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Tauzin-Dingell Up for Vote Soon

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the congress-is-in-town dept.

United States 346

An Anonymous Coward writes: "Just received this letter from my ISP, one of the oldest in existence. A study here lays out the basics on the bill and why it's a bad idea. The bill retracts the telecommunications act of '96 which forces the phone giants to share the nation's phone lines (which are in public trust). Looks like it's time to write those pesky congressmen again." Too late to write. Call. Tauzin-Dingell, up for vote on Wednesday, would eliminate all the requirements on the four remaining Baby Bells to play fair with competing telecom providers. "Sure Covad, you can co-locate your DSL equipment in our switching offices - our deregulated rate is only $10,000/day/piece of equipment." It's instant death for all DSL providers except Verizon, SBC, Qwest and BellSouth.

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Frist Prost (-1, Offtopic)

The Original Bobski (52567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068709)

Uga Uga

Re:Frist Prost (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068726)

You may have the Frist Prost, but I have the First post!

Re:Frist Prost (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068727)

That was the most insightful comment I have ever seen! I can't believe anyone could possibly think of something so incredibly intelligent!

Re:Frist Prost (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068750)

Yeah, took quite some thought to come up with that. Not to mention the accidental karma burn. Oh well, at least I don't have to hear from the Master Trolls for posting anonymously.

Re:Frist Prost (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068771)

well after reading that and having a horible day, "uga uga" made me chuckle. So that in itself *is* incredible after today.

Re:Frist Prost (-1)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068792)

Go man go. I myself was actually at a pub, and so was not able to attempt a first post. I need to remember to go to the bar at the airport, they have a nice 802.11b network there. Getting first post while pounding em can't be beat. Yes, I am the kind of geek who brings his laptop to the pub. Yes, I am also the kind of guy who will go to a terrible bar just for the net access.

You just can't beat that three beers and a bowl after work buzz. It's one of life's finer experiences.

I'm rambling.

Re:Frist Prost (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068854)

Heh, heh. If it wasn't for hammering down a few pounders already, I wouldn't have accidently burned off some karma. Oh well. Here's to Beer!

Talk Dirty To Me (-1)

The Lyrics Guy (539223) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068716)

Poison - Talk Dirty To Me

You know I never
I never seen you look so good
You never act the way you should
But I like it
And I know you like it too
The way that I want you
I gotta have you
Oh yes, I do

You know I never
I never ever stay out late
You know that I can hardly wait
Just to see you
And I know you cannot wait
Wait to see me too
I gotta touch you

Chorus:
Cause baby we'll be
At the drive-in
In the old man's Ford
behind the bushes
till I'm screamin' for more
Down the basement
lock the cellar door
And baby
Talk dirty to me

You know I call you
I call you on the telephone
I'm only hoping that you're home
So I can hear you
When you say those words to me
And whisper so softly
I gotta hear you

Chorus

C.C. pick up that guitar and talk to me

Solo, Chorus out

Re:Talk Dirty To Me (-1, Offtopic)

the time you read th (561235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068891)

Fantastic

Conscientous Objecter to the Troll Library?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068718)

Some people need to find something better to do with their time, rather than write programs that submit trolls to slashdot.

Sorry to break it to you, but nobody's gonna pay you to do this. Holy fsck.

This troll was reposted from the Troll Library [slashdot.org] without permission of the original author. If you object to this post, or if you wish to add your troll to the Troll Library, please reply to this message.

Re:Conscientous Objecter to the Troll Library?! (-1, Offtopic)

the time you read th (561235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068928)

Your post is in violation of the DMCA.

A team of FBI Counter-Terrorist agents are on there way to your ISP and will subsequently be contacting you in person.

Please have all your relavent papers ready for their arrival.

Thank you for you cooperation in this matter.

What can us Canadians do about this? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068721)

How does this affect Canadians? Is there anything we can do to help this situation?

Re:What can us Canadians do about this? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068830)

this is a troll. canadians cant really do anything here. this is solely a US thing. whomever modded the comment up 3 times should be taken out back and have something mean done to them.

Re:What can us Canadians do about this? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068841)

You could put pressure by blocking the export of maple syrup to the US until the matter is resolved.

Re:What can us Canadians do about this? (0, Flamebait)

devin15 (62895) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068874)

We could send our hockey teams down to kick some ass :).

Re:What can us Canadians do about this? (2, Insightful)

gnarled (411192) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068875)

Just because one news item doesn't affect every person on the face of the globe, does not make it completely irrelevant. By your logic, news of a natural disaster in Africa shouldn't make the news because not everyone is affected.

Yet ANOTHER natural disaster in Africa? (-1)

L.Torvalds (548450) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068893)

What now? Have the negros discovered the forbidden science of FIRE ?

Re:What can us Canadians do about this? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068903)

First, you must become the 51st state. Then you must begin drilling for more maple syrup and build the greatest pipeline in the universe to deliver the maple syrup to our doorstep (the lower 48) so that we no longer have to buy syrup for our oversized, syrup-guzzling waffles from the terrorists and their supporters in the Middle East. Finally, outlaw French as a language. Once this is done, then, um, what was the question?

Re:What can us Canadians do about this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068968)

How does this affect Canadians? Is there anything we can do to help this situation?

Well, I guess you can stand at the border and shake your weenies at us, but other than that, not much!

bling bling (-1)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (537317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068722)

not first, mind you

Let's wait a minute here. (3, Interesting)

glrotate (300695) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068723)

The telecom dereg act of '96 WAS a flop. Has anyones phone / cable bill actually gone down since then. It was supposed to open up Long distance to the Baby Bells IF they opened up local access. SBC was very much in favor, then as soon as it was passed they gota judge to through out the part that required them to open up the local access.

So, maybe it is time to look at redoing this piece of legislation.

Re:Let's wait a minute here. (2)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068773)

It was supposed to open up Long distance to the Baby Bells IF they opened up local access.

But why would they want to give up a monopoly on selling 30-mile connections at 20 cents/minute for an opportunity to sell 2000-mile connections at 6 cents/minute? It's no wonder they never bothered to act.

Why (3, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068810)

But why would they want to give up a monopoly on selling 30-mile connections at 20 cents/minute for an opportunity to sell 2000-mile connections at 6 cents/minute?

Because at the time the big price war on long distance hadn't started yet. Most of the profit was in the long distance service - which they were locked out of - and they were stuck with the low-profit local infrastructure monopoly.

So it seemed like a good trade at the time.

Second Post (-1, Offtopic)

jakesher (546070) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068724)

lol.

Damn Democrats (-1)

Roto-Rooter Man (520267) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068730)

They don't beleive in market liberalism, and they don't believe in socialism either. They only believe in tricking a large number of unrelated special interests to pool their votes and get them elected, so they can stick cigars in their interns' vaginas.

