Ajit Pai Does Something Right, Will Reform Stupid Utility Pole Rules To Speed Up Fiber Deployment

from the build-it-and-they-will-come dept

There's several reasons that the hype surrounding Google Fiber has stalled; most notably Alphabet executives growing weary of the slow pace and high costs of traditional fiber deployments (something they should have understood going in). But another major obstacle for Google Fiber was the boring old utility pole. Google Fiber attempted expansion in numerous cities like Nashville and Louisville, but ran face first into an antiquated utility pole attachment process that traditionally favored incumbent operators, and lawyers for AT&T and Comcast, who were eager to sue to keep their dominance intact.

As it stands, when a new competitor tries to enter a market, it needs to contact each individual ISP to have them move their own utility pole gear. This convoluted and bureaucratic process can take months, and incumbent ISPs (which often own the poles in question) have a long and proud history of then slowing things down even further by intentionally dragging their feet. After all, the very last thing purportedly "free market" adoring entities like AT&T and Comcast want to deal with is honest to goodness competition.

To help fix this problem, Google Fiber and several other companies proposed new "one touch make ready" rules that would dramatically streamline the pole attachment process. Under this proposal, just one licensed and insured contractor would be allowed to move any company's gear, provided they give advanced notice. When several cities tried to pass such rules regionally, they found themselves on the receiving end of lawsuits by AT&T and Comcast.

Fast forward to last week, when the Ajit Pai FCC formally approved plans to take these "one touch" rules and implement them federally. A statement from Pai correctly assesses that this is one of numerous logjams preventing fiber competition from taking root:

"For a competitive entrant, especially a small company, breaking into the market can be hard, if not impossible, if your business plan relies on other entities to make room for you on those poles. Today, a broadband provider that wants to attach fiber or other equipment to a pole first must wait for, and pay for, each existing attacher to sequentially move existing equipment and wires. This can take months, and the bill for multiple truck rolls adds up. For companies of any size, pole-attachment problems represent one of the biggest barriers to broadband deployment."

To be clear, this isn't going to be some kind of panacea. Such pole-attachment rules only apply to privately-owned poles, and not poles owned by many municipalities. The rule changes also won't apply to twenty states (and DC) that have opted for their own localized rules on pole attachments; rules that still often favor incumbents like AT&T or Comcast who enjoy immense political power at the state level. Google Fiber's disinterest in continuing its broadband disruption efforts also aren't likely to be reversed, though the rule changes should help other competitors in some markets.

For its part, Comcast urged the FCC (pdf) to back off the proposal, claiming it would somehow "impede cable operators’ ability to invest in and deploy broadband infrastructure, to the detriment of consumers and their communities." But the proposal also had the support of industry heavyweights like Pai's one-time employer Verizon, an industry fissure that helps explain Pai's decision to, for once, actually stand up to AT&T and Comcast on an issue of substance.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 6:41am

    Fine, but this still doesn't excuse all the other crap.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 7:29am

      Re:

      However, things like Net Neutrality aren't necessary of there is a level playing field for competition. If, and it's a big IF, the FCC is working toward eliminating the barriers to competition, then eliminating Net Neutrality isn't a bad thing.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 7:37am

        Re: Re:

        That sounds right. Competition is good.

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

      • icon
        ShadowNinja (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 7:54am

        Re: Re:

        Just like you always have competition in the electricity and water markets.

        It'll never happen, that's why Net Neutrality is necessary. Except it should be a part of utility regulations for ISPs.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 7:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Don’t solar panels compete with the electric utility? Can’t you drill a well to get water? I know in some places you can’t, but in some you can. I have a well, for example. No solar panels, though.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            >Don’t solar panels compete with the electric utility?

            The problem with solar for a working household is that it generate its power during daylight hour, and the house is often empty form most of that period. Therefore for solar to be useful you either sell to the electric utility, or use if to charge batteries. Without the batteries, and alternative means of charging, like wind and a backup generator, solar will not allow giving up the electric utility supply.

