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The FCC and Barack Obama plan to offer fast broadband to 100 million U.S. households in the next decade.  (Source: Guardian UK)
The FCC is swinging for the fences, but can it really deliver on its loft goals?

Broadband in many parts of America is undeniably bad.  Hardly a healthy market, typically only one or two big players compete on a local level, and the result of the low level of competition is high prices.  Unfortunately, the cost of entry for small service providers is quite high and ISPs like Comcast, Time Warner, and Embarq have made market entry even harder by successfully lobbying many state and local governments to ban municipal Wi-Fi and/or enact measures that make it harder to finance such new deployments.

When Barack Obama was elected U.S. President, one of his promises was to deliver affordable Wi-Fi to Americans.  His plan for that, courtesy of the Federal Communications Commission, has finally aired and it's ambitious to say the least.

The proposal calls for a federal broadband offering that would cover at least 100 million U.S. homes.  The deployment would take place over the "next decade" and would provide Americans with "robust broadband services" -- a 100MBps down / 50Mbps up connection, to be more precise.

The plan would offer 1 Gbps connections on a community level, which could give small businesses a boost.  And first responders would get "access to a nationwide, wireless interoperable broadband public safety network."

The plan also calls for citizens being able to use broadband to "track and manage real-time [home] energy consumption," likely referring to smart meter services such as Google's Powermeter.

How much will the plan cost?  The FCC is confident that it can deliver the national service at almost no cost to taxpayers.  The funding would come largely from the planned sale of 500 MHz of spectrum that is currently lying vacant.

The plan, in its entirety can be found here (PDF).

Ambitious and potentially overreaching, the plan is drawing strong reactions across America.  On Engadget, one of the first to post details, the debate became so ugly that they threatened to start banning people and removed the comments section from the article. 

If that's a taste of what's to come, it appears that national broadband may get a similar treatment to national healthcare; a hearty helping of partisan bickering and the majority of Americans left scratching there heads while an important problem goes unsolved.

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500 Mhz Spectrum
By Shig on 3/15/2010 10:22:31 PM , Rating: 1
The 700Mhz spectrum sold for close to 20 billion in total auctions.

500Mhz spectrum should probably bring in even more than that as the telecoms keep fighting for wireless waves.

20+ Billion seems like a good start.

RE: 500 Mhz Spectrum
By Expunged on 3/15/2010 10:50:00 PM , Rating: 3
The problem is, it's not the 500Mhz spectrum as you said, it's the sale of 500 MHz OF spectrum. It depends on where this 500 MHz is located and how they break it up. It also depends if they come up with some dumb idea like whitespace and apply it that 500 MHz. The FCC and the government give very little thought to practical applications of spectrum and bandwidth....

This 100 Mbits to 100 million people is the biggest joke of all time. The government isn't going to do the actual work to make this happen, it will be a mandate put upon companies like Comcast. All Comcast has to do is offer the package, nothing says they have to actually have 100 million subscribers to that plan. Additionally, 100 Mbits in 10 years is going to be like 1.5 Mbits was 10 years ago. In 2000 you were living the life if you had a T1 to yourself, now most people in a metro area have at least a T1 of bandwidth available if they just call up their provider and say they need 1.5 Mbits sync.

If the government does try to provide such a service I can't imagine how they'll do it. Some massive cooperative with local municipalities that will burn most of the 20 Billion just in overhead costs. Wireless isn't an option at those speeds and especially at a frequency that would allow broad coverage. Are cities that can barely keep the streets paved and the water running going to lay fiber to households? I don't think so.

Frequencies below 700 MHz have little value to telecoms because there starts to be such a large difference in wavelength for every MHz you move. Thus, the "broadband" antennas that we're used to in the 2.4 and 5 GHz ranges have a much smaller usable bandwidth without excessive reflected power. Instead of having a full GHz, like most UNII products, or 100 MHz like the ISM's do, of usable frequency for an antenna design you're now talking about 10's of MHz or less. Considering that 256 QAM only gives you about 7 Mbits per MHz (and that would require some extremely fancy equipment and almost a perfect environment) it's unlikely that wireless will be the key.

RE: 500 Mhz Spectrum
By Shig on 3/15/10, Rating: -1
RE: 500 Mhz Spectrum
By Expunged on 3/15/2010 11:27:48 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, over the next 10 years. Comcast launched DOCSIS 3.0 service in "test markets" two years ago. Two years later I don't think it has been deployed anywhere else. There's also a large difference between having 100 Mbps available and having 100 million people using it. A lot of people love to bitch about their internet being slow but they're unwilling to fork over the $$$ to get a better connection. "I want 100 Mbps to my house and I want it for 34.95 per month".

Considering right now if you're on a SONET in a major metro you might be able to get Cogent to give you 1 Gbps for $1500 per month that's still $1.50 per Mbit. Considering the average oversell of 20:1 you're down to $0.075 per Mbit you're down to a wholesale cost of $7.50 per customer. Now you've got to put in all the infrastructure, staff, support, etc to get it to their home. That means you have $27.45 per month to provide everything. That's not going to cut it or even come close.

The even more absurd thing about this proposal is 50 Mbps upload speed. Really? They have little understanding about how technology really works. You can't have a cable modem the size of a small car so you can get enough signal to push 50 Mbps. If you want to have a CMTS sitting in your house so you have enough signal to push 50 Mbps back to the node then by all means.

I don't believe internet access is a RIGHT, there are very few "RIGHTS". Freedom is a right, now, if I want to freely provide internet access at a loss and you want to freely come take advantage of my generosity we have an understanding. Telephone is not a RIGHT. You cannot demand a telephone line be installed to your home for nothing more than a monthly fee. You cannot even demand electricity be installed for nothing more than a monthly fee. You have the RIGHT to obtain any of these if you're willing to pay the price the company will charge to build the infrastructure to your home.

I live in a very rural location and I know several people who don't have land line phone service because it would be 10's of thousands of dollars to rip the copper in to get them the service. I work with a company that is providing broadband in the same area, we offer wireless speeds that dominate most metro cable and DSL offerings, but we're constantly held back by "planning commissions" an "zoning regulations". Spending months and tens of thousands of dollars to jump through the hoops with the cities and counties that are required just to serve 10 or 15 people and give them some broadband and VoIP. I just went through a process to put a tower up where a county commissioner that barely graduated college wanted to tell me that my stamped engineering drawings and overspec tower installation was insufficient even though they had over a 300% safety margin at all wind speeds and ice loads.

If the government really wants progress they should offer up public right of ways for easements to companies that have a solid plan to provide such services. Allow us to bury fiber along streets, highways and interstates for FREE. Give us access to government buildings, towers, utility poles, etc. Maybe some low interest loans that don't require us to spend all the money we're saving in interest to hire another person to keep track of the all the brass tacks they want to count under their program. That's the stimulation this needs. Lets fast track companies that want to build towers, fiber, infrastructure, etc that will meet these goals.

I do agree though that a unified plan would be nice. Let's set some standards and provide incentives to companies that are willing to work to meet the standards. But let's also be reasonable about the standards and give careful thought to what is required to meet such standards. Incentive based projects work, the X prize has proven this time and again.

RE: 500 Mhz Spectrum
By Drag0nFire on 3/16/2010 10:45:25 AM , Rating: 2
You can't have a cable modem the size of a small car so you can get enough signal to push 50 Mbps.

That's why I have FIOS.

RE: 500 Mhz Spectrum
By sxr7171 on 3/18/2010 8:29:33 AM , Rating: 2
Apparently television is a right in the US. The fact that we dropped billions to subsidize digital tuners would indicate that. If anything I would prefer that internet be a right. There is no better education and communication tool in the world and it would help our dumb-ass kids become half-way competitive lest we become a nation of dumb-asses who only know how to borrow our lavish lifestyles from China.

Of all the things we have pissed our money into this I can stand behind.

Also economies of scale would change the cost of service and I would think that is intuitive to see. If you provide large amounts of bandwidth to more people it will become cheaper per unit of bandwidth.

I am sorry to hear how government currently is screwing you. That must change. Municipalities have been screwing over their constituents for decades. Once we get fast internet to everyone, those stupid municipal exclusivity contracts with cable companies will be worthless. There will be IPTV providers fighting for your business instead of being a worthless monopoly.

RE: 500 Mhz Spectrum
By Ammohunt on 3/23/2010 2:25:15 PM , Rating: 2
I think the issue is more of keeping the internet private vs wholy Governemnet owned. My concern with anything that Governemnt touchs is privacy and mandates. Are they going to force us to have government internet over private internet like they are doing with health insurance? Make the more productive of us pay for lazy people's internet access?

Side note do you have a right to own a car?

RE: 500 Mhz Spectrum
By nilepez on 3/15/2010 11:14:17 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure why you're so anti-municipal broadband. In Lafayette LA, once they go passed all the BS lawsuits from Cox Cable and AT&T (including a lawsuit by 2 people that nobody ever saw and nobody in the city knew), they broke ground and had the first customers online within a year.

