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A new decision could force AT&T and Verizon to allow their towers to be used by smaller companies, a major step towards breaking their tight grip on the U.S. phone market.  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Republican FCC Commission Robert McDowell, who worked as a telecom lobbyist and policymaker before his appointment, was one of two Republicans opposing the measure. The measure passed, on party lines, by a narrow 3-2 vote.  (Source: FCC)

Verizon says the decision to open the market will prevent "true" competition.  (Source: Hot Cell Phones)
Monopolies are getting harder and harder to maintain today

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has approved a measure that could force wireless operators to open their towers to competitors, including small operators, for the first time.  The vote was divided directly on party lines with the Democratic majority voting to approve the measure.

Ostensibly the new rules are designed to promote competition comes at a time when America will soon have only three big wireless operators -- Verizon Communications, Inc. (VZ); Sprint Nextel Corp. (S); and the merged AT&T, Inc. (T)/T-Mobile (DTE).  These players tend to make decisions, including pricing in mass, forming a virtual oligopoly or triopoly -- depending on your preferred term.

The decision to force them to relinquish part of their chokehold on America's communications services isn't news that they took kindly to.  But it represents the latest step in a long and reoccurring federal effort to try to break the large wireless carriers that the feds allowed, and even promoted the formation of.

I. Opening the Lines -- A Brief History

The year was 1956 and it was an important time in pop culture.  Icon Jackson Pollock died in a tragic car crash; Elvis Presley introduced the controversial burner "Hound Dog"; and Bob Barker made his debut on the game show circuit.  But for the corporate world it was also a landmark year.

The first major event was the passage of the Federal Highway Aid Highway Act, which gave birth to the Interstate Highway System (today known as the National Highway System).  Many conservatives viewed the move at the time as an inordinate and burdensome expansion of government, but Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower's decision to break ranks left a lasting legacy that is today an integral part of our society.

Equally important was the year's U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case Hush-a-Phone v. United States, in which the court ruled that third parties could legally connect their devices to the telephones of the American Telephone and Telegraph company.  That decision opened the doors to the possibility of competition at a time when AT&T held a monopolistic death grip on the U.S. phone market.

A following decision in a 1968 Cartfone case allowed third parties to directly attach equipment like phones to AT&T wires.  And just like that, small players could enter the market, without having to worry about gathering billions in capital to build wires.  The decision also somewhat lessened AT&T's ability to locally undercut nascent operators in prices in a bid to force them out of the market.

Then in 1976 the U.S. Department of Justice decided to break up AT&T (known as "Ma Bell" at the time) into seven smaller companies -- regional "Baby Bells".  This approach worked -- somewhat.  The resulting companies were small enough to offer some competition on a national scale.  But at a local scale they were still big enough to use their power to try to force would-be competitors out of town.

Thus many of the areas of the U.S. were still stuck with a monopoly/duopoly.

In 1996, under Democratic President Bill Clinton, the Federal government yet again tried to do something about the lack of competition.  It passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that forced the phone giants to clear the way for smaller third party operators to interconnect with their networks.

Before, the burden was on the carriers to figure out how to connect their devices -- now it was on the networks.  And the bill gave a legislative backbone to the 1968 Cartfone decision, which had served as an early mandate for interconnectedness.

But for all that work, the efforts were largely washed down the drain.  By the turn of the twenty-first century cell phones were fast looking to surpass landlines and early implementations of mobile data networks were starting.

All those rules mandating interconnectedness for landlines did not apply to cell phone towers.  In other words, it was virtually impossible for a small player to enter the market and provide a decent service to customers.

Meanwhile, the wireless operators began consolidating.  By 2005 there was only four players in the market -- Verizon, Sprint (who acquired Nextel and Boost Mobile), AT&T, and T-Mobile.  Now it looks like there will only be three.

And the market has hardly become more open to new entrants.

II.  Trying (Again) to Break the Monopoly

Much like the T-1000 in the film Terminator 2, the communications companies have an uncanny ability to remerge and find new ways to escape federal mandates and block any hope of true competition in the market.

The FCC hopes to change that.  The new measure will force cell phone operators to allow third parties to improve their towers.  