News Flash (3, Insightful)

b.foster (543648) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068735)

Third-party DSL providers are already dead. Can you name one who's made a profit for one single quarter? I'll give you a hint: it's not one of these losers:
  • Covad (fucked from the get-go, but they blame Verizon)
  • Northpoint (RIP)
  • "DirecTV DSL" (they are taking *huge* losses, just like the rest of Hughes)
  • Tung Communications (who?)
DSL service is an economy of scale, and carving it up amongst a dozen competitors in the same small geographical area will ensure that they will all sell at a loss and die. It's simple Economics 101.

Bill

Re:News Flash (5, Interesting)

ender81b (520454) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068796)

Sure, alot of ISP's still survive. Internet Nebraska [inetnebr.com] in Nebraska has survived for nearly 10 years and provided service across nearly the entire state including DSL and in the face of stiff competition (Alltell, Road Runner, Cox Cable). As a matter of fact they are even rolling out Wireless in some parts of the state.

Of course, they have a different attitude than most ISP's - they don't have the latest and greatest in tech. As a matter of fact the tech desk machines are old Sparc stations (30mhz I believe) and most of their equipment is bought off E-bay. Doesn't make a difference; their uptimes and such are excellent, and they are the largest ISP in Nebraska - and no I don't work for them.

The problem with most of the ISP's you listed is that they expanded too fast, and spent too much buying the latest and greatest equipment with no thought of if they where going to be able to recoup the costs.

Re:News Flash (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068977)

A few survive out in my neck of the woods by reselling PacBell's DSL. i.e. Covad and Cruzio.

On another note, Riordan, Mayor of L.A. and running for Govenor of Ca. has made noises about considering internet sales tax (Ca. state sales tax is already about 8.25%) Regardless of your leanings, there's something to think about. Typically California has been a trend setting state, probably due to the large % of USA population found here, about 33 million people.

Unrelated, but pretty cool, so far, I've caught an eBay thief, just days after lamenting my being taken... read my journal about it. [slashdot.org]

Re:News Flash (5, Insightful)

Wintersmute (557244) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068803)

Let me weigh in on Economics 101. This fictitious argument that a "dozen competitors in the same small geographical area" will all "sell at a loss and die" may be the case.

You know what I say? Great! That may be, and then went the industry converges on a few major DSL players, we'll know that natural oligopoly is the status quo for the DSL industry. And every time someone pulls out the antitrust argument, you can say 'we tried that'.

Or you can simply declare that competition won't work, and dictate that the network owners get to do whatever they damn please. Oh, and because they're earning super-competitive profits, they'll branch out to provide DSL to rural communities where its not profitable to do so.

Long pause. [Insert "huh?" here.] Not profitable?!? If any mechanism is going to get rural broadband off the drawing board, it will be market pressure, not a oligopoly of telecom companies earning supercompetitive profits on what amounts to a state-granted monopoly.

The economies-of-scale argument is irrelevant. Because the network already exists, the CLECs plugged into the Bell networks have already made the scale investments. It's there to be taken by anyone, given that they have open access to the essential facilities.

The real question is whether you want to allow the Bells to have to fight off competition with superior service, or whether you want to assume that competition will ultimate tank, and just do away with that whole "free market" thing. Because we all know that's a crock, right?

Indie DSL providers may all go belly up, but we owe it to ourselves to figure out whether that's going to happen. Tauzin-Dingell is corporate rent-seeking, plain and simple.

Re:News Flash (3, Insightful)

MADCOWbeserk (515545) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068908)

Economics 101 is just an intro course, to apply your most basic "survival of the fittest" approach to this grossly oversimplifies this. Telephone service is what is called a "public good" or a good provided using public land to run wires built with a huge government subsidy. The government (FCC) has responsibility to ensure that these companies provide greater benefit than the sum of the public resources they use. This is the social contract between the companies and society. Hence these companies don't operate under the normal competitive model. Rather than maximize profits, telephone companies should (in an idealized world if they abide by the contract) provide the most service they can for the most people. Hence, these companies need to be carefully watched to see that they don't unreasonably profit at society's expense. I don't mean to take sides, but I'm an economics grad student and I hate to see economics misrepresented.

No it isnt (3, Insightful)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068828)


The scale benefits of providing DSL are not that great. It is nothing like making cars, for example.

Even a small DSL provider can get the software they need to minimize administrative costs, and if bandwidth is a comodity, as it should be, that is more or less all they need.

There are some benefits of scale in the equipment but that is not a big deal.

Smaller ISPs may have benefits of finding a niche market or serving customers better.

In fact before DSL thousands of smaller providers thrived selling basic dialup, and made profit, despite AOl's economy of scale.

This is the kind of argument that is being used by corporate america to monopolize all our communication media. It was used for radio and now it is used for small ISPs.

This argument is utter bullshit.

But suppose it is true. Then why not let those DSL providers die naturaly? Why allow the telecom companies to lock them out? If someone is lobbying for a lock out that means they are affraid of the competition.

The real deal (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068863)

I am currently a network architect, working at a medium-size DSL provider and frantically looking for a job elsewhere. The venture capital is due to run out by mid-May.

DSL providers need to buy a large amount of bandwidth (to support bursting) and oversell it to maintain a competitive edge. Since bandwidth gets cheaper as you buy more of it, many pieces of an installation (such as a DSLAM and routers) are large one-time costs that serve dozens of users, and you need a *lot* of users to be able to afford a barely minimal (T1) line, the provision of DSL service is most decidedly an economy of scale.

Other points to look at would be: tech support and billing (textbook examples of economies of scale), and geographical risk/load balancing.

-AC (for obvious reasons)

...and the problem is what exactly? (5, Insightful)

Enry (630) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068736)

It's not like the Telco act of '96 was of any help. The Telcos don't care and use the loopholes, DSL isn't really available everywhere, no matter what James Earl Jones says, and cable/satellite is just as inexpensive and fast.

I have friends that worked for CLECs that put equipment in ILEC COs. Sure Verizon would let you in the building, but want to use the bathroom? Sorry, can't do that, you'll have to go somewhere else. Want to come back in? Sorry, security isn't here right now and we can't let you in....

here is the problem (1)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068745)

This will kill many hard working small and medium ISPs, that provide good service to their customers. After they are dead your DSL prices will rise again.

Re:here is the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068768)

No, DSL prices will go up when ISPs that sell bandwidth for less than it costs them continue to go out of business. This is just a tiny speed bump in that process.

Also (1)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068763)

because of the ocnsolidation that has been happening in the industry you cannot expect that there will be much competition between cable and dsl, for a long time. And relying on several large conglomerates to compete is always risky. They will always prefer to put a price fix agreement in. All the bandwidth providers borrowed alot of money to build their networks, which are now mostly dark. Now they have to make the interest payments and they are ready to start robbing the consumer.

