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Poor US Infrastructure Threatens the Cloud

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the not-the-best dept.

Cloud 177

snydeq writes "Thanks to state-sponsored cable/phone duopolies, U.S. broadband stays slow and expensive — and will probably impede cloud adoption, writes Andrew C. Oliver. 'As a patriotic American, I find the current political atmosphere where telecom lobbyists set the agenda to be a nightmare. All over the world, high-end fiber is being deployed while powerful monopolies in the United States work to prevent it from coming here,' Oliver writes. 'I expect that cloud adoption will closely match broadband speed, cost, and availability curves. Those companies living in countries where the broadband monopoly is protected will adopt the cloud at a slower rate than those with competitive markets and municipal fiber. There's a good chance U.S. firms will fall into that group.'"

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Don't worry (4, Informative)

blackpaw (240313) | about 10 months ago | (#44898883)

Here in Australia we just elected in a right wing government, they are intent on fucking up our Broadband network as well to protect entrenched interests such as Murdock and Foxtel, so you're not alone.

Re:Don't worry (3, Insightful)

Capsaicin (412918) | about 10 months ago | (#44899081)

Here in Australia we just elected in a right wing government, they are intent on fucking up our Broadband network as well to protect entrenched interests such as Murdock [sic] and [sic] Foxtel, so you're not alone.

From the PoV of established media players, the threat of to-the-home-fibre, that the erstwhile Labor govt was implementing, as opposed to the fibre-to-the-node, copper-to-the-home system we will now be getting, is that it would further to erode traditional business models. The traditional producer-consumer relationship is already strained by the self-publication the web, via blogs and social media, has introduced. Reproducing this on a hardware level with a network of peers replacing a company servers - consumer clients model ramps this up to a whole new level.

The requirements of vested interests play well into the lack of scientific/technological awareness of Abbott and many of colleagues (excluding Turnbull obviously).

Re:Don't worry (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899425)

I agree since Murdoch acquired Fox Entertainment in 2005, it has gone downhill. I think the last funny episode of the Simpsons was made back then. Pretty much have to be a complete idiot to find it funny anymore. Same thing with American Dad. Can't stand the show. I wish he'd dump the stock.

Re:Don't worry (1)

operagost (62405) | about 10 months ago | (#44899447)

Last I heard, your broadband already sucked and was controlled by two companies. And I hate to burst your socialist bubble, but it doesn't matter whether the government is left or right wing. With state capitalism, you have two or three companies in fake competition with poor service. With socialism, you have one company, no competition, and poor service.

Re:Don't worry (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 10 months ago | (#44899569)

Right, so fascism it is then.

Re:Don't worry (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899751)

You heard wrong, unsurprisingly. There are many ISP competitors, and the new NBN would have been an excellent system,
but big money doesn't like it. We also have great universal health care. It's hilarious how stupid Americans are about the blatantly rigged markets in their country being better,

Re:Don't worry (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 10 months ago | (#44899615)

Here in Australia we just elected in a right wing government, they are intent on fucking up our Broadband network as well to protect entrenched interests such as Murdock and Foxtel, so you're not alone.

The current right wing govt still promissed FttN.
Well, for metro area, the good news: at least Optus [zdnet.com] and TPG [zdnet.com] (and, I hope, iiNet soon), are ready to offer you the FttP part with a 24 months lock-in contract.

Re:Don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899901)

Look on the bright side. At least there is a chance the carbon taxes will be done away with.

NSA aint helping either (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44898895)

Lets not forget about the people that wont use a US based cloud service because of the NSA snooping.

Re:NSA aint helping either (5, Interesting)

MacDork (560499) | about 10 months ago | (#44898959)

Seconded. The NSA has ruined it for the US cloud companies. Permanently. Does Google, Facebook, and friends think that anyone will trust them again? They lied. They lied about lying. Then they lied about that. Now they're pushing to release FISC documents? As if that would somehow sprinkle magical dust on the problem and make it go away?

There are no privacy protection laws limiting the types of data companies collect in the US. These companies collect data because it makes them lots of money. In the process, they are the facilitators for the NSA.

Want to restore trust Google? Stop syncing WiFi passwords on android by default. Stop shipping a browser with Do Not Track defaulted to off. Stop collecting data you don't need or have any business collecting. Of course, that won't happen. That's why this crop of invasive companies have been dealt a deathblow by Snowden. I give them 15 years before they've been made irrelevant by newer peer to peer systems. Maybe less.

Re:NSA aint helping either (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#44899133)

Stop shipping a browser with Do Not Track defaulted to off.

Some web servers have had a policy of disregarding DNT headers from browsers known to default it to on. Case in point: pre-release versions of IE 10 [wikipedia.org] . If Google were to "Stop shipping a browser with Do Not Track defaulted to off" as you suggest, what would that do other than get Chrome added to the list of browsers from which to disregard DNT?

