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Why your TV sucks and your internet is slow and expensive

Peter Grimm

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Imagine being able to download and upload files over 100x faster than you currently are. Imagine crisp, clean HD television, without hang-ups or outages.

This entertainment utopia exists, believe it or not, in none other than Kansas City, Missouri. Recently, Google introduced its new "Google Fiber" TV and Internet packages with blazing download speeds of 1000 MBPS, no data caps, and bundled HD television for an affordable price.

Infographic: If Google Fiber Went Worldwide - Forbes

So what's stopping Google from offering this service in your city? Politics. Corporate greed. You know, the usual racket.

To understand what's going on, first you need to understand the minefield that are bids and city council permits.

Have you ever wondered why you don't really have a choice in cable providers, and maybe one or two internet providers? It's because your local city council gets paid by your cable company to essentially operate a monopoly in your area. First, the city council will put the "rights" to provide cable up for a bid in your municipality. Here is an example of one such bidding war currently ongoing in Cheasapeake VA.

Invitation for Bids (Fiber Optic Cable)

Purely speculation on my part, but I'm sure there are more than a few steak dinners and $100 handshakes between the city counsel members and the cable company lobbyists.

Anyhow, whoever wins the bid essentially buys the rights to provide cable to your area for a given time period. This is usually long (by technology standards).

What this serves to do is essentially block out any competition for that particular area, allowing the cable company to charge whatever they want, and allowing them to suck however bad they want (since you can't change providers).

So while the technology exists to provide you with internet that is 100x faster, with TV that doesn't hang up, all at a fraction of what you're paying per MB, the system is working against you.

And that's pretty messed up.

The United States currently has one of the slowest average download speeds of anywhere in the developed world. This is an infrastructural disadvantage built in by political inefficiency and corruption.

http://www.netindex.com/

Finally, here's a quote from the old guard that's sure to piss you off.

"We just don't see the need of delivering that to customers." - Irene Estevez, CFO at Time Warner Cable when asked about whether TWC would offer Gigabit speeds comparable to Google.

Time Warner Cable executive claims consumers don


Your thoughts?
 

Fisher

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I don't trust google which is why I have never used Chrome.
 

Fisher

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Do you trust fiber optics though?
Sure. My town is spending a mint on creating a network to replace cable/telephone lines. They should be finished by the time I am 214 years old.
 

MMC

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Do you trust fiber optics though?
Heya PG. :2wave: Arent fiber optics suppose to be faster? They did that monopolizing on our area with Cable TV. Comcast basically holds the Higher ground so to speak. We use to have US Cable. TCI Cable. Then Warner Bros Cable.

Isn't Satellite faster too? Also I thought they were coming out with the Net 2.
 

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It's because I live out in the ****ing boonies. it would cost them so much to run fiber optics to my place that they'd have to charge me $1000/month just to recoup their investment. hell, I can't even get traditional cable because I am "too far" from the main road. So I am stuck with satelite DSL for internet.
 

Juiposa

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Wait, the United States' digital infrastructure is not carried through fiber optics yet?
 

Fisher

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Heya PG. :2wave: Arent fiber optics suppose to be faster? They did that monopolizing on our area with Cable TV. Comcast basically holds the Higher ground so to speak. We use to have US Cable. TCI Cable. Then Warner Bros Cable.

Isn't Satellite faster too? Also I thought they were coming out with the Net 2.
It is still limited by the hardware. There is a major fiber optic line that my city is tapped into--the equivalent of a data oil pipeline. The people I know who actually have access to internet over it say it is a "little bit better than what we did have, but no big deal". For consumers, it is not that much difference if your porn loads at 3 times the speed because you can only get your zipper open so fast. The real upside is for businesses/government who traffic in huge volumes of data. The city has been bouncing around the idea of buying supercomputers and putting them onto the fiberoptic grid and lease their use to businesses like an internet cafe of sorts as a way to lure in more high-tech companies/researchers.

Running it into people's homes is very time consuming and expensive. The feeder lines go underground to protect them as they are more vulnerable than cable to weather/damage which is a logistical nightmare when you are having to trench through asphalt and concrete.
 

Carjosse

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Wait, the United States' digital infrastructure is not carried through fiber optics yet?
Most of ours isn't either if you live outside of the GTA. Apparently their cable/internet providers are even worse than ours.
 

Carjosse

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It is still limited by the hardware. There is a major fiber optic line that my city is tapped into--the equivalent of a data oil pipeline. The people I know who actually have access to internet over it say it is a "little bit better than what we did have, but no big deal". For consumers, it is not that much difference if your porn loads at 3 times the speed because you can only get your zipper open so fast. The real upside is for businesses/government who traffic in huge volumes of data. The city has been bouncing around the idea of buying supercomputers and putting them onto the fiberoptic grid and lease their use to businesses like an internet cafe of sorts as a way to lure in more high-tech companies/researchers.

