Nyah Nyah, My Broadband Network's Better Than Yours

from the not-done-spending-yet dept

Cable companies have been telling shareholders for some time that their broadband networks are robust enough that they’ll be able to hold down capital expenditures, while telcos have worried investors with the billions they’re shelling out to lay fiber up and down the country. But a new internal report from the cable industry warns that it too may have to make major network upgrades to match what the telcos are now doing. Of course, the cable industry is already in full spin mode, arguing that the report was purely speculative, and that it will be able to compete with its existing infrastructure. But there may be something of an Intel vs. AMD dynamic going on. Both companies would love to slow down on R&D, and you could argue that most people rarely use their processors anywhere close to full capacity. Yet neither side can afford to be perceived as trailing the other, in terms of performance. When it comes to their competitors, the cable companies might claim that the speeds afforded by fiber aren’t necessary and won’t add much to performance, but that’s not the point of this arms race. Neither side wants to have the less-advanced network, or be seen as being behind. The broadband providers keep insisting that there is plenty of competition in their industry; maybe that’s more true than they realize.


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Comments on “Nyah Nyah, My Broadband Network's Better Than Yours”

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18 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Bandwidth will always be filled. Look at computers, processors have gotten faster and faster, yet, computers don’t get faster, because software writers keep writing bigger and bigger programs.

Once 100mbps becomes common, content creators will fill up the pipe (ok, for you jokers out there, tubes.)

Cable doesn’t care about seeming to be slower because of consumers, cable has been telling investors that they don’t have to make huge capital network upgrades. Wall Street would kill them if they thought they would have to be spending billions more to upgrade their networks.

Personally, I don’t know if they will need to, as advances come every day, and to tell you the truth, I don’t know of any households that would require 5 HD feeds into the home. Course, then new things come along, and the bandwidth will get eaten up. Wireless options might be able to help with that if they ever come around, but who knows.

G-man says:

Bandwidth

I don’t know what’s coming down the line (or through the tubes), but if we’re going to be able to stream real-time, hi-def programming on demand there is certainly going to be a need for fatter pipes, and bigger tubes. Unfortunately, relay stations along the way are going to be the cholesterol in the system, block the arteries, and cause a stroke. Just like the first poster predicts.

Angry Consumer says:

They give us what they want to...

It sickens me when I read stuff like this. In my area, I’m on the ‘fastest’ consumer cable network, RoadRunner. Now, they offer 10-15mb speeds through local cable, but there’s a catch. You have to be signed up on either of 2 packages to be eligible for those speeds. Either package will set you back about $200 a MONTH. Now, that’s not just for speed, that’s for all the other wonderfull crap you don’t need like digital phone and caller-ID-onyourfuckingTV. What’s bad is the commercials BrightHouse networks runs for these speeds. They, of course, don’t mention a damn thing about these pre-req packages, instead sending thier would-be customers to the webite to find the meaning of the small-print on thier own.

Meanwhile, Verizon has started enabling people to thier FIOS network. But only people in houses. So, now we have class seperation for internet speed!

Of course, when either of these 2 bitch dogs makes a move for a ‘general speed increase’ for ‘all’ customers, the other bitch dog has to adjust to match the first one. Meaning neither has the obligation or the desire to increase ISP speeds until they are forced to. I suppose that’s why I’ve had cable internet for almost 10 years, but have only seen the speed go up a couple MBps. It’s beyond aggrivating.

Of course, and as usual, there’s nothing the average consumer can do about it. We are whores and slaves to these corps that drag us along with crap we want. I can only blame the ISPs and telcos so much, it’s the lack of the consumer action that’s really killing us on speed. NOT ENOUGH CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS. Hell, not enough people know how slow our connections are when compared to other countries, partly because we’re too stupid to learn anything about other countries.

So, I guess what I’m saying is, it’s our fault as well. We don’t stamp our feet enough like the little children THEY think we are. We don’t have the tantrums required for these companies to realize we need a change. I dunno about you though, I just loaded my diaper and I’m gunna go cry on my ISPs doorstep till they boost me connect.

