Industry Claims That Cord Cutting Would Be A Fad Aren't Looking So Hot

from the adapt-or-perish dept

Remember when the cable industry used to pretend that cord cutting wasn't real? Or perhaps you remember that once the industry was actually willing to admit it was a real trend, they'd claim it was only something being done by losers living in their parents' basement?

Or perhaps you'll remember the cable and broadcast industry claims that cord cutting was just a temporary phenomenon that would go away once the housing markets stabilized and Millennials started procreating? Or how companies like ESPN routinely claimed that warnings about the trend were an unimportant fiction that should be ignored?

Good times.

While there are still a few sector analysts and executives here and there who'll bizarrely try to downplay one of the biggest trends in TV industry history, the numbers keep making it harder and harder to keep one's head buried a foot below ground. Last year, for example, once again saw one of the highest defection rates of traditional TV subscribers in recent memory. According to Wall Street analysts, the top pay TV providers lost 2.5 million subscribers last year alone:

Ironically the two companies that actually tried to adapt to the cord cutting trend suffered the worst losses. Both AT&T and Dish have launched DirecTV Now and Sling TV, respectively, in a bid to try and at least hoover up a few of these fleeing customers with their own streaming services. That's something to be applauded, especially since huge swaths of the sector have simply responded by doubling down on terrible ideas (from raising rates to fighting against real cable box competition). But even with adaptation, users are still fleeing to other alternatives (Amazon, Hulu, Netflix) instead.

It's not going to be getting any easier for entrenched pay TV providers, especially the ones that stubbornly refuse to compete on price. The streaming market will soon face a new rival in the form of Apple's and Disney's new Disney+ streaming service, which will be the exclusive home of most Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and Disney children's' programming:

"The clear implication is that year-over-year subscriber trends for programmers that improved throughout 2018 are set to worsen again in 2019,” Greenfield wrote. The analyst is widely known as bearish on the pay-TV sector, frequently using the hashtag #goodluckbundle in his commentary (as he did in Wednesday’s post). The cord-cutting problem promises to grow even more exacerbated as new subscription-streaming services from Disney (Disney+), WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal hit the market starting later this year. Those will via for consumers’ entertainment dollars against SVOD players like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video."

So if companies like AT&T and Dish are actually trying to adapt to reality, why are they seeing such major departures? Many of these users were on unrealistically cheap discounted promotions intended to drive adoption that ended. And some users were frustrated by the a price hike by AT&T in the wake of its latest megamerger with Time Warner. New streaming companies are also actually good at customer service, something the cable and broadband industry hasn't been able to get a handle on for the better part of a generation.

Between tight margins and an ocean of new arrivals, it's going to be pretty hard for the cable industry to make anywhere near the same profits they were used to during the heyday of cable TV. But that's generally how competition works. And you shouldn't feel too badly for the Comcasts of the world, since their solution will simply be to jack up the cost of broadband, where competition is far weaker. Still, there's a subset of executives who still seem to somehow believe they're owed a permanent position of dominance without having to work for it. That delusion is falling apart more quickly than most of them expected.

Filed Under: cable, cord cutting, over the top, streaming


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  1. icon
    madasahatter (profile), 21 Feb 2019 @ 6:38am

    Cord Cutting Trends

    While I have not cut the cord yet for several reasons, I find there a many options competing for my time in front of the tube and many are free once online. Any time not spent in front of the boob tube is time not watching it even if it is one. About the only programming that is hard watch one's schedule are live (mostly sporting) events. Otherwise streaming is viable option to watch a program at more convenient time. So unless you are an avid sports fan, there is no particular reason to keep paying to access 900 channels of mostly crap.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 6:49am

    How long before OTA towers get torn down?

    I'm not sure if it is the same in the USA as it is here in Canada, but the major broadcasters all got bought up by the cable (and telephone) companies decades ago (CBC and our version of PBS being the exception).

    This makes me wonder how long before they remove broadcast towers to force people to pay or go without. Here in Canada if you don't live near a major city you will be lucky to get more than a couple of OTA broadcasts and if you don't live close to the boarder with the USA, you won't get any of the American networks.

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

  3. identicon
    Anon, 21 Feb 2019 @ 6:58am

    Joke's On Them

    Waiting for millennials to procreate? Sorry, between student loans, the insecurity of the crappy "part-time" gig economy falsely inflating employment numbers, and the horrendous costs of child care - who's got the time or money or stability to settle down and have a family today? Not to mention the high cost of housing in many of the better places to get a job...

    I suspect local cable channels or cable service are low on the list for most young people. If they are anything like me... There's enough on Netflix and online to occupy any time not spent playing online games. Cable is an overpriced option fighting for a dwindling share of a resource that is physically limited - time.

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  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 7:04am

    Richard Bennett damage control going into overtime, again.

    I wonder if he still remembers to come up for air every once in a while?

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

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 7:06am

    what a shame that politicians wont do what they're supposed to and get some competition going in the broadband and mobile industries, rather than doing what they are told by the very companies that wont to stop, at any cost, all competition!! prices would come down, service would go up and customers would be so much better off. instead we have politicians taking back-handers from the 3-4 companies available, looking after themselves, rather than the people they are supposed to represent and stand up for!!

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  6. icon
    Ninja (profile), 21 Feb 2019 @ 7:07am

    It's kind of amusing that instead of accepting profits won't be so sexy and adapting some of them are just repeatedly shooting themselves in the feet choosing destruction over a profitable existence that's not as good as it was. Go figure.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 7:17am

    yeah but...

    we're still paying the same ISP/cable company... Unless these 'cord cutters' are dropping both cable AND internet access all together, they're just causing the greedy ISP's/cable companies to raise prices on internet access side in order to make up for the lost revenue from their customers dropping cable.

    So what do you do? Boycott, bend over, municipal ISP? I don't know. Hopefully soon we'll be able to chose from each ISP, in each major US city, nationwide.
    We need some kind of disruptor in the ISP space. We need more choices.

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 7:27am

    Re:

    What is so amusing is the complete lack of awareness for why folks are switching.

    I dropped DirecTV for YouTube TV. I also upped my speed from 100mbs with Comcast to gigabit with AT&T. Even with the 10x speed increase, I am saving nearly $60/month on a theoretical combined bill.

    Yet monthly I still get calls and emails from DirecTV telling me how much money I could be saving by reactivating. Yet looking at the numbers they are giving me, I would be paying MORE with the new plan that I did before I dropped DirecTV. They offer $300 Visa gift cards that still don't even make-up how much extra I would be paying over the course of six months, not even considering the two years in the contract

    They are not even freaking trying. My in=laws, the folks who still have an AOL email address, have cut the cord because they got fed up. When those folks are beginning to see the light, the big cable cos have a huge problem.

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  9. identicon
    John Nemesh, 21 Feb 2019 @ 7:29am

    File under "D" for "Duh"...

    The idea that people are expected to PAY for advertising infested content is ludicrous at best. The idea that they are expected to pay a PREMIUM is insane! I cut the cord YEARS ago when I realized that the content was going downhill, and when I was force-fed an ad, immediately following a string of ads, that interrupted a movie I was watching (on TNT) I believe. Between the "bugs" and the ads themselves...and the fact that it takes 3 hours (!) to get through an average movie on "regular" cable...no thanks. I have better things to do with my time, and better things to do with my money!

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 7:35am

    Re:

    Richard Bennett damage control going into overtime, again.

    Where? I don't see him commenting anywhere.

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 7:37am

    Re: yeah but...

    We need some kind of disruptor in the ISP space.

    Have you heard of Starlink? If it does what it claims it can do, legacy ISPs will be shaking in their boots in 5-10 years.

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

  12. icon
    rangda (profile), 21 Feb 2019 @ 7:40am

    Re: yeah but...

    This is the elephant in the room that everyone seems to ignore when they cheer cord cutting on. Instead of paying $250 / month for internet/cable/phone you'll pay $250 / month for internet and maybe get free cable/phone. And as streaming proliferates every broadcaster/studio will end up being a separate stream that will cost you $10-$15/month on top of that.

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  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 7:46am

    Meet the new cord...same as the old cord.

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 7:47am

    I notice with cable whenever I tune into a show that is in progress, I seem to magically enter just as three ads are about to run (at least for me).

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

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re: yeah but...

    And as streaming proliferates every broadcaster/studio will end up being a separate stream that will cost you $10-$15/month on top of that.

    But at least I get to pick and choose the streaming service based on what I want to watch, instead of having to buy a "package" where I get how many 100s of channels that I will never watch, but pay for via my monthly bill.

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

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re: yeah but...

    Instead of paying $250 / month for internet/cable/phone you'll pay $250 / month

    Maybe eventually but generally most cable companies charge you around $100 for just internet. DSL is even cheaper, though also slower, but can vary based on how far out you are. Do you have some statistics to show that ISPs are regularly charging people $250 for just internet?

    And as streaming proliferates every broadcaster/studio will end up being a separate stream that will cost you $10-$15/month on top of that.