Re:...and the problem is what exactly? (2, Interesting)

Monkeyman334 (205694) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068859)

I work for a company that became a CLEC a few months ago, and we are doing alright. We found a place that Qwest didn't provide to, but still had a central office. Cable providers aren't big out there, they use satellite tv. I'm not sure why they don't use satellites for internet, but meh. We put in our own gear and are providing right now. I've never been in the CO, so I can't confirm the problems. Probably the biggest pain is they have this 200 page manual you have to read to use the system and make orders for the line. If you put the wrong number in the ITQID field (don't remember exactly, but there are so many stupid acronyms), they reject it. I'm not sure what the results of the law would be exactly, but by the sounds of it, it wouldn't be good for the company.

Latency makes satellite internet unbearable (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068916)

I'm not sure why they don't use satellites for internet

Satellite Internet access is available, but the speed of light introduces heavy latency. I don't think a 1000ms MINIMUM ping would help the web experience much, and forget about playing online video games.

Re:...and the problem is what exactly? (3, Insightful)

CynicTheHedgehog (261139) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068885)

If this passes, I'm out of a job. I work for probably the last major competitive CLEC in the southeast. We have over 60,000 lines in service, and something like 7,500 more added in the month of January; we are cash-positive; and we have a business plan that is working better than we ever hoped. We've spent the last year busting our asses to get our service levels to world class levels, and we lead the industry in many areas. A lot of folks put in a lot of time and effort into making this thing work.

When 2001 hit, we had layoffs. Now this. It's really sad and frustrating that we have to go through this kind of anxiety every year.

So yes this is a problem. It's a very big problem. Just maybe not for you.

Covad (1)

prof187 (235849) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068739)

Oy, covad is taking a beating from this. My dad owns stock in it and it's being very not good. Granted, it's up a *lot* from where it was this time 3-4 months ago, but a dollar drop in about a week is not that great, especially for a stock whose base seems to go along with news and not product.

Re:Covad (1)

loggia (309962) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068856)

Yes, if this bill passes it will destroy the only viable DSL competitor to the Bells. Meanwhile, the DSL supplied by the Bells is awful. The only good DSL I've gotten is through Covad.

This is terrible.

They already monopolize, in a way (5, Interesting)

PM4RK5 (265536) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068741)

It appears to be the norm (or at least through my experience), that when some DSL provider uses a major corporate wire, certain problems are encountered when you sign up:

1. You may be *conveniently* too far away from the 'central office' [They make the restrictions tighter for 3rd-party service: like only up to 10,000 feet, when the real limit is several thousand feet more]

2. The phone company is painfully slow in getting the wires required to your house (ISDN, at least)

3. The phone company and your 3rd-party provider bicker about who's at fault when a problem appears. Nobody admits its their fault, so you (the consumer) is virtually screwed over.

So essentially, they want you to sign up for *their* service (gee, that installation time gets a lot shorter!). So they're already monopolizing. This was the case with Rythms ISDN (spelling?) when we had it. And Rythms went bankrupt as I recall. *cough*

Just some stuff to think about, as they alredy monopolize the wires/equipment to an extent.

Unfair Practices in Chicago? (4, Interesting)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068813)

Last summer I was in Chicago, staying with a relative, and I saw first-hand some of these shenannigans between AT&T and Earthlink. My relatives had chosen Earthlink DSL over the local AT&T service (probably because it was cheaper and/or faster) and the DSL connection went out every evening from about 7:00pm to 10:00pm.

Earthlink's official response was that AT&T would purposely detect non-AT&T-DSL customers and downgrade their connection somehow. Of course I'm not sure I believe them, because the daily outages only seemed to be happening during peak hours. They probably oversold their service in the area, but how would I have known either way? Well, needless to say nothing got done (at least while I was there).

Re:They already monopolize, in a way (2, Interesting)

JonWan (456212) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068829)

I guess this is one of the benifits of living in the boondocks. My local phone co. is a coopertive. I can make 1 call to them and have DSL installed before the end of the week, most times it's only a day or two. When I have a problem the crew is out in hours if not minutes. They don't have to make money just pay bills, heck I even get a rebate check from them every year for each phone number I have. I was the first dial-up customer to logon, It was a race between a friend of mine and me. His password got mangaled so I got there first, But alas he got the IT job. :-(

Re:They already monopolize, in a way (5, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068832)

4. When the ILEC goes to install a new DSL line for one of their OWN customers, and there aren't enough good pair in the cable, their installers have been known to just steal the pair from a working line. Amazingly enough, it's usually a CLEC's line.

So the CLEC gets a trouble call. And has to debug it. And when they figure out the line's gone dead, they report it to the ILEC, which sends a lineman out to fix it. And there are STILL no spare high-quality pair in the cable. So the ILEC lineman steals ANOTHER in-use pair to replace the first stolen one. (Guess whether it's from the ILEC or a CLEC.)

Loop forever.

Troll! Troll! (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068749)

  • 2002. Slashdot publishes 1,000,000th rumor passed off as actual story. The story generates 480 comments, 263 of which agree with the article, and 107 of which point out it's a rumor and are modded down as redundant. The remaining comments are all "first posts."
  • 2002. CmdrTaco married to Kathleen Fent. Many geeks believe Kathleen, a purported transvestite, outmeasures CmdrTaco.
  • 2002. Slashdot parent corporation VA Research^W Linux^W Software stock worth 35 cents. Rumors that AOL, Microsoft, or even Jimmy the hobo who lives under the Longfellow Bridge may buy it.
  • 2003. VA Software bought by Microsoft for a cup of coffee and a donut. All Microsoft-critical articles mysteriously disappear from Slashdot. Bill Gates as Borg logo replaced with Bill Gates as God.
  • 2003. Papperatzi videos of Miguel de Icaza caught going down on Bill Gates in his private yacht spread across Usenet. Miguel swears that recent decisions to rename the Gnome desktop to "Windows NT 6.0" have nothing to do with it.
  • 2004. CmdrTaco loses virginity.
  • 2004. The WIPO Troll returns again, showering Slashdot in 45,000 copies of the same post: "Lick my crotch hairs." Slashdot, despite running on 18 redundant IIS/8.0 servers, buckles under the load. The term "Slashdotted" is replaced with "WIPO-Trolled."
  • 2004. Slashdot officially shut down. Millions of screaming, unwashed geeks invade Redmond campus and lynch Bill Gates.
  • 2005. Linus Torvalds and Anal Cox found dead along with six penguins, an empty tub of crisco and several used condoms. Millions of screaming, unwashed geeks invade Redmond campus and lynch Steve Ballmer.
  • 2005. CmdrTaco rumored to have had sex again.
  • 2006. CowboiKneel found dead in hotel room with 56 pizza boxes covering his bloated corpse. Three suffocated gay prostitutes are extracted from beneath his body as police remove it with a backhoe.
  • 2007. CmdrTaco actually has sex again. With a woman.
  • 2007. BSD is still officially "dying." No word on when its demise will take place.
  • 2007. CmdrTaco starts new weblog to replace Slashdot, creatively named Dotslash. Remainder of Linux users flock to the site and immediate WIPO-Troll it out of existence.
  • 2008. CmdrTaco has sex with his wife for the first time.
  • 2009. After years of living under the heel of his domineering wife, and being deprived of the homosexual orgies of the past, CmdrTaco commits suicide. Another sweaty geek mob gathers and tears Kathleen Fent to shreds. Geeks discover Ms. Fent was indeed a woman, but don't exactly know what that means. Driven by their sexually-repressed rage, they subsequently invade Redmond again and lynch the current CEO of Microsoft, Miguel de Icaza.
  • 2010. Microsoft is blamed for the assassination of Richard Stallman. Redmond invasions by geek hordes become commonplace.
  • 2011. Microsoft campus burnt to the ground by screaming, unwashed geek mob after Microsoft is blamed when a Linux hacker in Cambridge, Massachusetts spills his coffee on his pants.

