7 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
  2. Mar 2017
  3. Dec 2015
    1. If we upgraded to competitive wholesale publicly-overseen fiber optic networks all over the country, we could leave the cable industry and its ongoing destructive shenanigans behind. (Without expensive upgrades, the cable guys can’t provide the upload capacity that fiber can.) Yes, it would be initially expensive to do this. But so was the railroad system. So were the highways.
    2. There are so many ways for the local cable monopolies to turn dials in their direction the way things are set up now. They can start charging more for peak-hour usage, so they never have to upgrade their physical facilities. They can start charging more for interconnection of Lane 2 with other networks. They can zero-rate a bazillion other services they provide and bundle them with their own “public internet” offerings. They can charge separately for their proprietary WiFi services nationwide — the new bottled water, the thing we ought to have access to in abundance for free.They can do all of this because most U.S. households have only a single choice of operator for download speeds greater than 25 Mbps. It’s even worse for speeds over 50 Mbps 
    3. Networks are built to meet peak demands. Comcast has already made this investment. No “power user” is having any effect on anyone else’s download experience within Comcast’s Lane 2 — there’s plenty of capacity. (The Netflix/Comcast fracas last year made this eminently clear: as soon as Netflix paid up, presto, Netflix subscribers weren’t faced with a spinning wheel.)
    4. Earlier this month, Comcast announced that it would be launching a $15 per month streaming pay TV service — cleverly named Stream TV — that wouldn’t count against the 300GB data plans (that number is the cap) it had already introduced in several states.
    5. It begins by announcing a data cap that’s set high enough to affect only a small percentage of current users who routinely hit it. Justify it by saying you’re only targeting the “hogs” who gobble up everybody else’s bandwidth. Say you’ll charge for data usage that exceeds that cap. Then sit back and wait. Eventually, increased usage by more Americans will bring millions into the fold. And presto: without lifting a finger, dominant players can charge more people more per month — on every side of every transaction, content sources as well as consumers — without expanding their facilities, much less upgrading to the communications capacity we need.