    Maybe they will, maybe they won't. Individual broadcasters are trying that right now and it's not working out so well for them. Regardless, you don't have to sign up for every single streaming service, and most people don't. This is also what people who deride cord cutting tend to ignore.

    The fact is, the majority of cord cutters cut all services except for internet. (Nobody cares about cable TV or phone service, especially since most everyone already has a cellphone.) Then they sign up for a select few streaming services that they like, probably Netflix, maybe Amazon or Hulu to round things out, and maybe a slim chance of signing up for a broadcaster run service if they have a show they really like.

    So, at worst, you're looking at around $100 for internet (potentially less depending on where you live, I pay $70 for 100/10), $10 for Netflix, $10ish for Amazon or Hulu, and maybe another $10 for something like CBS All Access. All told that is $130. $120 if you drop CBS. For me, it's sub $100. That's over $120 in savings every month. No matter how you look at it, cord cutting is ALWAYS going to be cheaper than traditional packages. Unless of course ISPs jack broadband rates up to $250 or higher across the board for only basic service, but I don't see that happening.

    The savings look even better when you consider that internet service is pretty much a necessity for the majority of people. That's pretty much become a given cost, like electricity, gas, or water bills. So you can write that off as just cost of living. Now you're looking at $30 of streaming entertainment services, compared to $250 traditional cable. You would even have room within that to sign up for practically all streaming services and STILL save money.

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

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: yeah but...

    And as streaming proliferates every broadcaster/studio will end up being a separate stream that will cost you $10-$15/month on top of that.

    And people will pay for one or two of those, and either ignore, or pirate a few more.

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

  18. identicon
    Samuel Keene Hyatt, 21 Feb 2019 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    Do you have any basic understanding of economics? I mean I can understand the desire to rationalize the spending after the fact, justify it but... let's say you get 500 channels for 100 dollars. That's 5 dollars per channel per month. The fragmented streaming services cost 10/15 bucks per "channel", and so for the same amount, you get less choice and comparatively few options. You're getting a bad deal from the price/content ratio and the tech industry at large's obsession with recurring revenue is only going to get worse. Want a truly good deal? Buy your media physically, make a backup, and rest assured it'll always be there for you to watch. Or torrent it. But don't pretend just because you're "choosing what you pay for" that separate, multiple recurring rev subs are a good deal. Economically it's worse than cable

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

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    Let's put it this way, I don't NEED to be constantly watching TV. I get enough entertainment from Netflix and Amazon (and MLB, but I get that included with my T-Mobile account) so therefore, I don't give a rat's ass how many channels I have per price point if I never watch >90% of the channels I pay for. I would rather pay for fewer channels that I watch more often.

    Currently, the only reason I have a cable package is because I watch local sports and the sports network is only carried on cable and does not offer a standalone streaming offer.

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

  20. icon
    Bamboo Harvester (profile), 21 Feb 2019 @ 8:52am

    Math is not your friend...

    " let's say you get 500 channels for 100 dollars. That's 5 dollars per channel per month."

    I'll bet a dollar (that's 250 nickels) that you don't work for the IRS. :)

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

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    let's say you get 500 channels for 100 dollars.

    Lets look at it from the time perspective, and say that for any program you watch, it takes 1 hour a week. Even watching 24 hours a day, you will only watch 168 programs and get value from a maximum of 168 channels. Realistically in those bundles, people watch programs on fewer than 10 of those channels. Those bundles are trying to dazzle with numbers, rather than describe something that is actually valuable.

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

  22. icon
    Bamboo Harvester (profile), 21 Feb 2019 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    Arrr, Matey! That's exactly what is already happening.

    We're gonna end up with having to put a credit card up and paying per-view, per-show as the next model.

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

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 8:54am

    Re: Joke's On Them

    Hammer meets nail on head.

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

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 8:58am

    Re:

    Government has policy and procedure to stop anti competitive activities but forcing competition is not within their purview.

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

  25. identicon
    RK57957, 21 Feb 2019 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    lets say I get 500 channels for $100 a month, I am not actually going to watch all 500 channels, I'm not actually going to watch even 100 channels, I'll watch at most maybe 5 channels. so if we naively assume that each of those channels is $5 because they aren't then I'm paying $100 a month to watch $25 worth of channels. Even if I want to get a "bad deal" via streaming and pay $15 a month to watch those 5 channels it will cost me $75 a month which last I checked is cheaper than $100 a month.

    But the great thing about streaming is I don't have to subscribe to all 5 of those channels and I won't and I'm willing to bet most people won't either they'll subscribe to 1 or 2 and be content with that.

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

  26. identicon
    TFG, 21 Feb 2019 @ 9:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    At which point the skull and crossbones will be raised ever higher.

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

  27. identicon
    Drunk Uncle Sam, 21 Feb 2019 @ 9:04am

    Re: yeah but...

    " they're just causing the greedy ISP's/cable companies to raise prices on internet access side in order to make up for the lost revenue from their customers dropping cable."

    Yeah, it is all the consumer's fault. They are to blame for their own demise. LOL - victim blaming - it's what's for breakfast.

    Let's not even mention the outrageous rates being charged by the media folks for the questionable quality material they sell to the sat/cable companies who then pass that on to the under paid populace suffering from decades of stagnant wages.

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

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 9:06am

    We just "negotiated" another year long contract with AT&T as my wife cannot live without her DVR (and current OTA shows don't appear online for a while). Given the difficulty of the task, I can completely understand why 750k left AT&T.

    After the call, I told the rep: "If I have to make this call again next year, because the company you work for are complete assholes, it will be to cancel the account completely."

    We'll see what happens in about 326 days.

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

  29. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    I like how you conveniently ignore the first two of those three options.

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

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 9:24am

    Still, there's a subset of executives who still seem to somehow believe they're owed a permanent position of dominance without having to work for it.

    An aunt was owed the world. Ponies for her birthday. The favored child taken on safari to Africa on her brothers scholarship dime, after the brother fell out of favor with their mother (the lavish spending bankrupted the family but that's another story). She married well and at heights of her pampered lifestyle enjoyed globe hopping on her personal jet. At urging of her mother that she could do better, divorced then burned through the settlement in under a year of lavish partying. Then discovered the tax implications of what she received. She never married again. Never returned to a life of privilege. Lived out the rest of her days sharing a house with her mother, who in failing health she eagerly moved to invest all savings into a co-owned home ensuring nothing liquid for the brothers. As far as I can tell she never worked by the end but lived a declining quality of life scrambling to make ends meet to the last days.

    Observing the behavior of cable execs I often wonder how similar their upbringing matches my aunt.

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

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    Do you have any basic understanding of economics?

    Ironically that might be you in this scenario.

    let's say you get 500 channels for 100 dollars. That's 5 dollars per channel per month. The fragmented streaming services cost 10/15 bucks per "channel"

    This is false equivalence. A streaming service is not even remotely close to the same thing as a cable channel. Cable channels typically either carry only their specific licensed shows or only carry a specific type of content (e.g. reality tv channels, action movie channels, romcom channels, etc...). Whereas streaming services carry ALL that content and is not specific to the service (e.g. you can watch shows from different network channels all through the same streaming service, though networks are starting to pull their content recently).

    Streaming services are more akin to having access to a library of movies and shows you can pick and choose at any time to watch or not watch. Cable channels aren't like that. Which brings up another point, in addition to a vastly superior amount of content, streaming services also give you choice. You can choose what you watch, when you watch it, pause it and come back to it later, binge watch it, and most importantly, NO COMMERCIALS.

    so for the same amount, you get less choice and comparatively few options

    If you think this is true, then you haven't actually tried streaming. I pay for Netflix only. I have FAR more choices in what I watch and my "To Watch List" has a large amount of content I marked that I am interested in. Not to mention all the content I haven't marked and is still sitting out there waiting for me to discover.

    You're getting a bad deal from the price/content ratio

    I pay $14 a month and get to watch all the things I want to watch. The select few shows and movies that I want to watch that aren't on Netflix, I just go out and purchase from Walmart. So instead of paying hundreds of dollars a month on content that I'm not going to watch 75% of and am NOT interested in, I pay a fraction of that and miss out on nothing. And I am not an exception as evidenced by the over 100 million Netflix subscribers.

    the tech industry at large's obsession with recurring revenue is only going to get worse

    What? I'm not even sure what you are trying to imply here.

    Want a truly good deal? Buy your media physically, make a backup, and rest assured it'll always be there for you to watch.

    Oh I do. I run my own Plex server. But I don't want to purchase all the content I watch. It's not worth the cost. I can pay $14 for basically unlimited content. The stuff I really like, or isn't available, gets purchased and ripped to Plex. Best of both worlds and I'm STILL paying less than a traditional cable package.

    Or torrent it.

    Are you actually suggesting and encouraging people to go and "pirate" content? I'm shocked. And basically what you're saying is traditional cable is so horrendously bad and such a bad deal, you're better off just going out and pirating it.

    But don't pretend just because you're "choosing what you pay for" that separate, multiple recurring rev subs are a good deal.

