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FCC Seeks To Improve US Broadband Access

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the can-you-ping-me-now dept.

The Internet 161

MojoKid writes "The US Federal Communications Commission is working on a plan to solve the problem of nationwide access to high-speed Internet service. The three main issues the agency is tackling first are, figuring out how to improve availability, quality and affordability. Acting FCC Chairman Michael J. Copps held a meeting this week where he asked the public to comment on the national broadband plan, which Congress has demanded be done by February. The public has 60 days to submit comments; the agency and members of the public will be able to reply to comments for an additional 30 days after that."

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The plan is known by the colloquial title: (2, Funny)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#27525945)

The Porno for Podunk Plan

Re:The plan is known by the colloquial title: (1, Funny)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526351)

Think of the children. Some poor, unfortunate teenagers right here in our very own country might actually have to wait a few seconds to see the quality Internet porn the rest of us take for granted every day.

Now for only pennies a day, you too can bring much needed broadband porn to hillbillies across the nation.

Re:The plan is known by the colloquial title: (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527449)

you gotta be kidding, in this country, the hillbillies are starring in the porn. with broadband they can all have webcams and post on trash tube sites too. ew.

Re:The plan is known by the colloquial title: (1)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527873)

Yeah, guess I should have put <sallystruthers> and <humor> tags around that. Maybe the humorless mods tonight wouldn't have modded me flamebait.

Simple (5, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27525973)

Next time you auction off spectrum that could be used for JUST THIS PURPOSE, stop setting the minimum bids at astronomical numbers. "Public benefit" doesn't necessarily mean "get as much money for the gov't as possible".

Some good 700 MHz spectrum, at cheap to nothing rates, would spur small businesses to be created to provide access at costs much more in line with what people can pay. You know, if the entry costs weren't more than the GDP of a 3rd World Nation it might spur some innovation.

Then reduce the bureaucracy and cost of getting a license to use that spectrum.

Idiots.

Re:Simple (3, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526229)

Auction off something cheap, so some companies could get a start.

No big company would EVER use their resources to start a smaller puppet company who's sole intention was to buy a piece of the spectrum and sell service for rates as absurd as text messaging rates..just to keep the competition away.

Never!

Re:Simple (4, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526241)

Resist wireless. It's a short term ploy that isn't even 'broadband'. Modulation schemes today require lots of nearby APs, and that sucks.

Instead, the USA has to buckle down and run fiber, like we did twisted pairs decades and decades ago. Wireless sounds good until you realize just what a rotten long term investment. Remember 802.11a, then, b, then g, and now the might-one-day-be-ratified n? Or how about that great WhyMax stuff? Want some LTE anyone? How about some bonded channels for GSM? Really-- trenched fiber is the best long term way to go. If you invested 20 years ago, you're still using it and haven't found an upper end limit to its capacity for speed.

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27526469)

Amen. While wireless is nice, it is nowhere near the speed, and maxes out with lots of users. Wireless is fine for filling in, or in places in cities, but is slower by design. We should be aiming for as fast as possible, maybe even come close to catching up with Korea and Japan.

Re:Simple (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526833)

Fiber is simply too expensive. Have you ever driven across the continent? Well I have. Several times. There's a whole lot of *nothing* out there and digging up literally millions of miles of dirt to run fiber to farmhouses is going to cost a shitload of money.

I still think DSL is the answer to getting highspeed internet to isolated locations like Wyoming or Idaho or Montana. The copper lines are already present, so all the telephone company needs do is install the DSLAM for any customer that requests an upgrade (as mandated by a new law). Even if the wires are relatively poor condition, they should be able to handle 1000 kbit/s speeds, which is far superior to current dialup maximums of 50. And most importantly: It's a cheap upgrade that minimizes the burden on taxpayers.

BTW my current speed happens to be 700k, not by limitation but by choice. $15 a month is all I'm willing to spend, and it works great. I just finished watching the latest Supernatural episode at cwtv.com - no problems whatsoever. I don't need a 50,000 kbit/s line just as I don't need an 800 horsepower NASCAR to get to work.

Re:Simple (2, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526939)

Haven't done the math, have you? Haven't talked to people in Montana, Utah, and other places that are doing fiber today, doing it cheaply, and getting bandwidth to dream of.

There are some places where the economics won't work. Consider them the last mile +. Get them with point-to-point WiMax or a cellular... or at worst, a sat dish.

Re:Simple (1)

Extide (1002782) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527931)

Yeah I live in Utah, can't get fiber internet, but the people who can get it (Utopia) can get 15/15mbit for like $25 a month. Packages go up to 100mbit each way for pretty damn cheap considering (~$200-250/month....)

Re:Simple (1)

Adriax (746043) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527347)

1000kbps? HAH! I live in wyoming, and I can tell you, unless you live right in town there's a 75% chance your phone system's switchbox is mechanical.

We were lucky dialup worked when we were living out of town, at speeds of a blazing 13.2kbps on good days 5 years ago.

Wireless is the way to go out here, cellphones reach almost everywhere, and my town's broadband is serviced not my cable or fiber, but microwave links that bounce it over the mountains.

Re:Simple (1)

bitrex (859228) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527607)

1000kbps? HAH! I live in wyoming, and I can tell you, unless you live right in town there's a 75% chance your phone system's switchbox is mechanical.

Any chance blue boxes still work out there, too?

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27527775)

Sounds a bit like rural Kansas.

Lots and lots of extensive tracts of cattle ranches that the ranchers dont want utilities run through.

The telephone systems that are out there were laid in the 30s and 40s, and have not really been touched since. Such is the condition of my mom's place. It gets a whopping 24kbps over a 56k modem, on a good day. (12kbps on ordinary days, and doesnt connect at all on bad days.)