It is also expected to strengthen the quality of service, even for subscribers to major networks.  For example, Verizon could use AT&T's strong data network and AT&T could leverage Verizon's stronger voice network. 

While some such provisions of inter-use (otherwise known as "roaming") were in place, they were typically expensive and rare.  States FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski [profile], "Roaming deals are simply not being widely offered."

The plan would force telecoms to reach a mutually acceptable roaming agreement with third-parties.  If an agreement were not reached, the FCC would step in and play moderator, likely deciding on a cheaper service rate than the big carriers would want.

The Republican Party has backed communications monopolies both on a federal and a state scale.  Republican Party candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) accepted millions in campaign donations from AT&T and free service to his ranch.  

In North Carolina, Arkansas, and South Carolina, state legislators have received thousands in campaign donations from communications firms looking to maintain their local monopolies.  These states are contemplating bills that would block funding or approval of municipal projects that might offer competition to the local monopoly/duopoly.  In the process they look to essentially block local governments' right to self-governance.

Thus it is perhaps not a surprise that the two Republicans on the five-member FCC board dissented.  They argued that the provision was unfair and that the FCC lacked the authority to regulate it.  Stated Robert McDowell [profile], a Republican commissioner, "The commission simply does not have the legal authority [to back these rules]."

Mr. McDowell had worked as a telephone lobbyist and policy brain at America's Carriers Telecommunications Association (ACTA), before his appointment to the FCC.

The telecoms are also ardently opposed to the measure.  Both AT&T and Verizon have banded together to fight it.

States Tom Tauke, Verizon executive vice president of public affairs, policy and communications to BusinessWeek, "[The decision] is a defeat for both consumers and the innovation fostered by true competition [and brings] a new level of unwarranted government intervention in the wireless marketplace."

AT&T's chief privacy officer and senior vice president of federal regulatory, Robert Quinn, similarly comments, "A data-roaming mandate is unwarranted and will discourage investment. Proponents of a roaming mandate were seeking government intervention, not to obtain agreements -- which are plentiful -- but rather to regulate rates downward."

Sprint Nextel, the smallest of the wireless "Big Three", did not comment.  Analysts say it may actually approve of the measure, as it lags behind Verizon and AT&T in infrastructure, nationally.  The new rules could help it to catch up in service quality, making its unlimited data plans even more attractive to consumers.

III. What's Next

For Verizon and AT&T this will be a bitter pill to swallow.  The unspoken truth here is that while some roaming arrangements do occur, they're typically expensive and rare.  What the telecoms won't say outright, but Mr. Quinn's statements indicate that infrastructure is expensive, so they don't want to share it.

Temporarily the telecoms may be right -- the measure may slow the expansion of wireless networks, as the big players drag their feet on new infrastructure spending, complaining about the burdens of licensing their towers to competitors.

Ultimately consumer pressure will likely eventually force them to adjust and continue deployment, though.  If they don't, their newfound competitors will.

But that scenario is still uncertain.  The legality of the FCC rules will likely be challenged.  There are two places that the FCC could get that authority officially confirmed from -- the U.S. Supreme Court or the U.S. Congress.

Congress is currently divided with Republicans controlling the House and Democrats controlling the Senate.  The Supreme Court is also considered relatively conservative.  Thus the FCC may find its ambitious effort to break big wireless's monopolies futile, as the courts may rule, like they did with its efforts to block internet throttling, that it does not have the authority to enforce its rules.

If that happens the nation -- and its wireless consumers -- are back to square one.  As they say, history has a tendency to repeat itself.



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Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/2011 9:55:41 AM , Rating: 3
Problem solved.

Despite the heavy political slant in this article and Republican bashing, you're basically supporting a measure that would force companies to open infrastructure that they spent BILLIONS building to competitors. And you don't see anything inherently wrong with this position Jason?

You know what, I want to open a Sub Shop and it's really not fair that Subway and Quizno's have nearly a monopoly on that industry. I think I'll ask my Congressman to pass a measure that would allow me to run my sub shop out of their kitchens, since I don't have my own.