    Well, let's see, $14 per month vs $100 per month, $14 per month vs $100 per month, $14 per month vs $100 per month, $14 per month vs $100 per month. Yep, no I'm pretty sure that's a pretty damn good deal. But, just for funsies, let's add in a few more streaming services, Amazon at $10, Hulu at around $14, Youtube at $40. Add that up and I'm still paying less than $100 per month ($78 to be exact) and have access to more content than I could ever hope to watch in a year's time.

    Economically it's worse than cable

    Only in your head and the heads of cable company owners. When the price point is lower and offers you better service and content you are more interested in, that's the definition of good economics.

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

  32. icon
    dan8mx (profile), 21 Feb 2019 @ 9:50am

    Channel surfing

    My wife and I cut the cord two years ago because we were paying too much for lousy cable service - it got to a point where we had to call the cable company a half hour before we had guests over to make sure we had a signal (our provider had an odd habit of disconnecting our TV service if we went a day or so without watching it; I guess more than a hundred dollars a month wasn't enough for them to just leave it online...)

    After a while, we thought we would give Sling a shot, but we recently cancelled it because we don't really use it. Sling works a lot like cable and satellite used to, where you pull up live broadcasts of TV channels. But, it occurred to me that we don't channel surf anymore: we've become accustomed to finding titles we like and watching them when we want to.

    They may have tried to adapt to streaming delivery, but I don't they have adapted to the change in our viewing habits...

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

  33. icon
    Gary (profile), 21 Feb 2019 @ 10:05am

    Moot Point

    Cord cutting is becoming a non-issue as Spectrum simply raises the internet rates to make up for the lost income. No competition means unlimited rates.

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

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 10:14am

    Re: Moot Point

    Well, thankfully, at least where I'm at, it's still cheaper to pay for just internet. Yeah I could get a triple-play promo deal for less than what I'm paying for just internet, but after 12 months it would skyrocket to WAY more than I'm paying for internet alone. No thanks.

    I don't watch TV and I have a cellphone as my phone service. Plus I get the satisfaction of denying them their precious cable TV revenue.

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

  35. identicon
    kallethen, 21 Feb 2019 @ 10:17am

    Re: Math is not your friend...

    You know... if you are going to correct somebody's math, could you at least be accurate with your own?

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

  36. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    "We're gonna end up with having to put a credit card up and paying per-view, per-show as the next model."

    I thought that was their goal.

    In addition, they want to know how many people are in the room watching so that they can charge accordingly. The hidden camera/microphone in the STB/TV/cellphone is already in place.

    On a side note, I find it alarming that some question whether OTA (free tv) is legal.

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

  37. icon
    Bamboo Harvester (profile), 21 Feb 2019 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: Math is not your friend...

    You're right. It's only 146 nickels....

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

  38. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 10:30am

    Re: Joke's On Them

    I remember the student loan days and working at my crappy job making $3.35 an hour. This is how it is early on in life. You start on the bottom and work yourself UP over the years.

    I got my first house about 6 years ago because House prices were insane before the bubble burst. Before that, I was living in a Mobile Home. I wasn't dumb enough to knock someone up at a young age. Then you get into that trap.

    I know where I work, it's not easy trying to get new workers. Other than those at the bottom of the barrow we really don't want. it's hard to hold onto workers as it is a Workers market. There is in fact jobs all over the place. Unemployment numbers are NOT falsely Inflated.

    Child care is not cheap. Never has been and never will be. In fact, kids, in general, are very expensive overall.

    I'm not sure why young people these days think they can just get out of college and make a big fat paycheck and start working at the top. You have to put in your time. On the job training/learning, in general, is more useful than a lot of stuff you went to college for.

    I cut the cord about 10 years ago. I got tired of the $180 cable bill every month and it was only ME at the time. I couldn't watch enough TV and be on the internet to justify the price. First thing I did when I got my house and mount up a large antenna up on the roof. I look around the neighborhood at all the other houses and not an antenna in site and I think "SUCKERS". I had Netflix and Amazon Prime before I cut the cord. Before Amazon even offered free movies and TV. So I don't consider them an extra cost. I don't have enough time to watch what I have as it is. Why do I need another 100 channels I have no time to watch?

    As they say, what you can't watch you can't miss. The biggest savings is making sure you own your own cable modem which saves you monthly rental fee's and call every year to get onto some new package to save money. I call every year and just doing that, I generally save at least $40 a month. When your year is up, they jack up the prices. So you call, get onto a new deal and save money for another year.

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

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re:

    They don't need to force competition, they need to stop with the GOvernment created monopolies. There should be zero reasons why Comcast and TWC and anyone else that wants to get into a town/city shouldn't be able to. They should all be fighting over customers for their business. It's these same company's that are writing laws and getting the politicians to sign off on to protect them.

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

  40. icon
    ECA (profile), 21 Feb 2019 @ 10:40am

    NOW for the fun part....

    How much are you willing to pay DIRECT to the Lords of TV land... We must remember that Cable was only paying PENNIES per channel most times.. Are we/you stupid enough to pay them DOLLARS?? Insted of pennies. WE need a current list of the prices cable WAS charging the corps..if we can get the real one..

    I hope people get a BIG HINT, that paying $50 direct to the channels, Wont give them anything special, compared to Cable paying $50 and having over 100 channels..

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

  41. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re: yeah but...

    I was just looking at that. It's going to be very expensive. Almost 5,000 satellites in low orbit which all will end up having to be replaced every 5 years. Satellites in general are pretty slow/laggy and have limited bandwidth.

    Seeing is believing!!! If there was real competition like this, prices would drop from everyone else. People would then just keep using them. Not enough people sign up for Starlink and that service gets worse and worse as satellites fall out of orbit and burn up after 5 years and not enough new ones get put back up.

    I don't hold much hope in this happening or actually being as good. Let alone cheaper. It would help those that live places where high-speed internet is a joke and current satellite service which stinks.

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

  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: yeah but...

    When I had Cable TV and Internet about 7 years ago, I was paying $180 a month. I also had Netflix and Amazon Prime.

    My current Comcast bill a month is $79.99 for Internet ONLY. I got the price dropped down a little more than what they wanted. I call every year and get some new deal to keep my costs down. Otherwise, after a year they jump up to the normal price. I don't consider Netflix and Amazon a extra cost as I had them before I cut the cord.

    I also put up a large Antenna and that's how I get most of my TV these days. I also use PLEX and have ripped my TV and Movies from Disc. So I really have to much content to watch.

    Home Phone is has been dying. People just use their Cell phones ONLY. I still have my service which is from OOMA. If it was just me, I would just have to pay taxes for the service which is about $4 a month. But because my Dad moved in with me, I transferred his longtime home phone number over to it also and so I need to Premium service for the 2 Home phone numbers which is about $15 a month. it's VOIP. Sounds great, has E911. If you get service from Comcast, it's like $40 a month for 1 line.

    I have no need to sign up to a bunch of services. Or have my TV costs end up costing almost as much. my Internet these days is far, far faster than back when I had Internet and cable tv. As I say, you can't miss what you can't watch. As it is I don't have enough time in my day to watch what I have.

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

  43. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Math is not your friend...

    It’s not math it’s Comcastic!

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

  44. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    Obviously you didn't look at it then.

    It's going to be very expensive.

    From a customer POV or operational POV? Because I'm pretty sure their stated aim is to offer prices comparable to current broadband pricing.

    Almost 5,000 satellites in low orbit which all will end up having to be replaced every 5 years.

    Yes? And?

    Satellites in general are pretty slow/laggy and have limited bandwidth.

    This goes back to my statement about you not having actually looked into this, because if you had, you would have found they addressed all of this in their filings. Whether they can deliver on that or not is another matter, but nonetheless they are aware of CURRENT high geostationary satellite internet limitations and are attempting to solve them.

    Based on their filings, because of the LEO orbits, this should reduce latency to around 25 ms, that's on par with cable. Additionally they plan to offer gigabit speeds, that's better than cable. The limited bandwidth is to be mitigated by having several thousand satellites up in the sky, all operating in a mesh network so that you don't overwhelm any one single satellite.

    Seeing is believing!!!

    Indeed it is. Nonetheless the theory seems sound.

    If there was real competition like this, prices would drop from everyone else.

    I agree, which is why I'm very much hoping Starlink succeeds.

    Not enough people sign up for Starlink and that service gets worse and worse as satellites fall out of orbit and burn up after 5 years and not enough new ones get put back up.

    Your logic is flawed. Not enough customers does not mean they will fail to replace satellites. Indeed, that would be counterproductive. Especially at first, they have to continue to replace and put up new satellites, otherwise the service would degrade, which would cause users to leave faster. You have to maintain service to attract new customers.

    Now, there would come a point when it is not monetarily feasible to CONTINUE to replace them, and that is probably also the point at which they would just shutter the service entirely. Not allow it to degrade slowly, which would actually turn people away from the service, not attract them.