Line conditions are so poor that you can hear pops and hissing on the handset, and it is not the house wiring. (You get it straight from the test port of the phone utility box.)

Due to the "low population density" in her county, all the major utilites refuse to offer any kind of broadband or highspeed connects. Her choices are: Put up a tower and put a cellular repeater on it and go with a cellular modem; get high latency satellite, OR-- stick with flaky dialup over shitty ass lines.

It is my understanding that this is the situation in many such rural areas; Big corps say it is not cost effective. (The only reason there is telephone out there at all is because of an act of congress.)

I agree though, dedicated fiber is the way to go. Replacing that corroded, aging and poorly maintained copper network would do amazing things for the affected areas.

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27527779)

I think we need to just connect say neighborhoods FIRST. Hell even some largish cities would be nice. *ONLY* the verizon areas are getting FIOS. The rest of us? We can suck it. We are stuck with AT&T and Cox and TW who want to limit what goes on and squeeze even more out of their investment. Then turn around and make us pay more for less.

I am in one of the new TW cap areas. That 30-40 gig a month you like to dl (say 2-5 movies, and a couple of dl games)? Oh that will cost you.

DSL is nice but all that means is they are not going to dig up my front yard. It still means I am getting 1990s tech at 2010 prices. It means I get a max of 6mb. Where as FIOS you are talking of starting at 25. Cable is talking about maybe someday going to 15 around here.

How about a little segmentation of WHO owns the damn lines. The service providers owning the lines is not working. In other countries either a group of companies or the government itself owns the actual lines. Then it is rented out at very low rates to whoever wants it. They get AWSOME service at low costs. We get mediocre to non service for large rates. With the same excuse coming up EVERY time. The people out in the middle of nowhere MUST have the service too. Then NO one gets it. Why is that?

Yes I am bitter. We keep dragging this out and no one wants to confront the service providers and MAKE them do what they said they were going to do 15 years ago.

When my choices of broadband is TW and AT&T something is wrong. A few years ago I had a choice of 15 ISPs now I have 2. Something is wrong. This is creating monopoly pricing. Meaning supply is set at the level that will max their profits and not help society as a whole. We need MORE choice of ISPs. If that means DSL so be it. But full on new FIOS is a good way to make a clean cut from who owns the network. Then the two incumbents (in most areas it is like this) can buy from the network provider. The network provider should never be allowed to sell the ISP service.

AT&T has be quietly rebuilding itself. Remember they are the phone company they dont have to care.

Re:Simple (1)

Kaeles (971982) | more than 5 years ago | (#27528059)

I'm pretty sure the WISP I work for still uses 802.11a,b,g and even 900mhz equipment for people who can't get LOS to our AP's.

Sure, we only offer a 1mbit speed, but thats pretty sweet compared to the maximum 24.4 dialup they are used to.

We can cover something around eight thousand square miles (if my math is right, ~25 towers at ~10 miles radius for CPE's to connect well).

So, yea, if you wanna push it, you can even do bigger links with higher DB antennaes for the CPE's and AP's. We've a few links from AP to CPE that approach 20 miles.

So if you could do 20 miles thats approximately 20*20*3.14 = ~1200 sq miles PER tower/AP.

Re:Simple (4, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526263)

Next time you auction off spectrum that could be used for JUST THIS PURPOSE, stop setting the minimum bids at astronomical numbers. "Public benefit" doesn't necessarily mean "get as much money for the gov't as possible".

Some good 700 MHz spectrum, at cheap to nothing rates, would spur small businesses to be created to provide access at costs much more in line with what people can pay. You know, if the entry costs weren't more than the GDP of a 3rd World Nation it might spur some innovation.

Then reduce the bureaucracy and cost of getting a license to use that spectrum.

Idiots.

I think a big part of the problem is that right now, most people who have any choice at all have a choice between two monopolies: telco and cable. Your idea would provide that missing "third option". An agile competitor with minimal infrastructure costs, license costs, and other barriers to entry might just provide the innovation and options that are sorely missing from the monopolies.

I say that with the assumption that what you had in mind was WiMax or something like it. Although it would be yet another monopoly, this also makes me wonder what happened to the internet-over-powerlines idea. The above was my realistic response to you. What follows is what I'd like to see despite how unrealistic it may be.

What I'd really like to see is a more decentralized Internet. This is more like the mesh networks consisting of many low-power wireless connections that communicate with each other. On a truly decentralized Internet, it would be impossible for any single entity to force filtering, censorship, deep packet inspection, bandwidth caps, and the like on large numbers of people who do not want them. It would also be a truly "public benefit" as in owned and operated by Joe Public instead of owned and operated by large, centralized, political bureaucracies in Joe Public's name. Right now this may not be feasible or likely but it would be pleasing to see a step in that direction. Of course, I would not expect the FCC to encourage this idea at all, for it would reduce the amount of control they now enjoy, but that's why I call this unrealistic.

Just as an aside, isn't there currently a lot of dark fiber? If there is a large amount of it, does anyone know why it's not currently being used, or have an idea of what could be done with it?

Re:Simple (2, Insightful)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526409)

The problem with your ideal solution is it's pretty much impossible to connect to areas of low population or between areas of dense population. A mesh network might work OK throughout downtown New York City (though I have doubts on that even - it seems to me there would be a huge amount of stress on the nodes towards the center), but how are you going to connect NYC to LA? Or even NYC to Boston? Hell, even my house, in a small university town near Pittsburgh, would have nearly no connectivity - my house is only about 10-20 yards away from my neighbors, but even that is too far for a decent WiFi signal...and there are _many_ houses around me that are quite a bit further apart. And even if you managed to network our neighborhood through WiMax or something, you have a three or four mile stretch in to town, mostly forest. And even if you overcame that, somehow, without putting excessive strain on the one or two links between them, then you have to find some way to link our small town to the next one, a good 30+ miles away. I suppose there are one or two highways that might have enough houses along them if you can find a wireless technology that can reach 5-10 miles, but then you're talking one or two stress points for the entire town's connection. How are you going to handle that much traffic over a wireless link? And I don't even want to think about trying to connect places in Wyoming or something. Unless you're talking ultra slow connections through HF radio, wireless just isn't going to cut it. And hell, even that probably wouldn't work out too well.

