NYT Decides Broadband Is Too Expensive

from the is-it? dept

Tim writes “An interesting mini-article in the NYT, arguing that the price of broadband, $40-$50 per month, is limiting its adoption. The article says only 15% of households get broadband, although 70% are technically capable of doing so. I agree that it is hard to sell the benefits of broadband, especially to someone who isn’t a regular net user. But, having been one of the early adopters (3 years ago), I can’t imagine going back to dial-up, and I can’t imagine anyone who has broadband going back. Waiting for a connection? Waiting for a page to load? Opening one window at a time? No thanks. We have had to cut a lot of expenses in Geodog’s household over the last year, but the extra $300 per year we pay for broadband is at the bottom of the cut list. I suspect that my experience is a common one. So, while the rollout may be slower than some would like, it seems inevitable. It is like the Tivo/PVR features. Hard to explain and sell, but once experienced, it is sold. The article is also flawed in that it fails to discuss all the supply side constraints on provisioning broadband to the 70% who are technically capable of receiving it. The author has apparently never had to deal with Pac Bell or his local cable company.”

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Comments on “NYT Decides Broadband Is Too Expensive”

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LittleW0lf says:

Broadband ISPs, not price, killing Broadband

Hey Tim,

I don’t agree with the article either, price has nothing to do with the slow acceptance of broadband, but the broadband ISPs who are quick to sign up people and slow to support the folks they already have.

As my email address shows, I am a broadband user, and like yourself, an early adopter (when @Home first came to our area back in 1998-99 time period.) During the first few months, there was a big push to get the infrastructure ready, but since that time, there have been very few efforts made to modernize the infrastructure…I am still too far away from the nearest DSL head-end.

Also, I’ve noticed with Cox atleast, that there is a general apathy towards their users suggestions, I’ve been pushing Cox for some time to setup and use SSL encryption for their mail and web servers, but to no avail, they have no interest in security beyond telling you what you can or cannot do with their cable (and putting increasingly smaller caps on the usage which makes broadband far closer to dial-up, (56kbps dialup for $9.99/mo or 56kbps cable for $49/mo, hmmm?)) And how many NIMDA infected Windoze IIS boxen scan me from within Cox’s network despite their blocking…Oh, and me running a secure Linux or OpenBSD box on their network is both unsupported and will get me a rash of flak whenever they feel like beating up on folks.

I think the biggest threat to Broadband is the Broadband ISPs, whose interest isn’t giving the customer the best capabilities they can for the higher price, but milking the most money and frustration out of the users for what service they do get.

Neil says:

Abandon Broadband?? Perhaps

I am currently abandoning my connection to Starband. Sure, the pages load faster, but the latency is near a second and the service is slowly going from bad to worse. I realize that this isn’t broadband in the classic sense, but still, this gives me a chance to respond to a topic that I am quite interested in, and to whine simultaneously.

Tim (user link) says:

Re: Abandon Broadband?? Perhaps

I agree with both of you. As I alluded to in the last sentence of my post, both the telcos and the cable companies are notorious for their horrible customer service.

I assume that your complaints are about the quaulity of the service, not the idea of a fast connection, correct?

Yours in speed,


LittleW0lf says:

Re: Re: Abandon Broadband?? Perhaps

I assume that your complaints are about the quaulity of the service, not the idea of a fast connection, correct?

Speed is only one part of my overall complaint, which is the quality of service. I very rarely call for technical support…but when I do, it is usually something about problems on their end, routers which are dropping massive amounts of packets and such, yet I am treated as though I am a newby (even the layer 3 tech support folks,) and treated to the old fashion…”you aren’t running windoze, so we cannot help you,” even though it isn’t my computer which is causing their router problems…

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