Tennessee Gives Comcast and AT&T $45M Instead of America's Fastest Internet for Free

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Chattanooga residents have just gotten royally screwed by their own government after they ignored a bill allowing a particular power and communications company to expand their services. EPB would have built out its gigabit fiber network for free, but a bill favoring private telecom companies was signed into law instead—one that will see plenty of taxpayer money wasted just for basic infrastructure and worse internet. “What we have right now is not the free market, it's regulations protecting giant corporations.”

    EPB wanted to build out its gigabit fiber network to many of these same communities using money it has on hand or private loans at no cost to taxpayers. It would then charge individual residents for internet service. Instead, Tennessee taxpayers will give $45 million in tax breaks and grants to giant companies just to get basic infrastructure built. They will then get the opportunity to pay these companies more money for worse internet than they would have gotten under EPB's proposal.
     
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  2. Spaceninja

    Spaceninja [H]ard|Gawd

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    Is anyone really shocked by this?
     
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  3. Teenyman45

    Teenyman45 2[H]4U

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    And this is what so many "Libertarians" really mean when they are talking about the free market; corporate subsidies to protect entrenched oligopoly and monopoly power.
     
  4. Pusher of Buttons

    Pusher of Buttons [H]ard|Gawd

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    Speak for yourself, friend. It's government agencies that wouldn't exist under libertarian ideals giving the tax breaks and kickbacks. This is neo-con bullcrap.
     
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  5. midnightfrolic

    midnightfrolic [H]Lite

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    And those living there will just take the crap. They will not go out and boycott or protest. Corporations have simply bought the government now.
     
  6. TheLAWNoob

    TheLAWNoob Limp Gawd

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  7. Semantics

    Semantics 2[H]4U

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    EPB for all those who wont click the link is "Electric Power Board of Chattanooga" owned by the government of Chattanooga. Looked to expand out of Chattanooga to greater Tennessee by using their revenue from services rendered without anything special. Tennessee state legislature is extremely Republican. Mmm nothing quite like one government entity finding ways to cripple actually successful government entitys, ofc probably under the ruse of small government.
     
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  8. Dunnlang

    Dunnlang Limp Gawd

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    Well you see, a good government is supposed to be run like a business... /s

    So ironic when government actually operates as the classical successful business and still gets kicked in the teeth.
     
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  9. Semantics

    Semantics 2[H]4U

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    The saddest form of this is the postal service, didn't use government money but ran from government boards, which was actually quite profitable in the early 00's until congress forced them to pay into the pension plan a crazy amount, ofc to fund the government not actually solve any issues the postal service was having. With its strict charter, services the postal service could actually compete in and serve well are blocked, USPS isn't actually allowed to compete with UPS/Fedex, with that the USPS essentially will die a slow death. Quite different from the German postal service DHL which has no such limitation which is why DHL operates internationally.
     
  10. Dunnlang

    Dunnlang Limp Gawd

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    That's exactly like a business!

    I've worked for a massive consumer electronics corporation since the mid 00's. We had an insanely successful product that sold 100's of Millions around the world. Almost all of those profits were funneled into other business units, leaving our consumer electronics unit with decreased capital to continue to develop and evolve the business. The other business units saw great success in the next few years while our consumer business fell victim to new challengers in the market. Eventually the consumer business had to be spun off and sold as a failure.

    I guess we are living the dream of government operating as a business after all.
     
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  11. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    See the same exact thing where I work. That's how business works: Short term thinking to make the balance sheets work out.
     
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  12. Teenyman45

    Teenyman45 2[H]4U

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    That's why Libertarian was surrounded by quotation marks. Quite a few neo-cons falsely hold themselves out as Libertarians and pervert market forces to the benefit of the already wealthy. Of course a real Libertarian would be opposed to any sort of corporation because that would involve joining into a governing structure that limits the freedom of the shareholders.

    Postal banking was also killed off and shortly thereafter is when predatory loan shops really came into their own.
     
  13. Dunnlang

    Dunnlang Limp Gawd

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    Precisely. The government should have the vision and responsibility to plan for 5+ years in the future. Most business do not, because they are answerable to shareholders on a quarterly basis and the entire executive team will change in any given 5 year period.

    It would typically be up to the government to fund massive research and infrastructure projects that might not see big payoffs, or would not realize profit for many years. The private companies then reap the benefits of said technology of infrastructure when it is finished. Traditionally a nice symbiotic relationship.

    It seems now elected officials are held with their feet to the fire for quarterly results also. The government is loosing the ability to make those long term plans and investments.
     
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  14. Ultima99

    Ultima99 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Downer article of the day?
     
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  15. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I have to agree, this is neoliberal / neocon (what's even the difference nowadays anyway) economics. Libertarians would want regulations eliminated so businesses could gouge people using predatory business practices WITHOUT the help of government.
     