Re:NSA aint helping either (3, Interesting)

Stickerboy (61554) | about 10 months ago | (#44899389)

Stop shipping a browser with Do Not Track defaulted to off.

Some web servers have had a policy of disregarding DNT headers from browsers known to default it to on. Case in point: pre-release versions of IE 10 [wikipedia.org] . If Google were to "Stop shipping a browser with Do Not Track defaulted to off" as you suggest, what would that do other than get Chrome added to the list of browsers from which to disregard DNT?

Is this a damnation of Internet Explorer, or a damnation of a weak-ass privacy flag labeled "Do Not Track" that corporations can apparently ignore at will?

Newsflash: this is not a indication that Google is doing things the right way. This means Do Not Track needs to be fixed.

Re:NSA aint helping either (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 10 months ago | (#44899503)

Is this a damnation of Internet Explorer, or a damnation of a weak-ass privacy flag labeled "Do Not Track" that corporations can apparently ignore at will?

Newsflash: this is not a indication that Google is doing things the right way. This means Do Not Track needs to be fixed.

Good idea! While fixing it, please do also address the adherence to the RFC3514 [ietf.org] : examining my router/firewall logs shows a complete disregard of it.
(Oh... btw... maybe you can do something about that pesky first law of thermodynamics? Or, by chance, the second? I mean... if you manage to push a new law criminalizing the use of any of them, we may solve the world's energy related problems)

Joke aside, my point is: if someone wants to track you, how are you going to stop that one?
Making the tracking illegal is not going to solve it, as it doesn't solve the non-adherence to RFC3514; the attempt will be as useless as to repeal a law of physics by a parliament issued law or decree

Re:NSA aint helping either (2)

DworkinLV (716880) | about 10 months ago | (#44899353)

Why does most everybody think that just the cloud providers will be harmed. The firmware for switches/routers/hardware firewalls, etc is an ideal place to backdoor the networks. If I was going to spy on foreign governments that is where I would look to setup backdoors, in the infrastructure that DEFINES their networks.

Re:NSA aint helping either (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 10 months ago | (#44899805)

I think the biggest thing to fear if you are a foreign country, foreign company, foreign government or foreign entity and are concerned about the NSA is not that info on Google or Facebook or Twitter or other US-based internet companies has been compromised by the NSA but that all that networking and cellular equipment from the likes of Cisco, HP, Juniper, Motorola Solutions and others have been compromised.

Re:NSA aint helping either (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 10 months ago | (#44899409)

...Does Google, Facebook, and friends think that anyone will trust them again? They lied. They lied about lying. Then they lied about that...

Bankers and politicians have 'suffered' many scandals over the centuries, and nothing has changed one bit. Business is better than ever. Of course people will 'trust' them. And even if they don't, they have been conditioned to feel hopeless about it and will stick with the devil they know. They are more content with not having to make uncomfortable choices. They fear losing the pittance they have if anybody rocks the boat. Eyes front, head down.

Re:NSA aint helping either (2)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | about 10 months ago | (#44899463)

Unfortunately, these companies know that most people a) don't much care what the NSA does, b) have a very short memory and short attention span, and c) just can't wait to consume the next shiny thing that comes along.

For the rest of us, no matter what the politicians say or do, we will never trust them or the NSA again, and will never believe anything the US internet companies have to say about it again. Credibility is gone baby, gone.

Re:NSA aint helping either (4, Interesting)

gweihir (88907) | about 10 months ago | (#44899001)

Hey, I have a nice conspiracy theory: The NSA is behind the low bandwidths! As they need to collect any and all packets, they had the bright idea to make that easier by making sure the network snooped on is slow, so they do not need a surveillance network much faster. After all, the data has to come to their servers somehow....

Re:NSA aint helping either (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 10 months ago | (#44899055)

Hmm. Upload bandwidth is curiously difficult to get a lot of when using a residential connection. You may be on to something there...

Re:NSA aint helping either (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#44899103)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A [wikipedia.org] would show the risks in rapid property changes and rushed new technology upgrades.
If NSA cleared contractors are not called out in time, local engineers and new middle management might start to open their doors and ask real questions.
Upgrades are messy: new ides, new staff, new smaller property, more passive optical.

Re:NSA aint helping either (2)

game kid (805301) | about 10 months ago | (#44899111)

...and if the transfer speeds are reasonable, then cut off for "data limit" reasons.

No, I don't think it's just a conspiracy.

Re:NSA aint helping either (1)

mechtech256 (2617089) | about 10 months ago | (#44899359)

Probably not.