all those companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068751)

Verizon, SBC, Qwest and BellSouth have never played fair, and never will play fair no matter what law gets past or repealed. We're screwed one way or the other.

I submitted THREE stories on this to Slashdot... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068756)

...over the course of the last eight months. And not a one got picked up. ARGH, Slashdot posters are arbitrary to the point of being outright stupid.

As a denizen of D.C., I've been seeing regular commercials for/against Tauzin-Dingell for well over a year now. Yes, it's been in preparation that long. This is one of the really big fights of the year, and *the* bill of most interest to Slashdot readership. Of course the Slashdot posters wouldn't write up anything about it until it was too late.

Idiots. Well, let's hope the Slashdotters with heads stuck in the sand don't have DSL.

screw that (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068760)

put your equipment in my apartment for hmmmm $5,000/mo.

Well, I don't see the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068767)

If smaller companies can't compete with the prices of larger companies, then they go out of business. Basic capitalism, and why the US economy has always been trending upwards.

Really, forcing companies to do things isn't the best way to improve the economy. Sure things like this, rent control, and minimum wage look good in the short term. Over the long run, however, ther're killers.

Let's be serious (2, Insightful)

EricKrout.com (559698) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068775)

Let's be serious, folks.

Our government doesn't seem to give two sh*ts about monopolistic tech corporations. One word: Microsoft.

Apparently, the cool thing now is to cut taxes while spending record amounts on making our country powerful enough to take over the entire world, and possibly the whole Milky Way (just give them time).

I'm not sure how we as Americans can even sleep at night when we have someone with the sophistication of a 4th grader running our country (Duuuhhh-bya [yahoo.com] ).

Unfortunately, I think it's going to be "long live Verizon et al".

Re:Let's be serious (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068833)

you are a total fucking idiot. every day, i see your pointless shit posted all over slashdot. jesus fuck are you annoying.

Re:Let's be serious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068843)

Whoa, I didn't know you knew how to use a 'puter, Mr. President!

Re:Let's be serious (-1, Troll)

istartedi (132515) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068890)

I'm not sure how we as Americans can even sleep at night when we have someone with the sophistication of a 4th grader running our country (Duuuhhh-bya [yahoo.com]).

The link is to a picture of GWB stumbling. Mr. Krout, you are one impressive man! I have never had the good fortune to correspond with someone who has not stumbled, tripped, or fallen since the 4th grade. Either that, or you are just another hypocritical Bush-basher. Please don't tell me that. We all need heroes, and from this point on you are my hero: THE MAN WHO NEVER STUMBLES. Have you talked with any of the major comics publishers yet?

I can just think of all kinds of great adventures: EK dukes it out with bad guys on the high steel, EK walks into the breakers to rescue a child who went too far, EK gets pulled over with 1.8 BAC and gets off scott free on the dexterity test, EK speaks to all the Chinese who are lucky enough to understand English and who happened to tune in at the right time so they could explain to the others that "some stuff is missing". I'm sure you can think of many more stories for the...

AMAZING ADVENTURES OF ERIC KROUT
The man who never stumbles

Re:Let's be serious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068911)

<sarcasm>
Surprising troll post coming from someone with this .sig:
Supporters of PC, Leftist, anti-military, Northeastern print journalism keep saying irony is dead. Isn't that ironic?
</sarcasm>

Re:Let's be serious (2)

krogoth (134320) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068892)

... so everyone hope that history repeats itself!

When's the last time something like this actually lasted?

Or, move to Canada. Cheap, good DSL.

Re:Let's be serious (1, Offtopic)

BarefootClown (267581) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068914)

I know this is a troll, I know I'm going to get modded down for responding, but I'm capped anyway, so I have points to burn. Why not?

  1. In case you haven't noticed, we were attacked a few months ago. What would you have us do, roll over and show them our throats? Slink off and whimper in a corner? If your dog bites you for not giving him your steak bone, you don't reward him with a steak. If somebody attacks you and murders 3,000 innocent civilians, you don't ignore them and hope they go away--that only encourages them to do it again. You sure as hell don't give them what they want. That policy is called "appeasement," and it's been tried. Little obscure guy called Adolf Hitler. Seems to have worked rather well, don't you think?
  2. Powerful enough to take over the entire world, eh? Something tells me Russia, Europe (collectively, and several contries individually (not France)), China, and a few other countries might disagree with that assessment. And we're not exactly building new forces here--we're restoring what President Clinton cut.
  3. As any half-competent economics professor can tell you, cutting taxes results in an increase in tax revenues. No liberal would ever admit it, because the *percentage* of GNP pilfered by the government is lower (i.e. they have less control over the subject^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hcitizens), but in terms of absolute dollars, cutting taxes ends up in higher revenues. For an explanation of this phenomenon, consult any economics textbook, professor, or probably most TA's. Short answer: more money --> more investment --> more business --> more spending --> more tax revenue.
  4. Perhaps my favorite part of your little rant: your ad hominem [dictionary.com] attack on President Bush. Intelligent, informed, mature debate focuses on policies, ideas, etc. Attacking him on that level is puerile [dictionary.com] . As far as his "sophistication" goes, I for one am sick and tired of the "sophistication" of politics, and I find it most refreshing to have a politician who says what he means, and means what he says. It's a refreshing change of pace from previous administrations, which were governed strictly by the Poll of the Week. Often attributed to Groucho Marx, "Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others." seems to apply well to certain administrations in the not-so-recent past. And as for the picture, well, I'm sure you've never tripped in your life, so it's perfectly acceptable for you to mock the rest of us, who are not so perfect. Oh, and the big words are underlined because they're links: I didn't want to cause you too much trouble in figuring out the meaning, so I went ahead and linked them to a dictionary [dictionary.com] for you. You're welcome.