RE: Build your own towers
By MeesterNid on 4/8/2011 10:09:39 AM , Rating: 4
Right on, man! Despite all the smoke-n-mirrors of the "history lesson" there, Jason, the bottom line is that AT&T and Verizon spent money building those towers in order to gain a competitive advantage. With as much as the liberals love to talk about "being fair", how is this even close to fair?!


RE: Build your own towers
By Dailyrant on 4/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Build your own towers
By swampthing1117 on 4/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/11, Rating: -1
RE: Build your own towers
By dsx724 on 4/9/2011 12:43:33 PM , Rating: 1
8 towers would mean higher possibility of interference and you have to boost your SNR through more power. CDMA, TDMA, FTDMA can cause interference on other channels and would require more advanced signal filters and thus higher cost as more towers operate. Telecommunication should really be one of those things that get nationalized and leased by businesses to provide services on top of a national backbone. That way, cell phones can use all bands available to them and not have to deal with carrier incompatibilities that we have today.

However, the nationalized network would have to operate more like USPS rather than operate in the same pool as the rest of government.


RE: Build your own towers
By MeesterNid on 4/8/2011 10:21:39 AM , Rating: 3
Errr...so basically what you're saying is screw Verizon and AT&T for building/buying those cell towers when they saw opportunity in mobile communication?

quote:
smaller regional carriers just have to pay it or have a small network. This stifles competition.


Have you thought about the fact that basically forcing companies to share their infrastructure at "reasonable rates" (reasonable to be defined by the government) would stifle innovation? Would you like to pay for something or invest money in developing your idea so that the feds can come around later and force you to share it? I'd think twice about how much effort I would invest if that were the case.

I bet Hugo Chavez and yourself would have a great time at dinner!


RE: Build your own towers
By JasonMick (blog) on 4/8/2011 11:04:12 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Errr...so basically what you're saying is screw Verizon and AT&T for building/buying those cell towers when they saw opportunity in mobile communication?


Here's my comment.

Currently there's two main players in the market -- Verizon Wireless (95.5 million subscribers) and AT&T (130 million subscribers, pending the T-Mobile deal). In distant third is Sprint-Nextel with 49 million sbuscribers.

If Sprint Nextel goes bankrupt/gets acquired, both of which seem very possible, given the company's financial struggles there will be TWO major players in the whole country.

Both AT&T and Verizon make decisions, including pricing nearly simultaneously. Is this a violation of laws against collusion (e.g. the Sherman Antitrust Act)? Perhaps. But good luck trying to prove it. But in effect, yes they form a collective monopolistic entity.

It's true anyone can build towers. But doing so costs hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars even on a single-state scale. Few entrepeneurs/investment firms have the capital to do that, and most that DO have the capital are already deeply invested in AT&T/Verizon so have no interest in breaking the monopoly.

Even if there is an occasional upstart who bucks the trend, they must fight the temptation of acquisition by Verizon/AT&T and find a way to deliver services at an equivalent price. Given the major telecoms' power, they can use discounting to effectively kill such would-be competitors on a local scale, while remaining profitable on a national scale. Again, that might be illegal, but it has happened, and is extremely hard to stop.

In short, the market is devoid of competition.

And there's no cavalry of free enterprise riding in to provide that competition to the market anytime soon.

This isn't a sub shop. This is a super-high tech venture that requires massive investment to even put your foot in the door.

Now the topic on hand this measure. Do I think it's a good measure?

No, not really. I think the idea may be good, but I agree with the Republican commissioner to the extent that the FCC lacks the regulatory authority to enforce this. It is an issue that must be taken up by Congress or the Supreme Court, in my analysis.

That said, there needs to be SOME sort of solution.

I hear a lot of criticism of this solution, but so far the only real argument of an alternative (build your own towers!) has been a poor one for the competitive barrier reasons outlined above. I think its a topic that needs to be talked about and debated.

But I doubt a solution will come from an FCC commissioner who used to work as a telecom lobbyist...

You can feel free to disagree with my opinion -- this is America, home of democratic free thought, after all.


RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Build your own towers
By Motoman on 4/8/2011 12:22:55 PM , Rating: 1
Doing just fine? Really? No one thinks that they're being taken advantage of, or even outright abused, by their cellular provider?