Basically, to mesh network any sizable percentage of the nation, you need wireless technologies that can reach tens or hundreds of miles and can support at least tens of thousands of connections routing through a single node. I admit I don't know that much about radio technology, but it doesn't seem very feasible to me.

Re:Simple (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527205)

You can run one wire to each town, to just one location in town, and wirelessly connect the whole town..

...should be significantly cheaper than running wire to every home.

A decent wireless broadband service will eventualy come.. likely to be from the cell services, since they already have sites well located and contracted: they just need the proper equipment and the incentive to do it.

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27526825)

The fiber is dark so that Comcast, Verizon and other big ISP can claim that there is a shortage. That way they can justify increasing rates and caps on the amount of data you can download. Simple.

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27527765)

Thats an easy fix. Make a law that says "Dark fiber? You lose it to the highest bidder"

Re:Simple (2, Interesting)

greedom (1431073) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527997)

causality (777677) says: "I think a big part of the problem is that right now, most people who have any choice at all have a choice between two monopolies: telco and cable. Your idea would provide that missing "third option". An agile competitor with minimal infrastructure costs, license costs, and other barriers to entry might just provide the innovation and options that are sorely missing from the monopolies." Yeah America really fumbled the ball on that one, falling far behind due to corruption and greed. Sounds pretty bad for you guys, until you come to where I live, America's hat, Canada. There are even fewer corporations that completely dominate the phone, cell phone, satellite, cable, DSL and broadband industry are given the power to govern themselves and (cell phones in particular) contracts are outrageously expensive and restricting. You'd best make sure you're damn well financially stable before you get a cell in Canada.

Re:Simple (1)

Moridin42 (219670) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526303)

If it is an auction, and we assume that the bidders all bid voluntarily, then it doesn't particularly matter what the starting bid is. Unless, of course, no one is willing to pay even the set minimum.

700Mhz spectrum at cheap to nothing rates will only occur when 700Mhz spectrum is worth little to no dollars. Which.. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it isn't.

The real solution (2)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526887)

The three main issues the agency is tackling first are, figuring out how to improve availability, quality and affordability.

We need to bust the local monopolies. They don't like to provide service to remote areas. They don't have any incentive to provide quality. And what people usually think when you mention "monopoly" - they charge high prices.

Unfortunately when the government wants to do something like improve service or availability their "solution" is usually to throw money at the monopoly and tell them to do it - which generally doesn't happen and we're out the tax dollars. Remember the extra charges from the phone company to support fiber deployment - didn't happen, and I think we're still paying that. So lets sit down and fuck the public some more!

FCC and Boradband (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27526031)

God help us all

Monopolies (4, Interesting)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526035)

Make it harder for companies to have monopolies or duopolies. This is the system that's in place in most areas of the nation outside big cities.

Other companies may technically have an opportunity to join in and provide service to the people, but in practice it's just not possible anymore.

A friend of mine used to work at an ISP in New Hampshire. His company sent letters to all of their customers basically saying "Please support the legislation that will limit Verizon's stranglehold on New Hampshire". The ISPs connection to the outside world (provided by Verizon, surprise-surprise) went down that night. Two days later, they got a Verizon employee on the phone who apparently wasn't "in on it", and he was like "Oh, how did this configuration get changed?" and turned their connection back on.

Re:Monopolies (2, Funny)

JimXugle (921609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526191)

But duopolies serve a purpose!

Someone needs to drop your connection for days at a time with no explanation or refund... and piling all that non-work on one company is just too much.

Re:Monopolies (1)

cizoozic (1196001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527589)

Comcast is perfectly capable of the above, in fact, I'd say they excel at it. Unfortunately, I no longer use their service, so I have to deal with more uptime and a faster connection, but hey, sometimes you just have to take one for the team.

Re:Monopolies (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526313)

^^^ this. Nothing will improve until the monopolies and cable-dsl duopolies are gone.

Re:Monopolies (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526335)

I completely agree. The only way forward is competition. In practice this means requiring that these companies are required to rent their infrastructure out readily and affordably to other companies. We have seen things going down hill for a while. This needs to change.

Re:Monopolies (2, Insightful)

SEE (7681) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527135)

If you make them rent, you still have the same monopoly. What you have to do is let other companies lay lines. For that, you've got to basically blast the local governments out of the way, because it's way too easy for incumbents to bribe them into setting up barriers--see Philadelphia's resistance to cable competition.

Re:Monopolies (4, Interesting)

subreality (157447) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526639)

Make it harder for companies to have monopolies or duopolies. This is the system that's in place in most areas of the nation outside big cities.

Seconded, and it's not even hard to do. Here's how:

Municipalize the last mile. Take it away from the telco monopolies. Sell access freely to anyone at fair rates as a municipal service, just like water service. Let people plug in any service they want on the other end of the wire. That might be AT&T, giving you phone and internet. It might be some local ISP just giving you DSL and IPTV service. Guaranteed, though, competition will explode overnight.

What, copper's not good enough? Quit waiting for some slow telco to deign to drag it in for you (years and years after we've already paid for it!). Drop some city funds to pull fiber, and start leasing access at fair rates, the same way you did for copper.

The cities that have already done this have *fantastic* service for minimal cost... Other than making a big telco monopoly hate them for the rest of time.