If the data traffic was higher, it would make acquiring funding (the real objective of this operation) even easier.

The NSA already gets 50 billion dollars a year, more than triple NASA's budget.

Re:NSA aint helping either (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899549)

Except government, and I'd imagine the NSA with a secret budget and secret allocations, are notoriously bad about being on time and on budget. More to the point, most budgeting would be based upon a set rate of expansion which only after all the servers, cables, etc are set could the telecoms actually start offering the bandwidth. In essence, the core idea is the NSA mandating an ability to log all traffic (or meta-traffic) would make them the bottleneck of expansion of which the NSA will always lag behind what the market demands. The NSA desiring to expand its budget doesn't fundamental work around this limitation.

Re:NSA aint helping either (4, Interesting)

MrDoh! (71235) | about 10 months ago | (#44899011)

Not just the spying to put people off, but I seriously wonder if the delay in rolling out really fast connections is related to the NSA's ability to scoop up that data. "can you hold off providing 1gb asymetric links to all your subscribers until we upgrade our data center please? Cheers, the offshore bonus to the CEO is in the usual account".

Re:NSA aint helping either (1)

Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) | about 10 months ago | (#44899667)

I think you are pretty close, but I think that the real problem for the NSA is the possibility of real competition to provide internet access. Imagine how tough the job will be if the NSA had to get cooperation from hundreds of ISPs like they have in Japan. The duopoly here is very convenient for the NSA but a nightmare for the rest of us.

Had we declared the owners of the pipes to be common carriers and imposed open access rules upon them, we'd have something like what Japan has: fast internet access with hundreds of ISPs vying for my money. Instead, we have cable and telcos who operate on one principle: make sure that the CEO can have a few vacation homes sprawled across the world, send his kids to private schools until they are married and allow him and his extended family to live in gated communities. The members of the board of directors get similar benefits, but to a lesser extent.

Oh, one more thing. The corporations participating in the duopoly need to siphon enough money from the economy to capture the agencies that regulate them, except for the NSA, which in theory, can't be bought. Snowden proved that, but not in the way the NSA had in mind.

In sum, the duopoly will slow the net down, but it will also provide a few powerful leverage points for the government while concentrating revenue into a few companies willing to cooperate. Yeah, that sums it up.

Re:NSA aint helping either (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899249)

Lets not forget about the people that wont use a US based cloud service because of the NSA snooping.

Where the cloud is based makes no difference.

All undersea cables are tapped. All sat signals are intercepted.

The ONLY guaranteed security for sensitive is an air gap which is never breached.

Recall the Russians switching back to typewriters in certain offices recently ? They
didn't do that to keep their typewriter factories in business.

Re:NSA aint helping either (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 10 months ago | (#44899627)

Where the cloud is based makes no difference.

No it makes a big difference if your private or corporate data is protected by a logical legal environment...see below..

All undersea cables are tapped. All sat signals are intercepted

While I think it is a crying shame what governments are doing en masse ... I also believe the Internet is not now nor has never been trustworthy. We all really knew that perhaps with varying degrees of surprise at revelations in recent months. If not government certainly bad actors lurking at any hop outside yer admin control have always been a problem.

Beyond all the noise it is quite reasonable to establish secure communications over insecure channels. Much much harder proposition to secure physical computation from ethically challenged employees and governments. This is why a sane legal regime matters even while the Internet will (hopefully) never become a "trusted" network.

The ONLY guaranteed security for sensitive is an air gap which is never breached

That's like saying the only guaranteed secure encryption is OTP... Perhaps true but pointless and useless in the real world.

NSA subsidising telcos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899381)

You miss the most important factor, NSA pays for the data feed, it has the effect of subsidizing the dominant telcos. Keeping them in place.

I bet there's also a bit of intel on upcoming competitors thrown in to keep them sweet too. Politician wants to break them up? NSA is right there behind the scenes explaining the importance of keeping its partners in place too.

Mutually beneficial.

I bet the top brass of Verizon filter out their own family telephone numbers from the datafeed they give the NSA.

Re:NSA aint helping either (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899501)

If the interweb is fast and affordable, NSA would have to spend a lot more to store the data. ;)
May be the US can catch if they ditch NSA and spend that money on public internet infra structure.

Government sucks (1, Troll)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 10 months ago | (#44898899)

Because the citizens have no balls. Too many Cheetos, I guess... That's what that shit does to you, it shrinks your balls. Makes you submissive and lazy... This is the government you deserve. Live with it, or fix it. Your choice.

Re:Government sucks (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about 10 months ago | (#44898949)

[/sheeple argument]

Re:Government sucks (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 10 months ago | (#44898969)

Don't insult the sheep. People are worse.