RE: Build your own towers
By FITCamaro on 4/8/11, Rating: -1
RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/2011 12:51:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Doing just fine? Really? No one thinks that they're being taken advantage of, or even outright abused, by their cellular provider?


275 million out of 330 total U.S population? Sorry but there's no way there is some massive issue with our cellular infrastructure with those kind of market saturation rates. If things were as bad as you claim, we would never have seen those number or the explosion of the "smart phone" market.

Now sure, everyone would like to pay less. Hell I wish gas was five cents a gallon again and five bucks would get you into the best steakhouse in town. Oh while I'm at it, I would also like my 10megabit cable connection to cost 10 bucks a month. But is your argument really THAT sophomoric?


RE: Build your own towers
By Motoman on 4/8/2011 1:05:39 PM , Rating: 3
How's this for "sophomoric:"

On Straight Talk, which runs on the Verizon network, you can get unlimited talk time, data, text, and turn-by-turn navigation for $45 a month. Even allows wireless tethering. On the Verizon network. With no contract.

At Verizon, unlimited talk & text is $70 to start. Adding unlimited data is another $30. And I believe there's an additional fee for the VZ Navigator for GPS...let's say it's $15. That's $115 instead of $45 - and you're stuck in a 2-year contract.

Now tell me that the big boys aren't taking advantage of their market positions to the detriment of the consumer.


RE: Build your own towers
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2011 1:19:43 PM , Rating: 4
So go use Straight Talk!

You just proved why these FCC regulations aren't necessary.


RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Build your own towers
By Motoman on 4/8/2011 1:48:21 PM , Rating: 1
I just gave you the data points to shut you up...as always, you're too much of a rightest retard child devoid of nearly all intellectual ability to get that point.

If Straight Talk can pay Verizon to use their infrastructure (at a rate that Verizon is apparently happy to get paid), then turn around and resell that service to consumers at less than half of Verizon's own rates...what does that tell you?

This is apples and apples. Verizon's infrastructure, through and through. Whatever sunk costs there are in building and maintaining that infrastructure are the same, either way...whether you subscribe to Verizon or ST.

I don't have to provide you the hard numbers on what Verizon's cost-to-serve is, because it's a constant in both equations - and therefore moot. Of course, you'd realize that if you'd passed your 5th grade math class.


RE: Build your own towers
By The Raven on 4/8/2011 2:54:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Daily Tech is still a den of retards, leftists, and children devoid of near all intellectual ability.

I hope there aren't any retards or children devoid of near all intellectual ability reading these comments... they may be offended! ;-)

Well I'm a libertarian, all for economic and personal freedom and I am with you at least 75% of the way here. But we should still be vigilant that there might be problem that could arise from unfettered growth by corporate entities (and the gov't BTW!)

Do you think there should be no concern about the growing giants? I'll ask the same question I ask the people who say, "The gov't of the US is not too big."

When will it (in this case the telecoms) be too big and how will you then stop it?

If the country (and DT) wasn't a bunch of simpletons as you mentioned I would be with you 100%.


RE: Build your own towers
By Ammohunt on 4/8/2011 4:29:00 PM , Rating: 2
Refresh my memory; whats the major difference between a libertarian and a retard? Retards don't advocate legalizing banned substances?

Seriously a agree that this is a cut and dry issue what is being proposed by the "retards, leftists, and children devoid of near all intellectual ability" (and the author of the article evidentally) on this forum is government seizure privately owned property aka nationalizing wireless infrastructure! hello! Hugo Chavez socialist latin american thug. SCARY!


RE: Build your own towers
By The Raven on 4/10/2011 1:07:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
whats the major difference between a libertarian and a retard?

Libertarians are the ones who don't insult their own intelligence. I am on your side retard. Even if I do have a different thought process than you (thankfully).

If there is a reason to watch gov't, there is also a reason to watch business (big or otherwise). I 100% agree that the gov't shouldn't need to get involved. I disagree with R77 that we don't need to watch these companies on our own as vigilant consumers/citizens (if that is what he thinks, as I didn't suppose btw).