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            • icon
              Gary (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 9:00am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Natural Monopolies

              Yes, I'm sure my apartment building would welcome me drilling a well and installing my own solar panels. After that I can put up a wind turbine and use that to anchor the microwave relay so I can get my own cell service going!
              Who needs regulation when I can compete like that? /s

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 9:08am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Natural Monopolies

                Pretty sure you also can't drill a well within the majority of most city limits, apartment complex or not. Not unless you live on the outskirts where it isn't feasible to run city water.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Aug 2018 @ 6:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Um... no, not just like that. Not even remotely like that.

          The cost to start up a new electricity or water supplier in a locality is MUCH, MUCH, MUCH greater than the cost to startup a new ISP. Sure, a new network provider will still have a high startup cost, but comparatively it's a drop in the bucket compared to utilities.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 7:57am

        "I'd never do X!" "Then a law prohibiting X won't be a problem."

        It may not be necessary to outright enshrine it in law if there's real competition(which there isn't), but getting rid of it once it's there would require some actual evidence that it's presence is posing real problems that aren't self-inflicted in the sense of 'I really want to screw over my customers but the law won't let me, therefore it's a problem.'

        Or put another way: In the hypothetical scenario with plenty of competition to keep companies honest, what harm does a set of rules prohibiting things that said companies shouldn't be doing anyway cause?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:00am

          Re: "I'd never do X!" "Then a law prohibiting X won't be a problem."

          That’s pretty twisted logic, isn’t it? What harm do unnecessary rules do? Well, once you have them, someone has to enforce them, for one. Also, somebody won’t like them, someone else will want to amend them, people will argue about what the words actually mean, on and on and on. Rules are a last resort in a free society.

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

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:24am

            "You did X!" "Sure, there wasn't a rule that said I couldn't."

            Twisted logic how? Be specific.

            Rules making clear that companies aren't allowed to screw over their customers are like rules against assault; barring abuse, only a problem for those that plan on doing it, and if the caveat is enough to scuttle them in your view have fun in the mythical world you apparently live in, because 'do what you can even if it isn't perfect' is the one the rest of us have to deal with. If there's loopholes or avenues to abuse the rules you tweak those parts, you don't toss them out.

            In the hypothetical(which to be clear does not reflect the reality) they wouldn't be needed at that time, but the presence would also stand to pre-emptively inhibit anyone from coming along and violating them by setting a clear limit of 'This is what you can't do.'

            Also, somebody won’t like them, someone else will want to amend them, people will argue about what the words actually mean, on and on and on.

            And without a clear set of guidelines/rules/regulations you instead have companies/people constantly pushing the limits, arguing that this isn't that bad, and that isn't really a problem, and anyway there's nothing that says they can't do it, so even if it is found to be wrong(and according to what standard if you don't have rules?), it would be unfair to punish them anyway since they had no way of knowing that before.

            The problem you seem to imply having a set of rules causes does not go away by removing them, if anything those problems are magnified.

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            • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:35am

              Re: "You did X!" "Sure, there wasn't a rule that said I couldn't."

              How about rules for Techdirt, would you be in support of those too? How about the community does a public vote to adopt a code of conduct and a censorship policy? Would that be ok with you? It fits well within your logic.

              Or are the rules you are suggesting only important for other people, not to be applied here, and not to be applied to you?

              That is, are you including or excluding yourself from your argument about how good rules are? Do you like rules? Can I set them? Here’s my suggestion - stay on topic, no personal attacks, avoid profanity unless it has literary merit, keep your answer brief and go the point, and don’t take too long.

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

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 9:10am

                Re: Re: "You did X!" "Sure, there wasn't a rule that said I couldn't."

                Yeah, that's about what I expected given your other comments.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 9:20am

                Re: Re: "You did X!" "Sure, there wasn't a rule that said I couldn't."