  16. Yeah, damn Google fiber price gouging people.

    There are lots who wish to get into this market, Google probably one of the largest, all with far lower prices than the government protected ones, remove that protection and exclusive ROW access and prices plummet, already shown in markets Google fiber has been allowed into, where prices from Comcast and ATT dropped over night with speed increases.
     
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  17. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    i guess 200 billion in subsidies wasn't good enough.
     
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  18. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Point is sometimes the free market works, sometimes it doesn't. It's sure done wonders bringing down the costs of things like printer cartridges, glasses, etc. Google IS an exception, but they're also enormous. For most other ISPs, they prefer to collude in order to keep prices high and shut out startups from the market due to costs. Or hell, lower cost in regions they're threatened in until the competition folds, then jack it up again. Rinse and repeat. Libertarians often act like government is the ONLY problem to screwing people over, it's just one tool of many.
     
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  19. Gigus Fire

    Gigus Fire 2[H]4U

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    You have no clue what ideals Libertarians actually have.
    The first thing a Libertarian government would do is rip up the restrictions on the EPB and let it expand, especially if it's solvent.
     
  20. bugleyman

    bugleyman [H]ard|Gawd

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    Collusion between industry and government is bad no matter where ones falls on the political spectrum.
     
  21. panhead

    panhead Gawd

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    Lincoln said it best in his Gettysburg Address;
    ...government of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations ...
     
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  22. DuronBurgerMan

    DuronBurgerMan [H]ard|Gawd

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    In my area, we've got two companies. Both suck. One might very well be the epitome of all evil, IMHO. And what's preventing new companies from getting into the market here? Government.

    Hell, if Lucifer, Inc. set up shop as an ISP around here, we'd probably see a customer service improvement.
     
  23. The predatory pricing of dropping prices and raising them again to recover exist only in stories like the one you just told, that don't exist or happen in real life, a number of times some have tried to do this, and failed, a number went out of business because of to large of sustained losses. Printer cartridges are covered under patents, look at the recent lawsuits against those just refurbishing cartridges and importing them, this is why the only cheap options you find are shipped from China, remove this and prices drop over night. Glasses? Really? Talking about a MAJOR government and FDA enforced monopoly (at the time), only as of late have we made inroads here and now have cheaper free market options like Coastal, Warby Parker etc., contacts however are still highly controlled, you can't even go to a supplier and give them your perception, they are not allowed to sell to you without approval from the optometrist. Glasses in most cases now, without the government protection can be had for $50 a pair, it is their own fault if they still want to pay $700 for a brand/designer name, which many people do. However since that change has happened (as a glasses wearing person), I have never paid over $150 for glasses and lenses, and that is for the top of the line multi coated lenses and good frames.

    So if someone is still paying those prices because they want a pair of Ray-Bans or Oakleys etc, then they are paying what the market supports for a designer brand.
     
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  24. arthur_tuxedo

    arthur_tuxedo Gawd

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    "Crony capitalism " is really just Soviet style communism, but for giant corporations. The more the politics is captured through bribery *cough* campaign contributions to enshrine politically connected elites and prevent competition, the farther we slide into a command economy. I hear that form of government worked out really well!
     
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  25. DuronBurgerMan

    DuronBurgerMan [H]ard|Gawd

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    There's a sucker born every minute.

    That being said, I feel you on the contact situation. I prefer contacts, but they force me to go back to the optometrist every 2 years, and fork over $150, all for the doc to say the same thing "wow, your prescription is the same." It's bullsh*t. It's not like I'm going to overdose on contacts or something, why the f*ck are they tightly regulated?
     
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  26. Because someone is being paid off, called regulator capture. Glasses used to be the same way, and you were stuck getting your glasses and lenses from the same place at huge locked in markups. That is not longer the case, contacts however are much newer and people buy into the same old lines they used for keeping glasses locked down, I just hope people wake up to this faster than they did with glasses. Contacts however, I expect to still cost over time much more than glasses, far more goes into making them for something you wear on the eye and cost more to produce.
     
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  27. DuronBurgerMan

    DuronBurgerMan [H]ard|Gawd

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    Contacts are more expensive, for sure. And that's fine. I regard them as a luxury item. I keep my old glasses around in case of zombie apocalypse, and all that. It's just irritating to pay the doctor for what amounts to nothing on top of that.
     
  28. grtitan

    grtitan Telemetry is Spying on ME!

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    Ahhh, the virtues of having the best government that money can literally buy.
     
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  29. Yeah, if you want to use an old RX that should be up to you, most people after a given age have little to no changes in their vision.
     
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  30. nightfly

    nightfly 2[H]4U

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    Right. Establish dominance in the marketplace, then jack up the prices (or taxes) once you have a monopoly/near monopoly, or have your citizens already locked into living in your community. Rockefeller demonstrated how it's done with oil. THAT's how real business's work; on pure greed. That's not how a government should work.
    Well, we know that they're likely no more libertarian than republicans are conservative. Everyone's out to get as much as they can for themselves once voted into office. Some just share a little more than others, that's all.
    Zombies will have deteriorated vision due to being dead for a while, so your glasses will be the first thing they come after. Then they'll eat your eyes.
     