Running it into people's homes is very time consuming and expensive. The feeder lines go underground to protect them as they are more vulnerable than cable to weather/damage which is a logistical nightmare when you are having to trench through asphalt and concrete.
Have you ever tried to torrent anything?
 

Juiposa

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Most of ours isn't either if you live outside of the GTA. Apparently their cable/internet providers are even worse than ours.
I don't live the GTA and mine is fiber.

And, no, never. No one can ever be worse than Rogers.
 

Peter Grimm

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Sure. My town is spending a mint on creating a network to replace cable/telephone lines. They should be finished by the time I am 214 years old.
Oh, gotcha. So what does that make it, two or three years till completion then? :2wave:
 

Fisher

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Have you ever tried to torrent anything?
I get a little confused on that exact terminology as different people use different ways to describe it. I have downloaded rar files and had to do all that crap to extract them and piece them together, and I briefly used some variation of limewire but I forget the name of it, but beyond that, no. If I download something, I want it ready to use the second it arrives in the proper format.
 

Peter Grimm

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Heya PG. :2wave: Arent fiber optics suppose to be faster? They did that monopolizing on our area with Cable TV. Comcast basically holds the Higher ground so to speak. We use to have US Cable. TCI Cable. Then Warner Bros Cable.

Isn't Satellite faster too? Also I thought they were coming out with the Net 2.
Fiber optics are faster. It doesn't matter who is providing them, it's just a better technology. I'm like you, stuck with cable. I live in the heart of Dallas, and, unfortunately, Time Warner paid someone off for the rights to this area, so our only choice is between DSL and cable.

Now in newer developments around Dallas (Plano, Richardson), they get Verizon's FiOs (Fiber Optics) which is much faster than my cable, though not as fast as Google Fiber.

I'm just sick of the politics getting in the way of supply and demand. Give me, the customer, a choice.
 

Carjosse

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I get a little confused on that exact terminology as different people use different ways to describe it. I have downloaded rar files and had to do all that crap to extract them and piece them together, and I briefly used some variation of limewire but I forget the name of it, but beyond that, no. If I download something, I want it ready to use the second it arrives in the proper format.
That's why you have never tried to download 10s (sometimes even hundreds) of gigabytes of files from torrents like most people now.
 

Papa bull

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It's because I live out in the ****ing boonies. it would cost them so much to run fiber optics to my place that they'd have to charge me $1000/month just to recoup their investment. hell, I can't even get traditional cable because I am "too far" from the main road. So I am stuck with satelite DSL for internet.
I've got satellite TV and Verizon Wireless internet and phone. I'd have preferred cable, but the cable stops about 1/4 mile up the road from where I live and no amount of wheedling and begging has been able to get them to run the cable down the road to my house. It's simply too expensive for them. They'll probably do it the week after I'm dead.
 

Peter Grimm

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On another note, I thought deregulation was supposed to fix all of this.

Nope.

I look back now and laugh. We, the voting public, are such suckers.
 

Fisher

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Oh, gotcha. So what does that make it, two or three years till completion then? :2wave:
More or less, at least it feels that way when I stand up :)

The irony to me is that i have both the fiber-optic and T1 lines within 10 feet of my office and broadband speed is really about the best I can get right now because I am not the gubbermint or in the gubbermint approved fiberoptic zone.
 

Peter Grimm

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It's because I live out in the ****ing boonies. it would cost them so much to run fiber optics to my place that they'd have to charge me $1000/month just to recoup their investment. hell, I can't even get traditional cable because I am "too far" from the main road. So I am stuck with satelite DSL for internet.
I live in central dallas. I'm sure Verizon, Google, or someone else would love nothing more than to run their fiber optic lines in to Dallas and offer their services to the millions of potential customers in this city.

Unfortunately, Time Warner holds the rights to this city, and they don't want to update their antiquated cables.

Politics, corruption, and bribery at its worst. And this is in a red state.
 

Fisher

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That's why you have never tried to download 10s (sometimes even hundreds) of gigabytes of files from torrents like most people now.
1 to 1.5 gig is about the largest files i have ever downloaded and it didn't take so long that it mattered to me.
 

grip

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With things like AT&T U-verse (wireless TV-internet) they'll probably start to eliminate ground lines. Landline phones and cables will become outdated technology.
 

Peter Grimm

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Until 1984, local governments kept cable prices in check," says CU. "Then deregulation resulted in a torrent of price hikes, interrupted only by a brief period, 1993-1996, when rates were regulated. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 opened the flood gates to deregulation and more price hikes. Since passage of the 1996 Act, cable rates have increased by 59 percent—almost three times the rate of inflation—according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 

Peter Grimm

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With things like AT&T U-verse (wireless TV-internet) they'll probably start to eliminate ground lines. Landline phones and cables will become outdated technology.
Wireless internet is more limited by bandwidth though, right? I think you can only get up to 6 MBPS right now, and every company has data caps. In comparison, google fiber is 1000 MBPS with no data caps, for around the same price.
 
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