[telecom] Robert Reich: Living in a New Gilded Age

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Contrary to Reich's claim, most of those 80% of Americans do indeed have choices
other than the "local cable company":

--> In most locations, the local telephone company (DSL, FiOS, etc.)

--> In most locations, satellite networks (Dish Network and DirecTV),
    provided that the downlink antenna can be placed in view of the
    satellite signal.

--> In some locations, Google Fiber.

--> In some locations, municipal broadband.

The success of municipal broadband networks has been inconsistent.

--> Chattanooga, Tennessee's broadband network has been a huge
    success, currently serving some 82,000 customers.

--> But Provo, Utah's broadband network iProvo has been a disaster.
    After numerous financial setbacks the city sold the system to
    Google for $1.00.  

As I've noted before in this space, most successful municipal
broadband networks were built in cities that already owned their own
electric power utilities.  In these cities the city already owned the
utility poles and underground duct systems needed for the fiber
networks.  That was certainly true in Chatanooga's case: the Electric
Power Board already owned the power network and built the broadband
network on the same infrastructure.

But even owning its own power utility didn't help in Provo.

In any case, my original statement holds: in most locations, the
"local cable company" isn't the only option.

Neal McLain
Brazoria, Texas

Re: [telecom] Robert Reich: Living in a New Gilded Age
On Monday, October 15, 2018 at 10:54:19 AM UTC-4, Neal McLain wrote:

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There has been posted here many articles about people
living in fringe areas that do not have choices.  Also,
many people in developed areas (like me) don't have choices

Verizon told a friend's community they had to have a minimum
number of subscribers or they would walk away.  Vz walked away,
so the only provider is the cable.  Happening to a lot of places.

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DSL is increasingly inadequate for today's heavy duty websites.
I wish that wasn't so, but websites have more and more bloat to
them and a heavy-duty broadband connection is needed to access
them successfully.  (One also needs a newer computer to handle
an up-to-date browser).

Many places, for whatever reasons, do not have FIOS access.  I don't.

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If you live in multi-family housing, you might not be allowed to
put up a dish.  Or, as mentioned (and a friend discovered), the
antenna signal is blocked.

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I think these are relatively rare.

In my area at least, Comcast has a lot of political power and
would fight hard to prevent municipal broadband.


Re: [telecom] Robert Reich: Living in a New Gilded Age
Per Neal McLain:
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Proposing DSL as a realistic alternative seems to me like a debater's point
at best.

Last time I used DSL, it was maddeningly slow - and that was many years ago
when web pages were nowhere near as complex/graphic-laden as they are now.

Even text email was no prize with DSL.

Here in the suburbs of Philadelphia PA, we have two choices: Comcast and
Verizon FIOS.

I have FIOS and no complaints, but my #1 daughter-the-farmer about an hour
west has one "Choice" and it sucks pretty bad - to the point where when I
TeamViewer into her PC to troubleshoot something it's close to useless
Pete Cresswell

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