    I don't hold much hope in this happening or actually being as good. Let alone cheaper.

    Well, as I said, you don't appear to have actually looked into it much, or don't understand it. The theory is sound, the proof will be in if they can back it up once it goes live. Considering all the other projects that have basically done what they say they were going to do, I'm not willing to bet against it, that's for sure.

    It would help those that live places where high-speed internet is a joke and current satellite service which stinks.

    So you just got done saying how it won't be any better current satellite ISPs. Now you're saying it will be better, and not only that but better than high-speed internet in some portions of the country. Which is it?

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

  45. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 11:28am

    Re:

    Of course, you'll have to call in a year. You got their 1 year deal at that current price. After the year is over the costs go back up too to the normal rate.

    I call Comcast every year and get on some new deal to keep the costs down. I can generally save at least $40 a month just taking the time to do that. Just taking that time once a year will save me at least $480 for the year, staying in my pockets and not going to Comcast. Seems worth it to me. Also, make sure you buy your own cable modem and not renting forever. You can even buy cable modems now that allow Phone service also if you need that.

    As for OTA. There's a number of DVR solutions these days. I use TIVO with Tivo Mini's. I have a Tivo Roamio in my Family room that can record up to 4 channels at once. Then I have a couple Tivo Mini's. This allows me to watch in the family room and continue in the bedroom if I want. I have a Tivo stream which allows me to stream to my iPhone or iPad, etc using the Tivo app. Most of the Primetime shows also have Commercial Skip. Fo after the program is over, you get the ability to use skip. When the commercials come on, hit the green button and you skip right past all the commercials. You also have the ability to speed up a program some. So you can watch something in a shorter period of time. The Audio is adjusted where the people don't sound like chipmunks. So you can turn that on/off and it works better for some things than others.

    So TIVO is great. At the time I got my Tivo Roamio a few years ago for $299 with Lifetime service. So I have no monthly cost. It's that service that can be expensive. But they have deal's many times. You can go to Tivo's Website store and look.

    BUT there are many others. Tablo, for example, has a 2 or 4 tuner box. You can pay for service monthly or Lifetime. lifetime is cheap at $149. But you need an external HDD for recording and because it doesn't plug directly into your TV, you need a streaming device that it supports like a ROKU, etc. You can also stream to an iPad for example.

    There's Channalmaster DVR+ which service is FREE. They all have their pro's and cons. But there's lots of options these days that in the past didn't exist. Just Tivo. But now it's Tivo, Tablo, and ChannelMaster. There was Simple.TV but they seem to now be gone.

    https://www.tivo.com/ https://www.tablotv.com/ https://www.channelmaster.com/DVR_Plus_p/cm-750 0gb16.htm

    There's also the option of getting something like the HDHomerun. Using that a number of ways. I have 2 of those and used both at the same time in the past. You can use 1 or 2 with PLEX, or EMBY.

    SiliconDust who makes the HDHomeruns also have their own DVR service to use with them. So you can get more info in this area using their devices here. https://www.silicondust.com/dvr-service/

    I use mainly PLEX but I do have EMBY. I have Lifetime on both of those. There are pros and cons to both of those. Mine run on my NAS device. Since I use PLEX to service all my Movies and TV shows around my house and on my iOS devices, linking my HDHomerun to PLEX was simple enough. This is really backup as TIVO is what is mostly used to record OTA content.

    One of these solutions may work for you. I think TIVO is more refined than everyone else. They started this whole DVR thing. I got my first Tivo back in 1999.

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

  46. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Joke's On Them

    Was... Was there someone on your lawn?

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

  47. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Math is not your friend...

    i think you are missing something...

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

  48. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    there is also the effect of "voting with one's wallet" and supporting the business that better gives you what you want, rather than supporting a business which doesn't, and tries to scam you and raise prices at every turn.

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

  49. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Joke's On Them

    Cool story bro

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

  50. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "They don't need to force competition"

    ... and yet that is what you called for in your previous post.

    to wit: "what a shame that politicians wont do what they're supposed to and get some competition going in the broadband and mobile industries"

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

  51. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    The limited bandwidth is to be mitigated by having several thousand satellites up in the sky, all operating in a mesh network so that you don't overwhelm any one single satellite.

    Actually they intend direct ground link for every satellite, as satellite to satellite communication, with satellites in differing orbits requires large and complex aerial systems on the satellites, oh and add to the latency. Also, relaying through another satellite reduces its ground station capacity for its users.

    Also consider each satellite to be equivalent to a cell tower, (or maybe a couple), and those 5000 satellites covering the globe look like a limited capacity service, as they are covering the globe with fewer towers than major metropo0litan areas now have.

    It could be a nice system for rural areas, and providing Internet service to ocean areas for ships and planes; the latter using satellites that are not in position to serve the former).

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

  52. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    You own stock in it huh.

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

  53. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Moot Point

    Unlimited rates mean very few customers able to afford it. Perhaps this is the end game?

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

  54. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 12:22pm

    The attempt to analyze using the cost per channel is silly at best when the content of those channels is not defined. How many watch the sewing channel?

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

  55. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    Considering both SpaceX and Starlink are private companies and not publicly traded, no, no I don't.

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

  56. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: Joke's On Them

    First of all, I completely agree with you on the method to save money for cable bill. I do the exact same thing except I was a cord never. Now on the side topic, the "old back in mine day routine". I don't understand why "old people" these days don't understand how the economy works for the young people. I was taught by the "old people" to get a college degree, you will quickly pay it back. The "old people" said it would be easy to get a job with a degree in XXX Field. I avoided that trap and only started on my degree at 25 as I was taught how to handle finances but nearly all of my friends did not. Older people have no concept of what it is like for young people. Tell them it will be easy once you do all these steps but instead you took them straight to the triple diamond without any training. It is the time it takes to pay things off due to the significant inflation of costs in the past 25 years. So I am guessing by your minimum wage, your worked in the late 80s? My parents bought their first house for about $25,000 then. My dad was mid 20s making around $10 an hour with healthcare covered for the entire family. Both parents had degrees that cost about $3000 total. Now my generation. I consider myself fortunate and make about 3 times what my dad did. But for me, it cost several hundred for health care a month for my family, my smaller house cost about 10 times that amount and my school loans about 12 times that amount. I use about every loophole, tax savings, percentage back trick I can find to pay back debt as quickly as possible. Now that the young generation was misled, the "old generation" steps back and says not my fault. Personally, I would much rather have worked at $10 an hour if costs were that low.

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

  57. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    And the answer is no, you have no idea what you are talking about.

    Actually they intend direct ground link for every satellite

    Actually what they intend is for customer base stations to use whatever satellite is currently the best in terms of range, bandwidth, usage, etc... You know, exactly what a "mesh" network does.

    as satellite to satellite communication, with satellites in differing orbits requires large and complex aerial systems on the satellites, oh and add to the latency

    Again, you didn't actually look into it or don't understand the technology. The satellites are ABSOLUTELY going to be communicating with one another as well as ground stations, both customer and uplink stations, and no it doesn't require large and complex aerial systems. That's the whole point. This ain't the 80s man.

    It's a mesh network. One satellite goes down and the network doesn't care because it has multiple redundant nodes to pick up the slack until a replacement node can be brought online. The latency introduced in this is no different than the latency in normal ground based networks since it's doing the same thing. Please do some actual reading on this.

    Also, relaying through another satellite reduces its ground station capacity for its users.

    Not necessarily. Not if the relay circuits and arrays are completely separate from the ground station relays. There's also the matter of whether the satellites are designed in such a way to have enough overhead to handle the increased traffic, as well as the fact that, once again, IT'S A MESH NETWORK. If one satellite is overburdened and would cause latency for additional traffic, that traffic gets routed to unburdened satellite. Please go read up on what a mesh network is and does.

    Also consider each satellite to be equivalent to a cell tower, (or maybe a couple)

    I absolutely will not. What possible reason could you have for thinking a satellite and a cell tower operate on the same technology and have similar capabilities. Nevermind that not all cell towers or satellites are standard cookie-cutter-can-only-handle-X-amount-of-traffic-and-no-more. Different cell towers and satellites have different capacities. You know less than zero about how cell towers, or the Starlink satellites, are designed and what their technical specifications are.

    Besides that, no major metropolitan area has anywhere near to 5000 cell towers, or even a few hundred cell towers. You are, in a word, full of it.

    It could be a nice system for rural areas, and providing Internet service to ocean areas for ships and planes; the latter using satellites that are not in position to serve the former).

    It would be a very nice system, but why would planes have to serve ships? The idea is global coverage. That means it doesn't matter where you are there is always a satellite in position to serve you. This just further shows you really have no idea what you are talking about.

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

  58. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    Please, do tell me how I'm supposed to do that when I have a grand total of ONE internet provider that can give me anything more than 10/1 Mbps with latency faster than several seconds.

    I'll wait.

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

  59. identicon
    Rocky, 21 Feb 2019 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    Satellites in general are pretty slow/laggy and have limited bandwidth.