Re:Government sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44898995)

i preferr people meat, it does not taste like wool

Re:Government sucks (2)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about 10 months ago | (#44899083)

Yeah, I don't need to say any more: http://xkcd.com/610/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Government sucks (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 10 months ago | (#44899369)

That doesn't change the fact that you are responsible for your own salvation. Contrary to everyone's hopes and expectations, it won't be spoon fed by mysticism and politics and mass media.

[goto OP]

Local government wants its cut (5, Interesting)

mc6809e (214243) | about 10 months ago | (#44898923)

Many municipalities have a franchise arrangement that gives the local cable company a monopoly so long as the cable company pays a franchise fee.

Where I live, that fee is 5% of GROSS revenue -- quite a lot of money. Many businesses would be happy with profits that are 5% of the gross.

Of course the cable company doesn't mind paying because they can inflate rates without worrying about competition. And the local government doesn't mind because higher rates mean more money for them!

It's really a hidden tax on an artificially higher bill. And the fact that it's hidden means the typical voter doesn't know they might have the power to change it -- and that's precisely the goal.

Re:Local government wants its cut (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44898941)

Many municipalities have a franchise arrangement that gives the local cable company a monopoly so long as the cable company pays a franchise fee.

Municipalities have franchise agreements because the big cable companies and telecoms specifically lobbied for them. The monopolies only exist because the entrenched players lobby and pay to keep them despite the lies they will tell to the contrary.

Re:Local government wants its cut (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899683)

It's really a hidden tax on an artificially higher bill.

It is a tax of sorts. Without a guaranteed slice of the market, no company is going to invest millions or billions laying miles of copper. It's a tax that made cable possible. It's similar to the model used very successfully to get the United States wired for electricity and telephone.

And the fact that it's hidden means the typical voter doesn't know they might have the power to change it.

It's hidden, right there in those public City Council meetings. If the voter is too ignorant, stupid, or apathetic to pay attention, that should and does count as support for the status quo.

Re:Local government wants its cut (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 10 months ago | (#44899775)

The problem (as has been seen in a number of situations) is even if the local council can be convinced to give approval for new competitors, the entrenched players just go over their head and get the state governments to regulate things and overrule the local authorities.

Infrastructure pretty much requires the gov't (4, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 10 months ago | (#44898929)

you can't make enough money off it in the short term to make it a worth while investment. As in investor there's always something with better gains in your lifetime. That's why the gov't made the comm network, the railroads, the (car) roads, and just about everything going back to the fsckin' Aquaducts.

Re:Infrastructure pretty much requires the gov't (1, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#44899051)

The private sector built the railroads, funded bridges, worked with (oil, gas, iron, steel), positioned pipelines, electrical grid, telephone... optical is on the way - just wait like other generations had to.

Re:Infrastructure pretty much requires the gov't (3, Insightful)

NouberNou (1105915) | about 10 months ago | (#44899273)

So much wrong in this its not even funny. Who provided the money? Government. Who provided the land. Government. Who provided the basic technologies. Government. Get your head out of Ayn Rand's rancid cunt and realize public/private partnerships are the best, because neither side can do everything on their own.

Re:Infrastructure pretty much requires the gov't (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899309)

Provided the basic technologies? What the fuck are you talking about?

Re:Infrastructure pretty much requires the gov't (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899289)

Very clever word usage.

The private sector built the railroads,

...because of massive government incentives like land grants.

funded bridges,

...so they could get their free land from the government that was worth more.

worked with (oil, gas, iron, steel),

Yes, that is what industry does. The government is not allowed to directly do such things.

positioned pipelines,

...for their own profit and convenience. There was never a 'public good or need' for them.

electrical grid, telephone...

Again, with great government incentives in place like local monopolies, right of way, and special taxes to pay for it all.

optical is on the way

So are vacation homes on mars. Your words are meaningless.

- just wait like other generations had to.

Ahh, and now we get to the real problem. There is little incentive to improve. With most locales having monopolies or duopolies, there is no competition and thus no incentive to change until something breaks and really has to be replaced. Meanwhile other countries that care about infrastructure are funding it with public money, for public good, with public control. Our information tech dominance is slipping away while we wait for the invisible hand to stop touching itself.

Re:Infrastructure pretty much requires the gov't (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#44899459)

Re Our information tech dominance is slipping away while we wait for the invisible hand to stop touching itself.
Yes something is very wrong with the funding mix and expected returns.
Why the total hesitation to change over from expensive copper in cities?
Optical would be the way to go. Known bandwidth, more passive to backhaul, less expensive cooling and power in suburbia.
The consumer gets a backup battery at home and can run their voice phone, internet, fax, alarms, cctv, enjoy television. The option to move data "up" if they pay more can be sold on too.
Are skilled workers who can splice so rare or expensive to educate and clear for that work?
Are the ducts in such bad repair or badly mapped? Sooner or later the over provisioned copper will run out.

