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Why is US Broadband so Slow?

phantomfive (622387) writes | about 7 months ago

1

phantomfive (622387) writes "Verizon has said they will not be digging new lines any time soon. Time-Warner's cash flow goes towards paying down debt, not laying down fiber. AT&T is doing everything they can to slow deployment of Google fiber.
How can the situation be improved? Mainly by expediting right-of-way access, permits, and inspections, according to Andy Kessler. That is how Google was able to afford to lay down fiber in Austin, and how VTel was able to do it in Vermont (gigabit connections for $35 a month)."

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Because they want it to be slow fake Scarcity Myth (1)

cboslin (1532787) | about 7 months ago | (#46321259)

Broadband is slow because they want it to be slow. The providers feel so threatened that they have passed laws in at least 14 states preventing competition [muninetworks.org] . So much for the free market.

Lets discuss how it can be improved...read on, warning to others...long post.

The smart communities control their right of ways. They do not give any one or two companies privileged access. Nor do not sell their infrastructure to any private company, ever, for any reason. Funny how the reason most often given to sell, water, electrical, telephone and bandwidth to a private company is costs to consumers. Sure costs might be held down for some initial honeymoon period, often 4 years or less, however ultimately, in 100% of cases I have looked at, after that initial honeymoon period, prices to consumers always go up, usually much higher than they would have, had the community's infrastructure not been sold to the private entity in the first place.

A good use of some eminent-domain-like-activity, for communities to wrestle their infrastructure back from those companies for the benefit of the community.

Sadly I can not think of a single instance where selling a communities infrastructure to a private entity did not result in costing that community significantly more after the honeymoon period. In such areas, you also usually find businesses polluting the local environment as well. So in addition to ultimately higher costs of services, the local community ends up not being able to drink their own water. Why communities allow these businesses to re-distribute wealth out of the community is beyond reasoning. Even worse, laws are passed to prevent competition and locking the community into a customer no service environment that eventually becomes an econmical and environmental disaster for anyone living in the community.

Private enterprise, private companies only do one thing well, maximizing their own profit at all costs. No matter how much they give back to the community, they always take more away from it. Even more ironic when the same companies do not pay any taxes thanks to sweet heart deals with naïve local politicians. One telco that I worked for, got incentives to move to one community and than after the honeymoon period, got incentives from another community less than 50 miles away and moved all those jobs out of that community. Will the politicians never learn.

When you go through that Community Broadband map, you discover only a few (less than 30 US Communities [is.gd] ) of those listed actually provide symmetrical Fiber To The Home, (FTTH)! Most throttle the upstream bandwidth, this is wrong and must be avoided if your community is to see an increase in economic development thanks to fiber. Having true FTTH, is what is honestly important as FTTH negates the scarcity myth for the citizens of that community. Increasing bandwidth, increases jobs, increases prosperity, increases economic activity and more. All the positives with none of the negatives.

The Scarcity Myth is a lie used to increase prices of commodities like fuel (oil), food and of course internet bandwidth.

The ONLY solution that will stop the broadband scarcity myth antics is symmetrical Fiber To The Home (FTTH). If a provider says they have FTTH, and their services are not symmetrical (10MB/10MB vs 10Mb/2Mb) especially the upstream bandwidth, that provider is planning to perpetuate the scarcity myth in their service to you. Avoid them if possible, if you lose your home, your job, don't make the same mistakes a second time, move to a community where they already have symmetrical FTTH. You will find more opportunity there thanks to the FTTH.

The FTTH, fiber, link should run from your property all the way to the switching station. Let the providers compete for business at that point. Ideally the community should control this resource, just as they should control the water, electrical, even the banking system if possible.

Granted I have only heard of one community, in Colorado, that has their own local currency that they exchange for US dollars upon demand. Businesses offer a discount if you use the local currency, thus more money stays locally in the economy.

The point is only FTTH will set you free. Not FTTB, FTTC, FTTN or FTTP [slashdot.org] , they all stop short of the FTTH your community needs to spur economic development.

With FTTH, there is no valid reason to throttle or limit the bandwidth as 100% of cable providers do today. Also don't pay an extra $10 for faster speeds or more bandwidth as I did and my bandwidth throttling did not change. I could see it in real time with dd-WRT. I will never make that mistake again, should I find myself in an area with no Fiber, no DSL, only Cable internet.

(If you do not know that your cable provider does not provide you all the bandwidth they have promised and that you have paid for, you are not alone, get a dd-WRT enabled device and see your bandwidth in real time [slashdot.org] , I have and its shocking. I paid for 20Mb/2Mb and only got a throttled 300Kb/30Kb, except during the speed test where I got the full promised bandwidth. It was scary how often I was throttled to less than 101Kb/30Kb. The millisecond the speed test finished my bandwidth was once again throttled. It was obvious that they only opened the pipe, giving you the bandwidth you paid for, during the duration of the speed test. If you do not know this, its because the limited firmware in your firewall/router does not allow you to see it.)

The point is that the FTTH link should be yours and your homes ONLY. It should not be shared as your cable trunk is. Anything less than FTTH is outdated, old technology. If they come out with a new technology, will you own the link to your home or not? Will your upstream bandwidth be less than the downstream bandwidth? They should be the same or they are NOT symmetrical.