I'm sorry if you are an anarchist, because I disagree with that philosophy. I believe law (a social compact) is needed, but only what is NEEDED to form a reasonable measure of order and consistancy. Not that which will theoretically form some magical utopia with unicorns.

Why do you think this country gets more and more socialist everyday? Because "everyone" Republican and Democrat want someone else to think about what is best for them so they can get back to texting their BFF, playing Xbox, or even doing something productive like work.

I mean take those idiotic texting laws for example. Why do people think we need a new law that focuses on the part of the existing law that no one paid attention too? It's right there...BECAUSE NO ONE PAID ATTENTION TO IT. The same goes for warnings on a blender. They have to put it in bolded red type on the back of the blender because people don't pay attention to the manual. We need to be vigilant and pay attention to what we are spending money on or it throws the entire free market out of whack (which we aren't even in btw as the article shows). Also the banking crisis was fueled by consumers just asking for the highest returns on their dollars not caring (or at least enough to investigate in anyway) where those returns were coming from.

The market is a democracy where dollars are the ballot. Do you think people are more diligent voters at the actual ballot boxes today then they were 200 years ago? Why do you think it is any different at the register?

We all need to be vigilant or the free market will fail us. There is an assumption of informed consumers in that equation.


RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/10/2011 2:04:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I disagree with R77 that we don't need to watch these companies on our own as vigilant consumers/citizens (if that is what he thinks, as I didn't suppose btw).


Where did I say that? Of course they are "being watched". This isn't remotely close to what the article is about. It's just MORE government intrusion into private industry where it doesn't belong.

I believe Government does have a role in business. Forcibly telling a business that it MUST support it's direct competitors by forcing them to share/lease private property that they developed sure as hell isn't one of those roles. Much less Constitutional.


RE: Build your own towers
By The Raven on 4/11/2011 2:12:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
(if that is what he thinks, as I didn't suppose btw).

Where did I say you said that? ;-)

I know it is disconcerting to see all of these people who think the gov't should jump in here, but don't take it out on me lol.

You are preaching to the choir, buddy.


RE: Build your own towers
By Ammohunt on 4/11/2011 2:30:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I am on your side retard.


I am suspect of anyone that volunteers up that they are a libertarian in passing conversation to somehow lend credence to what they are saying and to identify themselves separate from the two parties. Most of what i have seen from libertarians platform and those that fly the "don't tread on me flag"(can't come up with their own flag so they stole one from history) I don’t care for; enough to consider them part of the mushy middle and not part of the conservative movement.


RE: Build your own towers
By The Raven on 4/12/2011 1:43:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I am suspect of anyone that volunteers up that they are a libertarian in passing conversation to somehow lend credence to what they are saying and to identify themselves separate from the two parties.

So what is your point? So you are suspect. What do I care?
Oh wait, you know what...You got me. I am really an undercover democrat acting as a republican saying that im a tea partying libertarian in order to push the Obama agenda. Whatever bro.

It doesn't matter if you don't believe anything I say. If you agree with what R77 said then you mostly agree with what I said. Why the hell would you insult and then argue with me when there are so many others who are WAAAY out in left field here. Let them argue with me.
quote:
Most of what i have seen from libertarians platform and those that fly the "don't tread on me flag"(can't come up with their own flag so they stole one from history) I don’t care for; enough to consider them part of the mushy middle and not part of the conservative movement.

This sentence is very hard to decipher so let me just put some things out there:
1) http://www.lp.org/platform
2) Gadsden flag is a supplemental flag used in conjunction with another flag "from history"...the Stars and Stripes.
Unfortunately today the US flag does not symbolize the same thing to the democrats, republicans, libertarians or others. The Gadsden flag expresses a revolutionary fervor in the hearts of its bearers.
You could also use the Confederate flag to the same effect, except people would accuse you of being racist. (Well I guess that aspect of it hasn't really been much different for those who wave the Gadsden lol.)
3) The conservative movement? Oh we are so much more socially and fiscally conservative now than we were 50-100 years ago. Wow what a movement! What a joke. At least the libertarians don't exploit peoples' belief in Jesus Christ in order to get votes.
4) Mushy middle? The republicans take us further and further into debt and the democrats do the same. They are effectively the same on war, the war on drugs, social security, medicaid, etc.
So libertarians are somewhere in between dumb and dumber? That is impossible.
And besides, political theory cannot simply be confined by a single line.