Re:Monopolies (3, Informative)

dukeofurl01 (236461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526805)

The cities that have done this have also been sued by big telcos.

Re:Monopolies (2, Insightful)

Big Boss (7354) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527295)

Yes, but the FCC and Congress can fix that problem. And in my mind they should. The problem is simple enough, monopoly. So allow municipal projects to lay fiber so long as they provide no services to the end user and all retailers get the same rates, no exceptions. In addition, ban any and all governments from restricting competition by granting monopolies for last mile services.

This provides 2 paths for competition. Over the municipal system (see: UTOPIA Project for a good description of this working in Utah). Or by anyone laying their own fiber.

Re:Monopolies (1)

bmullan (1425023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527337)

This is a good idea as it eliminates any one entity owning the last mile which is by far the most expensive piece of the network because of the right-of-ways, labor costs.

WiMAX or some derivative may solve that though.
Also, some of the WISP providers that are planning on using the freed up Analog TV frequencies may also come up with some municipal wide wireless coverage.

Whoever mentioned the Telco's will sue... they may but so far they've lost almost all cases against municipalities. Besides its a slippery slope suing the very same government State/City Agencies that give those Telco's/Cable companies the right to provide service in those areas.

Re:Monopolies (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527417)

WiMAX or some derivative may solve that though.

Not really. The problem is that all the WISP's will have constrained common bandwidth. They'll provide an alternative for the way people perceive high speed internet today (Load web pages faster and watch some youtube), and help drive prices down for the "small cap" market, but some of us want to watch streaming high qualiity video (Like Netflix). Companies that have a stake in traditional TV distribution (Like Comcast, AT&T, etc) will love WISP's... It lets them pretend they're not a monopoly, even when they're the ones holding up the deployment of a real FTTH network.

Re:Monopolies (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527973)

Or better yet, run conduit to each and every home and just run out the space to any and all comers. Cities are already well versed in how to run conduit to homes. The current sewer lines are more than big enough to easily handle 20 or 30 lines per household. This is FAR more than necessary to ensure real competition.

This removes the monopolies suing problem as there is no data services being supplied by the cities, and at the same time it brings in revenue.

Re:Monopolies (1)

Quantos (1327889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526673)

I'm still waiting for this to happen in Canada. While there are other choices available to me, they are tremendously limited.
1. I can stay with Shaw for high speed.
2. I can switch to Telus and get DSL.
3. I could get dial up.

Several years ago we used to have two companies in Edmonton that provided cable, but to change providers you needed to move to the other end of town. It sounds like the CRTC is just as open to the needs of Canadians as the FCC is to U.S. citizens.

Re:Monopolies (1)

Quantos (1327889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526727)

I forgot to list one of my choices.
4. I could get satellite and use a landline for my upstream.
Again, not a choice that I'm willing to make.

Re:Monopolies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27527367)

Amen to that. Posting anon to preserve moderation in thread. But Shaw "high-speed" is akin to rape. $93 bucks a month for 25 Mbps with a cap is cruel and unusual. To put it in perspective, in Seoul I was getting 100 Mbps for $25/month.

Re:Monopolies (1)

Quantos (1327889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527543)

Posting anon to preserve moderation in thread. /quote. What do you mean? I'm still somewhat new here.

Re:Monopolies (1)

Quantos (1327889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527591)

Posting anon to preserve moderation in thread.

What do you mean exactly? I'm still somewhat new here.
Hopefully this fixed it :)
(Damn typos)

Re:Monopolies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27528245)

http://slashdot.org/faq/com-mod.shtml#cm600 [slashdot.org]

"Moderators can not participate in the same discussion as both a moderator and a poster. This is to prevent abuses, and while it is one of the more controversial aspects of the system, I'm sticking to it. There are enough lurkers that moderate that, if you want to post, feel free."

Re:Monopolies (1, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526945)

Make it harder for companies to have monopolies or duopolies.

You are talking about regulation, and that, sir, is no different than Socialism.

I know this because I heard it on the radio today. And did you also know that it's possible to be a socialist, fascist, marxist, appeaser, quisling, muslim extremist, and liberal all at the same time? It's all over the AM dial. I wasn't sure who they were talking about, but anybody who can be all those things is pretty impressive. He should be president.

Seriously, I wonder if anyone else has realized that the Internet, that we all love so much, is an example of how successful socialist (small "S") policies can be. Strange how it's also been a boon for free speech. That's not supposed to happen (according to the AM radio).

Re:Monopolies (1, Insightful)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527015)

I'm a libertarian, and I still think that preventing/punishing monopolistic business practices is within the list of powers governments should have.

Re:Monopolies (1)

Big Boss (7354) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527333)

I tend libertarian as well. I don't see the internet as being significantly different than roads. The government has shown it can provide good service for large infrastructure projects like this. I also believe they should require that anyone can run fiber, no monopolies. Competition is the only way to improve high speed internet access. Lack of competition leaves us with stagnating technology, even in large cities with population density that rivals other nations that have much better service. It also leaves many people with no choice when the monopoly carrier puts draconian restrictions on the service.

Re:Monopolies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27527215)

The problem is that companies in capitalism tend to fail or merge. "Breaking up" these companies at an arbitrarily assigned size is logistically difficult. And the companies that remain separate are never independent since they don't want to fight over prices or customers. (For example, the big players in mp3 downloads just increased prices simultaneously. They might as well be the same company.)

I would say that government control of utilities makes sense, but government doesn't work out either. Human beings are too evil to do anything well collectively.

Didn't they (5, Insightful)

Sylos (1073710) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526089)

Try this already? What..with the billions of dollars given to them already...and monopolies given to them..the tax breaks...etc. This is just buying some CEO a new boat.