What did we get?
All service gets 100 Mb/s symmetric connection to other PCs/sites on the the LUS network

$28.00 10Mb/s Symmetric connection
$45.00 30Mb/s Symmetric connection
$58.00 50Mb/s Symmetric connection

But I'm sure you're right. Those streets must all be falling apart. :rolleyes:

Now maybe the rest of the countries cities can't do it....but clearly it can be done....and amazingly, the end result was that Cox cable decided that they needed make lil ole lafayette the fist place they'd roll out Docis 3.0...why? Because that was the only way they could remain marginally competitive.

RE: 500 Mhz Spectrum
By Expunged on 3/15/2010 11:43:06 PM , Rating: 3
The reason I'm anti-municipal broadband is because the rules don't apply equally to everyone. Lafayette gets to use existing city right of ways, gets to use city employees, gets to use all of the advantages that government has without any cost. If Lafayette needed to go across a street with some fiber they just did it. No hearings, no permits, the city engineer said OK and it was done.

They effectively cut through all the barriers they have created for private enterprises and did what most companies would love to do. Came in, did what they needed to do to provide a service, and collected a check from the customers. When you have city utility poles, city right of ways, city easements, the power of eminent domain, grant dollars falling off trees, the use of your own facilities (city buildings for equipment, water towers for wireless, etc) all at little or no cost and without restrictions it's fairly easy to do something like Lafayette did.

I've followed Lafayette very closely because I think they're an example of what is to come in the future. What you fail to realize is they have a power over companies that most private enterprises don't have. If Lafayette wants an OC-48 from Level 3 and their fiber passes through Lafayette's city all Lafayette has to do is say "We want an entrance facility". Level 3 says "Yes sir" and sells everything to them at a cheap price because if they don't Lafayette can force their hand. Not allow them to pull more fiber through their town, make it inconvenient for them to service their equipment, etc.

But I'm sure you're right. Those streets must all be falling apart. :rolleyes:

Not all cities are in such great shape, have you looked at a city budget lately? Most municipalities are raising rates on everything just to try to not operate at as much of a loss next year. Sales tax revenues are down as are many other things that cities count on for funding. Lafayette was able to outlay the cash required before they fell on hard times, go ask the state of California right now if they'd be willing to drum up budget line item for a few billion dollars worth of broadband for the residents of California.

From a recent survey of cities:

Some 92% of the cities surveyed expected to have trouble meeting their city needs during this year. To cope, they are implementing hiring freezes and layoffs, delaying capital expenditures and instituting service cuts.

Some 69% have instituted hiring freezes or layoffs, while 42% are delaying or canceling infrastructure projects. Another 22% have instituted across the board cuts.


When 92% are expecting troubles meeting their current needs do you think they're going to step out and add some more services to their budget? The only way this will happen is if the Fed goes and borrows the money from China, then turns around and gives it out in grants like the BTOP where other government agencies got priority. Then the city will have the money to build the infrastructure, but the same dollars in a private company coupled with a working agreement with the city would provide the same benefits.

RE: 500 Mhz Spectrum
By Harinezumi on 3/16/2010 12:19:30 PM , Rating: 2
If something can be done more efficiently by government than by private enterprise, I, as a consumer and a taxpayer, would prefer my money to go to the government solution. Generally, private solutions tend to be more efficient than government ones, and that is the one, and only, thing that makes them superior. When that is not the case, there is no reason to support them.

As for government revenues, we kind of are still in the middle of the biggest economic downturn in generations. During economic downturns, governments are supposed to run up deficits in order to ameliorate the effects of the bust and speed up recovery. That's not the problem with the way our government's finances are run. The problem is that during economic booms, governments are supposed to run surpluses to pay back the debts incurred during the last bust, to prepare for the next one, and to discourage bubbles. In that respect, the past decade has been an abject failure on all levels of government, for which they are now paying (or, I should say, borrowing) dearly.

Regarding the matter at hand, if the government ends up financing the initial capital investment by auctioning off spectrum, and operating expenses by charging a reasonable rate for the services, I think this plan has a good chance of staying revenue-neutral, as long as the implementation doesn't end up getting hijacked by lobbyists or blocked by lawyers.

RE: 500 Mhz Spectrum
By Starcub on 3/16/2010 3:39:33 PM , Rating: 2
As a USAF civil servant, I was commonly asked to fill out a wish list of things that I would like to have in order to better do my job. In the event that we ran a budget surplus in any given year, we would prioritize the list and spend all the money our office was allocated. The reason was that anyone returning unused funds to the coffers were likely to get budget cuts when the belt was tightened. It doesn't surprise me at all to see high deficits in state and local govt. budgets as well.

As for the arguement that things could be done better in the private sector than by the govt., I'm not sure I buy it. They said the same thing to us over a decade ago when the push to privatization in the govt began. In fact we had a contractor working in our office that made more than we did. In my position, whenever the opportunity arose for work that might not exactly fit under my job description, and that I had the time and ability to do, I was usually discouraged from do it since it could always be contracted out.

Yes I'm aware of the overhead arguements, but the fact is that if it were really true that the private sector could get things done more efficiently than govt., then people like Expnuged wouldn't be crying about all the supposedly 'free' services municipalities supposedly get that he seems to think makes competition unfair. The govt doesn't get stuff for free, the taxpayers pay for it.

How can one argue that govt. is wasteful and inefficient and then complain about unfair competition between govt. and private industry?

In fact my father is a retired USAF officer that worked for years as a defense industry consultant and made far more money after his retirement than he ever did while in govt. service. People leave govt. service for private industry all the time for the opportunity to make more money -- and it's kind of like a fraternity.

So there are two problems here: bad management in the govt. sector, and profiteering in the private sector. Seeing as how one feeds off the other, more often then not I'd say that better govt. management would enable the best, most cost effective service.

In fact most of the waste that Obama has complained about in Medicare is due to fraud is perpetrated by private physicians, hospitals, and drug companies, which charge for services and goods not delivered. Same old story -- greed in private industry, and no govt oversight. Privatization isn't the fix, responsible leadership is.

Personally I'm happy when I see municipalities stick it to the big telco's and cable co's.

RE: 500 Mhz Spectrum
By Expunged on 3/17/2010 5:00:23 PM , Rating: 2
Yes I'm aware of the overhead arguements, but the fact is that if it were really true that the private sector could get things done more efficiently than govt., then people like Expnuged wouldn't be crying about all the supposedly 'free' services municipalities supposedly get that he seems to think makes competition unfair. The govt doesn't get stuff for free, the taxpayers pay for it.

So what you're telling me is that the government doesn't get things for free, they take money from you, me, and everyone else in X municipality and use those funds to pay for a project. Meanwhile, no private company has the power of compulsory taxation to force all the citizens of an area to pay into a project BEFORE they get the benefits. Any company that wants to install any utility, water, sewer, phone, broadband, etc has to outlay the cash and gamble on having enough subscribers to pay back the initial investment plus make a profit. The government on the other hand can take enough money from everyone to pay for the project up front, then sell the services cheaper because they don't have interest to pay and they don't have to operate at a profit.

There are no dividends paid to shareholders of an municipality. Municipalities can borrow funds from state and federal sources at insanely low interest rates and for tens of years at a time. Most cities don't utilize enterprise budgeting, or at least not strictly, thus, if they dollars from enterprise X go to support enterprise Y that is operating at a loss it doesn't matter to them. They can provide broadband to you below cost because they can raise your trash fees $10.00 to cover the difference.

The justification of spending all your budget because if you don't you won't get as much next year is nothing more than greedy and wasteful. While it's not solely your office/division/etc's fault that the policies are broken, it is still a fault for taking advantage of them. If instead of spending all the funds available when there was a surplus just so you could get more funding next year the funds had been returned to their originator and put into a rainy day fund some amount of the budget shortfalls government is facing right now could have been avoided.

In the private sector, a sector or division of a company that consistently under spends their budget is looked upon favorably.

How can one argue that govt. is wasteful and inefficient and then complain about unfair competition between govt. and private industry?

I would consider using the Preview button before you click Post Comment. You just answered your own question. The government is wasteful and inefficient because they have the ability to create unfair competition between govt. and private industry. Why should the government be financially responsible? You just said you spent your entire budget just so that you didn't have to return funds. In the private sector you tried to save any budget surplus so next year you could purchase that big ticket item or so the company could expand this or that next year.

The government has no need to operate efficiently, they have a monopoly and can use any strong arm tactics they want to use in an arena like broadband. City X already has Comcast serving the customers with cable access, but City X decides they're going to put in municipal broadband. There is a limited amount of space for right of ways and the city controls who can occupy such right of ways. Who is going to get first priority? Does City X have to operate at a profit or can they sell their broadband for pennies on the dollar, then put in parking meters at the local park, maybe increase your water bill a few dollars, etc.

Municipalities would be ruled against under Antitrust laws, yet because they're a government agency they can provide ALL the basic services that residents depend upon and stifle competition. They can hold you hostage for water, sewer, trash, streets, building permits, variances, special use permits, etc. Meanwhile most companies aren't allowed to hold an unfair monopoly over a single service in an area, much less all the services in an area.

Personally I'm happy when I see municipalities stick it to the big telco's and cable co's.

I hope you get everything you wish for in your municipality. At some point you will long for competition after the municipality drives everyone by providing subsidized services at a fraction the cost while road blocking private competition.