                How about the community does a public vote to adopt a code of conduct and a censorship policy?

                Allow me to introduce you to the red flag button on every comment. This is exactly just such a system, as you suggest. It allows the public to vote against your comment, stating it violates what they think proper code of conduct should be.

                You also completely miss his point that some rules aren't harmful and may be necessary, even if most people wouldn't break them. By your logic, we should do away with all the laws that define speed limits, or the ones that state you can't murder someone. Since the vast majority of Americans don't go out and murder someone, then we don't need those laws. Right?

                Rules are a last resort in a free society.

                No. This is backwards. Rules are what keep a society free. Yes you don't want a ton of rules, especially overly restrictive ones, but no rules is anarchy and I dare you to prove anyone is truly free under that system.

                Case-in-point, the Bill of Rights in our Constitution is a set of rules and was added exactly because of a similar situation to net neutrality. They found that given the opportunity, governments would try to infringe on certain things most people would consider basic human rights. To prevent that, they came up with the Bill of Rights.

                Net neutrality rules are really no different. They define a certain few rules most people consider to be basic rights of accessing and using the internet because it's been found that major ISPs will abuse those rights out of greed.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 6:55pm

                  Re: Re: Re: "You did X!" "Sure, there wasn't a rule that said I couldn't."

                  Do you remember the pilot of Law & Order SVU when the bad guy liked to have rough anal sex with his girlfriend and the police used her feeling about it to betray him by telling her he had AIDs? This is kind of the same thing. Techdirt has no legal obligation (like the police didn’t) to tell the truth - they obviously have no moral obligation either, or display any hint of valuing the truth. The Red Flag button? Are you kidding? It’s a joke put in place to confuse the newcomers and justify paid political censorship.

                  I read once that the Bill of Rights is largely “aphorisms . . . which would sound much better in a treatise of ethics than in a constitution of governments.”

                  Do Techdirt commenters have any rights? Can you enumerate them? Isn’t it strange to use an amoral forum to complain about the morals of others, and then silence those who point this out?

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 11:10am

                Re: Re: "You did X!" "Sure, there wasn't a rule that said I couldn't."

                You didn't want to answer the question so a deflection is used - how quaint.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 3:29pm

                Re: Re: "You did X!" "Sure, there wasn't a rule that said I couldn't."

                And of course, you’ve already broken all those proposed rules in just the last week, you fucking hypocrite.

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          • icon
            James Burkhardt (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 10:05am

            Re: Re: "I'd never do X!" "Then a law prohibiting X won't be a problem."

            The idea That One Guy replied to is the hypothetical future where this rule has helped develop a competitive marketplace and is therefore 'unnecessary'. That One Guy argued that removing the rule would provide no value. What you seem to miss is the implication that the rule has value. In the end, this rule streamlines utility pole attachment by allowing the work to be done all at once by a single contractor (rather than individually by separate contractors). The only value in the repeal would be to slow down deployment and prevent competition. Even in a competitive environment, the rule has value, and repealing it has not just no value, but negative value.

            Why? Well because the assumption of the AC is that network competition affects the abuses of Utility Poles. But it doesn't. Because there isn't Utility pole competition, in fact the whole point of these rules is to manage property rights so we don't have utility pole competition issues (causes issues with public right of way, increases potential domino effects from pole losses, ect.). This rule is only tangentially related to net neutrality. this rule fosters competition, and the presence of competition does not impact this rule's ability to foster further competition.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 11:07am

        Re: Re:

        "things like Net Neutrality aren't necessary of there is a level playing field for competition."

        Ok, I will take your word for it, however that does not justify the removal of NN rules prior to the implementation of your net saving solution which I do not believe will ever come to fruition because these people are not known for being truthful.

        Cart before the horse my friend, cart before the horse.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 7:33am

      Re:

      Nobody said it did.

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

    • identicon
      kallethen, 13 Aug 2018 @ 7:33am

      Re:

      They say a broken clock is still right two times a day (one if it's using military time).