My comment stands as I could not find any objection in your words: I am on your side retard.

I'd encourage you to buck the 2 party system or at least flush the hypocritical dung that comprises said parties out.
I'd be much easier to go third party. There is no way to clean up these two parties.


RE: Build your own towers
By JasonMick (blog) on 4/8/2011 5:42:56 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Well I'm a libertarian, all for economic and personal freedom and I am with you at least 75% of the way here. But we should still be vigilant that there might be problem that could arise from unfettered growth by corporate entities (and the gov't BTW!)


I tend to have a similar perspective on social issues and local government.

I think the real issue that's troubling from a libertarian free market perspective is that GOV'T (both Democrats and Republicans) has CREATED this situation by creating multiple sectors where players have monopolies/behave as a collusive oligarchy. This is due to the careful legislative efforts on both sides, funded by the special interest "donations" that get the candidates into a federal office.

At the end of the day, the system we're approaching is closer to fascism than a free market.

To quote Benito Mussolini...

quote:
Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.


That appears what the U.S. market/gov't is headed towards.

The Republicans have their favorite corporations -- e.g. oil companies, telecoms, etc. which essentially become government sponsored. By the same measure Democrats play favorites, e.g. tech firms like Google (that invade your privacy fyi), alternative energy firms, corn lobbies, etc.

Essentially combined, you have a series of gov't sponsored corporations at the detriment of consumers. The only saving grace is that these corporations' interests often clash, pitting Dems. against Republicans.

Both parties are smart enough to play their base off each other. Look @ the comments in the ethanol article, and the comments in this article. Few people are opposed to both brands of corporate favoritism/support. Most either support the government allowing telecoms to operate collusively, or support the ethanol lobby abusively driving up food prices for profit. All because people are gullible enough to buy the lines their party of choice is force feeding them.

It's a real catch 22. Because the gov't created the problem. But without some sort of legislative gov't tools, how can you undo the situation, now that the market is devoid of competition with installed anticompetitive corporate monarchs?


RE: Build your own towers
By The Raven on 4/10/2011 2:01:11 AM , Rating: 2
Well said Jason. Sometimes your comments are better than your articles.

I think the growth in gov't is a direct reflection of the increasing lack of attention that is paid to anything meaningful by the average US (and others) citizen.

So for every thing the gov't does to protect the consumer, the lesson that is normally learned is just delayed and multiples worse by the time it comes 'round. Like the 'Great Resession' which again, many people were shielded from. I firmly believe that a hurtin' is still coming.


RE: Build your own towers
By Motoman on 4/8/2011 1:44:21 PM , Rating: 1
Kind of...which is why my first comment in here was that "we have bigger fish to fry."

It's more along the lines of your comment, about using the service that annoys you the least. Right now, Straight Talk annoys me the least...

...but there was more point than that in there. Note that Straight Talk runs on the Verizon network. Verizon is already allowing other providers onto their towers/networks...obviously they're not doing that for free. ST is paying Verizon some amount of money to use it's infrastructure...

But then, ST can afford to sell that VERY SAME SERVICE to consumers at a price considerably less than HALF of what Verizon itself charges. That is the biggest point to take away here...if ST can pay Verizon to use it's infrastructure, turn around and sell that service to consumers for less than half of Verizon's own rates, and still turn a profit (they are) - what does that say about Verizon to start with? And by proxy, AT&T and the other major carriers?

It's an irrefutable proof point that the oligarchy is abusing their market position to the detriment of consumers. That is the point I'm making there.


RE: Build your own towers
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2011 2:41:34 PM , Rating: 1
A few things.

First, who's to say the service is the same quality. If Verizon's tower is stressed, who do you think they'll cut off first? Their own customers or Straight Talk's?

Second, how do you know they provide the same data speeds and quality? Again, who do you think they focus their priority on?

Third, just went to Straight Talk's website. They are essentially the same as Tracfone. The phones are not the same quality and do not have the same features of Verizon's phones. So therefore the data aspect of the phones is minimal compared to something like a Droid or newer Blackberry. So therefore the cost is minimal. I would guess that those phones probably don't even use 500 MB of data with the services and apps available for them. Hence the cheaper "unlimited" price.