    To which you replied:

    This goes back to my statement about you not having actually looked into this, because if you had, you would have found they addressed all of this in their filings. Whether they can deliver on that or not is another matter, but nonetheless they are aware of CURRENT high geostationary satellite internet limitations and are attempting to solve them.

    The thing with IP over satellite is that you can have great throughput but the latency will always be somewhat atrocious no matter what, which means for example anyone playing online games it may be sub-optimal - especially those that play competitively.

    The latency isn't something you really can fix unless you break the laws of physics as they are currently known. It takes 120ms for a ground signal to reach a satellite in geosynchronous orbit and the another 120ms for it to reach it's ground receiver and then the reply takes the same amount of time to reach the originator, in total for a 480ms round trip.

    You can shave this down to about 40ms for the shortest and most optimal routes by using satellites in low earth orbits instead, which still is a bit high for some types of online gaming. For the average internet user who spends his time on social networks and watching something on Netflix it's not an issue.

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

  60. icon
    ECA (profile), 21 Feb 2019 @ 1:52pm

    Re: ok...I know this one..

    and how many people look at the channel line up and select what they want?? OR CAN select what they want?? ESPN made a deal that Everyone pays for ESPN...in the past it was an extra paid channel..but everyone paying the $8(last I heard) per month to the cable corp, EVEN if they didnt watch ESPN.. Even tho you are getting 500 channels..GENERALLY, it can be cut down to 20 that people watch..and not much more then that..

    If we paid $1 per channel for ones we DO/WOULD watch...it would be $20...add abit of profit to that, $10...and we are set for life.. Double that profit...total of $40..per month..is fair??

    Paying $80-120 per month for all the stuff you dont want...that You are told are FREE...ISNT what I want. Or what anyone wants..

    Dont for get your internet on top of this..

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

  61. identicon
    Qwertygiy, 21 Feb 2019 @ 2:16pm

    Re: NOW for the fun part....

    According to the Wall Street Journal, cable providers pay just under $30 a month to networks for their basic packages. Over $8 of that goes to ESPN alone, while the median price per channel is just 14 cents.

    (paywall, but everything I just quoted is visible for free) https://blogs.wsj.com/numbers/how-much-cable-subscribers-pay-per-channel-1626/

    The cable providers then turn around and charge, base cost, $60 to $80. They might offer you a discount if you bundle or for your first year, but even with those special offers, it's generally no lower than $45 per month. This also doesn't include any of those installation fees, cable box rental fees, and other fine print charges that they're known for adding.

    Now, let's see how various subscription services add up in comparison.

    CBS's streaming service: $6 a month. This includes all live content on CBS, CBS Sports, and The CW, as well as exclusive series, and on-demand for old TV series like MacGyver, Star Trek, CSI, and Cheers. This is the most comparable available option to directly "paying a network" for their content, rather than some form of aggregate.

    Hulu: $6 a month for on-demand. This includes movies and TV from ABC, A&E, Animal Planet, Brave, Cartoon Network, Discovery, Disney Channels, Food Network, Fox, Freeform, FX, HGTV, History, Oxygen, NBC, SyFy, TLC, TNT, Travel, Universal, and plenty of exclusive originals. While this doesn't include live content like sports and news, everything else is available on demand as soon as it finishes airing on TV.

    ESPN+: $5 a month for on-demand replays and original content, plus a lot of live sports that didn't make it to TV.

    Disney+: Not currently out, but expected to be below $10 a month for on-demand access to everything (that's below an MA or R rating) from Disney, ABC, and Freeform, including originals. Not expected to have live content.

    So it's reasonable to assume that to an end user, $6-$8 is a reasonable monthly price for a single network conglomerate's content, live and catalogued. Now, remember that almost every network out there that you don't already have to pay extra for belongs to one of these 10 groups...

    A&E: A&E, Crime & Investigation, FYI, History, Lifetime.

    AMC: AMC, IFC, WE tv, BBC America, SundanceTV.

    CBS: CBS, CBS News, The CW.

    Discovery: American Heroes, Animal Planet, Cooking, Destination America, Discovery, Discovery Family/The Hub, Food, DIY, Great American Country, HGTV, Investigation Discovery, Motor Trend, OWN, Science, TLC, Travel.

    Disney: ABC, ABC News, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN, Freeform, Fox, FX. Possibly an extra upgrade for ESPN Classic, ESPN U, and ESPN's various local sports networks.

    Fox Entertainment: Fox News, Fox Business, Fox Sports, various local sports networks.

    NBC: Bravo, CNBC, E!, MSNBC, Oxygen, NBC, NBC News, NBCSN, Syfy, Universal Kids, USA.

    Univision:Galavision, UniMas, Univision Deportes, Univision News, Univision Telenovas.

    Turner: Adult Swim, AT&T Sports Networks, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, TBS, TNT, TruTV.

    Viacom: BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr./Noggin, Paramount, TV Land, VH1.

    Of the handful of channels left over, the exceptions are generally those already available over-the-air, like PBS, C-SPAN, QVC & HSN, or those that don't host any original content at all, such as MeTV (old CBS and Fox shows) or Music Choice (for obvious reasons).

    Now, I don't know about you, but I don't have any interest in 5 of those 10 groups, and only 2 of them matter to me to watch live. I'd gladly buy NBC and Fox equivalents to CBS All Access in replacement to cable, and spend under $15 instead of over $60. If I want to watch other content, I'm fine with rotating subscriptions the way I already do with Netflix, Hulu, and DC Universe.

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

  62. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    The thing with IP over satellite is that you can have great throughput but the latency will always be somewhat atrocious no matter what

    The latency isn't something you really can fix unless you break the laws of physics as they are currently known.

    Again, if you had actually read anything about this at all you would have seen that the reason WHY latency is so high on geosynchronous satellite connections is because they have to orbit at over 35,000 km. It takes time to transmit a signal over that distance, hence, latency. By contrast, Starlink satellites will orbit at low earth altitudes of around 1,100 km, about 1/35th the distance. Meaning that the time to transmit will be much less, hence lower latency. You know, that thing called "physics". As stated IN THEIR OFFICIAL FCC FILINGS, they are anticipating being able to hit latencies as low as 25 ms, which is smack in the rang of cable internet.

    You can shave this down to about 40ms for the shortest and most optimal routes by using satellites in low earth orbits instead

    Which is exactly what Starlink is doing. None of their satellites will be in high geosynchronous orbits. They are ALL going to be in low earth orbits, hence, vastly lower latency.

    which still is a bit high for some types of online gaming

    Actually it's not. Anything below 100 ms is acceptable to the 99% of games and gamers. The only times this may not be acceptable is potentially for pro-gamers. But they are probably shelling out for a fiber connection so it's a moot point.

    I suggest you actually read up on the Starlink proposal and filings and the physics behind it, because you obviously haven't and don't understand what you are talking about. Or you're being deliberately and willfully ignorant. Neither looks good.

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

  63. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    but why would planes have to serve ships?

    Sorry, I was slightly unclear, but the the two groups I meant were ocean areas, for ships and planes, and rural areas, which are, at any instance, served by different satellites.

    Also consider each satellite to be equivalent to a cell tower, (or maybe a couple)

    Just like cell towers, there is a limited amount of spectrum for satellite use, and that has to be shared between base station and user links, and any inter-satellite links. So long as the ground end uses narrow beam serials, satellites can use the same spectrum, except when close to each other, when one can suspend operation.

    Assuming that the ground station link and total user links have the same (total) bandwidth, mesh networking only becomes useful a satellite is out of sight of a ground station, that is is may improve area coverage, but it does not improve capacity into a given area.

    Besides that, no major metropolitan area has anywhere near to 5000 cell towers, or even a few or even a few hundred cell towers. You are, in a word, full of it. The satellites will use the same modulation technology as cell towers, as they are solving the same problem, high data rates over a radio channel. O.K they can avoid the spectrum splitting needed by cell towers, and do not need the phone channels, but that isn't go to enable a few satellites over a metropolitan area to offer anything like the same total capacity as the cell phone system.

    The New York metropolitan area covers 11,640 km squared, and with dense populations cell towers for each carrier are serving cells of 1km square or less where high population density exists.. 5G plans are looking at 200m spacing. The 5000 satellite will cover the whole planet. ,

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

  64. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Re:

    Exactly!

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

  65. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 5:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    Sorry, I was slightly unclear, but the the two groups I meant were ocean areas, for ships and planes, and rural areas, which are, at any instance, served by different satellites.

    Perhaps different physical satellites, but it's the exact same network as rural areas. There is no difference in how they are served.

    Just like cell towers, there is a limited amount of spectrum for satellite use, and that has to be shared between base station and user links, and any inter-satellite links.

    This is no different than the limited amount of copper or fiber in the ground to transmit customer and carrier data. The spectrum available is not the issue, it's how the spectrum is used, and you can use it in such a way that what you describe doesn't happen.

    So long as the ground end uses narrow beam serials, satellites can use the same spectrum, except when close to each other, when one can suspend operation.