      ... but it's still a broken clock.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 10:01am

        Re: Re:

        Depending on how the clock is broken it can be right less often than that. For example running slow so it take 30 hours to complete a 24 hour day, or constantly indicating that the time is 25:07. However a clock that indicates that the time is "now" is always right.

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

      • icon
        Thad (profile), 14 Aug 2018 @ 8:05am

        Re: Re:

        They say a broken clock is still right two times a day (one if it's using military time).

        ...what is this clock you're describing that tells 24-hour time but still displays the time when it's broken instead of just a blank screen?

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 7:05am

    " claiming it would somehow "impede cable operators’ ability to invest in and deploy broadband infrastructure, to the detriment of consumers and their communities"

    Two things about this comment that is used to exhaustion by the telcos:
    1- Given the multitude of things that have already happened that got the exact same claim from you morons for years, decades, what miracle made you actually deploy broadband infrastructure then?
    2- Detriment of users and communities? Can it get worse than it already is?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 7:48am

      Re:

      1: The miracle was the funding to pay up front for the infrastructure and then wait years and years to make that money back
      2: Yes it could be worse. The price could be higher, the data rates lower, the service less responsive.

      Have you ever tried to put yourself into the place of an investor in (1)? Imagine it was your money, which would you do? I’ll answer for you - you would do everything legally possible to preserve your investment and reap as many rewards as possible.

      Are you expecting a moral response to a business question?

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:12am

        Re: Re:

        Does it seem strange to anyone that Techdirt, Google, YouTube and Facebook (among others) casually speak about their absolute rights to do anything they want with their business, but then turn around and promote moral criticisms of other businesses?

        Ironic, no? All of them state they are free to do whatever they please, and everyone has no choice but to accept it. But OTHER businesses are immoral and need to be controlled for the public good.

        Strange, no? Talking out of two different sides of the same mouth

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

        • identicon
          Ray Bid Raccoon, 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:17am

          Re: Re: Re: IRONIC, YES.

          I didn't read your comment before remarked on this OBVIOUS contradiction.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Techdirt, Google, YouTube and Facebook (among others) casually speak about their absolute rights to do anything they want with their business"

          Maybe I have not been reading enough, but I am unaware of this. Are there any examples or descriptions?

          As to whether it is ironic .. well, I would rather not have that discussion.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            See the Infowars argument, and Techdirt’s censorship policy, to give you 2 concrete examples.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 9:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Context, read it please.

              Access to the internet and posting speech on a social media platform, or comment section, are two completely different things. This is an apples to oranges comparison.

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

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 9:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Techdirt’s censorship policy

              Citation Needed.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 9:25am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So, two examples of companies enforcing the terms & conditions of their own platforms?

              The Infowars one is the best example of how stupid this stuff has become. Jones already has a platform - several platforms, in fact, on which he can post whatever he wishes. He just wants to use someone else's platform to get a bigger audience and threw a fit when they said they're rather not have him posting there.

              There's the line. Facebook are telling him what's acceptable on their platform. Jones is whining that they're enforcing their own rules. That's not how it works - you don't automatically get to use someone else's property to send your message just because they're bigger than you.

              As for "Techdirt's censorship policy" - if you think that a policy of "we provide the community a way to hide (never delete) messages that they believe are against community standards" is a bad thing, you really want to go to other sites and look at what's going on there. This is incredibly mild - and, of course, their right as a platform provider to cater to their audience.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 11:16am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              In the examples you cite, where is the reference to "casually speak about their absolute rights to do anything they want with their business"?

              I did not find it anywhere in either example, guess I'm blind or something.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 12:50pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Moderation*

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 11:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Moderation*

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 9:27am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Does it seem strange...

          Not really, especially since the rights to manage a social media platform how a company sees fit and providing unrestricted access to the internet at large are two completely different things.

          Ironic, no?