Re:Didn't they (1)

rhizome (115711) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527037)

Try this already? What..with the billions of dollars given to them already...and monopolies given to them..the tax breaks...etc. This is just buying some CEO a new boat.

Not to mention that the changes they need to make are old news in pretty much every other industrialized country in the world.

More than a CEO's boat, this is just buying some bureaucrat time to get inside juice on the telcos so that they can lobby for them in two years. Many recommendations will be suggested and all will be ignored once the telcos say, "I don't feel like it" and the FCC says "OK."

1996 telco reform act (2, Informative)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527431)

Bring back the '96 telco reform act [wikipedia.org] which helped quite a bit in leveling the playing field with the monopolies of phone companies. It forced the ILECs to allow interconnections with small upstart phone companies. It wasn't perfect - it included things like the Communications Decency Act within it - but it opened the way for many of the thousands of ISPs to be able to offer service.

Bush and Powell's kid running the FCC did away with essentially all of the changes. Since then all the baby bells are bigger and stronger than Ma bell ever used to be. Many CLECs are gone, the non-monopoly ISPs are almost all gone. The monopolies are stronger than ever.

Or even simpler, just demand that previous agreements made with the telco companies would be met by the telcos. We'd already have huge patches of fiber to the home if the telcos did that.

broadband (2, Interesting)

codepunk (167897) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526095)

Fixing the broadband issue is a last mile problem and just about the only method to address that at the moment
is through wireless. Now I am sure that the govt will step right up and give the big telecos a bunch of cash and
tell them to go forth and provide more broadband. Trouble is the big telecos do not provide last mile wireless coverage
mom and pop shops do. This is not a hard issue to fix if the money is placed in the right places.

Re:broadband (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526235)

In Australia we have exactly the same issues, but with one tenth the population density. In theory infrastructure should be ten times more affordable in the USA.

3G (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526533)

Trouble is the bi[g] telecos do not provide last mile wireless covera[g]e mom and pop shops do. This is not a hard issue to fix if the money is placed in the ri[g]ht places.

And the telcos have been spending it on 3G (UMTS, EVDO) technologies. Three G, like what I quoted.

When? (4, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526097)

asked the public to comment on the national broadband plan, which Congress has demanded be done by February.

Uh, February of which year?

Not that Congress can get anything right done by February of any year.

How to comment (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526195)

And how, exactly, are we supposed to comment on this plan? For that matter, what IS this plan?

Can someone translate it into English for the rest of us?

Re:How to comment (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526247)

The Story is that the FCC plans to come up with a plan to improve broadband access and is asking the public for their input.

Re:How to comment (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526271)

Wait, so they're PLANNING to come up with a plan?

If that's all it is, this is a non-story. Government agencies come up with plans all the time. Plans != action.

Re:How to comment (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526301)

The story is that they're asking for input. I would imagine some of the people here might have some ideas on this matter.

Re:How to comment (2, Informative)

CMF Risk (833574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526655)

Commenting seems like a rather complicated (or rather tedious) process.

All filings related to this Notice of Inquiry should refer to GN Docket No. 09-51

Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the
ECFS: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/ [fcc.gov] or the Federal eRulemaking Portal:
http://www.regulations.gov./ [www.regulations.gov] Filers should follow the instructions provided on the website for
submitting comments.

 ECFS filers must transmit one electronic copy of the comments for GN Docket No. 09-51. In
completing the transmittal screen, filers should include their full name, U.S. Postal Service
mailing address, and the applicable docket number. Parties may also submit an electronic
comment by Internet e-mail. To get filing instructions, filers should send an e-mail to
ecfs@fcc.gov, and include the following words in the body of the message, âoeget form.â A
sample form and directions will be sent in response

Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each
filing. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier,
or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although we continue to experience
delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). All filings must be addressed to the
Commissionâ(TM)s Secretary, Marlene H. Dortch, Office of the Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554. ...

Re:How to comment (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526735)

Sounds like they're making this difficult on purpose.

Re:How to comment (1)

CMF Risk (833574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526871)

I wouldn't say "on purpose".

*queue scenes of Futurama's take on bureaucracy*

And it makes perfect sense ... to them

I don' understand... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27526225)

I thought the Invisible Market Fairy was supposed to handle this??!?!

Isn't this how the internet began? Independant [aol.com] , competing [wikipedia.org] companies [wikipedia.org] all competing to produce a cohesive, compatible online environment? Why is that model not working now?

Re:I don' understand... (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527567)

Regulation [reason.com] , regulation [mackinac.org] , and some more regulation [freedomworks.org] .

Is this a purpose of today's FCC? (0, Redundant)

john_anderson_ii (786633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526243)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't think this is a proper use of federal authority. National broadband, national healthcare, what's next, nationalized gasoline distribution? It just never stops.

The modern, knuckle dragging, federal government has 3 tools in it's toolbox when it comes to nationalizing any market. The ban, the subsidy, and heavy-handed regulation are the only tools it understands. They either ban it, like illegal drugs, or they subsidize and regulate it, like pharmacological industry. What ever happened to lazziez faire in this Country? The government has no interest in efficiency, or the bottom line. If national broadband costs too much, they'll subsidize the providers and tax the people on the back end, or increase public debts. Either way, the people will still pay the costs. The government has forgotten that the public does not own, and is not entitled to everything anyone else has in this country. The routers, switches, and cables are physical assets of the companies who own them, and it's certainly not up to Congress to decide how those assets are utilized, unless used in a crime.

I'm with the posters above me who would rather see government exercise it's authority properly and break up the monopolies who's anti-competitive practices cause the lack of consumer satisfaction. Instead, the government plans to lie in bed with the very same providers who are currently screwing over said government's constituents.