    You really don't know how any of this works, do you? Either that or you are being deliberately ignorant. To use your cell tower analogy (since you are so fond of it) When your phone travels between two towers, the towers are both using the same spectrum, one tower doesn't suspend operation just because your phone isn't getting full signal to it, no your phone intelligently hops to the better tower, allowing both towers to operate simultaneously. Satellites are no different, just different spectrum frequency.

    Assuming that the ground station link and total user links have the same (total) bandwidth,

    Well that's a great big assumption now it isn't it? You do realize that traditional ground based broadband is ridiculously overprovisioned right? If all the users of say Comcast, were to suddenly start using their max amount of allotted bandwidth, it would far exceed the total backhaul Comcast has to the internet backbone. But that doesn't matter because everyone never uses their full bandwidth all at the same time, and even if they did, there are such things as QoS and other network management techniques that prevent the whole thing from crashing or seriously degrading end user experience.

    mesh networking only becomes useful a satellite is out of sight of a ground station, that is is may improve area coverage, but it does not improve capacity into a given area.

    Not true. It does improve capacity because multiple satellites in one area can handle more user uplinks than one single satellite could on it's own. And if one satellite gets overloaded with traffic, ground stations can switch to different satellites and BYPASS the overloaded satellite, thereby effectively increasing capacity. Seriously, go actually read on how this all works.

    The New York metropolitan area covers 11,640 km squared, and with dense populations cell towers for each carrier are serving cells of 1km square or less where high population density exists..

    Which is still FAR less than 5000 cell towers in one metropolitan area, which was your original claim.

    5G plans are looking at 200m spacing

    Because 5G runs off of a higher frequency that doesn't get good penetration in densely populated areas, therefore tighter spacing.

    The 5000 satellite will cover the whole planet. ,

    Which has jack all to do with anything you just said. They operate on completely different frequencies and different broadcast technologies. YOU CANNOT COMPARE THE TWO TO EACH OTHER, THEY ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

    Honestly. Are you seriously this ignorant? Or are you deliberately arguing in bad faith, willfully ignoring facts and reality just because you can't stand being wrong?

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

  66. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 6:42pm

    Re: Joke's On Them

    Cable is looking like fb is looking like google is looking like 8-track tapes is looking like steering knobs..

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

  67. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 6:47pm

    Re: Re:

    I wouldn't be bragging to anyone that you got at&t unless you are at&t.

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

  68. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 6:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    Lets do some approximate math. 5000 satellites need replaced every 5 years. Ok 1000 sattlellites every year. 365.. goes into 1000 almost 3 times.. That's three satellites falling to earth every day! Ouch!

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

  69. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 6:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Math is not your friend...

    Yes.. missing the fact it is not just about the money. Its a matter of KUDOS. What companies are not getting these days are KUDOS. So they can't give KUDOS because they DON'T EARN KUDOS.

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

  70. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 7:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    Where did you learn math? Fire those teachers.. assuming there were teachers. You pay $100 for 500 channels and only watcch 5 channels? Hmm. That equals $20 per channel. That means you now have 495 FREE channels that you should be able to sub-lease out, right?

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

  71. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2019 @ 7:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    5000 satellites need replaced every 5 years

    No.

    5 years is their approximate expected lifetime, not a hard replacement date. They will likely last longer (and in some cases shorter) than that and will be flown for more varied lengths of time.

    Making estimates at how often satellites are going to be raining down on earth based on nothing more than assumptions and misstatements of fact is counterproductive.

    Regardless of all that, the FCC already approved it and some of them are up there already.

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

  72. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 1:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    I disagree.. not counterproductive to be thought provoking enough to inspire real numbers and hard facts about a very real scenario. Satellites fail. Satellites fall.

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

  73. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 2:07am

    Re:

    That could be a conspiracy like smart stoplights.

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

  74. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 2:10am

    Re:

    If I had to be run through the ringer with that company to satisfy my wife, I would definitely start looking for a new wife.

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

  75. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 2:13am

    Re:

    That's a TERRIBLE story!

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

  76. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 2:20am

    Re: Re: Moot Point

    Let me know when specturm gets down to one customer left and let me know how much they have to pay for cable. So I can have a big LOL!!

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

  77. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 2:25am

    Re: Re: ok...I know this one..

    Remember to watch out they don't sue you for loss of future earnings when you cut the cord.

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

  78. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 2:47am

    Re: Re: Joke's On Them

    They are Ice sellers trying to preserve their business after the Invention of the refrigerator. On demand streaming is so much more convenient that viewing on someone else's schedule, and then there are generations growing up with the Interactivity of YouTube, where they can interact with creators, and get involved in creating culture.

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

  79. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 3:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    Which is still FAR less than 5000 cell towers in one metropolitan area, which was your original claim.

    That says everything about your knowledge and reading ability, you are claiming that 11,640 is less than 5,000.

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

  80. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: yeah but...

    Yep. If the consumer/victim is stupid enough to keep paying the SAME ISP ever increasing amounts of money for the SAME CONTENT or LESS CONTENT (because of some $$ dispute between the ISP and the media creator/owner), then yes -- blame the victim.

    Stockholm Syndrome?

    ISP's are about to become the new Record Companies: unnecessary middlemen.

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

  81. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    they are anticipating being able to hit latencies as low as 25 ms, which is smack in the rang of cable internet.

    StarLink does not exist yet, and cable's not standing still. We may well have low-latency DOCSIS by the time it launches. 25 ms, BTW, is already considered excessive for DSL.

    A low-orbit satellite network could, however, have a big advantage for long-distance transmissions: the data will move at .99C rather than ⅔C for fiber.

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

  82. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 7:31am

    Re: Joke's On Them

    Cable is an overpriced option fighting for a dwindling share of a resource that is physically limited - time.

    You didn't even mention how awful it is. People who didn't grow up with it will have a hard time understanding how anyone could stand it, let alone pay for it. Schedules, commerials, preemption...

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

  83. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    That says everything about your knowledge and reading ability, you are claiming that 11,640 is less than 5,000.

    I admit I misread your stat and somehow dropped the k in the 11,640 km. And I do admit that given that, you are correct on this one point, there are potentially more cell towers in some metro areas than 5,000. That however, doesn't invalidate any of my other points, not the least of which being:

    Satellites and cell towers operate on completely different frequencies and broadcast technologies. YOU CANNOT COMPARE THE TWO TO EACH OTHER, THEY ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

    I've shown that you lack a basic understanding of pretty much everything being discussed, and you claim a win because I misread one of your stats? That all you got?

    If all you have is that I misread one stat and that somehow that means you're right, then you are definitely arguing in bad faith and aren't truly interested in an honest discussion. If you are truly trying to have an honest discussion, then please prove all my other points wrong with hard facts, data, and solid logic. I'll wait.

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

  84. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    StarLink does not exist yet, and cable's not standing still.

    So?

    We may well have low-latency DOCSIS by the time it launches.

    You consider 5-40 ms not low-latency?

    25 ms, BTW, is already considered excessive for DSL.

    No. No it's not. Decent DSL operates anywhere between 10-70 ms of latency, cable 10-40 ms. 25 ms of latency is pretty average for cable and uncommon for DSL. And that's if you're lucky and have a clean DSL line. Most DSL lines aren't and are vastly more susceptible to weather and other interference. You are either extremely misinformed about network technologies or flat out lying.

    A low-orbit satellite network could, however, have a big advantage for long-distance transmissions: the data will move at .99C rather than ⅔C for fiber.

    I was about to say that we could actually agree on something but your numbers don't make any sense.

    I assume that by C you mean the speed of light. Please tell me how data moving at .99C is slower than .66C? Because the way I see it, if Starlink can transmit data at .99C, but fiber can only transmit data at .66C, then wouldn't that make Starlink vastly superior to fiber in terms of speed?

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

  85. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Joke's On Them

    Not all "old people" are the same. Some of them do understand that things are different today ... much different - and it sucks.

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

  86. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    It is a very harsh environment, low earth orbit even more so. Given the large quantity of their proposal I would guess that each sat is built to minimize cost. Hopefully they have plans for mitigation of their space garbage.

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

  87. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    What about all those who only have one choice? Flimsy logic seems to be the cool thing these days.

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

  88. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    see the OP: boycott, bend over, municiple ISP...something! At least band together in that small town and let the local ISP monopoly and your local congressional critter know that you're pissed at the lack of competition. Don't just say that you can't do absolutely anything. I won't hear that. Heck, at this point even an oligopoly of ISPs in most cities would be better than the status quo.

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

  89. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    Hopefully they have plans for mitigation of their space garbage.

    This was required by the FCC to gain approval to launch any satellites at all. So the answer is, yes.

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

  90. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    Satellites and cell towers operate on completely different frequencies and broadcast technologies.

    They operate on similar frequencies. Also they use the same modulation technology, QAM, as does cable and fibre. Any technology difference will be those related to output power, reliability and operating environments A satellite will have a higher data bandwidth than a cell tower because the spectrum division needed for cell towers can be avoided with satellites, for fixed aerial, or aerials on larger vehicles. However those cell towers per square Km need to be multiplied by the number of phone operators in an area.