RE: 500 Mhz Spectrum
By sxr7171 on 3/18/2010 8:48:10 AM , Rating: 2
"How can one argue that govt. is wasteful and inefficient and then complain about unfair competition between govt. and private industry?"

Maybe because government regulates private industry? Did you ever think about that? Government holds all the cards at the end of the day.

Also "bad managment"? Is that some kind of euphemism for "corruption"?

Maybe it is precisely since they pay so piss poorly that they attract some of worst most incompetent people and only those are the ones who stay there managing things badly. Anyone who can make the "big bucks" in the private is obviously competent enough to do so and hence they leave and go for the big bucks. The ones who remain are the worst. There is no free lunch in the world and just because people are paid less doesn't mean they do things more efficiently and often it is quite the contrary. There are exceptions to these generalities but in general they hold.

RE: 500 Mhz Spectrum
By Jellodyne on 3/17/2010 12:26:10 PM , Rating: 2
The reason I'm against municipal sewer systems is because the rules don't apply equally to everyone. Municipalities get to use existing city right of ways, gets to use city employees, gets to use all of the advantages that government has without any cost. If the city needed to go across a street with some pipes they just did it. No hearings, no permits, the city engineer said OK and it was done.

RE: 500 Mhz Spectrum
By sxr7171 on 3/18/2010 8:34:57 AM , Rating: 2
Great points there. There's also nothing stopping a municipality from jacking up rates after they achieve monopoly status.

I do think that all companies should have equal terms. I can't stand how municipalities buddy up with ONE provider. They just engineer monopolies. I don't know how we allow this to go on.

By chromal on 3/15/2010 9:59:48 PM , Rating: 1
Holy crap, where do I sign up? My neighborhood ( has been stuck at 1.544mbps for over a decade! Clearly the private sector has failed me, bring on the 100mbps GVT broadband!

By bigdawg1988 on 3/16/2010 12:16:42 AM , Rating: 1
Sorry you got voted down, not sure why. I thought on a site like this there would be more support for this. Just because it's the government saying so? Man, imagine if the government hadn't mandated high-def televisions? Most of us would still be watching snowy cable on crappy sets. Sometimes these things aren't that bad. Heck, I'd pay more than the $30 i pay now for 3.5mb/640kb dsl i get now. In fact, I'm sure that with 100mb speeds that netflix or someone would offer flicks at about a buck each for download, plus maybe we'd get cheaper television service.
Sometimes it just takes someone (the govt) to set a standard and that gets the ball rolling. Hope we don't have to wait 10 years though.

By chromal on 3/16/2010 1:29:28 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps some people think 1544kbps is enough for anyone forever? I don't know. I'm just wondering how I get to cast MY vote...

By XZerg on 3/16/2010 7:18:21 AM , Rating: 2
i believe after some amount of posts you have the option to cast your vote. however those votes can only be cast on posts in the article before you make any posts in the article

By guffwd13 on 3/16/2010 10:51:09 AM , Rating: 2
you already did. clearly you voted for the other guy. obviously you were the minority.

1) first of all, i have fios top tiered service in a severely under utilized community (ie - i get the full speed when the other side can keep up). i rarely ever get up to 1544kbs because the OTHER side can't handle it. this bill would help that problem.

2) this is the single most important national infrastructure initiative since eisenhower's road system and arguably even more important (once you remove the fact that the roads that came first likely contributed to the development of the internet - ie without roads, how do people commute to cities from far away - ie fewer people to develop said systems). it should be a priority - more than spending more $ on defense than the other top 20 big spenders combined (see wikipedia). funny how we spend all that and yet still so easy to fly planes into two tall buildings and kill a whole bunch of people). best part is this system is going to be FREE (no add. cost to us end users)

3) do you realize how bit an impact it would be to have remote access to any computer you own and retrieve any file from them from anywhere in the country is if it were sitting right next to you? man would i save a lot of disk space and stop having to carry more things around with me on trips i go

4) i want to be able to download an entire HD movie in less than 30 seconds goddamit! is that so much to ask?

By JediJeb on 3/17/2010 11:04:18 AM , Rating: 2
best part is this system is going to be FREE (no add. cost to us end users)

So the magic broadband fairy will just wave a wand and make it happen for free.

I love how people can believe things like this are free. Either the person using the service will be paying for it, or worse the entire population will be footing the bill for something maybe %40 will get or even want. Why should someone like my parents who rarely even turn on a computer be asked to help pay for the broadband someone else wants to use? The sale of the spectrum may pay for most of the infrastructure, but what about the ongoing operating cost? Those who think it will be "free" never seem to consider the fact that it takes electricity to power the routers and transmitters that make the data flow, or people to maintain those systems. Who is going to come out on a stormy night to fix your connection for free when lightening strikes part of it?

Don't get me wrong, I would love to see good broadband available to everyone who wants it. But I have no delusions that it will somehow happen with no cost involved. For those who think this should be free to all, I challenge you to go into work tomorrow and tell them they no longer have to pay you for your work because you are ready to do it for free. If you are a true believer that everything in life should be free, be the first to get it started.

By sxr7171 on 3/18/2010 9:03:22 AM , Rating: 2
Why do we pay for welfare? So that they don't attack your sorry ass on the street for money. That's why. It's also why we put our uneducated people into uniforms and ship them abroad.

With broadband for everyone maybe we can revive our education system and make our people more capable of designing the products and providing the services that people in other countries want. That way we won't have to entirely bum off 3rd world countries like China.

This really is an investment in the future of America. But sure we could keep bumming off China and work at McDonalds serving burgers to all the rich Chinese (and other foreign) tourists who come here.

There is one thing America cannot compromise on and that is education and everything that supports it and the competitiveness of American workers. This will benefit everyone.

By tmouse on 3/16/2010 7:36:45 AM , Rating: 5
The government did not mandate high definition, the mandated a switch to digital broadcasts.

By Nightraptor on 3/16/2010 12:25:38 AM , Rating: 3
At least for me personally this issue creates a bit of dissonance from competing ideals. On one hand I don't like the Federal Government just stepping in and providing every service under the sun be it health care or broadband internet. On the other hand there is no denying that Broadband is currently controlled by a monopoly of large companies with the cost of entry being too high for new firms to enter which is economically harmful to the consumer. It is largely a must have service like electricity which they can largely charge whatever they want for.

Personally I think a better solution might be passing a law stopping the states from prohibiting cities from establishing municipal networks (I think this could be done Constitutionally because ultimately the Federal Government has control over the airwaves). At least municipal networks would keep control at the local level.

RE: Monopoly
By zombiexl on 3/16/2010 12:50:09 AM , Rating: 1
That monopoly of cable companies is usually because the city wants it that way. Have you even noticed the "franchise fee" line item on your cable bill? Thats essentially a tax you get to pay for having limited choices. Those choices being limited by who? Well your friendly local government of course.

RE: Monopoly
By Jeffk464 on 3/16/2010 1:15:48 AM , Rating: 2
What does that have to do with companies forcing municipalities to stop offering WIFI? The fact is that sometimes non-profits can do things better then companies that are solely interested in doing things that make them more money.

RE: Monopoly
By MadMan007 on 3/16/2010 2:32:12 AM , Rating: 5
Not quite. Cities agreed to monopolies because otherwise companies refused to build the infrastructure. Yes the city 'wants it' that way but only because the other option was nothing.

What should really be done is publicly-owned infrastructure that is completely open to any service provider that wants to use it.

RE: Monopoly
By wempa on 3/16/2010 12:29:46 PM , Rating: 2
The cities should have bought the infrastructure themselves and only leased the lines to cable companies. If that were the case, we wouldn't even be in the mess we are in now. The contracts the cities made with the cable companies were very short-sighted and we're all paying for it now since the cable companies have virtual monopolies. Granted, at least with FIOS becoming available, it will create some sort of competition. As a few people have already said, governments created the problem in the first place. This is an indisputable fact. The root of the problem needs to be fixed. We don't need more band-aid solutions.

RE: Monopoly
By sxr7171 on 3/18/2010 9:05:37 AM , Rating: 2
It makes my blood boil bro. Absolutely disgusting that in a so-called "free" market economy these things can happen.

By smithonian on 3/16/2010 3:48:30 AM , Rating: 2
In South Korea, 100Mbps(Yes! 100Mbps!) internet service to the general homes started being spread in several years ago. Now in every region of Korea you can use 100Mbps with $26/month(in case of 3 years contract) and with no data capacity limit. In korea there is no internet service with data capacity limit.

My computer is equipped with a quad-core 3.0GHz Intel CPU and 8GB DDR2 DRAMs. In Korea, when I click a korean web page link, that web page is loaded in IE browser, no matter how many high resolution pictures it has, at the moment I push-up a mouse button.

When Koreans go abroad, no matter which country it is, they are just surprised by the slow internet speed.

Korea has a plan of starting to dispatch 1Gbps internet service to the general homes in 2012.

By meepstone on 3/16/2010 6:20:56 AM , Rating: 3
Does starcraft really take up that much bandwidth???

I'm j/k!

By smithonian on 3/16/2010 8:08:31 AM , Rating: 3
As far as Starcraft game is concerned, it doesn't need that much bandwidth definitely...^^

As far as I know, one optical fiber line(100Mbps) covers 8 homes in Korea.
But 8 homes doesn't use Internet simultaneously, so they all just think that "I am connected to Internet all the time with a speed of 100Mbps".