Re:Infrastructure pretty much requires the gov't (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#44899311)

Corporations ARE the government. Sure they are owned by individual investors, but their charter is granted by the government, and they are endowed with super-human liability powers that would make this arrangement otherwise impossible. The government can change the rules that they operate under on a whim. You want an example of government interference in the "free market"? The corporation (especially the limited liability part) is perhaps the largest, though "intellectual property" is pretty high up there.

Re:Infrastructure pretty much requires the gov't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899645)

Pretty sure a bunch of slave laborers built the railroads while private interests reaped the rewards. Same as they do with the aforementioned bridges, pipelines, electrical grids, and telephone system.

We should not have to fucking wait. As a populous we've already paid for these things. We've already built the technologies that can make it happen. It's a small little group of middle-men that claim they own everything colluding to squeeze as much profit out of it as possible, despite a majority populous that's literally done much of the work already.

The people keep creating, building, and moving along... at the pace their owners will let them.

Re:Infrastructure pretty much requires the gov't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899691)

The private sector built the railroads after the United States government granted them half of all the land that lay within a mile of the tracks in return. The electrical grid was built when the government provided monopoly guarantees to encourage massive infrastructure investments. Telephone lines went up in much the same way.

This is the problem we have to suffer with graduating stupider kids every year: they don't know history and so we'll be doomed to repeat it.

Re:Infrastructure pretty much requires the gov't (4, Insightful)

mc6809e (214243) | about 10 months ago | (#44899087)

That's why the gov't made the comm network, the railroads, the (car) roads, and just about everything going back to the fsckin' Aquaducts.

The government paid for a lot of of those things, but that's not the same thing as making a lot of those things. And in that respect the government is simply acting as the agent for the collective purchase of something that (hopefully) provides a collective benefit.

That's sort of the point of democratic-republican (little 'd' and little 'r') government -- to do the collective will of the people. Sometimes that means buying stuff (and that's not socialism -- that's just normal government).

Re:Infrastructure pretty much requires the gov't (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 10 months ago | (#44899411)

Actually the point of a democratic republic is wealthy land owners didn't want the poor voting themselves land and money. Seriously, look it up. It's pretty well documented.

Re:Infrastructure pretty much requires the gov't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899469)

Have you heard of municipal bonds?

wow, mixed feelings (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#44898931)

Slow broadband adoption? Baaaad
Slow cloud adoption (ie, not putting all your data at the mercy of someone else)? Good.

What can the US do? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#44898957)

Optical to the node with existing copper?
Optical to the home replacing existing copper?
Optical to the tower with well installed line of sight wireless?
The existing copper loops can be long, damaged, old, in need of expensive ongoing long term work to keep them at a quoted min data speed.
Any node box will need power, cooling, backup power and has to positioned in suburbia or the copper length reduces the new speeds.
Trying to run optical from a home to a node hits a cpu/heat wall.
Optical to the home replacing existing copper is good as its passive and can be upgraded - no loud active cooling on the street.
Line of sight wireless? How many users per tower and at what speed? How do you give limited spectrum to users wanting huge uploads and downloads without caps, prices and other methods to contain their need for bandwidth?
Optical would be the smart way to go. The optical/copper node buys the telcos a few more years? As for the huge data push up to the cloud - the end user copies that 1080p, 2k or 4k video clip onto their home machine and wants to share/backup....

Re:What can the US do? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899043)

Have to post this anon. I work for AT&T and we do optical to the node with existing copper. Unfortunately the existing copper from the node and then the copper wiring in homes throws a wrench in 75% of the time. Optical to the home then gigabit Ethernet would be a better solution. I am often asked why as an employee I use Cox cable. Because they give me superior bandwidth, and a more reliable product... and they come out on Sundays. US carriers are not into upgrading infrastructure but intent on monetizing everything they can. We charge the exact same thing for DSL we did in 1997.

Re:What can the US do? (1)

operagost (62405) | about 10 months ago | (#44899451)

To be fair, DSL in 1997 was 256K-640K. Now it's 1-2 M.

Re:What can the US do? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899543)

Yep. We have AT&T landline POTS. We have only the choice of ComCast for ISP. We're 500 feet too far for AT&T DSL (yep, our neighbors down the hill 480' closer to the AT&T box have DSL) and have been for 9 years. AT&T won't do whatever's needed to get us and ~ 300 other households as possible customers. Everybody's monetizing, nobody's investing in infrastructure.