    Also, those 5,000 satellites have to serve the whole world, with around half of them over oceans at any one time. There will be single digit numbers, to low double digit numbers visible from any spot on earth, serving much larger areas than a cell tower.

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

  91. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    You consider 5-40 ms not low-latency?

    40 ms isn't. It's decent, but unacceptable for cross-network music performances and very skilled gamers in quick-reflex games (the type of people who run their monitors higher than 60 Hz because 16.6 ms of lag annoys them).

    I assume that by C you mean the speed of light.

    Yes.

    then wouldn't that make Starlink vastly superior to fiber in terms of speed?

    Yeah, that's what I wrote. Only for distances when this increased speed can make up for the ascent/descent delay. The advantage will be greatest across oceans, because reaching fiber links involves more north-south detouring than with a dense satellite mesh.

    Earth-based microwave links are even better, which is why they're in vogue with high-speed traders.

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

  92. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    Decent DSL operates anywhere between 10-70 ms of latency

    American DSL might. Decent DSL, these days, means non-interleaved DSL with fiber-to-the-node (loop length below 1 km, usually VDSL). If you see 70 ms, your ISP sucks or you're pinging another continent.

    Per Wikipedia:

    8 frame interleaving adds 5 ms round-trip-time, while 64 deep interleaving adds 25 ms. "Fastpath" connections have an interleaving depth of 1, that is one packet is sent at a time. This has a low latency, usually around 10 ms

    Those are round-trip numbers to somewhere in the user's city. Add fiber delay based on distance from there, and forwarding delays.

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

  93. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    They operate on similar frequencies.

    Cell towers operate in the 900 to 1900 MHz band. Starlink satellites will operate in the 12-18 GHz and 26.5-40 GHz bands. How are those even remotely similar?

    Also they use the same modulation technology, QAM, as does cable and fibre.

    QAM is not a technology, it's a method of modulating digital and analog signals and can be implemented using a variety of different technologies. It is more mathematical than technological. Bad faith argument.

    Any technology difference will be those related to output power, reliability and operating environments

    This is blatantly false or misleading at best.

    A satellite will have a higher data bandwidth than a cell tower because the spectrum division needed for cell towers can be avoided with satellites

    I'm sorry, didn't you just get done saying that there was no difference between a cell tower and a satellite? Now you're saying satellites have a higher bandwidth? Shouldn't be a problem then, now should it, that there are few satellites than cell towers.

    Also, those 5,000 satellites have to serve the whole world, with around half of them over oceans at any one time.

    Yes, and? So what? That's why they operate in a mesh network.

    There will be single digit numbers, to low double digit numbers visible from any spot on earth, serving much larger areas than a cell tower.

    This is true also for other systems like GPS (which by the way, every single smart phone uses GPS) and there are FAR fewer satellites providing GPS service than there would be for Starlink.

    Also you make the FALSE assumption that there would be equivalent amount of client ground stations in the same coverage area as there are cell phone users to cell towers. Cell phones, by nature, require one per person. One cell phone cannot serve multiple people simultaneously. This is not true for satellite ISP service where you only need one ground station to provide internet access to multiple people. Additionally, not everyone is likely to switch over to Starlink so you won't have nearly the same amount of saturation as you do with cell towers.

    And finally, something I have neglected to address until now is that your number of satellites is wrong. Starlink is planning to launch almost 12,000 satellites, more than double your claim of 5,000. In addition to that, the system is expandable, meaning if 12,000 isn't enough, they can launch more to meet demand.

    You are arguing in bad faith, possibly from a position of ignorance, but bad faith nonetheless.

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

  94. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    It's decent, but unacceptable for cross-network music performances

    Which has jack-shit to do with the topic at hand.

    very skilled gamers in quick-reflex games

    Then you are obviously not a gamer as 40 ms latency is perfectly fine for 99.999999999 (repeating of course)% of video games. Which I have addressed previously.

    the type of people who run their monitors higher than 60 Hz because 16.6 ms of lag annoys them

    Monitor lag is not the same as network lag, they are two completely and totally different things. One can accept higher latencies, the other cannot without noticeable performance issues.

    Yeah, that's what I wrote.

    Then why are the main points of all your arguments that it's so much worse than fiber? You can't have it both ways. Be consistent.

    Only for distances when this increased speed can make up for the ascent/descent delay.

    ........You just said it can travel at .99C. Why is there suddenly a delay slower than .99C?

    Earth-based microwave links are even better, which is why they're in vogue with high-speed traders.

    You're not making any sense and I think at this point, you are deliberately making things up. Why I have no idea.

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

  95. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    American DSL might.

    American DSL is not decent DSL.

    Decent DSL, these days, means non-interleaved DSL with fiber-to-the-node (loop length below 1 km, usually VDSL)

    Fiber to the node doesn't guarantee low latency along the copper-to-the-home loop length. Latency is only as fast as the slowest link in the path.

    If you see 70 ms, your ISP sucks or you're pinging another continent.

    Or the copper isn't properly shielded, is affected by weather, old, degraded, etc... All of these are extremely common with DSL, at least in the US. And yes, DSL ISPs in the US suck, which is why people only go with them if they have no other choice.

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

  96. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Feb 2019 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    Then why are the main points of all your arguments that it's so much worse than fiber?

    You may not realize more than one anonymous person is involved in the thread... (BTW, point of comparison: I get 8 ms roundtrip to 8.8.8.8, as is typical on VDSL.)

    You just said it can travel at .99C. Why is there suddenly a delay slower than .99C?

    The satellites will be orbiting at 340 km minimum; that means you're detouring 1.1 ms up and 1.1 ms down, compared to the optimal land based route. For a round trip, we're doing the same detours again. Circumference is larger up there, but it's negligible. Via fiber (⅔C) data can go 440 km horizontally in 2.2 ms.

    An optimal satellite network (dense mesh with little congestion) at that height would have a strong advantage above some hundreds of kilometers. First-gen starlink won't be optimal, and if ground-based ISPs actually start improving their networks it could be a decade before that advantage is realized. I'm not even considering potential physical-layer developments like low-refractive-index fiber.

    It's interesting, maybe eventually world-changing, but I take anything from Musk with a large grain of salt.

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

  97. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Feb 2019 @ 6:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    Cell towers operate in the 900 to 1900 MHz band. Starlink satellites will operate in the 12-18 GHz and 26.5-40 GHz bands. How are those even remotely similar?

    They are all electromagnetic radiation, as is light used on fibres. In practice there are three design regimes, with fuzzy boundaries. Wire, where the only consideration on conductors is can they carry the current; transmission line, where the conductive paths are designed at the geometry level; and optical. Mobile phones through satellite to 5g and up to near infrared are all in the transmission line domain. Informally, one needs to design a signal path as a transmission line when it exceed about 1/10 of a wavelength at signal frequency. While frequency has an influence on maximum data rates, a bigger factor for mass communication is also how many time you can re-use the dame frequencies. With radio that maps to coverage area of the system, and whether the available spectrum is divided to avoid interference. In the case of satellites any increase in data capacity dues to higher frequencies, and not having to divide the spectrum is swamped by the increase coverage area of a single satellite., but you are also limited to the number of satellites that any point on the ground can work. Also, if you are being picky, the satellite bandwidth has to support 4 way communications, that is satellite to users, and satellite to ground station.

    Additionally, not everyone is likely to switch over to Starlink so you won't have nearly the same amount of saturation as you do with cell towers.

    And What I keep on saying is that it is not a true competitor to exists ISPs. It will be useful to fill in remote rural areas., it will not replace mobile, never mind fibre in metropolitan areas. Also, in metropolitan areas, it will not take that large a percentage of people to switch to it to cause congestion.

    This is true also for other systems like GPS (which by the way, every single smart phone uses GPS) and there are FAR fewer satellites providing GPS service than there would be for Starlink.

    Confusing a two way communication system, Internet access with a broadcast system GPS indicates a limited understanding of the problems being discussed. A GPS satellite does not care how many phones are listening to its transmission, Starlink certainly cares about how many users connect to a single satellite.

    Also switching satellites, and maybe ground stations is NOT mesh networking, indeed it is basically the same as mobile phone hand off, where switching towers may also switch the exchange the tower in use is connected to. Mesh networking in this case would be using satellite to satellite relays to connect a user to a ground station, and that comes with latency costs, and other than relaying via a satellite in the same orbit, tracking a moving target, and avoiding two satellites using the same relay satellite unless they are using different channels. Meshing will have its uses to gain coverage where satellites have users but cannot see a ground station, which also means serving low population density regions, think high northern latitudes, and the middle of the pacific.

    Starlink is planning to launch almost 12,000 satellites, more than double your claim of 5,000. In addition to that, the system is expandable, meaning if 12,000 isn't enough, they can launch more to meet demand.