          Not really. One, see first point about completely different things, two, what is ironic about voicing your opinion on what you believe to be correct behavior?

          Strange, no? Talking out of two different sides of the same mouth

          At the risk of repeating myself...One, see first point about completely different things, two, what is strange about voicing your opinion on what you believe to be correct behavior?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 9:58am

          ..

          Hmmm. You seem to be stating that we should not be putting rules on ISP that we do not apply to non ISP?

          Well then I guess we can just remove all those rules that were setup for car manufacturers cause they don't apply to bakeries then?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 12:56pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No. Not even slightly. What rights on has, and how one behaves with respect to certain rights are not the same thing, never were, and this repeatedly vomtied pseudoquestion makes no sense. People, business, institutions, and governments are rotinely criticized for things that are well within their rights. This is normal and sensible.

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      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 9:47am

        Re: Re:

        1- The deployment that was often sponsored with tax breaks and other govt incentives with promises of better coverage you mean? The funding that came REGARDLESS of whatever regulations were in place you mean?

        2- Oh, silly me, the monopoly can do worse. Hence the need for regulations.

        "Have you ever tried to put yourself into the place of an investor in (1)? Imagine it was your money, which would you do? I’ll answer for you - you would do everything legally possible to preserve your investment and reap as many rewards as possible."

        I don't need to get billions of added profits if I'm already sitting on billions of profit. I'd certainly offer better service. Then again I'd probably not open up the company for stocks so my company would grow more slowly. But immediate profits wouldn't blind it to long-term benefits.

        "xpecting a moral response to a business question?"

        Nope. Which is why business must be regulated.

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

      • icon
        OldMugwump (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 11:32am

        Re: Have you ever tried to put yourself into the place of an inv

        What does being an investor or money involved have to do with it?

        We all face moral choices every day. I don't rape, or rob, or kill other people. (Laws or no.)

        Why do you think when I'm an investor suddenly I become immoral?

        You say "Imagine it was your money, which would you do?", and then you answer for me.

        But I'd act morally just as I always do (with the same rate of error and imperfection that I always have).

        Why do you assume otherwise? Is that what YOU would do?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 7:00pm

          Re: Re: Have you ever tried to put yourself into the place of an inv

          I think the discussion was concerning internet providers and how they attempt to restrict competition. Is this immoral or expected? We are not talking about rape or larceny or murder, but attempts to protect an existing investment. The purpose of a business is not to make customers happy (just look at Techdirt) but to make money. Unhappy customers are actually fine if they continue to pay (or someone else does). Is that immoral? Look in the mirror.

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

      • identicon
        CyberKender, 13 Aug 2018 @ 4:57pm

        Re: Re:

        "Are you expecting a moral response to a business question?"

        I, for one, would hope not. Capitalism is amoral. The overriding goal is to maximize profit. At all costs. This is even a legal imperative for companies with shareholders. No true capitalist would interfere with profit for moral reasons. This is the sort of thing that lead to Standard Oil, and that Chinese company adding deadly levels of melamine to baby formula.

        Since you can't trust a capitalist business to regulate itself, in the interests of everyone, and you don't want the government doing it, then who's left? No one has given me a meaningful answer so far.

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

        • icon
          Thad (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 5:22pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          you can't trust a capitalist business to regulate itself

          Sure you can! After the first wave of babies dies, everyone will stop buying baby food from that company!

          ...I really shouldn't have to add a /s here, but I've seen people try to argue with Chip, so a big bold NOTE: THIS IS A JOKE may be necessary, just in case.

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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 7:09am

    "it would somehow "impede cable operators’ ability to invest in and deploy broadband infrastructure, to the detriment of consumers and their communities."

    Ummm I'm guessing everyone in Congress gets the special hook up, special rates, and a gold plated consumer hotline. There is no other way to explain the disconnect from reality these idiots seem to have.