However when IPTV is concerned, 100Mbps becomes a problem.
The number of IPTV subscribers in Korea is increasing fast.
Let's say that a full HD channel needs 20Mbps. If all 8 homes watch different full HD channels simultaneously, the total bandwidth it needs becomes 160Mbps(20Mbps X 8).
So one 100Mbps line cannot satisfy that speed.
That's why koreans try to speed up to 1Gbps.

And also Samsung and LG started selling 3D TVs in a full scale. These times TV stations broadcast only 2D programs. And 3D TV makes a 3D videos by converting 2D video signal to 3D video signal, inside the 3D TV.
But in a near future, if the TV stations broadcast 3D programs which are made by 3D TV camera, then a 3D IPTV channel needs a double bandwidth than that of 2D channel.

So there is a reasonable reason to adopt 1Gbps internet.

By tixx on 3/16/2010 7:24:56 PM , Rating: 2
OF COURSE that is possible in South Korea.

Infrastructure is vastly larger in the USA. South Korea being less than half the size of a avg USA state. Making it a much much easier and quicker process to upgrade/expand on.

SKorean population is around 48m, so about lets say about 40-44m have internet.

USA population is about 308m. the FCC alone proposes to do 100 million 100mbps lines.

Expanding internet is vastly more costly and difficult than doing it in South Korea.

So drop your e-penor bull about your PC specs and whatnot, makes you look like a fool.

By smithonian on 3/16/2010 8:01:39 PM , Rating: 2
Hey man..Be relax..

The reasons for very high speed in S Korea are as followa.
1. Small land size
2. Densed population
3. American Company Cisco
Cisco makes most of the backbone network systems installed in Korea.

Gimme Gimme Gimme
By ZachDontScare on 3/16/2010 3:15:13 PM , Rating: 2
It almost makes me ill seeing how quickly people are willing to line up and suck the teet of the federal government if it means 'free' stuff.

You want fast internet? Move to where it's available, or pay for it. Where I live the connections suck... but it wouldnt even cross my mind to be so selfish as to demand my fellow taxpayers subsidize *my* connection.

RE: Gimme Gimme Gimme
By Jalek on 3/16/2010 7:04:08 PM , Rating: 2
Telephone too. Wait, everyone already does subsidize that.
Power. Again, too late.

Better to spend the money on Iraqi infrastructure anyway, right?

RE: Gimme Gimme Gimme
By Chocobollz on 3/17/2010 9:56:33 AM , Rating: 2


RE: Gimme Gimme Gimme
By JediJeb on 3/17/2010 11:42:07 AM , Rating: 2
Telephone too. Wait, everyone already does subsidize that. Power. Again, too late.

Actually if you live where normal phone or electric lines do not run currently, you have to pay for the poles and wire needed to get the service to your home or you do not get the service. There are still some areas not far from where I live that do not have landline phone service because noone wants to spend the money to get the lines run into the area.

Water is the same, when I was looking to buy a house a few years ago, I turned down a few I looked at because to get public water there it would have cost me several thousand dollars to get the water mains extended out to the house. I guess most people who thing that utilities are "just there" and ready to be connected are those who have always lived in a large city or suburb where the infrastructure has been in place for decades. Even when a new subdivision gets built, the land owners or developers are the ones that pay for the utilities to be extended into that new area, not the utility companies. The law is, that if someone is willing to pay for a utility the utility company has to provide the service, not that the utility company has to provide the service even if nobody is willing to pay.

Sometimes local governments will get a grant to help them pay for major expansions of their utilities like water and sewer, but that usually only covers the main lines, not the side connections to each home. Many people near me still have either wells for water or have reservoirs and get their water trucked in. Come live in a very rural area and you will see just how well subsidized all those services most take for granted really are.

What is the downside of this?
By StraightCashHomey on 3/16/2010 10:22:50 AM , Rating: 2
This is an upgrade to our infrastructure. I'm more than happy to pay taxes to improve our nation's infrastructure.

Even if they weren't selling off the 500 MHz spectrum, I'd still be happy to pay the taxes to have an upgrade of our nations broadband, electrical grid, water, interstates, etc.

RE: What is the downside of this?
By cmdprompt on 3/16/2010 11:18:26 AM , Rating: 2
Personally, I'm not willing to pay ANY more in taxes. My tax freedom day is June 21st which means I work for more than half the year just to pay uncle sam, state and local governments before I see a darn nickle.

For those who are claiming that this is a "right" I would urge you to think about that a bit. Anything that costs money is NOT a right. If it were that would mean you had a "right" to the efforts of my labor and that by definition is not American. That would make me indentured to you and we got rid of slavery a long time ago. This applies to internet access or healthcare. It isn't free. Someone pays for it.

RE: What is the downside of this?
By Jalek on 3/16/2010 6:54:08 PM , Rating: 2
We've invested hundreds of millions into Iraqi infrastructure KNOWING we're going to be giving it away. Ditto for Afghanistan. There's tax money going into infrastructure all over the planet, while we have interstate bridges rated unsafe still in use.

Spending money here bothers you more than dumping it overseas?

Guvmnt Internet?
By Ammohunt on 3/16/2010 2:43:26 PM , Rating: 2
Obamanet? Obamacare? Obama*? NO THANK YOU!

RE: Guvmnt Internet?
By Smilin on 3/16/2010 5:43:59 PM , Rating: 2
OMG STFU and take it over to the foxnews forums.

RE: Guvmnt Internet?
By Ammohunt on 3/23/2010 2:10:44 PM , Rating: 2
What made you think you could reply to my post? Go back to watching sesame street the adults are talking now.

You're missing the real agenda
By thebest11778 on 3/16/2010 4:02:19 AM , Rating: 3
The plan also calls for citizens being able to use broadband to "track and manage real-time [home] energy consumption," likely referring to smart meter services such as Google's Powermeter.

This plan really has NOTHING to do with providing internet at all. This is all about the Federal Government setting up their smart grid. The super, awesome, fast internet is their way of trying to sell you the smart grid. Does anyone know what this administration plans on doing if they can pass cap&trade? (This ties in to the smart grid.) A beurocrat will monitor your home's power usage, and give them the power to disable the power to your house if you're going over what's allocated to you.

For the sake of the argument let's say they DON'T associate the smart grid. 100 million people over 10 years is the goal. Right now that's roughly 1/3 the population. They say this won't cost the tax payers anything... just like health care right. Any government program that takes 10 years to produce will easily cost over a trillion dollars. The Federal Government no longer hires anyone that's non-union if the job costs over 1 million dollars, so these WILL be union workers (Don't get me started on that.) So this thing will cost everyone in the country a portion of THEIR salary. What if I'm NOT one of those 100 million people??? Why am I paying for YOU to have great internet when I'm stuck paying $45 a month for 10mb up and down? Will you send me a check every month? Will you work 5 hours a week for me? Why would I give you ANY of my money? It could also go the other way around. You could be paying for MY internet. I don't want you to. I can pay for it myself thank you. If I NEEDED 100mb internet I would find a way to get it, even if I had to become governor of my state, get rid of the rediculous laws/restrictions, then start my own company to provide such internet in the are IF others wanted it and were willing to pay for it themselves, and NOT ask their neighbors to pay for it for them.

I see a lot of people on here complaining, but don't do anything about it. If you're local government is getting in the way, VOTE THEM OUT! If you don't think that will work RUN YOURSELF! If that's too much of an effort for you then stop whining. Don't expect the world to change the way you want it to without putting in the effort yourself. No wonder why a lot of you are ok with others paying for your internet. Hell might as well quit work too. Collect unemployment and when your bills come just take them to your neighbors and ask them to cut the check, meanwhile selling their sovereignty, and consitutional rights to the federal government.

By shaidorsai on 3/16/2010 5:48:39 PM , Rating: 2
Your worried about a bureaucrat shutting off power to your house? Ha ha ha ha. How about the rolling brown outs and blackouts the corporations have been subjecting people to due to their poor planning and inept management of the commercial power grid? Your worried some bureaucrat might mess it up??? ROTFLMAO

By BailoutBenny on 3/16/2010 5:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
If you want cheap broadband, all that needs to be done is remove all the regulations and tax subsidies that inhibit competition and allow real competition to correct the market. It really is that simple.

No sole providers to any areas, no tax backed incentives to draw a particular provider to a particular area. Just allow anyone to enter the market and don't save their ass if they are going belly up. Its a very simple, truly capitalistic way to solve the problem. Don't ask for more government, ask for less.

RE: Solution
By shaidorsai on 3/16/2010 6:43:51 PM , Rating: 3
That sounds really great...except time after time, again and again, example after example shows your absolutely 100% wrong. Capitalism only works under certain situations and public utilities is certainly not one of them!

Deregulation has resulted in price increase after price increase across the board for phone, internet and CATV service nation wide. Deregulation has killed or greatly slowed deployment of high speed internet across most if not all of rural America as big corporations like Verizon cherry pick rich and heavily populated areas and ignore the rest. Deregulation of power companies has done absolutely nothing but drive up costs for rate payers across the country in ever area it has been none. Deregulation caused the financial markets to collapse and the banking industry collapse and the savings and loan industry collapse and on and on and on...