I'd continue, but I just realized something: you're not worth my time.

Re:Let's be serious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068927)

Re:Let's be serious (Score:2)
by BarefootClown on Monday February 25, @11:40PM (#3068914)


Wow, you really DO live up to your username, you clueless, conservative clown.

Re:Let's be serious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068956)

If somebody attacks you and murders 3,000 innocent civilians, you don't ignore them and hope they go away--that only encourages them to do it again.

No, instead we decided to kill MORE THAN 3,000 of their innocent civilians. But don't worry, you won't hear about that on the GE/MS/NBC nightly news.

Powerful enough to take over the entire world, eh?

Yes. I'd say that the ability to fight two simultaneous wars on separate coasts against top powers pretty much sums it up, don't you?

* As any half-competent economics professor can tell you, cutting taxes results in an increase in tax revenues. No liberal would ever admit it, because the *percentage* of GNP pilfered by the government is lower (i.e. they have less control over the subject^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hcitizens), but in terms of absolute dollars, cutting taxes ends up in higher revenues. For an explanation of this phenomenon, consult any economics textbook, professor, or probably most TA's. Short answer: more money --> more investment --> more business --> more spending --> more tax revenue.

Thanks for the info. Next time, be sure to cite your source ("The Conservative Craply" magazine). Oh, and I'm kinda curious about how the government will manage to stay on top if they start spending more money than they take in (i.e. cutting taxes while spending $30 billion to fight 3rd world citizens).

As far as his "sophistication" goes, I for one am sick and tired of the "sophistication" of politics, and I find it most refreshing to have a politician who says what he means, and means what he says.

Yeah, I like that too. Bush is too goddamn stupid to even ACT like he gives a flying fuck about anything. It truly was refreshing to see him making googly faces and joking around with media people at the funeral for dead schoolchildren in Texas a few years ago.

You must be an Arab. (-1)

L.Torvalds (548450) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068921)

Still pissed that the Americans took Afghanistan in record time? So much for the fabled 'Afghan Warriors'. Hell, we just used a proxy army to do it, so no real humans were hurt!

Soon, we will be raping and pillaging our way through Iraq. (Your stinking homeland?). Until then, go eat a fat camel dick.

Use Your Words (4, Insightful)

Wee (17189) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068922)

Our government doesn't seem to give two sh*ts about monopolistic tech corporations.

Go ahead and say it: Our government doesn't give two goddam squirty shits about anything but spreading the legs of the Lady of Justice for the highest fucking bidder.

And no, I'm not sorry for the swearing. Let's not be afraid to say what we mean. We have to quit couching our words in trivial obfuscations so we don't offend the perpetually victimized. It won't be long before the rearward penetration reaches our mouths and we are all forced to speak up. But by then it will be too late. Oh well. We're all doomed to whatever fate the AOL/TW's of the world wish for us anyway.

I was just going to moderate the parent comment up, but decided to speak my peace instead. Sometimes I hate America. Its dim-bulb of a leader doesn't help.

-B

down with bellsouth (4, Interesting)

LWolenczak (10527) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068776)

Yup, this will wipe out DSL providers, but what about CLECs? I sure like my local CLECs.... I mean.... bellsouth wouldnt know what sdsl is if it bit them in the ass. They don't want to do cheap business internet... they only want to provide the most costly service... and the crappiest response time... sure... lock the end of my t1 loop up in a box... and if the mux dies... take six hours to come reset my damn card so I can get my internet back up.

Several observations by myself
1. They only know what ADSL is... they their reps dont even know what the A stands for. They tend to think the S in sdsl stands for static.
2. They took five and a half hours once to get my t1 loop back up after their mux died a horibble death. They claim that they didnt know about it untill like an hour and a half before they showd up, but i was on the phone to my CLEC with in 10 minutes of my loop going down, and they put me on hold while they called bell south.
3. They only want money, not to provide service. They have become like the cable company. Sprint local services is esp. bad at this, they just expect to sit around and collect cash, and not raise a finger whenever soemthing breaks on their network.
4. They make it hard for anybody to compeate, and they like to get rid of "old" "useless services" that are still used, and are very useful. Bell south in a near bye town is refusing to put more alarm circuits in (a line thats easy to turn into a poor man's t1 or sdsl line, and instead telling people that their circuit will be cut off unless they replace it with some expensive digital alarm circuit.

my 1.02 cents
-LW

The settlement isn't harsh enough (0, Offtopic)

dh003i (203189) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068779)

The settlement in my opinion clearly isn't strict enough. There's nothing that really prevents MS from continuing to abuse its powers.

Furthermore, the adaptations proposed by the states are very reasonable, if only minimal requirments, to prevent further abuse. MS should be forced to sell OEM's a stripped-down version of Windows, and OEM's should have the right to remove any features they so desire. Furthermore, competitors -- including competing operating systems -- should be given the code to MS Windows so that they can ensure compliance and compatability with Windows. In other words, people making competing products to MS' IE, file-browser, e-mail prog, messenger prog, should have the ability to integrate and mesh those with Windows just as well and easily as MS can/does.

Additionally, restrictions should be placed on MS' use and development of the boot-loader.

Furthermore, provisions should be put into place to ensure that alternate OS' are represented at OEM stores -- such as *Linux, *BSD, BeOS, AmigaSDK, GNUstep, Hurd, etc -- so that the makers of other OS' have the ability to compete. The real reason MS dominates the market is because THEIR OS is installed in MOST OEM PC's, and OEM's WON'T install other OS'. If users had the option to have the OS of their choice installed, MS' dominance would be reduced. So MS should be forced to pay a fee to OEM's to allow them to display alternate OS' on systems in their stores.

Of course, the main thing is that they should force MS to open up the source code for all versions of Windows. That is, if they aren't going to break MS up, which would ALSO solve the problem.

PS -- I'd like to think I have the honor of being the first person to actually post an intelligent comment on this story, other than "First post here" or "Second post here". Some people really need to get a life.

Re:The settlement isn't harsh enough (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068805)

Mod this guy OT. Tauzin-Dingell is the rewrite of the Telecom Act of 1996. It has nothing to do with MSDOJ.

foot-dragging is the real problem (2, Insightful)

smagoun (546733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068781)

The bill isn't going to kill the DSL providers. They're already dead. They were killed because the telcos wanted them to die. The letter of the law says that other companies (Covad) have to have access, but it doesn't say anything about the phone companies making life easy for the DSL companies. That's the real problem - the two were never on an equal footing. This bill won't help that at all, but it's not the end of the world either.

what is up? (-1)

LOTR Troll (544929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068784)

why do the /. colors look like the inside of a toilet? Is that the view michael is most used to? what gives?

is that bad? (2)

Suppafly (179830) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068786)

It seems like thing were better back in the day when they weren't regulated. Sure it was a monopoly.. but the better rates and such they promised when breaking them up never were realized.

