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Want To Know How Meaningless The FCC's Broadband Plan Is? No One Is Upset By It

from the no-one dept

There was lots of press coverage about the FCC’s broadband plan on Monday, as the commission released an exec summary of its nearly 400-page plan for broadband in the US. If you want to wade through the details, it’s all there online for you. But, if you want a basic summary, it appears that, like pretty much everything this FCC is doing, it’s a lot of talk and little of consequence. So far, I’ve seen statements from lobbyists on pretty much all sides of the issues “commending” or “applauding” or “supporting” the FCC. And that’s because there’s basically nothing controversial and nothing big at all in the plan. It appears to try to thread the needle and keep everyone happy — and in doing so, it appears to punt on the all-important questions. If it was really about making the necessary changes, key players would be up in arms. But they’re not.

The report pays lip service to greater competition and talks about getting better data and about making better use of wireless spectrum. Well, duh. But it takes no bold steps — does nothing to really take control out of the hands of the incumbent telco providers — just as we originally expected, even if really disruptive, but necessary, ideas were considered, they don’t appear in the final plan.

In the end, it’s the kind of plan you put forward if you’re being political and don’t want to make waves. It’s not the plan you put forward if you’re making a bold leadership statement about how to really expand broadband in this country. Too bad.

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Companies: fcc

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Comments on “Want To Know How Meaningless The FCC's Broadband Plan Is? No One Is Upset By It”

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17 Comments
:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Re: And suddenly!

Just wait, there will come some crap called the “Internet Freedom Bill” which will include 2 tons of bullshit about ISPs being copyright cops and tiered pricing or charging per byte, plus “double dipping” for the telcos (charging both ends for a connection to the middle, and then charging both ends for their connection to the other end). Any minute now…

hegemon13 says:

Re: seems like a good time to...

Easy. Population density. The size of the country, paired with a spread-out population, makes any overhaul a much more massive undertaking than it is for someone like, say, Sweden.

That said, service COULD be a whole lot better here if real competition were in place. But there is always the trade-off: real competition means less regulation, and therefore less likelihood of service to the last mile. It’s a tough scenario. Personally, I don’t think broadband is a right. If you choose to live in a rural area, as my father does, you make certain sacrifices. Internet speed is one of them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: seems like a good time to...

It’s not just those who live in a rural area that are affected though.

One friend of mine lives five blocks away from the biggest road in the city, which is one of the largest cities in the state. However, neither Charter nor Verizon –the only two internet providers in the area– offer any sort of decent internet.

When he has it, it goes at a good clip, but because they aren’t willing to upgrade their network, the lines in his area are decades old and the signal is weak enough that it cuts out regularly and there is an inordinately large amount of lost packets

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: seems like a good time to...

“Easy. Population density. The size of the country, paired with a spread-out population, makes any overhaul a much more massive undertaking than it is for someone like, say, Sweden.”

Instead of just making things up why not provide evidence? Heck, even in the United States and most of the world population density tends to be higher around bodies of water. California has a high population density, especially L.A., why doesn’t our broadband reflect that? It’s so easy to make up excuses without evidence to back it up, I agree, but please back up your contentions with actual EVIDENCE and not mere speculation.

On the other hand we know that monopolies reduce aggregate output and increase price, this is basic economics. So the government should not provide monopolies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: seems like a good time to...

Ok, here is a website depicting population density.

http://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/populations/usadensityh.htm

Now the question becomes, do the states with higher population density tend to have better broadband? Also, lets compare the population density of Sweden to that of various states in the U.S.

Sweden, Square miles = 53.678

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_population_density

New Jersey Square miles = 1,170.64
Rhode Island = 1,005.54
Massachusetts = 828.82

http://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/populations/usadensityh.htm

and the list goes on.

So why doesn’t our broadband reflect this? Why don’t the states that are MUCH denser than Sweden have faster broadband? and when you give an “easy” response, please provide supporting evidence.

hegemon13 says:

Re: Re:

Why would the FCC crack down on texting charges? Do texting and the associated charges threaten the communication infrastructure in any way? Of course not.

Now, if you think there is collusion between carriers that fixes text message pricing at an artificially high level, then there are entities to address that. The FTC (Federal TRADE Commission – you know, the ones that address TRADE issues, such as anti-competitive, anti-consumer practices, like collusion and price-gouging) would be a much more appropriate entity to take this on.

Ultimately, though, texting seems to be at it’s market price. Enough people are willing to pay for it to make it enormously profitable while also being enormously popular. Those, such as myself, that are unwilling to pay for it don’t use it. I pay for a phone. If I need to get a message across, I can just as easily dial a number and talk to someone, and it does not cost me extra above my plan. That’s my choice.

People who think corporations should hand them what they want at the price they want, and demand that an unauthorized government entity jump in to make it so disgust me. Grow up. The product is on the market. Buy it or don’t buy it. We all have to decide where and how to spend and save our money. If you don’t like the price, don’t buy it. If enough people follow suit, the price will drop. We’re not talking about a life essential here. It’s a luxury. Luxuries are more at the mercy of the market than anything else because if they are too expensive, people won’t buy.

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