This is wrong (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44898977)

Broadband adoption is low in the US because there are existing systems in place that most people are perfectly happy with. Broadband adoption is high in countries that never had the same infrastructure and find it cheaper to jump directly to the newer technology. The telecom companies have no problem with increasing broadband systems, because they are the ones who would be building them. The reason they aren't taking off is because of a lack of sufficient interest. Perhaps Oliver should actually learn something about what he's bitching about next time before spreading fud.

Re:This is wrong (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#44899029)

So other countries went from dialup modems and plain old telephone service (POTS) to optical? Adsl1 and 2+ never made it out of their telcos labs?

Re: This is wrong (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899725)

Sweden made the journey years ago. Most municipal infrastructure companies started to roll out fiber in parallel with existing cable ducts. The railroad company put fiber along all tracks nation wide. All of this fiber is dark fiber that isp can rent cheap.

So I have 6 isp to select from at home. Competition is the key for cheap prices.

It's a routing problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44898999)

If you stopped routing everything through the NSA, you wouldn't have an infrastructure problem. That would also make foreign entities more willing to use your "cloud" services.

Size matters (1, Insightful)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 10 months ago | (#44899009)

All over the world ,in smaller high population density countries, high-end fiber is being deployed while powerful monopolies

FTFY. Comparing the US to countries like Japan is not valid.

Re:Size matters (1)

PPH (736903) | about 10 months ago | (#44899031)

OK. Let the telecoms serve the cities and other population centers. And the PUDs and other public entities serve rural communities.

The howl from the corporate world is deafening.

Re:Size matters (4, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | about 10 months ago | (#44899071)

Japan population density: 330p/sqmi.

New Jersey: 1196p/sqmi. Rhode Island: 1018p/sqmi. Massachusetts: 839p/sqmi. Connecticut: 738p/sqmi. Maryland: 595p/sqmi. Delaware: 461p/sqmi. New York: 411p/sqmi. Florida: 351p/sqmi. US coastal counties population density: 440 p/sqmi.

But apparently those areas can't have high speed broadband because the population density of Wyoming and Alaska makes the cost prohibitive.

Re:Size matters (4, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | about 10 months ago | (#44899107)

Sorry, I made a mistake. Japan is 330p/sqkm, which places it at the same level as Massachusetts, not Florida. But still, there are definitely areas of the US that have the population density to support globally competitive infrastructure, and politicians and apologists need to stop using the vast empty space in the Midwest to build a population density excuse.

Re:Size matters (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#44899161)

The main fear is optical backhaul to the basement and the option of any ISP, telco or other provider just been selected by customers as needed.
Cheap best effort ISP or a telco with more real dedicated optical.
No more service monopoly, duopoly or city/telco cartel keeping consumers for life.

Re:Size matters (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 10 months ago | (#44899211)

Yes, and I live in NJ. I pay $45 per month for cable internet. The throughput? 130 Mbps / 30 mbps with no caps.

It seems pretty decent to me.

Re:Size matters (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#44899745)

Yes, but you are comparing the population density of the entire country with certain cities. What do you think the internet speed is in Nemuro, Japan?

For comparison, here is an example of a suburb in South Korea [koreabang.com] . They probably have a population density of 1000p/acre in that area. In that kind of area, the 'last mile' problem is all within single buildings. We don't have many places like that in America. We prefer to have more privacy.

Re:Size matters (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 10 months ago | (#44899879)

According to NTT, you can get 200Mbps residential fibre in Nemuro, Japan. They already made enough profit from providing fibre to the premises in Tokyo, Osaka etc over the last 10 years that they can afford to build out the infrastructure even to remote areas now. Meanwhile, you're still sitting there making excuses for why these sorts of speeds are not even available to residential customers in Manhattan.

Re:Size matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899089)

It is if you include *all* of the 400+ inhabited islands. Undersea cables are expensive.

Is the basic premise even TRUE? (3, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | about 10 months ago | (#44899045)

I have 50/10 Mbps for $70 and yes, it actually has been as advertised every time I have tested it for the last couple years. We routinely use two 9Mbps video streams with no issues and plenty of bandwidth left for browsing/downloading/whatever.

People in the US have routinely paid $100+ for cable/satellite TV for years. $8/month gets you Netflix or Hulu (or x2 for both) and there are a tons of VOD services now (VUDU, Amazon, CinemaNow, etc) to rent (or buy) movies/TV instead of using Showtime/HBO/Starz/etc.

The big problem is not necessarily US infrastructure (at least by expenditure) vs. other countries, it's the fact that the US has a lot less population density. In urban areas, there are almost always options and the performance/price is pretty decent. In rural areas it hasn't caught up because frankly it will cost a lot of $$ per customer. Yes, South Korea has great broadband, but that's because it's mostly VDSL, etc running to multi-unit high rises...