My letter to my congressman (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068790)

here is the letter i wrote to my congressman:
I am writing to you in response to HR1542. This bill removes the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and allows the major phone companies (in our area, BellSouth) to stop ALL competition in the broadband internet market. In my area, in rural Alabama, it is importaint for me to get broadband. Currently it is not available, but with the competition that Charter Communications, Covad, Inc., Earthlink Communications, and others puts on Bellsouth, it is more and more likely that it will become available. I hope that you do not vote or support this bill that will harm your rural constituents and help big corporations from other states. I am a new voter, and I plan to be very active in politics as I go through college at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and while I am a member of the community in Bibb County. My grandfather is a county commissioner in Bibb County, so I am very interested and exposed to the political system in the state. I appreciate your support, and hope that you will do what is right for your rural consituents in Alabama, and not what is good for the multinational corporations from Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles.

Re:My letter to my congressman (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068827)

Fortunately, you misspelled important. That will truly impress the illeterate slugs who actually read Congresspeople's mail. Also, pointing out that you are a student and your granfather is a hick comissioner of a backasswards little town will also surely impress the illiterate paragons of civil service.

That is, they will be impressed when they are done eating pigs' hoof and moonpies, washed down with some Red Bull.

This is truly a shining example of representative democracy in action!

Re:My letter to my congressman (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068834)

Oops, I misspelled illiterate. Surely it will be comedy gold for someone to point that out!!!

Let the Bells have their DSL (3, Informative)

Brian Stretch (5304) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068793)

DSL is a kludge, in George Gilder's words "the equivalent of the Pony Express engineering winged horses". It's time to build new fiber-to-the-home nets. Some thoughts on that:

1) Use these [ktinet.com] in the homes, assuming folks still want to use their 100BaseT copper gear.
2) One could let existing ISPs plug into the "local" net to provide "long distance" Internet service, as well as the usual email/Usenet/personal web pages and customer support. Someone like Earthlink might go for that?
2b) Or just buy the usual backbone feed from the usual suspects.
3) Free peering for local traffic with any networks you can run a cable to, like your local university.
4) Any recommendations for switches and core routers? Ought to be able to turn individual ports on and off from remote.
5) High density developments, like the condo complex I live in, seem like a good place to start. I just don't know how to run the cable with minimum mess. Anyhow, start with the easy targets to build a solid customer base, then let the neighbors beg for network extensions.

Works in theory. If I ever finish reading the obligatory O'Reilly book [oreilly.com] maybe I'll take a shot at it, but I'd rather a real network engineer did the work. I'm getting tired of waiting, though. It's not like the existing telcos are going to get a clue. 100Mbps fiber-to-the-home with 1Gbps backbone (upgrading to 10Gbps when the gear is ready and semi-economical) seems very doable, just a lot of grunt work.

Also seems like IP multicast would be a neat distribution means for 20Mbps HDTV datastreams, but that can wait.

How? (5, Insightful)

pirodude (54707) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068795)

Ok, this pisses me off. Now that I've turned 18, what's the process for getting in touch with the people who can shoot this down? Where do I find out their info? What should I say?

Re:How? (5, Informative)

alexjp (43728) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068836)

Visit the U.S. House representative list [house.gov] . Find your representative, and call. When I call, I usally do the following:

  • Say my name, and what city I live in.
  • Ask how Representative So-And-So plans to vote on the bill in question.
  • If the person you're speaking to indicates that your rep is voting for the position you agree with, say "Great - that's what I was hoping".
  • If you're told that your rep is voting the other way, say that you would urge them to support (or vote against, in this case) the bill in question, and give a sentence or two explaining why.
  • If the person you're speaking to doesn't know how your rep is going to vote, say "I'd like to urge Representative So-And-So to support (or vote against) this bill" and explain why.

Basically, what you're trying for is to come across as a reasonable voter who has an opinion. Your call will be logged, and your rep will get a report that 5 people called today urging him (or her) to vote against a bill, and 1 person called urging him to support another bill, etc. If enough people voice disapproval of the rep's planned vote, he may investigate further. If he doesn't know much about the issue, he may just go with the suggestion of the 20 people who bothered to call.

Re:How? (2, Informative)

gartogg (317481) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068873)

Here [competitivebroadband.org] , Here [voicesforchoices.org] , or Here [voicesforchoices.org] , To do something about the bill. Try all 3. It can't hurt, and might do some good. If you want to hand write a letter (they are treated very differently in Washington, ie. read by someone who matters, not JUST form letter replies like e-mails) the bill is H.R. 1542.

Tell them it sucks. Do research and say it intelligently, but they have a monopoly SPONSORED by the state. The state therefore needs to be the ones regulating them. It's simple. Lay it out. Write a letter (by HAND!) and say these things.

sllort got modbombed (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068800)

made the posts too early I guess... :(

This is a good thing (5, Interesting)

Ender_the_Xenocide (71196) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068807)

...for fixed wireless [somanetworks.com] . (No, I'm not an employee. Just a former employee.)

DSL (and cable) suffer from the last-mile problem: getting that last bit of cable to your hourse is really, really expensive. Every service call they have to make (including turning the thing on in the first place) is a huge loss for them. Right now, smaller competitors are able to get in only because they can piggyback on the big carriers' infrastructure, but this has its own problems. For instance, Sympatico DSL here in Canada has chosen to use this awful PPP-over-Ethernet technology to share the lines. I'd prefer to use Sympatico over Rogers, cause I've mostly gotten better service, but the PPPoE is just too much hassle.

Without having to share the lines, the big companies will be able to give better service. I know Sympatico's losing business over the PPPoE thing. Of course, without competition, there's no incentive to actually improve. But without the option of using the big networks, smaller companies will have to start looking for other solutions - like wireless, for instance. No physical cable = no last mile problem = less overhead = better business for the little guy.

The current DSL situation is a bit of a mess, and not going to get better without a major shakeup. (I don't think it's as bad as a lot of people make out, but I may have just been lucky in my service on the whole.) Think of this as an opportunity...

Fixed wireless will not benefit (1)

Ho Kooshy Fly (561299) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068895)

Fixed wireless huh?

Even advanced systems that help out line of site problems with fixed wireless have mostly lost money. What about Sprint my friend? The largest provider of fixed wireless wouldn't even invest in anything more advanced than upconverting cable-modem signalling/modulation directly and now wants to pull out of the market. This will not happen soon. I speak from personal experience there will be nothing gained from fixed wireless by an evaporation of DSL users. DSL users have already been slighted for some time and have not gone in droves to Sprint, because they could not provide cost effective access.