Re:Is this a purpose of today's FCC? (3, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526315)

Lazziez faire doesn't work in reality.

In a perfect world, companies would want to profit. They would always look ahead to the future to ensure that they only took what the market could bear, for breaking the market would break their company just the same.

This is not a perfect world. Companies want to profit and destroy the competition and lock in their customers. They want to collude to lock out your cell phone's features that you paid several times over retail for, they want to change your contracts after you sign them and still bind you to them, they want to pack in all kinds of hidden fees and charges sixty-three pages deep into their contract, and most of all, they want to please the shareholders.

The shareholders ensure that only the biggest assholes will be in upper management. The shareholders want their profit check and they want it now. Who cares if the company isn't in business in 20 years? The shareholders have enough money to buy stock in other companies, and run them into the ground too.

Re:Is this a purpose of today's FCC? (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526541)

Lazziez faire doesn't work in reality.

Oh, for christ's sake...

Companies want to profit and destroy the competition and lock in their customers.

What do you think these eeevil companies use to attack their competition? Hint: it starts with a "g", and ends with "overnment".

-jcr

Re:Is this a purpose of today's FCC? (1)

californication (1145791) | more than 5 years ago | (#27528029)

Lazziez faire has been tried before and failed to bring abundance to the people as its supports claim it will, just like trickle down economics. Free market capitalism would work great if the private sector didn't manipulate the market to eradicate the very thing that makes capitalism work for the people: competition. Also, do you really want to take a step closer to anarcho-capitalism? The conglomerates have enough power as it is, at least with the government they have to actually go through the effort of bribing someone before they start stealing the land from under our houses.

Re:Is this a purpose of today's FCC? (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27528137)

Lazziez faire has been tried before and failed to bring abundance to the people as its supports claim it will,

Freedom promotes prosperity. Historical examples of this simple fact are too numerous to ignore.

Free market capitalism would work great if the private sector didn't manipulate the market to eradicate the very thing that makes capitalism work for the people: competition.

Who acts to limit competition, sparky? Right now, there's a move by interior decorators (seriously) to require state licensing to exclude new competitors from their line of work. When people don't want to compete, they turn to..... That's right, GOVERNMENT to outlaw their competition. So, you want government to have the power to do so? Great plan.

The conglomerates have enough power as it is,

This is true, but what you fail to recognize is that the power they have doesn't come from the market, it comes from greasing politicians.

bribing someone before they start stealing the land from under our houses.

Hey, tell me about how the government protects us from having our land taken away by evil corporations. Oh, wait. [wikipedia.org] It turns out that government doesn't protect us from land-grabs, it actually does the land-grabbing under orders from those who will pay more in taxes than the rightful owners.

So, you're afraid of big businesses? Monopolies? Well, government is the ultimate monopoly, and it's not on your side.

-jcr

Re:Is this a purpose of today's FCC? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27526601)


Lazziez faire doesn't work in reality.

In a perfect world, companies would want to profit. They would always look ahead to the future to ensure that they only took what the market could bear, for breaking the market would break their company just the same.

This is not a perfect world. Companies want to profit and destroy the competition and lock in their customers. They want to collude to lock out your cell phone's features that you paid several times over retail for, they want to change your contracts after you sign them and still bind you to them, they want to pack in all kinds of hidden fees and charges sixty-three pages deep into their contract, and most of all, they want to please the shareholders.

The shareholders ensure that only the biggest assholes will be in upper management. The shareholders want their profit check and they want it now. Who cares if the company isn't in business in 20 years? The shareholders have enough money to buy stock in other companies, and run them into the ground too.

You just described Google.

Copy Aus :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27526281)

Assuming all goes well, we Aussies will have better broadband than you lot.
20million people. Same geographic area. 100mbit to the door.

Come on US, you guys are seriously falling behind.
This shit isn't rocket surgery.

All that is required is the political will to recognise Telecommunications cabling as a UTILITY and to recognise that fibre is the way to go.

Personally I'm still dumbfounded that our government realised that there are some things a socialist approach works better for. I guess time will tell whether it will actually happen, but the right decision was made - and that's a pretty decent start for a government.

Re:Copy Aus :) (1)

Lulfas (1140109) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527079)

Of course, no one will be able to afford to use the full 100mbit before they break their cap of 5GB. But they'll have it!

First (5, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526341)

Demand that all service providers act as common carriers, or "dumb pipes", if you will. To insure access for everybody, the basic infrastructure must be managed by a publicly accountable entity, the government, just like the roads. And these "roads" must accept all kinds of traffic. No tiering, no filtering, none of that. The "last mile" can be leased out to those who will accept these conditions. We need consumer protection with real teeth. They won't do it unless they hear from us. So speak up, and speak LOUD. I am formulating my letter at this very moment. To those of you who want to leave it up to the market, I respectfully remind you of the AM stereo debacle, and American cell phone service.

Basic DSL... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526347)

I'm happy with my current DSL service. I just wish it was half the cost and the DSL provider stop bugging me to upgrade to a faster and more expensive package. Shouldn't basic DSL pricing be treated the same way as dial-up (i.e., cheap and slow)?

Don't forget.. (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526389)

To eliminate bandwidth caps.

Doesn't do much good to have it if you cant use it.

Re:Don't forget.. (1)

zaffir (546764) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526603)

Agreed.

In fact, get rid of ridiculous bandwidth charges. Charge for speed, not volume.

TWC (1)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526429)

Maybe they can start by stopping Time Warner Cable from slashing the access of about 10 million Americans. That would be a great start.

Re:TWC (1)

bmullan (1425023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527217)

Maybe they can start by stopping Time Warner Cable from slashing the access of about 10 million Americans. That would be a great start.