Re:Is the basic premise even TRUE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899073)

Ya, 50Mb is not really all that fast and 10Mb is downright ridiculously slow as hell especially in an environment with cloud based infrastructure and other Internet centralized services.

Re:Is the basic premise even TRUE? (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 10 months ago | (#44899145)

Why? Why is it not enough? Please give any *useful* examples of why it's not enough for the price at present time? It will get faster for the same price in the future, or I could pay more now (I think it's $115?) for 100Mbps service. I could afford that service, no problem, but I have zero use for it so why waste money?

MOD PARENT UP!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899101)

Exactly. Is 50x10 Mbps not enough? We have something here like 40x8, and the speeds aren't more noticeable than 8x2 for what my residence WANTS.
 
Ever heard of Chattanooga, TN? The "gig to nowhere?" They had a CONTEST a year ago to come up with what they could do with a gigabit to everyone's house after it was deployed, AND NO ONE COULD PULL IT OFF. There are your tax dollars at work: a ~$200m subsidized loan for something that the market didn't want, still has little use for, and now you're footing the bill for.

Re:MOD PARENT UP!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899143)

Wow, ignorance or what. Pathetic.

Re:MOD PARENT UP!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899189)

You might be *slightly* off on your facts. I think it was a grant + loan, so it's even worse.

The Chattanowhere, TN editor was FIRED for writing this article. [timesfreepress.com]

Re:MOD PARENT UP!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899681)

The comments In story: people everywhere are hitting BARACK BOTTOM!

HEY MODS!!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899315)

LICK MY BALLS. Or my ballsack. Lick them. Lick the salt and dead bacteria right off my scrotum. And the smegma. Bleeeeeeeee

Re:Is the basic premise even TRUE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899445)

"In urban areas, there are almost always options and the performance/price is pretty decent."

No, in urban areas in the USA there is often just one option (singular) for a true high-speed broadband offering. I just went through several weeks of Comcast HELL here in Baltimore, and trust me, if there was ANY other option for something like the 50/10 plan I have with Comcast (which thankfully after several weeks of downtime, ~15 hours of phone time to Philippines-based call center, modem swapping, and two home visits by technicians, is back to working, I think!) I would go for it.

Re:Is the basic premise even TRUE? (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 10 months ago | (#44899545)

So you had tech support issues? Welcome to technology, that's annoying as hell but not really relevant unless you think things always run 100% smoothly everywhere else in the world...

As for options - that's mostly stupid Baltimore politicians making exclusive agreements with Comcast, not companies not *interested* in competition...

http://www.webpronews.com/baltimore-working-to-bring-more-internet-options-to-its-businesses-and-residents-2013-08 [webpronews.com]

Re:Is the basic premise even TRUE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899639)

In rural areas it hasn't caught up because frankly it will cost a lot of $$ per customer.

I'm in semi-rural area in Canada. I've paid $70/mo for DSL for 13 years and I still have 1.5Mbps DL speed - gov't subsidized deployment back then. The sad thing is that only way to get better service is to move. There is exactly that ONE provider around here. So far I've paid over $10,000 (neighbours too) and where is my infrastructure upgrade??? They only thing the telecom is doing is raising their dividend.

Re:Is the basic premise even TRUE? (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 10 months ago | (#44899677)

Yeah, rural broadband sucks, but that was my point... (I'm sure you can take US rural broadband infrastructure expenses and multiply by 5x for rural Canada...)

On the bright side, you probably actually get a YARD, and a VIEW of the stars, and FRESH AIR, etc. There are times I wouldn't mind trading my suburban CA Bay Area home for those things... it's all on a spectrum, don't discount the advantages ;)

Re:Is the basic premise even TRUE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899653)

Oh fuck off. The Bos-Wash megalopolis has higher population density than the Tokyo metro area. They've had 1Gbps available there for a few years now (for around $30 a month if I remember correctly).

We built a damn railroad and interstate system across this fucking place. You think we can't lay some stupid fucking wires? Many metro areas are already wired! There's hundreds of miles of so called "dark fiber" just laying there un-utilized because the "owners" can't figure out how to make a fucking buck off it.

You're just peddling BS excuses.

Re:Is the basic premise even TRUE? (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 10 months ago | (#44899703)

Nothing in your post about population densities or average bandwidth and prices of NE US vs. Tokyo was remotely accurate. Look it up, not going to bother reposting for an AC. Bye-bye now.

