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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  • icon
    rijit (profile), 17 Aug 2006 @ 9:51am

    1

    It's all gonna implode and we will all go dark, no internet for anyone.

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

  • identicon
    Justice, 17 Aug 2006 @ 9:53am

    Good

    Maybe now this argument will be in favor for net neutrality. If one provider argues that adding a tiered system would degrade performance and appeal to the customer, then other providers would follow through (citing "neither side wants to have the less-advanced network or be seen as being behind").

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

  • identicon
    Siburmax, 17 Aug 2006 @ 9:55am

    What Ever

    Keep in mind you may have the fastest down load and up load speeds. However if the system your connected on the other side cant keep up your speeds will never be realized. You are only as fast as the slowest link in the chain.

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

  • identicon
    Scott, 17 Aug 2006 @ 10:15am

    Uh...

    Links in chain are not so much considered fast or slow, as they are considered strong or weak. That said, you might want to use an analogy something along the lines of, only as fast as the slowest Tube :o)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2006 @ 10:18am

    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.

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

  • identicon
    Garrett Socling, 17 Aug 2006 @ 10:57am

    An arms race...

    What an interesting concept...AMD vs Intel, telcos vs cable as arms races...exactly what it is...both side has more than enough of what they need, neither side 'feels' they can 'appear' to be lagging behind the other for any amount of time.

    Amazing how retarded 'intelligent' human beings can be...

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

  • identicon
    G-man, 17 Aug 2006 @ 11:04am

    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.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2006 @ 11:05am

    I for one would enjoy a 100mb+ fiber connection to my home for less than $30, much like other net saavy countries enjoy. More competition is what is needed.

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

  • identicon
    Angry Consumer, 17 Aug 2006 @ 11:39am

    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)

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

  • identicon
    I want what I want, 17 Aug 2006 @ 12:24pm

    This expansion capability is not about internet, it is about pay TV.

    You know who will get my money in the future?

    Who ever offers the a la carte service first. Doesn't matter if its phone, cable or dish companies. The company that lets me get the 30 channels that I want FOR 1/3 the cost I pay for 120+ now will be my company.

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

  • identicon
    Dru, 17 Aug 2006 @ 12:24pm

    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

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2006 @ 12:44pm

    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?

    Oh, and you don't have to pay for anything. Drop the service, don't be a customer. I would drive a Mercedes if it costs the same as a Ford Focus, but that ain't gonna happen either.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2006 @ 12:58pm

    Re: 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?

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

    • identicon
      MR, 17 Aug 2006 @ 5:05pm

      Re: 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.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2006 @ 1:23pm

    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?

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

  • identicon
    hegemon, 18 Aug 2006 @ 7:09am

    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.

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

  • identicon
    hegemon, 18 Aug 2006 @ 7:21am

    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.

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


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