    Well how many they can launch is an open question, but low orbit satellites in particular impact launch windows, as they are obstructions to be avoided on the way to higher orbits, and when returning to Earth. Also, doubling or tripling the number is an insignificant increase when considering metropolitan areas, but useful where the population is spread over large areas. The final consideration is launch capacity and cadence, as if the could launch ten satellites per launch, (an optimistic figure) that will require a thousand launches. Also, due to the use of low Earth orbit, the satellites will have short lifetimes, 5 years or so, requiring even more launches. Single satellite launch using the likes of stargazer would require a fleet of such vehicles, as one or two launches a week per vehicle would be a very high launch rate. Getting that number of satellites into orbit in a reasonable time is far from a solved problem.

    Also, data rates offered to individual users is not the signifiant number needed to evaluate the system, and what would be a much better indicator of system capabilities is how many concurrent 4k video streams can be supported in each direction by a satellite.

    There is a good reason why telecoms companies have gone to undersea cable, rather than satellite, and due to bandwidth requirements, rather than costs.

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

  98. icon
    ECA (profile), 23 Feb 2019 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: ok...I know this one..

    Profit margins are fair at 2x the price point for the channels I want, based on WHAT they are paying..

    Even with all the expenditures, after supplying access to over 10,000 locations...It should be fairly profitable... $40 with a $20 profit, 200,000 per month?? But we forgot something...this is a corporation, and we are paying for the home base/office..and another 100 people..Screw them. I love the smaller business models...Why are we paying for EXCESS workers, when the boss's tend to fire the Lower wage workers..to make more profit..

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

  99. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2019 @ 9:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    At least band together in that small town and let the local ISP monopoly and your local congressional critter know that you're pissed at the lack of competition.

    Funny, I live in downtown Seattle, arguably a leading tech city, and other than yesteryear's level of Centurylink DSL maxing out at 20Mbps (not even considered broadband anymore), the only other choice in my building is Comcast.

    So, why would you think that lack of competition is a small town thing?

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

  100. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2019 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    You may not realize more than one anonymous person is involved in the thread...

    All I can tell is that responses are coming from different IPs. And so far they have all been replying as if the same person, so I have no proof that they are, in fact, different responders.

    BTW, point of comparison: I get 8 ms roundtrip to 8.8.8.8, as is typical on VDSL.

    This means absolutely nothing. Ping requests are typically much faster than other data streams for various reasons. Not the least of which being the data packets are much smaller than other types, especially gaming.

    The satellites will be orbiting at 340 km minimum; that means you're detouring 1.1 ms up and 1.1 ms down, compared to the optimal land based route. For a round trip, we're doing the same detours again. Circumference is larger up there, but it's negligible. Via fiber (⅔C) data can go 440 km horizontally in 2.2 ms.

    This is a bunch of word salad and technobabble combined with some real facts. Yes the data takes time to travel up and back down, but you're counting it twice and an additional 2.2 ms in data travel time is not even worth mentioning. Plus, none of that matters. If satellite communication can travel at .99C, but fiber only .66C, it doesn't matter that there's an extra distance to be travelled, it's still going to take less time overall because of the MUCH faster data transfer speed. Your argument is invalid.

    An optimal satellite network (dense mesh with little congestion) at that height would have a strong advantage above some hundreds of kilometers

    Or low kilometers. A longer distance doesn't make a damn's worth of difference of how effective it is. And, as you just said, there is additional transfer times at longer distances, so the shorter the distances, the more effective it's going to be.

    First-gen starlink won't be optimal

    You'll excuse me if I don't believe you based on your lack of knowledge of physics and technology.

    if ground-based ISPs actually start improving their networks it could be a decade before that advantage is realized

    We're not talking about Starlink being faster or better technology than ground based ISPs. We're talking about ground based ISPs being dicks and charging way more their service than they need, and imposing data caps, throttling, providing horrendous customer service, and messing with and spying on their customer's browsing. This is all happening because ground based ISPs don't compete with each other, so customers have one choice of a decent ISP and can't do anything about it. Starlink gives them a comparable service that will force other ISPs to compete against. If ISPs upgrade their networks and cut out all the crap they do, then yes, they could absolutely outperform Starlink. But right now, they have zero reason to do so.

    I would rather have fiber to my home than satellite, but I'll take satellite if they can offer me as good or better service than what I'm currently getting and aren't going to be jerks about it.

    It's interesting, maybe eventually world-changing, but I take anything from Musk with a large grain of salt.

    Out of curiosity, why do you think that? That's the same thing everyone said about Tesla and SpaceX. Now those two companies are leading their respective fields and doing things no one even thought was possible a few years ago. He may talk big a lot, but he backs up what he says with results.

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

  101. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2019 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: yeah but...

    They are all electromagnetic radiation...

    And that's about as much similarity as they have with each other. The tech needed for each, the different types, the fact that higher frequencies behave COMPLETELY DIFFERENTLY from lower frequencies, makes the rest of your statement, while not technically inaccurate, total bunk as far as what you claim.

    And What I keep on saying is that it is not a true competitor to exists ISPs.

    Why not? Technically if it works as proposed, it will offer gigabit speeds at cable latency. That seems to be exactly what most cable users get today. So what makes it not a true competitor. (You have provided no evidence to suggest congestion will be an issue, a fact I have debunked multiple times)

    it will not replace mobile

    That depends. If you are talking about mobile data usage on your phone where ever you are, no it won't. But if you are talking about people who use mobile data as their home internet service because that's all they have access to, then absolutely it will replace that. Bringing this up when this isn't something I claimed is pure deflection and a strawman argument.

    never mind fibre in metropolitan areas

    Again, strawman, I never claimed that.

    Also, in metropolitan areas, it will not take that large a percentage of people to switch to it to cause congestion.

    Asserts facts not in evidence. How do you know? You know nothing about the technology or it's proposed operation, much less the technical details of exactly how they have designed it.

    Confusing a two way communication system, Internet access with a broadcast system GPS indicates a limited understanding of the problems being discussed.

    GPS is not a pure broadcast system, there is some back and forth communication between the clients and satellites. But if you REALLY want to make an issue out of it, then we can also go with current geostationary satellite ISP service where multiple customers connect to ONE satellite and there is no congestion. Also, how many customers do you need to get congestion? It's all dependent on the tech and actual usage.

    Also switching satellites, and maybe ground stations is NOT mesh networking

    Then you have no clue what mesh networking actually is.

    indeed it is basically the same as mobile phone hand off, where switching towers may also switch the exchange the tower in use is connected to

    That's mesh networking genius. Or at least part of it.

    Mesh networking in this case would be using satellite to satellite relays to connect a user to a ground station

    This is no different than how any other network works. You are apparently just technologically illiterate and arguing in bad faith.

    that comes with latency costs

    You don't think routing packets over hardline networks also come with latency costs? Satellite-to-satellite latency is extremely minimal because they use lasers and high frequency RF. This is no different than microwave internet service. It's the ground-to-space and back that has higher latencies, which is mitigated by the LEO positioning of the satellites.

    avoiding two satellites using the same relay satellite unless they are using different channels. Meshing will have its uses to gain coverage where satellites have users but cannot see a ground station, which also means serving low population density regions, think high northern latitudes, and the middle of the pacific.

    This is literally all false.

    Well how many they can launch is an open question, but low orbit satellites in particular impact launch windows, as they are obstructions to be avoided on the way to higher orbits, and when returning to Earth.

    It's not an open question. They've already been approved to launch that many and are now LEGALLY REQUIRED to launch them all in a set time window. Also, space is big.

    Also, doubling or tripling the number is an insignificant increase when considering metropolitan areas

    Facts and statistics or you are full of it.

    The final consideration is launch capacity and cadence, as if the could launch ten satellites per launch, (an optimistic figure) that will require a thousand launches.

    Considering they can launch 25 on the current F9 rocket, you'd be wrong.

    Also, due to the use of low Earth orbit, the satellites will have short lifetimes, 5 years or so, requiring even more launches.

    You're still wrong on the launch capacity, which takes your total launch estimate down quite a bit.

    Single satellite launch using the likes of stargazer would require a fleet of such vehicles, as one or two launches a week per vehicle would be a very high launch rate. Getting that number of satellites into orbit in a reasonable time is far from a solved problem.

    Have you heard of a company called SpaceX? They can launch up to 25 of these satellites on one rocket currently. And they are making progress towards development of a bigger rocket that can launch more than that at one time. I'd say they've solved the problem. You're out of touch.

    Also, data rates offered to individual users is not the signifiant number needed to evaluate the system, and what would be a much better indicator of system capabilities is how many concurrent 4k video streams can be supported in each direction by a satellite.

    Don't you think that's a bit arbitrary? I could say the same thing about ground based ISPs. Yet you don't see them touting those numbers, now do you?

    There is a good reason why telecoms companies have gone to undersea cable, rather than satellite, and due to bandwidth requirements, rather than costs.

    Technology is constantly evolving, changing, and improving. I'm sorry you've been living under a rock for the past 50 years.

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


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