    We gave them the USF and they did fuckall to live up to the programs goals; we told them poor people deserved access, they hid the program & tried to deny it existed; rather than compete they filed all kinds of lawsuits & underhanded "contributions" to government officials to make sure they wouldn't have to compete.

    This market is not free, despite claims otherwise, we have a few companies who feel no pressure to compete. They divvied up the market & keep the prices the same, enjoying their own little kingdoms where they charge more for less and less.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 7:36am

      Re:

      Just to be clear, your complaint is that the price is too high, right? If the price was lower, you would be happy, right? How low would it need to go to make you happy? Seriously. If you want to promote a change, you should be clear about what the goal line is, otherwise you just sound like a whiner cry-baby.

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

      • identicon
        MathFox, 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:01am

        Re: Re:

        I am happy with my 50/50 Mbit/s for €43.50 per month (taxes included, no hidden fees, no usage cap), but that is in the Netherlands.

        In most places 200/20 Mbit/s is available from multiple providers (cable or VSDL) for prices around €55/month.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:05am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That’s amazing. Have you ever measured the latency to different places around the world?

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

          • identicon
            MathFox, 13 Aug 2018 @ 10:28am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            For sites in the Netherlands there's 5 ms ping time (via AMS-IX). To the USA it is 105 ms.

            We have significant competition between cable and ASDL/VSDL; with fiber becoming available in more places. Government here is encouraging competition, so we have various wired and wireless options to choose from.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 11:22am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Interesting that a so called socialist country is doing a better job at encouraging competition than a so called capitalist country.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 5:24pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Not really if you see who is controlling the respective governments.

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              • identicon
                MathFox, 14 Aug 2018 @ 2:59am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Name-calling is easy and the "socialist" era in the Netherlands is past, government is more enterprise-minded than it was in the past. Compared to the USA it is still socialist, but differences to US-Democrat political ideas are fairly small. Big difference is that we have more than two parties and also more than two relevant views on one issue leading to compromises that are often better than any of the two extremes.

                Competition policy is (pretty much) prescribed by the EU, but several national governments took more than minimal action to enable true competition in several markets.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 14 Aug 2018 @ 9:14am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Which reinforces the point of view that political name calling is for the ignorant. I used the terms in a manner that reflects the common silliness witnessed in the US.

                  In my experience, most who cry socialist, commie, whatever do not know much about the political spectrum. I find it interesting to point out these instances and watch the reactions.

                  So, I guess they are better at capitalism than the US.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:34am

        Re: Re:

        "your complaint is that the price is too high, right?"

        I think the answer to that question is - no. Obviously, the poster has many more issues seemingly more important than price. From where did you get that impression?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          “They divvied up the market & keep the prices the same, enjoying their own little kingdoms where they charge more for less and less.”

          That sounds like a price argument.

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

          • identicon
            TripMN, 13 Aug 2018 @ 10:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No, its a competition argument. Divvying up the market and keeping the prices artificially high is just one problem.

            Hidden fees, poor customer service, usage caps, bundling, spying on traffic, pushing their own content over others, trying to create fast/slow lanes, playing king-maker for 3rd party apps by throttling or banning traffic...

            The list goes on and on. Price is just one item on a very long list of problems due to competition being non-existent.

            So which telco do you work for?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 11:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That sounds like selective hearing.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:45am

        Re: Re:

        Price serves solely as a litmus test for how much we're getting screwed over.

        What we need: no ISP curation of content. No favoring of one content provider over another, no shaping of traffic to favor certain sources, no allowance of gatekeeper status.

        This means no zero-rating. This means no fast and slow lanes (or other term they might use for the concept). This means treating all content as equal - the ISP must remain neutral to what is transported on its infrastructure.

        Additionally, no anti-consumer tactics: so up-front pricing that includes all costs, including any fees they might tack on. No arbitrary usage caps. Actually delivering what is promised (looking at you, Charter).