(P.S. BrightHouse Networks can suck my cock)

Dru says:

I feel your pain Angry Consumer

I have taken it in the can from a multitude of providers. Road Runner, Charter, Comcast. I think I move too much.
The localized monopolies granted to providers translates to ZERO competition which in turn translates to LUBE up your ass and prepare to get screwed as a consumer. Makes me sad. And the price we pay, willingly, because we have to, is getting to be insulting.
I am into RR for $150/mo now and not all that satisfied with the service I get. BUT, I have no one to turn to

Anonymous Coward says:

They give us what they want to...

“Meanwhile, Verizon has started enabling people to thier FIOS network. But only people in houses. So, now we have class seperation for internet speed!”

When the hell was the last time you saw a homeless man on the street using a PC bitching about the lack of a fast broadband connection?

MR says:

Re: They give us what they want to...

“When the hell was the last time you saw a homeless man on the street using a PC bitching about the lack of a fast broadband connection?”

Nice point. 🙂

Not so much a class seperation probably but a smart business decision founded in sound economic concepts. Throwing fiber optic service up in a low-income apartment complex probably wont drive sales much. A middle-class or upper-crust suburban housing division though? Ka-Ching!

I can understand frustration, but we don’t live in a pinko socialist nation either. thank god.

Anonymous Coward says:

Filtering

Even if whatever speed you desire, what happens when you can’t use your favorite program to stream, you have to use their program to get their conten, akin to being able to buy just sprint games on sprint phones, with no access to your friends game who has the same model phone on cingular.

Beyond that these are the applications that would fill the void: YouTube, Eefoof, Bittorrent, HDTV, what happens when we can’t use the speed becuase they won’t let us?

hegemon says:

RE:

“Think people, if you are a provider executive, will you worry about the consumer who spends $30 a month over the consumer willing to pay $200?”

Yes, in fact. It’s called catering to the masses. The vast majority of customers are goi ng to be more of the $30/mo than the $200/mo variety. Wal-mart got to be so massive because they understood the power of the masses. They sell primarily cheap, low-quality products, but they sell them at very low prices that are attractive to most of the general public that doesn’t know the difference, anyway.

It’s not the lack of insanely fast high-speed that pisses me off. It’s the fact that I don’t actually HAVE the option to spend less on a slower-but-adequate connection. If one of those companies would learn from Wal-mart, they would be huge…except that competition doesn’t apply to monopolies, and most of them are barred from expanding into other markets by the regulation of services there.

Just for the record, Kansas City is an amazing example of what happens with competition. Everest, a tiny David to Time Warner’s Goliath, comes in a few years ago, spends a ton of money laying new line, and offers a low-priced all-in-one phone/cable/internet service for half of what just cable and internet cost from Time Warner. Almost immediately, Time Warner slashed prices in the area and came out with an all-in-one offering of their own.

As a counterpoint, the suburb I live in is still regulated to Comcast, and the EXACT same service and speeds costs about twice as much and service response is worthless.

hegemon says:

RE:

“Think people, if you are a provider executive, will you worry about the consumer who spends $30 a month over the consumer willing to pay $200?”

Yes, in fact. It’s called catering to the masses. The vast majority of customers are goi ng to be more of the $30/mo than the $200/mo variety. Wal-mart got to be so massive because they understood the power of the masses. They sell primarily cheap, low-quality products, but they sell them at very low prices that are attractive to most of the general public that doesn’t know the difference, anyway.

It’s not the lack of insanely fast high-speed that pisses me off. It’s the fact that I don’t actually HAVE the option to spend less on a slower-but-adequate connection. If one of those companies would learn from Wal-mart, they would be huge…except that competition doesn’t apply to monopolies, and most of them are barred from expanding into other markets by the regulation of services there.

Just for the record, Kansas City is an amazing example of what happens with competition. Everest, a tiny David to Time Warner’s Goliath, comes in a few years ago, spends a ton of money laying new line, and offers a low-priced all-in-one phone/cable/internet service for half of what just cable and internet cost from Time Warner. Almost immediately, Time Warner slashed prices in the area and came out with an all-in-one offering of their own.

As a counterpoint, the suburb I live in is still regulated to Comcast, and the EXACT same service and speeds costs about twice as much and service response is worthless.

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