We also have the largest most bloated crony government EVER. The more insignificant the government is the lest tempting it is to attempt to control the government's monopoly on force. This is just how it is.

Hi All

That is true. Until money is taken out of the equation, meaning the lobbyist & their legalized bribery of politicians, this will always be hanging over the consumers head
 
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