FCC doesn't regulate Time Warner's High Speed Internet. Each State does it individually. So talk to your State's regulatory commission

Just nationalize it and roll out 200 gig here (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526435)

No bandwidth caps.

Drop the storage cost to what Japan charges.

And stop whining about it.

This country is so far behind it's sickening.

Re:Just nationalize it and roll out 200 gig here (1)

Meor (711208) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527043)

Far behind in what? A 10Mb pipe? Something 95% of people don't need? The only people than need fatter pipes at low cost are movie and software pirates. I'm glad you don't set government policy. You're the epitome of "Subsidize things I like."

$7 billion for the phone companies? (4, Insightful)

jafo (11982) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526609)

IMHO, the telcos and cable companies are why we have some of the worst "broadband" access in our homes. They've been dragging their feet, similar to the way the RIAA has been, fighting tooth and nail to not give the customers what they want.

As much as I'm for better broadband, I'm extremely against giving it to the telcos to implement. We already gave them $2 billion to develop Fiber To The Home by 2000. As of 2009 I know of almost noone who has or even can get this service, it's only in a couple of hot spots where you can get it.

Worse, the telcos seem to see high speed home networks as competition for their business services, so they dramatically limit the outbound rates. 900kbps is a pretty small pipe to push backups of my home systems across, for example.

I personally like the ideas of "homes with tails", the home owners owning the fiber from their houses to a pedestal or "meet me" location, and then the providers can get access in there and users can get different options for that connectivity.

Sean

Re:$7 billion for the phone companies? (4, Insightful)

ZosX (517789) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526729)

If I only had mod points. You just took the words right out of my mouth. Congress should be DEMANDING better/cheaper access after the phone companies have done virtually nothing to hold their end of the deal up. Now they want to implement a tiered internet and ridiculously low caps (40GB??) All the while trying to charge us more?? I think the consumers are getting a pretty raw deal, especially when you see the Japan and Korea are getting hundreds of megabits out of copper. Surely bandwidth costs have come down in the last 10 years domestically. So theoretically they should be making even more off consumers as their costs should be going down. Look at it this way. You pay $50 for cable and $50 for internet. Those 150 channels cost the cable company a LOT more than even 200 gigabytes worth of data transmissions. Problem is that the ISPs all want a piece of a bigger pie than just simply providing 0s and 1s to your door will give them. God help us if net neutrality fails.

Step One (3, Insightful)

barzok (26681) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526661)

Eliminate stupid practices like bandwidth caps & metered usage designed to squeeze out competition from online video services while abusing the government-granted monopoly position.

I'm looking at TW in Rochester, San Antonio, and 4 other cities. You know who you are.

Re:Step One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27527159)

Bandwidth caps and metered are a perfectly legit way to charge customers based on how much internet they use.

I live in australia, and my mother and I both have the same ISP (in fact, her account is even in my name to make it easier).

She uses about 2GB of bandwidth per month, and I use about 20GB per month. We both have the same speed (8Mbit). Should we both pay the same amount of money for our connections? What about friends of mine who use 50 or 100+ GB per month? Should they be paying the same?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with charging a customer who surfs the web and reads emails $30/month, and a customer who watches lots of porn and/or buys (or illegally downloads) music and movies $100/month.

Re:Step One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27527987)

I live in australia [...]

...aaaand that's where the argument ends.

Mentioning Australia during a bandwidth discussion basically Godwins the thread.

Re:Step One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27527273)

Eliminate stupid practices like bandwidth caps & metered usage designed to squeeze out competition from online video services

No.

government-granted monopoly position.

Yes.

Have the govt stop helping create an artificial monopoly then let the market sort it out.

When you have 1 ISP (or two if you're lucky) to choose from, the ISPs can do anything they want.

When you have 10 ISPs to choose from, you can actually pick a good one! The bad ones will change or die.

If the government is what got us into this situation, what makes you think the government can get us out? (without making a bigger mess)

fi8St (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27526713)

simtilarly grisly [tux.org]? Are you

Silly unconstitutional nonsense (0, Troll)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526883)

The central planners are going to step into an industry suffering from heavy handed regulation, and magically undue their own damage? What will end up happening is an absurdly expensive and inefficient boondoggle, with vested interests (ie people who can't see indirect taxation, but want their broadband deceptively cheap), that will end up a Minitelization of what was a functioning, quasi-free-market network in a national socialist economy, where the people get reamed, and pro-government Big Business gets rich. I can't imagine precisely how this would blow up, but has everyone forgotten Goldman Sachs and AIG already?

Not to mention this is blatantly unconstitutional, a further usurpation of the sovereign States, and self-aggrandizement to the central government. There are no enumerated powers delegated to the Federal government by the several States that include the phrase "national telecommunications network."

Affordability? (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526963)

Yeah right I would like to see them make broadband less expensive. And for their next trick, they can pull a white rabbit out of their ass. We live in an age where likes of Comcast can bundle their service for $100 a month, and make it sound like it's a deal. $100 fuckin' dollars, that's a lot of money.

Feb. of what Year? (2, Insightful)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27526993)

Really when do they want to do this?

I think everyone reading slashdot wants this to happen, and knows what would make it happen. The only question here is can government ignore the lobbyists long enough to do the right thing.

Just outlaw the use of copper.. (1)

davygrvy (868500) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527073)

We all want FTTH (fiber to the home). Just do it already.

Re:Just outlaw the use of copper.. (1)

MichaelJE2 (833360) | more than 5 years ago | (#27528171)

Yeah, can't copper cause heavy metal poisoning? Think of the children!

What problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27527141)

The US doesn't have a broadband problem. For the few rural areas that don't have DSL or cable modem service, satellite exists. If there is demand for more than satellite, fixed wireless outfits will spring up. But if you think that someone living 10 miles outside of town is ENTITLED to 100mbps fiber connection for $25/month, sorry, but there simply is no justification for a public subsidy on that order. The wireless ISP will charge $50-80 a month for a basic 700-1.5 connection, and they might eke out a small profit. If its not profitable, then back to satellite, or MOVE. Please don't ask the rest of us to pay for your internet. We don't ask you to pay for ours.

Re:What problem? (1)

rally2xs (1093023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27528177)

There's lots of reasons that satellite doesn't always work other than its expensive. I have 4 humongous oak trees to the south of me, and cutting them down would be a real trick. It'd be expensive, is what it would be. And dangerous. I'd have to have it done professionally, but it'd still be dangerous - too close to the house. I'd be somewhere else while that was going on. And people living in subdivisions around here can have antenna problems or also a prohibition of molesting the trees that are blocking their signals. DSL? In the country? It doesn't go very far down the wire, y'know? Cable is fine, I like mine with its ~3.5 Mbs download speed, but it doesn't go everywhere, either. The lead SW engineer on the last program I worked didn't have cable at all, 'cuz it didn't come down to the end of the street where he lives. Wireless was contemplated for this place by one or two potetial providers. Nope - there's too many trees. It'd require too many repeaters. That's 2 - 3 years ago, tho, maybe there's a better solution now. And of course BPL is the scourge of the shortwave bands, including emergency public service in the low vhf bands most used by state patrol and rural fire dept's who can't necessarily afford to switch. Hi speed internet in the country has a lot of bad juju. This ain't gonna be easy.

Read the FCC Broadband Plan Request for Comments (1)

bmullan (1425023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527175)

You can read the Word or PDF version of the FCC's National Broadband Plan - request for public comment here: http://www.fcc.gov/ [fcc.gov] I think many of you should take the time. I read 1/3 of it today. Some of their questions they are requesting comments on are pretty politically charged depending on which side of this fence you are on. The section on how best to promote video support on the internet --- The Cable Companies like Comcast, Time Warner etc are doing everything they can to squash that by putting CAPs on monthly bandwidth usage... which pretty much guarantees to stifle Cable's captured market for Movies/TV. Then there are what seem to be simple questions but if you think about them... they are not. How much bandwidth is required to have "adequate" Broadband --- most of us would say unlimited but then that's probably not practical to implement so what is a good answer. The FCC's document is well written. It requests input by ANYONE, just submit in Word or PDF format. They are asking for examples of what works in other countries and what doesn't. They are asking for answers to questions about WiMAX, Cable, DSL etc. Take some time and comment... or only the large corporations will and you'll get what get.

Mr Density, where are you? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527317)

Oh, come on! The guy that's always claiming this is a population density problem hasn't replied yet. I always like making fun of him. Where are you, Mr. Density guy?

They could start by recognizing that (1)

Reddragon220 (890851) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527359)

It's infrastructure, privatized albeit and more often than not acting as a monopoly in most areas. Some legislation should be put in place to ensure that isp's don't stagnate the growth of digital delivery services through things like Time Warners 40 gig bandwidth cap. Even Comcasts' generous 250 gig is soon going to look paltry as content-dense traffic becomes more ubiquitous on the internet.

New business models for entertainment and software industries will be cut off at the legs when consumers can't stream their movies through perfectly legitimate services like Hulu or download games over clients like Steam. Keep in mind that intellectual property has become an exceedingly large portion of the American Economy as manufacturing jobs have been outsourced to countries with cheaper labor.

The only thing these bandwidth caps are going to do is raise the barrier of entry for less wealthy individuals to interact with an increasingly content-rich and relevant source of information. As railroads and highways were an important part of creating an infrastructure to facilitate the trade of physical goods across the country so will the internet come to become the same in translating information-based products in the coming century.

ISPs should stopped from putting overly excessive restrictive premiums on consumer access to a market that will come to compose increasingly large portion of the American economy. Nobody, neither the producers nor the consumers will be able to benefit otherwise.

/rant

Re:They could start by recognizing that (1)

Reddragon220 (890851) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527411)

Crap, in the time it took to write this some people posted some of the points on metered usage but it's still a (somewhat) persuasive argument bandwidth caps for anybody wondering about the issue.

Number One Requirement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27527659)

Broadband must not become a one-way pipe.

The value of the network is based on the peer to peer nature of the communications it enables. Unfortunately, and perhaps intentionally, the p2p moniker has become synonymous with sharing mp3's; rather than being properly understood as the motivating intention of the Internet's original creators, and the very foundation of its architecture. The media conglomerates are more than happy to encourage this kind of confusion, because ultimately, they want to regain control.

We bought it, we paid for it, the network belongs to we the people.

Decouple (1)

blurryrunner (524305) | more than 5 years ago | (#27527915)

What needs to happen is the one that provides the connection to the house should not provide the service. The government then regulates the infrastructure provider/maintainers. The service providers then sit on that infrastructure.

For example, here in Utah we have UTOPIA (Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency, http://www.utopianet.org/ [utopianet.org] ). UTOPIA themselves provide the fiber to the premise. Then you sign up with the providers on the network. There are a handful of different ISPs that provide service over it (including Qwest!). You can choose based on whatever meets your fancy. ISP too oversubscribed? Choose another one.

The fiber delivers internet, phone, and tv. Here at my office we have a symmetric 30Mbs connection for about $110. Makes me hate to go home to my Comcast connection...

The problem is the only motivation for the infrastructure provider is to keep the ISPs and governments to off their backs. The government should own the infrastructure and then private companies should compete for the maintenance contracts. Hopefully somebody in the city knows something about an SLA... /br

RE: FCC Discovers Internet .. year of 2055 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27528035)

In the year 2155, the FCC will discover ... [drum roll ... cymbol crash] ... TCP/IP!

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