        Price control is something I would like, but in the existing environment, I'd settle for the type of enforced honesty outlined above. Price could also be handled by opening the doors to competition - there's a fair bit of regulation that is designed to keep anyone but the incumbent local ISP from entering the field. Doing away with that regulation would be helpful too.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I’m totally with you about competition and less regulation. Let’s do that.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 9:29am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I doubt that you are with me entirely on regulation.

            You see, I am for less regulation, where the regulation prohibits competition from entering. To give specific examples, regulations that prevent municipal broadband from being a thing, in those places that have them, should go away.

            I am, however, for increased regulation where it protects the consumer. See my paragraph about ISPs not being able to curate content, zero-rate services, or have fast and slow lanes. Also, see the desire for up-front pricing with no hidden fees, so that the monthly rate you sign up for is the monthly rate you actually get.

            I do not view regulation in sweeping terms. There is good regulation, and there is bad regulation, and I am for good regulation, and against bad regulation.

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

  • icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:00am

    Okay, Pai, I won't punch you this week.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    May Kesme Wonder, 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:13am

    So "privately-owned" subject to gov't rules, municipal not?

    Such pole-attachment rules only apply to privately-owned poles, and not poles owned by many municipalities (ie: gov't).

    Huh. If was a "platform" hosting The Public's (ie their own) speech, fanboys would all be typing furiously about over-reaching gov't control and some "private" versus "privately-owned" distinction that should prevent this.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Ray Bid Raccoon, 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:14am

    Ajit Pai has been bought by GOOGLE, largest lobbyist in DC.

    A) minion would never otherwise label anything Pai does as "right".

    B) having established that Pai is entirely corrupt, logic requires that this action TOO have corrupt cause.

    C) Techdirt supports GOOGLE in all.

    The conclusion is inescapable.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:18am

      Re: Ajit Pai has been bought by GOOGLE, largest lobbyist in DC.

      Exactly what do you mean by “bought”? Bribed? Maybe Google delivered a lot of crypto-currency to him that can’t be traced? Is that what you mean? How much do you think he got in your “inescapable” view? A lot? Big money?

      I do agree that Techdirt supports Google, I think they are secretly connected, have you heard that too?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 8:48am

        Re: Re: Ajit Pai has been bought by GOOGLE, largest lobbyist in DC.

        "Techdirt supports Google"

        Please expand on this. I'm curious to know exactly what this means, and exactly what leads you to believe this.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 9:47am

          Re: Re: Re: Ajit Pai has been bought by GOOGLE, largest lobbyist in DC.

          He's got absolutely nothing, as a simple search will disprove the majority of his claims.

          But don't expect an answer, he's too scared to respond to anyone who actually tries to engage him with facts and sound logic.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 10:44am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Ajit Pai has been bought by GOOGLE, largest lobbyist in DC.

            _But don't expect an answer, he's too scared to respond to anyone who actually tries to engage him with facts and sound logic._

            Why do you think I asked?

            It's easy to assert without supporting. If people then try to disprove the baseless assertion, that does a portion of the asserters work for them, in giving them something to build off of in further replies.

            I prefer to ask that the base for the assertion be provided. It usually just ends the conversation, but for those who do reply, it means some thinking is occurring - the more actual thinking occurring, the better, in my opinion.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 9:45am

        Re: Re: Ajit Pai has been bought by GOOGLE, largest lobbyist in DC.

        I do agree that Techdirt supports Google, I think they are secretly connected, have you heard that too?

        .....Really? Now you're making me wonder if you and the OP are really the same person using VPN's to change IP addresses and make it appear like more and more people believe this crap.

        Regardless, all you have to do is do a simple search of Techdirt's articles and you will find A LOT of them where they blast Google for stuff they think Google should or shouldn't be doing. (i.e. pretty much any net neutrality article since Google kinda quit supporting it, or at best went silent)

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 9:41am

      Re: Ajit Pai has been bought by GOOGLE, largest lobbyist in DC.