Alan

Re:Fixed wireless will not benefit (1)

thogard (43403) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068961)

Maybe sprint has decided it has better use for the frequency than broadband wireless.

Re:This is a good thing (2)

krogoth (134320) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068902)

Maybe I'm just in some space-time warp (of course, some people think that about Saskatchewan), but I have never seen a hint of PPPoE. I haven't checked with other people around here, but if I do have it (unlikely, but the modem does take 30 seconds to connect when I reset it... last time was probably over a year ago) I never see it.

Australia: 1, North America: infinity (1)

mike_sucks (55259) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068926)

Well, well, well.

It looks like this may be the *one* time 'Net access in Australia is any better than over the the US and Canada.

Our telco monopoly, Telstra, uses PPPoE for it's ADSL lines. For what reason? I can only ascribe it to their usual complete and utter lack of clue, and general incompetence.

Luckily, some or smaller, regional ISPs (Internode for example[0]), actually do IP directly over ADSL, so you just plug your ethernet card into your ADSL bridge, and that interface is magically part of their network - no PPPoE.

W00t! It's go to see we don't completely suck.

Mike.

[0] - Plug, plug. Discaimer, I use their service, and I used to work for them.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again..." (2, Funny)

Glytch (4881) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068825)

"Democracy just doesn't work."

Re:"I've said it before and I'll say it again..." (1)

Thugwold (518547) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068883)

Yeah,
Lets try communism, it works SO much better.

Re:"I've said it before and I'll say it again..." (2)

cybermage (112274) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068971)

Lets try communism, it works SO much better.

Better still, a Slash-ocracy, where all decisions are made through Slashdot polls.

Should make CowboyNeal a viable third-party candidate when he's old enough. ;)

Troll? (2, Funny)

tunah (530328) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068978)

That was no troll, that was a simpsons quote (Kent brockman). I'm sorry, but if you have not seen every simpsons episode at least twice, uncheck 'willing to moderate' ;-)

Knee jerk reaction to a stagnant telcom market (2, Informative)

Ho Kooshy Fly (561299) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068848)

Currently many telco's are not making much of a profit. Many of those guys like Verizon, SBC etc.. are not investing in new technology even though they are some of the more healthy telco's out there. This effort is spurred by the FCC to try to encourage regional bells to spend more money and help pull the telecom industry out of depression. Unfortunately the real problem is NOT in regional bells, it is in the wireless and other larger telco providers like AT&T. They are laden with debt and will drag down the telecom industry for the next few years. Such is the hangover of too much spending. Alan

There is an upside... (2, Interesting)

Eusebo (24544) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068864)

I'm a current QWest customer and hate every minute of it (don't have much choice for BB service) I cringe at the thought of seeing QWest's cesspool grow any larger than it currently is. However, I think there may be a "silver lining" to this cloud (at least depending on your point of view). QWest currently concentrates their DSL equipment in the CO because they have to allow equal access to that equipment. If that equal access went away, they could move the DSL equipment further from the CO to smaller unmanned stations and extend the range of DSL services to areas where coverage isn't currently provided.

While it might push some competition out (what competition is there anyway?) bringing broadband to outlying communities would be a plus...

Just my $.02

Re:There is an upside... (1)

Ho Kooshy Fly (561299) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068884)

This is not likely. Qwest like many other network infrastructure providers will likely drop you the first excuse they get. They cannot afford to pay any higher costs to keep your broadband around by investing in more equipment and facilities. What's worse for you is that many regional bells don't care enough about you to even pick up your service. They are infamous for being unable to provide service to an area for which had service previously.

Alan

Re:There is an upside... (1)

Eusebo (24544) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068906)

Maybe in the short term they will reduce their DSL services, but I don't think that they want to loose ground to the cable providers either. Eventually they'll have to grow their service, or exit the broadband business...

Re:There is an upside... (1)

KC7GR (473279) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068930)

Sayeth Eusebo...

>QWest currently concentrates their DSL equipment>in the CO because they have to allow equal >access to that equipment. If that equal access >went away, they could move the DSL equipment >further from the CO to smaller unmanned stations >and extend the range of DSL services to areas >where coverage isn't currently provided.

Ummmm... Hate to break this to you, but Qwest has already installed a large number of remote DSLAMs at least in the south King County area (southeast of Seattle). I drive by two of them every day. They were installed for the express purpose of being able to bring DSL to the more distant (from the CO) neighborhoods.

If that's how you define "concentrates," then I think you and I need to have a talk. ;-)

Fairness might not be possible (4, Insightful)

gbnewby (74175) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068878)

Read the bill, or at least the summary at the top. Unfortunately, the Congress might actually have our (the people's) best interests at heart. Also unfortunately, the telcos and cable company operators just aren't interested in EITHER opening to competition OR giving good service.

What we THOUGHT was that the telecom act of 96 would level the playing field for smaller players. This hasn't happened, for reasons you see in other posts in this thread.

What we THOUGHT was that technology would rapidly get better, yielding higher bandwidth and a greater ability to get beyond the coupla-kilometers limit. There's been progress, but basically we're still stuck with the same technology as in '96 and before.

What we THOUGHT was that other players (power companies, wireless companies and funky stuff like blimps flying around over cities) would provoke telcos & cable companies to do better. But apart from satelite Internet (which is too slow for gaming and most other interactive use), there are not viable alternatives for most people.

Basically, things have moved more slowly than we, the geeks, thought they would, and the cable companies and telcos have been able to have their way: little competition, top price, and little need for good service.

There's still hope for new technologies and other developments (like municipalities' interest in WLANs) that might give hope to competition for xDSL and cable modem service for "broadband" Internet service. But it doesn't look like there's any hope that any sort of regulation will create real improvements for most users (or wannabe users) for today's "broadband" Internet services.

Does it really matter? (1)

filtersweep (415712) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068886)

...I don't get it: I don't know anyone who actually uses a "local" phone company... except businesses. This bill, as far as I can tell, doesn't affect someone like me who uses DSL through Qwest with Visi as my ISP. It could only potentially affect me if I used "Joe's Phone Co." for my "DSL line", and Qwest has already made such arrangements all but impossible anyway... our company formerly used an alternative phone co. until they wanted DSL- at which point we returned to Qwest. Or, from the article: "Competitors argue that the Bells haven't held up their end of the bargain, having stymied access to their the networks by delaying the provisioning of networks and failing to meet performance standards for delivering wholesale network services over to its competitors"

To a certain degree, the logic of the regional bells makes good sense to me: DSL was 'nothing' back in 1996. Since when was DSL considered a necessary part of "phone service?"

On the other hand, I think the regional bells have exaggerated the stakes involved. I doubt they are bleeding money to the degree that local bells have. Unless we socialize such utilities, we need to expect cut-throat business ethics of regional bells.

Frosty Piss (-1, Offtopic)

the time you read th (561235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068898)

Yeah!