The ONLY people who think deregulation is good for anything are the corporate executives that stand to reap huge profits as soon as they are told there are no restrictions on what markets they have to serve and that they can keep whatever they make without over site by the government.

Capitalism only works in markets with many existing choices such as the car industry or the baked goods markets like cookies. In critical services like utilities deregulation is a horrible decision and lets the wolves loose in the hen house.

Wow man
By TSS on 3/15/2010 11:02:30 PM , Rating: 2
100 million U.S. homes....100MBps down / 50Mbps up connection

Holy bejeebus finally a reason to move to America! Ya see, here in holland, one of the smallest, most densely populated countries on this planet where the government stimulated competition on the ISP market, their just now starting to roll out VSDL2 with a top speed of 40Mb/s down and 3Mb/s up, which'll cost ya 50 euros a month.

And the FCC is proposing triple those speeds, at 6 times the population, spread over an ridicolous bigger area. I don't know what drugs they use, but i'll take 2.

RE: Wow man
By HotFoot on 3/16/2010 11:12:44 AM , Rating: 2
Holland is a generally lovely country, but your internet clearly stinks!

Pointless and Shortsighted
By mlZr on 3/16/2010 12:16:26 PM , Rating: 2
Landlines are dead guys, once again gov't is playing catchup. Just as we ditched landlines for our phones, we will ditch landlines for data. There is plenty of competition in the wireless space, why are we interfering? Wimax is already out in many markets and doing well, LTE seems to have a bright future on many carriers. We can continue to use landlines for businesses, but people don't need higher speed than LTE/Wimax for simple home use.

RE: Pointless and Shortsighted
By shaidorsai on 3/16/2010 6:58:16 PM , Rating: 2
Spoken like someone who has no ides what they are talking about.

"people don't need higher speed than LTE/Wimax for simple home use".

Really? have you ever heard the expression "build it and they will come"? People don't need higher speeds at home because they cant get it...therefore no applications have come out to use the bandwidth they don't have...

Wireless is not the answer at all except in the mobile device arena. Wireless has limited spectrum available with more and more players demanding part of the limited spectrum all the time. Wireless only has application in short range situations where 10mbps or lower speeds, downloading crap you don't really need to your I-phone.

The only viable long term answer is fiber optic cable to the house and local WIFI in the home and business. Everything else available pales in comparison to fiber. Everything.

My take on things
By Setsunayaki on 3/16/2010 10:52:10 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of you are right, but a lot of you are wrong too...

The basics of human rights starts with property rights. The ability for a person to claim ownership over themselves. Without such right, no humans rights can exist.

Today taxation is at an all time high. For the last 10 years we have fought wars around the world and damaged the American Economy severely. Soldiers paid with their lives. Americans who did not fight directly paid economically...

Taxation only took more money from people because cost of living went up, and the value of the dollar went down, a recipe for disaster-

The majority of nations have been working on their own national networks because the idea is a good one. There are two ideas people speak of here:

Capitalism and Communism

Communism is incorrect because it is forced upon people. Socialism is Communism except that the people willingly accept such the people supporting socialism allow for its success.

Capitalism succeeds when you want something fast in a short time, but it fails when competition itself creates the bottleneck where growth is stunted.

Socialism succeeds in a smaller population, but fails in motivation and generates a static growth amount.

China is a communist nation because the system is imposed upon the people and the people do not support it. Spain is a Socialist nation...They accept the principles and the people support it. (I wanted to give an example)

The important thing is not whether we get it for free or not, its that we actually move forward with the internet itself....

Many video games in Japan and China are wi-fi games...those localized games are going to fail here because we don't have an active wi-fi network. The same is true for a lot of American web games in creation...Wi-Fi would work great for us.

Many households are still on dial-up and many more have low grade broadband connections. The plan idea centers with having people a more even-connection base.

It would be nice for everyone to have equivalent upstream/downstream speeds...specially small business, because we need them for economic recovery.

Comcast, FIOS, all of these ISPs actually have stunted growth in exchange for profit. They like to slow everything down and milk the public for the maximum amount of money over the largest period of time.

Foreign nations are concerned with actually getting their networks completed and to their people..

Our government getting involved means that all of these private ISPs now have to move faster and expand faster...They also have to compete in pricing, so in the very end...everyone wins.

There are people I can't communicate with in the US because they don't have a good connection and I would love to see them get something...Until then I am lucky I can use a cell phone to say hello to them.

So this can only benefit people in the end.

I think it can be agreeable that our national network infrastructure desperately needs an overhaul, specially for our 300 million population.

RE: My take on things
By Smilin on 3/18/2010 2:59:12 PM , Rating: 1
Well thank you for paragraphs at least.

Colocation at your very own home!
By XtAzY on 3/15/2010 10:02:34 PM , Rating: 2
Woot! With this connection, I don't even need to have my website hosted on a dedicated host anymore. I can now have my own colocation at my very own home! Buy a couple of spare server level power supplies, hard drives, and voila, a powerful server at my very own home!

Sounds wonderful
By kfonda on 3/15/2010 10:28:09 PM , Rating: 2
All that speed plus it's run by the government so they can filter out all the bad stuff so nobody will be discriminated against or offended...

(for those that are not sure, this is meant to be sarcasm)

Dribble - Dribble
By pjs on 3/15/2010 11:05:50 PM , Rating: 2
The way private companies are doling out the bandwidth, I welcome some competition/encouragement from the FCC.
I have had earthlink for years and years at about 1mB/sec. Time for me to look elsewhere.

Do it, do it, do it
By Josh7289 on 3/16/2010 2:04:58 AM , Rating: 2
Reposted from Engadget:

My home *just last Wednesday* got access to a real cable broadband connection here in rural NJ, so I understand much too well the necessity of broadband access in today's world.

This plan has to happen.

Ya Right
By btc909 on 3/16/2010 2:59:49 AM , Rating: 2
100Mbit, only in major cities. I have plenty of customers that can barely get slow DSL. I'm lucky to have 25Mbit up & down in a 3 year old housing development. 100Mbit & affordable, let me inhale some of this happy gas. Is this another Obamba mandate?

I agree 100Mbit in 10 years is going to be slow. I see ALL of your 4K 3D TV signals coming across your internet connection.

Scanned PDF?
By hybridr6 on 3/16/2010 3:46:15 AM , Rating: 2
Anyone else find it funny that instead of hitting save as PDF the FCC actually printed out the entire document and then scanned the entire thing?

By Chiisuchianu on 3/16/2010 4:04:22 AM , Rating: 2
This is probably the only thing he's proposed so far that would bring significant economic growth and progress.

By BZDTemp on 3/16/2010 4:58:42 AM , Rating: 2

By SunTzu on 3/18/2010 9:08:14 AM , Rating: 2
Wow you guys are behind. Im currently sitting on a 100/10 cable modem (newly installed in my neighbourhood), went from a normal 100/100 fibre. This is pretty much standard all over Sweden, u guys still dont have 100mbps connections easily and cheaply?

By YashBudini on 3/19/2010 9:13:30 PM , Rating: 2
It's already flowing too fast into people's homes.

By macthemechanic on 3/22/2010 11:18:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah! I love you guys! Go forward and broadband us.

Learn some history people
By shaidorsai on 3/16/2010 5:43:38 PM , Rating: 1
Pick up a book and read about the Rural Electrification Act. It's the only reason many of you have commercial power. The Telco and CATV networks were also built with mostly Government funded projects which grew out of the Rural Electrification Act and they are still supported by taxes you pay every time you pay your phone or cable bill. Many of you already benefit from Government funded Internet, phone and TV service through those the rest of America should get the same tax supported benefit...get over it. I'm sure the smug anti-government know it all's jumping up and down about taxes being spent on something like the internet don't complain much when they flip the light switches on at home. The internet is no longer a luxury after study shows access improves the economic situation of those with access.

The facts are that the Government has had a hand in raising the standard of living for Americans for decades. I would hope that the Government continues to push society along to improve the lot of all over the whining of a few.

One thing is clear...Corporations will not spend the profits they take from you every time you pay your bill to improve America. That money goes to greedy Executives who line their pockets and send jobs off shore...usually cheered on by the same losers jumping up and down about taxes being spent on improving America.

quite frankly
By cubby1223 on 3/16/10, Rating: -1
RE: quite frankly
By chromal on 3/16/2010 1:25:24 AM , Rating: 2
Believe it or not, there are other things to do with your Internet access then download pr0n. :)

RE: quite frankly
By Sazabi19 on 3/16/2010 3:54:00 PM , Rating: 2

RE: quite frankly
By Smilin on 3/16/2010 4:05:44 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, that's an excellent example. You can use the internet to read and tell lies. What else?

What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By michal1980 on 3/15/10, Rating: -1
RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By joex444 on 3/15/10, Rating: -1
RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By kfonda on 3/15/2010 10:32:10 PM , Rating: 5
My choices are Comcast, FiOS, and RCN. I am ignoring DSL. Either way you cut it, its a major ISP with no competition whatsoever. You can expect to pay $50+ for 10Mbps.

Comcast, FIOS, RCN, and DSL sounds like competition to me.