Why Use a Cloud? (3, Insightful)

Phoenix666 (184391) | about 10 months ago | (#44899095)

Yesterday I spent three hours trying to help a friend upload a mysql file to his Amazon cloud service. There was no such thing as a simple ftp. Trying to PuTTY into his setup was impossible too. Calling tech support, which he paid for, resulted in them sending us links to articles we had already found via google and which were not helpful. Everything was so cloaked in marketing speak that it was impossible to tease out how to do anything normal and straightforward. They couldn't even manage to say words like "VPN" or "ssh." Simply ridiculous. Who has the time to learn a whole new nomenclature for the same old tasks we've all been doing for decades, just to satisfy a bunch of marketing droids whose only interest is in being the least helpful they can possibly be, and sucking as much cash out of you as they possibly can. Jeeze, just set up your own server and VPN and you have your own "cloud." And it costs you nothing, and nobody gets in your way with a bunch of nonsense.

Short-term leases (2)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#44899175)

Jeeze, just set up your own server

I thought the difference between leasing a server and using "The Cloud" was originally supposed to refer to rapid provisioning and rapid failover. For example, you don't have to commit to a year's lease of a dedicated or virtual server; you can bring up virtual servers to meet demand and then decommission them once they're no longer needed.

Re:Short-term leases (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 10 months ago | (#44899219)

linode.com does month to month, prorates per day. disclaimer - very long time customer, very happy.

Re:Why Use a Cloud? (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 10 months ago | (#44899335)

Everything was so cloaked in marketing speak that it was impossible to tease out how to do anything normal and straightforward. They couldn't even manage to say words like "VPN" or "ssh." Simply ridiculous. Who has the time to learn a whole new nomenclature for the same old tasks we've all been doing for decades, just to satisfy a bunch of marketing droids whose only interest is in being the least helpful they can possibly be, and sucking as much cash out of you as they possibly can.

Spot on.

Re:Why Use a Cloud? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#44899393)

Any telco or skilled isp could offer optical from diverse regions, real backup power, be able to meet huge cpu and storage needs at a price.
The "cloud" undercuts aspects of the above with less diverse optical or backup power might be in a basement in a floodplain.
The huge cpu and storage options are the main selling point.
What to do about optical connections or backup power is left to the consumer to code around or select deep in setup options.

The US Way (5, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#44899119)

Wring every last cent out of the existing technology (i.e. copper wire), pay executives big bonuses and screw customers with rotten customer service. Small wonder we're becoming a backwater.

But you dont have caps? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899247)

Its funny seeing US broadband as being expensive and slow, try Australia for plans, ranked 40th in the world at the moment. The US is 9th.

http://www.news.com.au/technology/state-of-the-internet-australia-web-speeds-ranking-dwindles-to-40th-place-globally/story-e6frfro0-1226560992748

What fiber companies not putting enough in. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899275)

The pockets of politicians, too bad. You know how it works.

An easy fix (2)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 10 months ago | (#44899339)

An easy fix is to change the "game theory" dynamic.

Currently, we don't pay for usage, we pay for access. The providers get the best value by discouraging use: high monthly fees, data caps, throttling power users, poor facilities, installation fees, and poor customer care.

If the government required providers to charge for usage only, then the providers couldn't increase profits except by increasing use. They would have an incentive to build fast pipes, connect everyone in their area, have customer service that gets people up and running quickly, allow servers, and encourage innovative new applications.

This could be changed without affecting their annual profits - just tally up all the usage in the last year and divide into their current revenues. They would make the same profits next year as last year, but with an to provide better service.

Just another example of how the federal government doesn't really benefit the people.

Re:An easy fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899513)

You don't want them to charge usage rates like they do for wireless.
We can increase usage if they only charge on access and don't put caps on usages.

Re:An easy fix (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#44899763)

Good thinking. But there also needs to be competition.

Re:An easy fix (1)

adolf (21054) | about 10 months ago | (#44899925)

Hello, friend. My name is 2013.

I regret to inform you that 1994 called, and they want their metered Internet back.

Best wishes.

Duopoles and the NSA (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 10 months ago | (#44899341)

Right, American people cannot afford the cloud because their residential internet is to weak, and non American people with good internet connectivity should reject it because of NSA spying.

There is some irony here in how free market and government intervention can enter a synergy here.

Crappy Security Is the Real Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899477)

Security models built into most large public cloud services are far too weak for companies serious about protecting IP and complying with information security standards.

I think the first roadblock is the NSA (1)

Bryan Bytehead (9631) | about 10 months ago | (#44899511)

Crappy infrastructure or not.

American spying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899715)

Got to agree with some here. Your government has killed cloud computing. You'd be a serious berk to store any documents, etc remotely. Plus all the security breaches / hacking.

Use a NAS drive. Stick it in a fire proof safe. Just get it to switch on When you need it, or disconnect your network from the net when it's on. If you want it more remote, stick it in your shed or bury it in the ground if ya worried about burglars.

Cloud costs too much per month and is as secure as China's hackers want it to be.

FTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44899945)

Fuck The Cloud.

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