I guess it's time for a non-governmental clearinghouse, since the government won't do it. Obviously said clearinghouse won't want to share with the government, so the government will be cut out of the loop... and then will complain loud and long about the selfish citizenry.
We (my employer) recently moved from a place literally 1 block away from active Comcast service (they offered to extend it for a low, low price of $30,000 to pay for their equipment installation -- just that, a flat fee for extending their network, we'd have to pay for the monthly service as usual) to a place completely surrounded by Comcast. Guess how much trouble we had getting Comcast? Of course they told us when we were planning to move in that Comcast was available there, hey, no problem.
Then it turns out the nearest junction box was across the street. So naturally getting a cable strung from one side of the street to the other required a freaking act of Congress. (Metaphorically speaking.)
Only took a couple months while we waited, kept picking at them, looked into alternatives (another company in our building was being fed by some third party using fiber from AT&T, but it was horribly expensive) and used a wireless connection as a stopgap. That was... annoying, to say the least.
Apparently one issue was that Rancho Cordova has been having problems with contractors not properly repairing the streets after digging them up, costing the city a lot of money to fix. The city's solution to this problem is... to drag their feet before issuing permits, which is terribly effective at solving the problem. Because businesses will be having trouble getting the infrastructure they need to operate, which will discourage them setting up shop in Rancho. Much better than arranging an inspection and fining violations. You'd think a bureacracy would LOVE adding paperwork and issuing fines, but then bureacracies are also really good at inertia. So, I guess they went with what they do best.
Anyway, that's the city and its contractors, not Comcast. Which finally got the connection all the way across 100 ft., then screwed up our settings by assigning us an IP block that was already in use.
And that's competition at its finest.
The Comcast sales drone got a few choice remarks when he showed at my door the other day and asked why I'd left them. (That sounds more... confrontational than what really happened, but it's the gist.) But at least he didn't try to sell me anything. Pretty obvious I wasn't going to buy.
Oddly enough, if Netflix hadn't done this, I probably wouldn't have bothered looking for ways around it. As it is, I can now access their entire catalogue -- with or without VPN active. Before they did this, I didn't really pay much attention, and would have continued to settle for the U.S. catalogue. For the most part.
I was using a U.S. IP address while in the U.S., so I'm not sure how I was actually violating any regional restrictions. But now? Fuck 'em. They asked for this.
Actually he's not asking for an extra set of keys under the mat. Nor even an unlocked back door. He's asking that every house in the world be fitted with a lock that accepts a skeleton key, and all locks accept the same skeleton key. Then copies of that key will be given to every law enforcement department, agency and every police station in the U.S. along with a key copy machine and unlimited blanks.
And then he's saying that we'll be safe in our houses because all those police and agencies can be trusted not to abuse the keys nor share them with any unauthorized persons.
And of course we all know that criminals and terrorists will not install locks incompatible with those keys, because That Would Be Illegal.
Not directly related, but I recently tried to unlock an AT&T phone. AT&T provides a "phone unlock portal" that lets you largely automate the process; they only insist that it's an AT&T phone, is fully paid for, isn't reported as stolen -- all reasonable stuff.
To do the same thing at T-Mobile you have to get into their customer service pages. They also have similar requirements -- plus you not only need to be a current customer, but the phone you're unlocking has to be currently active on a T-Mobile account.
Of course, this isn't customer service, technically. I'm a former customer (though I do have service via an MVNO, but I'd have been as happy with AT&T's network and it's really just a backup phone anyway). Technically, they don't actually owe me anything. But T-Mobile has just told me that it doesn't give a fuck about its former customers and that they don't want me back. Ever. The way I see it, Mr. Legere is just validating that impression, and making sure it's clear that it doesn't want its present customers, either.
It's OK. The feeling is mutual. Pretty happy with Ting right now anyway.