Don't let them lie to you that FTTH is expensive either, another lie. The cost is not excessive for a couple of reasons, first when they run fiber to a community, they do not run them one at a time, they run a bundle of fiber large enough to reach all the homes (now and/or in the future) to your area. Thus they dig once.

Any cabling system that requires a consumer to share any portion of the link with another consumer, for any reason, allows the re-introduction of scarcity myth to limit your service and drive up prices. This impairment is arbitrary and hurts economic development for your community.

We pay way to much for limited and throttled internet bandwidth today. I remember when cable providers pushed you to $50 per month, than $80 per month, than $100 per month, even as high as $150 per month. What a joke. I got fed up when they started pushing for $80 per month for internet access. And you should be fed up too! Hint 1: DSL, although its bandwidth is lower than cable, is in reality faster than cable internet because of the throttling and restrictions the cable company applies to all their cable customers. Hint 2: There is not anything on cable that you can not find on the Internet! Once you cut your cord, you will be happier! Once you have FTTH, you will not need to worry about these types of poor business practices.

I use to follow a blogger that was in upper IT Mgmt, in his blog at globalcrossing.com he indicated that it cost less than .50 cents to provided 1 GB of bandwidth. He further indicated that the industry figure of $560 per month for 1 Terabyte was in reality closer to $32 per month for 1 Terabyte of bandwidth. Wish I could post the links for you, but his blog was removed. So don't let the telcos lie to you and try to imply that its cost prohibitive for the to provide Fiber To The Home. That too is a lie.

Second, a fiber link costs between $1,500 to $3,000 per run and adds $5,000 to the price of the home [itwire.com] . In a symmetrical FTTH community, your fiber link is sold with the property as part of the real estate transaction. This prevents any future business from re-introducing the scarcity myth to you, your family, whomever owns that property. Its actually very pro-American, pro-economic activity, pro-freedom. Any cabling system, less than FTTH, will not protect you, your family, your children, should they be lucky enough to inherit the family home.

Of course the Telcos (both wireline and wireless), cable companys, cellular companies, etc... have a vested interest in not allowing FTTH. They have already passed legislation in 14 states. [muninetworks.org] And they lie to local and state politicians in order to prevent FTTH, competition and in order to continue these scarcity myth related shenanigans. They are very adept at confusing everyone in order to charge you more for less.

In 100% of the cases I am personally aware of, less than 30 todate, every community that asks their local provider to provide FTTH is told NO. When the local community begins the funding process to put in FTTH, that same local provider that refused to provide the service to the community, took the local government to court in a vain and failed effort to stop the FTTH initiative. In 100% of those cases the local provider lost the law suits and the community got their FTTH infrastructure. Economic activity with businesses locating to the area thanks to the FTTH followed. In at least two states, one of them being North Carolina, the incumbents passed legislation to prevent other cities from getting FTTH. (ie. Like Wilson N.C. did.) Shame on the Republican NC state legislators kow-towing to anti-free market businesses. It is small wonder that so much of North Carolina's drinking water is being tragically polluted by Duke Industries [slashdot.org] and not just by one location, but three separate locations in NC.

Japan's government had to de-regulate NTT before they got successful FTTH. Their FTTH links allowed for consumer to receive 100Mb/100Mb for $52 per month by the year 2000. A couple of years later, those same customers could get 1Gb/1Gb thanks to that same fiber. Thanks to Fiber To The Home, a provider can increase the bandwidth by simply replacing the hardware routers on each end of the fiber link to that home. Years ago, 2006 I believe, they proved that a single laser on a single strand of fiber could be multiplexed to provide for a 1024 X increase in bandwidth. Think about that, multiply your bandwidth over the same fiber link by 1024.

What few Americans remember is that Questions the press should ask; Where's that broadband fiber-optic access?”>the telcos were given over 900 million dollars for fiber in outright grants, taxes and fees in 1990, yet never produced the fiber.

Where's the Fiber?

Some of those telcos continued charging these for fiber taxes and fees years later, they just called them something else. In 1996 the industry put so many holes through the Telecommunications Act of 1996 [fcc.gov] , making it all but useless as an enforcement tool. (It was designed to foster competition, however was so badly written that it was used to limit competition.)

Its clear that here in America, just as with NTT in Japan, to get symmetrical FTTH, will require consumer friendly legislation. At least this type of legislation is not anti-free market, anti-competition as the legislation the local duopolies push through the states. If the telcos were willing to provide this on their own as they promised, they would have already done so. That was 1990, its 2014, 24 years after their promise, 14 years after Japan did it in 2000.

Now with the courts allowing providers to shun net neutrality, it can only get worse. Sure some have not used net neutrality against consumers yet, but give them time. Its what they always do, get the business and legislate to limit the free market and competition. This is why broadband should be treated like water, electricity, roads, trash and other community services as companies are not interested in doing what is best for the community in which they profit, they are only interested in the money, most of which no longer stays local to that community. Most large companies simply redistribute the community wealth to other locations, sad really.

The best option, the smart option is to not wait for your providers (or local politicians to do the right thing) in your area to wake up (they do NOT want too) and provide FTTH, but to move to a community that has already fought that good fight and has symmetrical Fiber To The Home in place today [is.gd] . Its where the smart money, jobs and businesses are headed. So why waste your time and money by investing in a business or real estate in a less economically viable (non FTTH) community?

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