Ma Bell's About Face On Muni-WiFi

from the is-that-about-face,-or-just-two-faced? dept

Remember the good old days of... well, last year, when telcos were telcos and they absolutely hated muni-WiFi? It was such a huge threat to their business that they gave Congress people plenty of money to make it illegal. Of course, that was before they actually bothered looking at many of the muni-WiFi proposals, and recognized they weren't really "government-run" at all, but were really no different than traditional telco deals. The government was simply giving away rights of way for placing equipment in return for promises of service. The providers could still be commercial providers with real business models. Suddenly, the industry opposition quieted down. Industry associations claimed that muni-WiFi was great... and AT&T (whose former employee introduced the bill to ban muni-WiFi) was seen providing the very same "free, tax-supported" WiFi they had screamed about just months before. Well, congrats to AT&T for all that hard work trying to stop muni-WiFi. You've just won another muni-WiFi deal (this one without taxpayer funding). Of course, for those of you who thought that muni-WiFi would give consumers an alternate provider, offering real competition to the incumbent telco... well, that doesn't really work so well when that alternate provider is the telco itself.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    TechNoFear (profile), Aug 30th, 2006 @ 1:26am

    Could be worse....

    Could be worse the teleco could be Testra.

    Then you would be told by a smaller ISP that it is not viable for them to supply you with broadband because you are on one of the 13% of lines that are faulty.

    They could then tell you that;
    only Telstra techs are allowed to work on your (any) lines,

    getting a Telstra tech to fix your line will cost more than the ISP will make off your contract in two years

    so your best chance of getting braodband is to sign up with Telsra for two years.

    Testra charges twice the price, charges for excess use (was at Au$0.17/Mb!) and counts uploads and downloads in your quota. Most contracts are for two years and must be signed before Telsta will consider fixing your line. You could sign up and then find that you can not get broadband.


    Not to mention that Telstra's fastest ADSL is 1.5Mb/s (crippled ADSL1), while the other ISP's offer up to 20Mb/s......

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    TechNoFear (profile), Aug 30th, 2006 @ 1:28am

    Its TELSTRA

    Its TELSTRA (Telecom Australia).

    Pity I can't type......

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Known Coward, Aug 30th, 2006 @ 1:44am

    Too bad it's not Verizon. Basic DSL was 768 k and fast DSL was 1.5 mbps. I wanted to upgrade to 1.5 mbps but Verizon said they needed to upgrade my line and they would give me Verizon dialup for two weeks. Guess what, the faster DSL wasn't yet working and they yanked my dialup. Verizon said sorry call back tomorrow during business hours. Not good enough! I cancelled the installation and switched to Roadrunner. Much faster. Verizon sucks.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    =/, Aug 30th, 2006 @ 4:31am

    Re: Could be worse....

    I have felt the pain of dealing with Telstra we have issues with them on my job daily. They are slow moving inneficient mongloids. We place a request for a phone line and 3 weeks later a tech finally shows up says he needs to do additional work that was not part of original install and dissapears into the mist for about another 3 weeks. Granted my pain is compounded by an innept ISP on top of Telstra but I agree they are as close to hell on earth as your going to get in the ISP world

     

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  5.  
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    jim, Aug 30th, 2006 @ 4:39am

    Re: verizon

    I had a similar problem with verizon.. I moved next door.. they wouldnt allow me to request the switch until i moved.. so i moved then called.. and i had to wait a month for service while sitting on dialup.. then after the month they told me another 2 weeks.. I cancelled and they tried to offer me a discount.. a discount is useless if i am not getting any service!

    I called roadrunner and they had me up the next day.

     

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  6.  
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    reggie, Aug 30th, 2006 @ 5:51am

    Re: Re: verizon

    i can understand that one. Roarunner has been very good about showing up verizon in that retrospective.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2006 @ 6:24am

    started with a local isp dial-up. they weer ok..for dial up. they got bought out by a larger city isp....no problems with the transition. service incrreased. really happy. then earthlink bought the isp. it all went to shit. they blocked email ports...had to use their software....tech support didn't want to do a straight dial up....just plain suckass.

    got so fed up with them, switched to verizon dsl. only problems that came was trying to network the house when coming back from school. occasionally slow speeds at times, but hey, we all get that. tech support and what not has been good.

    i don't know what verizon yinz guys use, be mine is great

     

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  8.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Aug 30th, 2006 @ 7:03am

    Not surpising...

    A simple slight of hand. The telcos whine about muni-WIFI while at the same time they are making backdoor deals to get a lock on the muni-WIFI service. This way people will flock to muni-WIFI just to later find out they have run into the arms of the very beast they were trying to escape. Game, set, and match for the telcos.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    chris (profile), Aug 30th, 2006 @ 7:04am

    it's not muni- yet but...

    the incumbent telco in my 'hood (cincinnati bell) says it has like 300 wifi hotspots around cincinnati that are free to it's users. i don't have cinBell DSL so i have yet to take advantage of it.

    300 spots in a city the size of cinci is far from being municipal, but it's a start. as far as i know it didn't involve the local government, either.

     

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  10.  
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    Myself, Aug 30th, 2006 @ 8:49am

    Their position makes sense, now...

    If they want to compete for the deals with other bidders, that seems fine to me. What's baffling is their initial opposition -- didn't they realize this just means more business?

    No matter who builds the network, the data has to be backhauled somewhere. Point-to-point microwave is great but it's not a panacea, and there's only so much spectrum. The vast majority of those backhaul links are going over telco-owned fiber sooner or later. How could they have possibly opposed anything that would grow their business?

     

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  11.  
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    Lay Person, Aug 30th, 2006 @ 10:06am

    Another example

    Another example of: If you can't beat them, join them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    sm, Aug 30th, 2006 @ 10:30am

    Alternate?

    Mike,

    Thanks for drawing our attention to the about turn by telcos.

    BTW, you should not use the word 'alternate' the way you have; you should use the word 'alternative'.

    'Alternate' is synonymous to 'every other' like in 'alternating current'; 'alternative' is an option or recourse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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