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By chromal on 3/15/2010 10:49:52 PM , Rating: 5
Wow, I'd kill for TWO broadband providers to choose from. $50 for 10mbps? Sign me up. I pay $40 for 1.5mbps, and that's the fastest anyone in my subdivision can get.

By JediJeb on 3/17/2010 12:01:55 PM , Rating: 2
Oh I love to see people complain about $50 for great service with multiple choices. 1.5Mb here at $40/month through AT&T DSL, only other option is HughesNet at something like $60/month for even worse service. To the poster with 4 choices, be happy with the competition you have, most of us only dream of what you have.

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By Pedrom666 on 3/15/2010 11:31:13 PM , Rating: 4
I pay $40 a month for 25 down and 15 up thru Fios. I used to have Cox and Verizon came in and offered a better service for less money. Why is the government getting involved again?

By Siki on 3/16/2010 12:24:28 AM , Rating: 3
This way they get paid to spy on you.

By Jeffk464 on 3/16/2010 1:06:53 AM , Rating: 2
Because companies need somone to buy off so they can right the laws in their favor. Why else?

By cruisin3style on 3/16/2010 3:35:08 PM , Rating: 2
Could be the same reason, as some might claim, that we were going to go to the moon again...because other nations are doing it. That is, other nations are investing in infrastructure and the pwoers that be don't want ours to fall behind. (or more behind, anyway)

The theory is good i guess: Invest in infrastructure and grow GDP...or at least stay competitive.

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By HrilL on 3/16/2010 4:53:00 PM , Rating: 1
We got cox and only cox here. I think I'd like them to get involved thank you very much. $50 a month for 8/Mbs and 1/Mbs up is complete robbery. The upload doesn't go that fast even half the time and if it does its only for a few seconds and then its back down to 512Kb/s. Cox still hasn't upgraded to Docsis 3. And there is no sign they ever will for my area. No competition = No point.

By rett448 on 3/16/2010 5:28:59 PM , Rating: 3
When Fios came to my area (Northern Virginia) Cox speeds jumped up to 20-25 down and 2-3 up (using speakeasy speed test) and we only pay $40 a month.

By Reclaimer77 on 3/16/2010 12:08:26 AM , Rating: 2
Either way you cut it, its a major ISP with no competition whatsoever. You can expect to pay $50+ for 10Mbps.

The government is the REASON there is no competition in your area. So now how is the government stepping in, and giving everyone free broadband going to help your situation ??

Please, think about it.

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By Jeffk464 on 3/16/2010 1:08:50 AM , Rating: 4
Excuse me, corrupt government is the reason there is no competition in your neighborhood.

By YashBudini on 3/19/2010 9:16:04 PM , Rating: 2
Now what?

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By MadMan007 on 3/16/2010 2:20:44 AM , Rating: 2
And the reason there are only a few service providers in any area is because they refuse to build infrastructure without such oligopoly guarantees.

By Reclaimer77 on 3/16/2010 9:58:41 AM , Rating: 4
And the reason there are only a few service providers in any area is because they refuse to build infrastructure without such oligopoly guarantees.

Would you invest tens even hundreds of millions into something if you knew the government could sweep it at any moment and lay claim to it or give ownership of it to someone else ?

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By MadMan007 on 3/16/2010 12:09:17 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not even sure how that question constitutes a useful reply, I'm sure it's some kind of logical fallacy to throw things off but I don't know which type off the top of my head.

The point is that your 'government=teh evil' political viewpoint fundamentalism is blinding you to the underlying facts of why there are oligopolies.

By Reclaimer77 on 3/16/2010 12:23:05 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not even sure how that question constitutes a useful reply

Well then I'm not sure why we're talking about this. Perhaps you should go play with your stuffed animals and leave this discussion to the big kids.

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By MadMan007 on 3/16/2010 7:09:17 PM , Rating: 1
Yet another useful reply.

Instead of posing red herring-type questions why not try to address the actual content of the post?

By Chocobollz on 3/17/2010 9:55:02 AM , Rating: 2
I think he likes being a jerk.

Would you invest tens even hundreds of millions into something if you knew the government could sweep it at any moment and lay claim to it or give ownership of it to someone else ?

Instead of worrying about the government, why don't you worry about any natural disasters that can occur anyday anywhere?? Or, why do you even breath? There's always a lethal virus or disease that could kill you. If you really are being worried about the government, then I suggest you to take up your pillows, call your mommy and then go to basement and wait there till the angels calling on you ;-)

By cruisin3style on 3/16/2010 3:40:28 PM , Rating: 2
So you live in Venezuela, then?

I mean, forgive me if I don't know enough about the subject or something, but I am not aware of the US government seizing much of anything (thats not in financial distress, anyway)

By sinful on 3/16/2010 8:37:15 PM , Rating: 2
The government is the REASON there is no competition in your area. So now how is the government stepping in, and giving everyone free broadband going to help your situation ??

Yeah, just like the FDA is REASON there are unsafe foods, and like how the NHTSA is the REASON there are car accidents, and how the SEC is the REASON there is financial fraud.

Yes, it's so clear now!

If we just abolish them, all the problems go away!

And if they don't, just blame the gubberment and Obama anyway!!

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By DanoruX on 3/16/2010 2:02:19 AM , Rating: 2
I'm in Boston and I get 25/15 for $55/month. Don't know whats so bad about it...

By mickaloha on 3/16/2010 11:16:55 AM , Rating: 2
What service do you use? Comcast nor RCN offer that type of service. It sounds like a FIOS package which isn't available in the city of Boston. If it is FIOS, you live in a suburb.

By mickaloha on 3/16/2010 11:14:57 AM , Rating: 3
No. You are not in Boston if you have access to FIOS. You aren't even Cambridge, Somerville, or Quincy if you have access to FIOS. You are in a suburb. FIOS avoids Boston and the large area around Boston like the plague. They only roll it out to the suburbs because Mennino the mayor is in the back pocket of Comcast.

You have access to RCN and Comcast with Comcast offering the highest internet speed available to Boston. DSL is available but it is a joke.

I have Comcast and pay for ultra package. It is 30 Mpbs down/7 mpbs up. It actually gets close to the speeds most of the time and the up exceeds the speeds on occasion. If FIOS was available to Boston I would jump all over it but it is not.

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By Shig on 3/15/10, Rating: 0
RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By zombiexl on 3/16/2010 12:53:56 AM , Rating: 3
When you choose where to live you weigh the pro's and con's, assuming you aren't a complete idiot. If you must have high speed internet you limit your search that way. If you want a nice rural area and don't want to see tons of houses on top of each other you might have to give up your fast access to porn.

Remind me again, how many people die a year due to lack high speed of internet (or even no internet access at all)?

I'll await your well thought out educated response.

By Jeffk464 on 3/16/2010 1:11:42 AM , Rating: 3
I read a study that said for good prostate health you need to exercise it regularly. So I guess that means porn is important for good health.

By chromal on 3/16/2010 1:20:32 AM , Rating: 5
Heh, yes, because Porn is the main application of broadband. Oy vey.

Hey, let's pull street lights, pavement, telephones, fire fighters, and anything else that doesn't lead to an immediate death, after all, they aren't essential: people won't fall over dead without them.

It's more about our ability to be educated, connected, competitive. It's about creating more economic opportunities for stay-at-home moms to telecommute, or have an e-bay business, or do distance learning. And it's a lot of other things besides. Your lack of vision isn't a basis for halting progress. There's simply no valid reason to discourage the further deployment of improved Internet access to individuals, families, and communities, and it DOES matter because broadband isn't just about downloading porn, or whatever unsympathetic-sounding purpose you can come up with.

It's increasingly about sustaining new kinds of economic activity, it's about a family being able to sustain multiple simultaneous uses of their Internet access without DoSing each other, and a lot of things besides. Perhaps, in time, it WILL be a life and death question as well, with medical monitoring of the sick and elderly. How can you possibly predict the continuing change and future application?

By The Raven on 3/16/2010 1:58:27 PM , Rating: 4
But I can tell you're one of those GOP nuts who thinks any form of socialism is armegeddon.

False. You can't discern that he is with the GOP.
He could be Libertarian... he didn't say anything that shows socially conservative leanings.

But now we can tell that you are a prejudicial a-hole.

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By chromal on 3/15/2010 10:43:21 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, you're right, us semi-rural people don't deserve nice things like telephone service, electricity, paved roads, libraries, law enforcement, fire fighters, and most of all broadband. Only commies get those things.

Get real, you troll.

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By michal1980 on 3/15/10, Rating: -1
RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By chromal on 3/15/2010 11:40:14 PM , Rating: 5
Had American been developed anything like your version of ideal, vast swaths of the country would be undeveloped and in an economic/cultural/educational/technological "3rd world." You know, what I find ironic is how well that describes China today; the developed cities and the undeveloped back country filled with a 2nd or 3rd-class citizenry. Given that, you're the one advocating the Communistic model, whereas I'm advocating the United States model of creating a better country for all, by fiat if necessary, as it was for telephony, electricity, and so forth.