      If I understand your logic correctly (God help me if I do), Karl would never say Pai was right because Karl (and TD at large) is a bought shill for Google, and Google is evil and Pai has been "fighting the good fight" against Google. Therefore, for Pai to do something that would benefit Google and cause Karl to say "Pai did the right thing", then that must mean Google bought Pai. Sound about right?

      There are two gaping holes in your logic, one is that you assume someone can only ever be right or wrong all the time, they can never cross over into getting one thing right after getting most everything wrong, or vice versa. The second is you have absolutely no proof of anything you claim.

      Therefore A breaks down because the starting assumption is flawed, wrong, and completely unprovable. B breaks down because A isn't true, therefore B can't be proven to be true either. C breaks down because it's provably false, ridiculously so, by doing a simple search of Techdirt articles.

      Therefore, your argument is invalid. Good day sir!

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

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 10:16am

      Re: Ajit Pai has been bought by GOOGLE, largest lobbyist in DC.

      "The conclusion is inescapable."

      Indeed, I gave you my funny vote!

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 10:17am

      Re: tl;dr

      B) having established that Pai is entirely corrupt, logic requires that this action TOO have corrupt cause.

      It actually does. Verizon was in favor of this.

      But doing the right thing for the wrong reason is about the best thing we can hope for from this FCC, so I'll take it.

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

    • identicon
      Will B., 13 Aug 2018 @ 1:08pm

      Wow, thank you for this!

      This is - and I am being genuine here - the greatest example of circular logic I have EVER seen. You outright state that your conclusion MUST be correct, therefore the arguments leading to that conclusion are correct BECAUSE they lead to that conclusion. Someone needs to preserve this in a textbook somewhere.

      Listen, I know you're frothing at the mouth about Techdirt being paid shills, but... I really hope that one day, looking back, you can recognize what is going on here, and why you were horribly, incredibly, blatantly wrong. I hope that clarity and sanity find you soon.

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

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 9:44am

    Ajit Pai Does Something Right, Will Reform Stupid Utility Pole Rules To Speed Up Fiber Deployment

    I'm going to keep betting on stupid. My leading guess is that the new rules will protect incumbents and exclude newcomers.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 9:46am

    Verizon is having issues with cities negotiating deployment of the (big ugly) 5G repeaters/antennas - the latest wonder in wireless.. Suddenly deploying the back-haul of those repeaters and the rules for the implementation of said equipment are interesting to the FCC and need to be changed. Mere coincidence?

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 15 Aug 2018 @ 10:35am

      Re:

      Thank you, I was wondering why Verizon would support this. Clearly it could not have been because it's the right thing to do, but I didn't know what their profit motive was.

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 11:39am

    So like the sainting of Joan of Arc...

    ...we can expect Google fiber in some states in about five hundred years.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 12:43pm

    So.

    The Big corps are willing to NOT update/upgrade things to what they NEED to be, and only collect the bills?
    BUT are willing to pay lawyers? At least give the lawyers fees..

    How many of these cities and states have franchise fees?
    Exclusivity is WRONG, in most of the Laws the USA has.(why do we do it? MONEY/KICKBACKS) it isnt any cheaper.

    So, the consumer gets the bill, in the end? NO wonder ANYONE ELSE could make it cheaper..

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

  • identicon
    Professor Ronny, 14 Aug 2018 @ 10:18am

    I'm confused. I thought that most utility poles were owned by the electric utility. After all, they were around long before anyone had heard of ISP's.

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

    • icon
      The Wanderer (profile), 20 Aug 2018 @ 8:22am

      Re:

      In my experience, it's actually more common to call them "telephone poles", and that name's implication that they're owned by the telephone company (which nowadays tends to be, or be owned by, a major ISP) is usually correct.

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

  • identicon
    Michael Woodard, 14 Aug 2018 @ 2:48pm

    Utility pole rules

    I guess Ajit got one right. To get competitive with the status quo this is a step in the right direction

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


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