Re:Frosty Piss (-1, Troll)

the time you read th (561235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068948)

Thank you for spending a mod point on me.

Would you like to spend another?

The History Behind the Bill, and Billy Tauzin (4, Informative)

puto (533470) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068909)

Well this surfaces again,

Being from the great State of Louisiana and having attended the same University of congressman Tauzin, and whose father went to the same U with him(Pop has got some funny stories about how the Senator was refused from fraternity parties and wore suits to class, all of this in the 60's).

TO understand why Tauzin came up with this you need to know a little local history.

Billy Tauzin came up with idea in the late 90's just when the dot com boom was at a frenzy. Internet in Louisiana was getting pretty big. I was working for a small ISP called Fastband when it happened. You might remember us, Fastband Global Cast. We were an ISP who also were one of the earlier content providers for online music broadcasting.

Bell in Louisiana had just realized that internet was big money and our loop costs for our points of presence become outrageous, and couple this with our bandwidth costs from UUNET and Qwest it was hard to survive in the dial up game. Bell was a little late to gate into the ISP market....

Louisiana had several large ISP's. The largest being Communique in New Orleans. Bell started offering their services, at a higher cost and lousy customer service. Not enough ISP experience. And people in my neck of the woods stick to what they know, a lotta brand loyalty. In the south we live by the motto if aint broke do not fix it.

So, Bell realizing it could not break into the market that easily got into Tauzin's pockets. He immediately released the proposal and all ISPS in the state signed a petition much like that ISP's. All looked good. Billy was defeated...

But the bad news. Communique the largest ISP in the state, the company with the most to lose, sold out. They were bought out by Verio. Who could care less because they are so large. Communique also provide most of the bandwidth to smaller ISPS in the area and when Verio bought them out they raised the prices on the little guys to get the customers.

But it gets better. I sold out and joined the ranks of the unwashed at Verio. Actually, in those days we had damn good prices and service. Everything worked. Before all support moved to the NOC in Dallas.

BUT I always wondered why Bell never messed with Verio. Sure we used them for many things but they could of taken our business.... Because one day I found out that 80 percent of Bells Webhosting(AT the time) was on Verios servers at Hiway. AND Bell only allowed Verio to resell DSL access in the New Orleans area for a short time when it first become availible.

This is a little long. Moral of the story is that Louisiana lost out to the Telcos due to a Big ISP, a corrupt senator, and just being in the wrong place in the wrong time. The Bells view this as a success and Tauzin who likes his office in Washington and no doubt some official and unofficial perks from the telcos is taking his little proposal on the road.

Puto

Whatever passes, (2, Insightful)

mbstone (457308) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068912)

Regardless of its provisions, any bill on the subject of telecom which is passed by Congress will cause your phone and cable bill to go up.

Read the Bill (4, Informative)

cybermage (112274) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068919)

The point of the bill, as I read it, is to put high-speed Internet access on a par with telephone service, in that it should be available to everyone. The bill requires that high-speed access be available through every bell central office, or CO, within five years; and it requires that every loop from that CO, regardless of distance, be capable of providing high-speed service at the customer's request. If the loop cannot support high-speed access, then the telco must use other technology to deliver the service.

Inter-connection between ISPs and the Bells are changed in nature, but still required. Existing agreements will run their course; new agreements will require that the fee charged to ISPs for access to the loop be the same that the telco charges itself. The Bells must still allow ISPs to inter-connect with them.

Perhaps it is best to think of the new arrangements as being akin to the way long-distance telephone service is handled. Today, when you signup for a telephone you can choose your long-distance carrier and change it at will. When/if this bill passes, it seems that the intent is for you to do the same with your ISP.

One last point that should be clarified: the bill does not trash the unbundling portions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. It simply says that it doesn't allow for using those unbundled components for anything other than telephone service; consequently, it reverses the interpretations put forward by the FCC that has led to the hodge-podge, bankrupt, trail-and-error solutions to high-speed access we've seen to date.

Rep. Billy Tauzin's own words on his bill (5, Informative)

alcohollins (64804) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068936)

Here's some excerpts from Rep. Billy Tauzin on his telecom bill in a WashingtonPost.com web chat [washingtonpost.com] . I'm not sure he really knows what he's talking about.

Pasadena, Tex.: Why are you trying to kill competition for local, regional and national Internet Service Providers by giving the Bells the right to be a monopoly? As a representative from Louisiana, you will be hurting your own Louisiana ISPs. Competition is what makes the American Dream work, when you get rid of it, we might as well be in Russia in the Cold War!

Rep. Tauzin: Rather be in Pasadena than Russia any day. First, our bill will not kill the competition nor make Bell companies monopolies. If you believe that I have some great waterfront property in Russia to sell you. The truth is our bill will create the first FCC authority to hammer the Bells for any violation of their obligations to open up their local markets to competitors. The FCC currently does not have such authority except when a Bell company seeks access into the long distance market. Secondly, our bill will preserve for the competitive carriers full line sharing rights to the legacy copper networks and will additionally give local competitors rights to use the Bell companies new fiber and hybrid fiber systems for broadband competition purposes at terms and rates set not by the Bell company but by the FCC. That is as fair as it gets.

------

Silver Spring, Md.: Rep. Tauzin, I used to work for Verizon (local service) and was perpetually disgusted by how that company treated customers and other CLECs. Poor customer service, shoddy network leasing -- I've heard and seen it all. Competition is very much needed to help Verizon help itself.

Rep. Tauzin: I totally agree. Any monopoly provider as I pointed out earlier is like the single store that gives you bad products, prices, service and occasionally bad attitudes. De-monopolizing the local Bell loops remains a big part of our plans.

this matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3068946)

this 'consumer hoice' is a very squishy term.

what it means here is that i have to deal with the fairly ignorant support that phone companies give to layer 3 internet services

but more importantly it means that phone conpanies can choose to restrict the service offerings if its more convenient to them. this includes specifying a particular brand of access box, and the services it provides. i'm sorry, we dont provide static addresses, or service without a NAT, or perhaps in the limit the ability to connected without a 'supported' operating system.

a guarenteed monopoly in internet access is going to mean a whole lot of unpleasant technical things aside from the simple matter of cost. prepare to be reamed.

heh (1)

battlinbill (526010) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068965)

why so glum, buy stock. maybe lucent will get out of the crapper on this deal.

here in NH (1)

mike13down (513643) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068967)

I don't feel a bit bad about this, Here in small town NH we have only one choice for broadband, ATT. If there we had a choice we would upgrade to a faster service but we don't have that option. Years(5) ago we used Mv for dialup service, they were good but what kind of power do they have, they have not produced dsl or t-1 in the rural areas so what is the point? Are they going to just provide service to the inner-city areas?
I would stick up for them if they acually did something other than just survive.
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