Just for the sake of argument, I'll reveal I'm a mere 25 miles outside of Denver, and I bought the only house I could afford, on the edge of town. Are YOU offering to buy me a house with broadband, or just going to chide me for being irresponsible? A very "Let them eat Cake, for they have no bread," attitude, I'm sure.

Again, dude, you seriously need to get real and start listening. Folks aren't looking for handouts, they're looking for options, free-market and capitalistic ones. Even if they have a choice where to live, their children do not, if that's what it takes to sway you, and deserve the same opportunities as anyone else.

By Reclaimer77 on 3/16/2010 12:11:53 AM , Rating: 2
Folks aren't looking for handouts, they're looking for options, free-market and capitalistic ones.

And you actually believe that's going to come from the FCC and the government ? That they are willing or even able to give you that ?? This government especially...

Riiight.. ok. Good one.

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By chromal on 3/16/2010 1:12:00 AM , Rating: 5
Sure, why not? I like how replacing private toll roads with the Eisenhower System worked out. I liked how requiring the old Bell System to hit areas rural and urban both worked out. I like how the Hoover Dam and the Tennessee Valley Authority worked out. Many of the things that make our capitalistic society possible are the product of vision and common need. There's nothing wrong with that. I don't comprehend why people bury their heads in the sand and repeat the ideologies, but leave it out of a discussion of broadband, TYVM.

By Reclaimer77 on 3/16/2010 12:34:31 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, why not? I like how replacing private toll roads with the Eisenhower System worked out. I liked how requiring the old Bell System to hit areas rural and urban both worked out. I like how the Hoover Dam and the Tennessee Valley Authority worked out.


I love how everytime a discussion like this takes place, people like you dig up examples from the last century or further to make your point.

The problem is most of your examples ARE things the government should provide and are supposed to be responsible for. Making sure everyone has government provided broadband ? Not so much. Sorry but that is not a Constitutional right no matter how you guys word it.

Now would I WOULD like to see if for our Government to get a clue, and realize that micromanaging and over-regulation doesn't work. But what they CAN do is make conditions favorable so that the free market can do it for them.

According to this article there are 100 million potential customers that don't have broadband. Ask yourself why they aren't being served if it was truly profitable to do so ?

but leave it out of a discussion of broadband,

Do some research, until then take your own advice.

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By surt on 3/16/2010 1:28:38 PM , Rating: 2
From the last century? So you're only willing to consider examples of government success from the previous decade of republican rule? Shocking that you can't find any, really.

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By Kurz on 3/16/2010 2:19:31 PM , Rating: 2
Government hasn't had success outside of its intended purpose.
Regardless of which political party is in power.

By surt on 3/16/2010 3:17:41 PM , Rating: 2
Well, that's easy if you define the intended purpose as everything at which government succeeds. But if you don't, then any realistic person has to acknowledge government has had numerous successes outside of the narrow purposes for which it was first conceived.

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By HrilL on 3/16/2010 5:12:32 PM , Rating: 1
People said the same thing back then as they do now. You don't have the right to running water, power or sewage. As the times change so do the rights we need to be a citizen. We Do in fact need to have the right for Broadband and fast non crippling broadband at that.

You are the exact kind of person that holds our country back. We with true broadband we don't need the cable co offering TV. We don't need the phone company offering Phone service. All we need is a dump pipe with a lot of bandwidth to meet our needs. Broadband allows the true cost of these services we've been getting raped over the past 30+ years. TV used to be free and still is over the air but you get limited service. The internet allows for us to get that again for free. Wake up and realize things change and progress.

You're the kind of person that would stand up and fight for the horse buggy market when the car was invent. Holding back progress is the reason why are country is going to shit.

By Reclaimer77 on 3/16/2010 5:24:46 PM , Rating: 1
You don't have the right to running water, power or sewage.

Ok let's get something straight. To compare life necessities to broadband is just stupid. Sorry but you really DON'T need porn that badly.

Oh and by the way, there are still many many places in the US where people have to dig wells and use septic tanks because water and sewage AREN'T provided. And I'm not talking people who live in deserts, even in medium to major cities this is the case.

All we need is a dump pipe with a lot of bandwidth to meet our needs.

Sure that would be great if we all had just huge fiber trunks running to our homes. Now back here on the planet Earth, things don't just magically happen the way we want.

Wake up and realize things change and progress.

What does this have to do with this discussion ?? Government provided wireless to people who already don't have broadband.. how is this change and progress ?? You act like this is going to revolutionize the country or something. Get real.

You're the kind of person that would stand up and fight for the horse buggy market when the car was invent. Holding back progress is the reason why are country is going to shit.

You know what, fuck you. The car, which ushered in the modern assembly line process, is one of the greatest achievements ever made in this country. And it did NOT, I repeat NOT, come about because of the government or a subsidy.

By Jakeisbest on 3/16/2010 8:38:12 PM , Rating: 2
Broad band is more comparable to necessities such as gas, sewer, and electricity because of the distribution model. Vast upfront connection costs which can only be recuperated over a long period.

Comparing internet deployment to automobile manufacturers is not a very good analogy.

Advances in communications have yielded great increases to the US GDP. If every one had access to fast reliable communications we could further increase productivity.

The US internet falling behind the rest of the developed world, we can sit and wait for the market to develop a solution or we the people can implement it ourselves.

By BailoutBenny on 3/16/2010 5:22:19 PM , Rating: 2
Except every single one of those government initiatives have been utter failures.

The TVA - massive taxpayer black hole. Disastrous toxic accidents were one benefit of the TVA. Another was thousands of destroyed acres of cropland from the newly formed dam lakes. They claimed they helped farming but the innovations they brought to the region were already starting to work their way in out of necessity. The government was largely responsible for the terrible land erosion going on anyway because of the large land grants it gave out. The farmers had no choice but to use the least efficient but quickest method to farm. The state legislatures were owned by the utility companies but at the time, the depression era, most of the util co's were going belly up because of their own fraud and corruption. Had the government not interfered, the util co's would have killed themselves with their own greed but Uncle Sam came in and saved them all. The government did way more harm than good.

The highway system in this country is another failure. The federal government constantly raises the taxes used to fund maintenance which is constantly decreasing in frequency and quality. A toll road would have been better. It would at least pay for itself.

And granting Bell a telephone monopoly was essentially the same thing as granting Comcast the exclusive right to provide broadband service to the country at government controlled prices. Just another taxpayer black hole that was eventually broken up (thankfully). See Conrail vs Amtrak.

The fact is, everything the government does is an utter failure business wise. Their projects have terrible service, obsolete technology all at a price no one would willingly pay.

By cruisin3style on 3/16/2010 4:18:42 PM , Rating: 2
Please list your problems with the current government situation in terms of what they have or have not done to earn your spite?

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By zombiexl on 3/16/2010 12:59:47 AM , Rating: 2
You really need to learn some history. People used to turn to charity and their churches when they fell on hard times. The government's job was not to hand things to people. A man can't support himself if he is never made to stand on his own.

Then again, in the old days if i man lost his job he wasn't happy to collect unemployment. He would go out and get 2 lesser paying jobs to support his family. This country has lost it's ideals and pride.

This is why even when the congress votes against the will of the people, nothing will happen. This country is filled with people who are too afraid to lose their freebies to actually do anything about being screwed constantly. A sure way to control the people is to make them depend on you for support.

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By chromal on 3/16/2010 1:09:02 AM , Rating: 2
While I'm sure that why you're bringing this all up here is simply fascinating, I don't see what it has to do with infrastructure. Take your chip-enabled shoulder elsewhere.

By bighairycamel on 3/16/2010 11:25:41 AM , Rating: 2

A common misconception that I've noticed while reading all the posts is that the service will not cost anything. That's just absurd. In actuality, it's just the infastructure that they hope to finance with the spectrum sales. The monthly service fees will most likely be competitive with existing broadband plans.

By HrilL on 3/16/2010 5:19:15 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree but I've got no problem paying service that is worth the price I pay. Some people are getting 20/20 service for $30 a month in more rural areas then where I live. Yet I get 8/1 for $50. I'm all for paying for a service and don't think things should be free but why should I be raped because one company controls my area? We're supposed to have a free market but these companies lobbied hard to make that not the case and now we're paying for it because of corrupt companies and politicians. You can't blame one without the other. They knew what they were doing was wrong.

By BailoutBenny on 3/16/2010 5:28:50 PM , Rating: 2
The service will be tax subsidized so while it appears to be cheap on the surface, the true cost is actually hidden, just like anything else. Sales tax, gas tax, phone surcharges, insurance surcharges, tax tax tax, charge charge charge. Most US Citizens do not realize that after all that money is taken out, Uncle Sam collects between 45-55% of their paychecks already! And that money is already used to subsidize the prices of goods from GE, ConAgra, Monsanto, Harvard, Yale, AFL-CIO members, Verizon, AT&T, 3rd world dictators, Blackwater, Haliburton, Goldman Sachs, etc.

F*ck the government and F*ck anyone who wants a piece of my paycheck to pay for things I don't want and that they themselves aren't willing to work for!

By Smilin on 3/18/2010 2:55:07 PM , Rating: 1
You're driving on a road that I worked hard to pay for yet never use myself so here's one: Go F*ck yourself .

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By surt on 3/16/2010 1:23:08 PM , Rating: 2
Every unemployed person I know would love to get two lesser paying jobs right now. Or even one. Or a half-time position. There isn't anything for them.