  31. Mut1ny

    Mut1ny [H]ard|Gawd

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    I don't even live in Tennessee and this pisses me off. Could you imagine living on the edges just KNOWING that 1Gb internet is around the corner only to hear that, nope, sorry, you have to deal with big corp bullshit and shitty service instead of having this cutting edge tech. Oh, and it's also going to cost 45 million dollars that could have gone towards the school system or improving infrastructure.
     
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  32. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    What, you mean like Intel in the early 00s? Oh yeah, that sure backfired for them, what with them going under afterwards. That's exactly what they did too, they were often selling to Dell, HP, and others below COST in special deals just to make sure AMD didn't gain marketshare at the time. There's a lot of individual cases like this with Starbucks driving out other coffee shops where they don't sell below cost, but open a cluster of stores that operate as a loss individually in order to siphon off business, then close down the surplus ones after the competition goes under. And hell, how many rural regions are there across America where Wal-Mart is the ONLY source for household items in a large radius because they've undercut all small businesses in the area that can't compete on the same scale. Or Barnes and Noble swallowing up small bookstores? True, not every monopoly exploits their position, but there are PLENTY of examples of de facto monopolies that get to where they are without government.

    As for printers, you say that's patents. That's to make cartridges for the EXISTING PRINTERS. What's to stop a company from making their own printer that doesn't infringe on existing IP and undercutting everyone? Oh wait, maybe it's the fact that it's very specialized technology that requires a lot of resources to enter the marketplace to begin with where the industry has already agreed to keep things higher because it's more profitable for everyone. Believing monopolies and abusive practices can ONLY survive with government is just naive.
     
  33. dali71

    dali71 Limp Gawd

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    As someone who lives in Chattanooga, I can say that this article didn't tell the whole story. Per http://nooga.com/175741/bill-to-inc...t-access-for-rural-residents-heads-to-haslam/ :

    The plan will also permit Tennessee’s private, nonprofit electric cooperatives to provide retail broadband service and make grant funding available to the state’s local libraries to help residents improve their digital literacy skills and maximize the benefits of broadband.

    To put it in a local perspective, this means Cleveland's Volunteer Energy Cooperative—which services a large area of Bradley County—can now begin direct negotiations on contracts with EPB to bring the gig to Bradley County, said Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, who fought for broadband expansion last legislative session.

    "It's a great step forward, [but] I'm calling this a broadband baby step," he also said.

    He alluded to compromise on the bill.

    "It's not everything we wanted," he said. "Not everybody got what they wanted, which means it's probably a good bill."
     
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  34. daglesj

    daglesj [H]ardness Supreme

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    You get what you deserve! If you let rich folks lie to you continuously this is what happens.
     
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  35. panhead

    panhead Gawd

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    The intent of the new law is to give the lucrative urban areas to corporations and the marginal profit rural areas to municipalities.

    "Allowing municipalities to offer services increases competition, but AT&T, Comcast and other providers have said that it isn't fair for them to compete against government entities such as EPB."

    Citizens should be able to provide any services they wish for themselves. What next, no municipal water service because it competes with bottled water corporations?
     
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  36. Wiffle

    Wiffle Limp Gawd

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    Has nothing to do with being rich. Poop either floats or sinks. Poopy people put themselves on this high pedestal to keep themselves away from other poopy people, but they have to keep building it faster and faster to keep out of all the poop building up around them. So they wear fancy clothes, perfumes, do their hair and polish the turds, but it doesn't make them any less poopy and they know this. So they smear their poop all in the eyes of the public, and demean the poor poop covered people blinded by political poop. The poor public, blinded by all the poop, can't tell the difference between a cleveland steamer and the second coming, it all just looks like poop to them. So since they can't see, they go with smell. People choose what they know over what they do not, so poop gets voted in repeatedly year after year because poop is all the public can smell at this point.

    Now for some more politician bashing!

    What do Penis Enlargement Pills and Politicians have in common?
    -They both start with P
    -They make a lot of promises
    -They always want more money
    -They fill your mailbox/email with junk you don't want.
    -They don't actually work

    So the next time you vote, make sure to pick your favorite male enhancement product!
     
  37. Jamison Collins

    Jamison Collins [H]Lite

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    Andrew Carnegie begs to differ. As does asian DRAM manufacturing.
     
  38. chenw

    chenw 2[H]4U

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    Why hasn't state or federal government took the responsibility of laying down the internet infrastructure instead of having the people rely on corporations to do so? Can they not legally do so?
     
  39. Semantics

    Semantics 2[H]4U

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    Too busy accepting tel com kickbacks to write laws at the state level to make it illegal.
     
  40. jardows

    jardows [H]ard|Gawd

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    Because the politicians are too stupid to realize that fast access to Netflix, FB, and pr0n are matters of national importance.