By The Raven on 3/16/2010 3:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
There are jobs out there, believe me. I see crap all the time on the internet... oh! They can't get internet to find a job? Oh blast! This proposal can't be passed soon enough! Too bad there isn't like some sort of place filled with books and maps and computers connected to the internet to find said jobs.

Point them to the sign making businesses. They can't keep the "Out of Business" and "Open for Business" signs in stock in this crazy economy!

Usually when someone can't find a job, they just can't find a job that can support their lifestyle. My wife and I have fallen on hard times and we had to take a decrease in income before, and we made do without. Actually one thing that hasn't changed is that we still don't subscribe to cable/sat tv. We cut the cable TV when we were hurting 7 years ago and never looked back. She was a full-time waitress at a place where you couldn't rely on tips and I was a part-time Rite Aid register monkey while I was in school. We pulled in around 25,000 (in California!!!). We made do.

Anyway, for those you know of who are willing to settle temporarily but can't find work (but I find this difficult to belive) there are plenty of gov't progs to support them. Hell, we were eligible for WIC while I made $35,000 in Missouri!!! It is a good thing we were able to get gov't assistance. I mean, without it we wouldn't have been able to afford our "high-speed internet" from AT&T. Who comes up with these limits?!! AT&T??

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By michal1980 on 3/16/2010 7:08:23 AM , Rating: 2
Your advocating for goverment run internet.

And I'm the one called a communist?!

How stupid are you people these days?

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By chromal on 3/16/2010 10:28:20 AM , Rating: 2
Heh, cool. When you lose your argument on the merits, just start name-calling. Thank you, please play again!

By adiposity on 3/16/2010 11:56:32 AM , Rating: 2
Well he has a point. It's more in line with communist ideals to have the government provide services, than it is to have private ones do so.

That said, I'm not necessarily opposed to government building infrastructures that can be used to allow competition between an ISPs that want to spring up.

Back in the modem days, there were no end of ISPs. Why? Because anyone with a modem farm could become one. They used the publicly available telephone system to compete.

Now, you have to have some sort of higher bandwidth connection to people's houses, i.e. cable or fiber, or be lucky enough to control the signaling on the phone lines so you can send a DSL signal. This doesn't allow competition.

So, even though this essentially gives govt. more control, it also could potentially allow more competition. At some point, in densely populated areas, people have to come to some sort of agreement about how they are going to transport things. You cannot just have people building roads wherever they feel like it, and you can't have people digging up the ground every time they feel like becoming an ISP.

By The Raven on 3/16/2010 2:25:50 PM , Rating: 1
Heh, cool. When you lose your argument on the merits, just start name-calling. Thank you, please play again!

That's hilarious since you are the one that called him a "dipshit".

Look, we all need to calm down because there are non-gov't solutions to this "problem". My bro is on Utopia in Utah and Google is rolling out a similar idea. The private sector is reacting to our complaints. And they do this while cutting through all of the lobbyist activity at both the local and federal levels.

It would also help if those who weren't satisfied with their service would take a stand and say no "high-speed" internet instead of acting like it is a necessity. I guarantee you that if everyone dropped a tier, the prices would also drop, because then they would want to play the volume game. Instead we are throwing money at the ISPs.

And I agree that the gov't should stay out of this. The funny thing about politicians is that they call on citizens to be energy efficient and preach that we should cut fuel emissions but then encourage people to move out to BFE (via housing stimulous, development grants, highway projects, etc.) and the rest of society has to accomodate them via truck/train/plane. Wow! They're really are saving the planet!... What a bunch of idiots. And I call them idiots because most of them probably sincerely think they are contributing to the common good. But they only think about their own constituents and don't care if it is the right thing to do in the long run for the country.

We don't need this kind of logic managing our connection to the Internet.

I am completely against gov't growth in pretty much any area at this point, because it is so far off the rails that it isn't even funny. They tie everything up and make a mess of it all so that they can look like the good guy back home.

And do we get to vote on this proposal? Probably not, but even if we did, who in their right mind would vote against free infrastructure?! It is free, right? Because the gov't still sends me free money every year after I do my tax stuff... yes, I'm being sarcastic.

By Jalek on 3/16/2010 7:00:25 PM , Rating: 2
It was the government that ran it when I started using it.
When they handed it over to commercial interests, the spam and commercial advertising took over, and I got a visit from two nice men concerning the methods I employed in opposing some of those changes.

If it's government run, does that make it noncommercial again?

Ok, I know better, this is just another corporate welfare move that will end with auctions again, but it's better than a cash outlay to ISP's for the project. That sort of money's just converted to other uses.

By chenjf on 3/16/2010 1:17:10 PM , Rating: 1
Hmmm... equality means being a commie? I guess they dont teach the Declaration of Independence where you live. As the Declaration of Independence states "that all men are created equal", see the second paragraph.

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By blowfish on 3/15/10, Rating: 0
By Reclaimer77 on 3/15/2010 11:35:11 PM , Rating: 2
Broadband in Europe is much faster and much cheaper than comparable services in the US

Of course. The population is taxed to the f'ing brink ! When the government is subsidizing everything, like the way the United States is heading, you would be surprised at what you can accomplish...

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By SeeManRun on 3/16/2010 1:32:20 AM , Rating: 1
There is nothing wrong with tax if you get something from it. You get taxed now and you get free school. The problem comes when the people get taxed and they don't get anything from it. When 300 million people get together and they all pay a little bit you can get quite amazing products (they aren't all tax payers, so make it 200 million). The benefit of the government doing something is they don't have to make a profit, they can run it to break even and pass that savings onto the people paying for it (users, tax payers...).

In my country, we had quite a few public utilities, but the government has privatized them in their wisdom, and prices have gone up, and service gone down. The reason is the profit that the companies have to make. They HAVE to give their shareholders return and that may be skimping on services, raising prices, buying competition... Think about it from a practical aspect rather than a fundamental "Large government is bad" aspect.

By Reclaimer77 on 3/16/2010 10:00:43 AM , Rating: 2
There is nothing wrong with tax if you get something from it.


That line of thinking honestly deserves no response.

RE: What other freebies do we have 'rights' too?
By Boze on 3/16/2010 3:03:55 PM , Rating: 1
Reclaimer77, you are quickly turning into one of the dumbest sons of bitches here on DailyTech.

Here's a small list of things for which you are taxed:

Local police force
Local fire department
State police force
County sheriff
County hospitals
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Central Intelligence Agency
Departments of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Homeland Security, Transportation, Labor, etc.

The list can, and does, go on and on and on, and at one time or another, knowingly or unknowingly, you have used these services. Even if by some miracle of amazing good fortune you haven't, someone in your family has at some point.

Your line of panicked thinking about taxes which would provide beneficial services that people desperately need is what deserves no response, but I give one in the hopes that maybe you'll wake up and smell that bullshit your shoveling around here.

When I list to NPR and hear about 6th grade students in rural areas having to wait an hour to load a single page because of dial-up Internet access and being unable to do so, its infuriates me.

We are supposedly the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world, and we can't even get 20th century communications working throughout the land?

By SeeManRun on 3/17/2010 10:12:49 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry man, looks like you don't read my post but respond anyway. I am not in your country, I am in one that taxes us much more. So no, I don't use all those services, but we can agree that my country has similar services and for those I am greatful.

The problem I see with your thinking is you think the government cannot do anything right. Well, maybe that has been how it is in your country. I know government jobs are usually well paid with little responsibility, and the only way the government can get any money is from its investors (via taxing the population), but government can do something a for profit corporation cannot do; operate at a loss.

You think you would have anything as good as you have it without tax? It doesn't honestly sound like you do, yet the idea of the government filling in for corporations that WILL NOT compete should be the job of government. If the private sector will not provide something (in this case reasonably fast Internet and reasonably cheap prices) then the government has a responsibility to provide that. The Internet is not a luxury item anymore; it is a necessary tool that most people need to make use of. Government services are all accessible online now, or will be in the near future, and that will be a cost savings to the tax payers. It may actually be cheaper for the government to create this Internet coverage than it is to maintain the status quo.

The benefit is you get a better service delivered to you for what should be a cheaper price spread out over the entire population. The reason you cannot get 20th century communication services is not because of government, it is because of companies silently agreeing to keep things the way they are. They don't compete, which is why the government should step in and create an alternative, and punish those companies for not competing. Imagine their stockholders lines of thought when Verizon or Comcast could have improved services and maintained a near monopoly in certain markets but instead have to now compete with a government with no need for a profit and has unlimited capital. They may actually start competing after that, or they will be tossed to the curb by the shareholders.

By Kurz on 3/16/2010 2:22:56 PM , Rating: 2
They privatized it at the same time they made it hard for competition to come into town to offer a different service.

By NT78stonewobble on 3/16/2010 12:25:46 PM , Rating: 1
Of course. The population is taxed to the f'ing brink ! When the government is subsidizing everything, like the way the United States is heading, you would be surprised at what you can accomplish...

That line of thinking doesn't deserve a reply... :P

By chagrinnin on 3/16/2010 12:12:11 AM , Rating: 2
I thought bum f--k was in Egypt?

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