RE: Build your own towers
By Motoman on 4/8/2011 3:11:05 PM , Rating: 1
1. One would have to presume they're under contract to provide the service. One also has to presume they're getting paid plenty enough to ensure the upkeep of their systems, or else they wouldn't have entered into that contract.

2. Only subjectively - comparing browsing and data speed amongst friends. Can't tell any difference. Not honestly sure that, from a service-on-the-network standpoint that the infrastructure "knows" one from the other anyway.

3. My wife has a Nokia smartphone (not here at the moment...don't know what model) - it's a Blackberryish thing...has all the bells and whistles, including wireless tethering. It's feature set is more than complete. They have some phones with a full-device touchscreen as opposed to Blackberry style with a QWERTY keypad, so on and so forth. Obviously the device selection is a lot smaller - but there's nothing missing from the selection at hand from a function/quality standpoint. They do appear to subsidize the cost of the phone less - which to be honest is fine by me. I also don't have to sign any kind of contract with them either, thereby (over)paying for the subsidy.

...having said all that, I categorically do not believe there is any reason to not consider the unlimited plans to be apples-to-apples. There are some differences...for example, on ST you can't roam to another network. Granted, you're on Verizon and therefore have the best coverage anyway - but I'd be hard pressed to justify paying more than twice the subscription price to be able to get handed off to somebody else's network once in a while. You also don get any out-of-country service...like Canada. So maybe that makes it a no-go for you...can't say. Plan-for-plan, though, for service within the US and on the Verizon network, I think it's pretty clear that the ST plans demonstrate without a doubt that the industry could operate at vastly lower cost-to-consumer levels than it is...the reason that cost-to-consumer is generally so high right now is because of the cartel-ish way the industry operates.


RE: Build your own towers
By BSMonitor on 4/8/2011 4:09:34 PM , Rating: 1
Moto, your points are all valid.

Reclaimer and FITCamaro are irrational rightest who base their arguments on things they just "know" rather than any factual evidence. All of their arguments are speculative based on their own rationalizations which they take for truth.

There is no point in convincing them using simple logic.


RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/2011 7:45:54 PM , Rating: 2
Excuse me? What speculation?

1. Is it legal to build towers? Yes
2. Is legal building and ownership of towers and network allow owner to run in any way seen fit in accordance with laws? Yes
3. Is there ANY wrongdoing going on here by major carriers? No.

Moto and you seem to think that if someone makes "too much" money off something that people "need", it's ok for the government to cut them down to size and force competition by taking control of networks and towers that those companies spent billions in construction, licenses, and infrastructure.

Did I miss something or is YOUR side the one coming up with half hearted emotionally based arguments, while ignoring the concrete fact of the matter here?

So please, YOU bring some evidence and logic and rationalization.


RE: Build your own towers
By Motoman on 4/8/2011 11:42:40 PM , Rating: 2
You need to point out to me where I said I think it's OK for the government to take their towers. I never said that, and in fact, my earliest post stated that I'm not sure that's a solution.

I'm just pointing out that your claim that millions of people are perfectly happy with their cellular service is ridiculous, and providing proof points as to why. You may simply want to think about those proof points in a logical, rational manner. But of course...you're not capable of such things. You become more and more like Pirks every day.


RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/9/2011 12:19:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm just pointing out that your claim that millions of people are perfectly happy with their cellular service is ridiculous, and providing proof points as to why.


Ok Moto since you speak for all those poor unsatisfied hundreds of millions, please enlighten me. How many are unhappy? And what exactly would you like seen done about it?

This is where you fall apart and your argument loses traction. Because it's not grounded in reality. You CANNOT, in a semi-Capitalist system, have over 200 million people CHOOSING to buy into something but also claim they aren't happy or getting the service they are paying for. It's called an "onxymoron".

Now first you'll try to say they "have" to do it because life can't go on without cell phones. Well we know that's false, so then you'll try to claim there's no competition so they just "have" to pay whatever the going rate is. Except in your very examples proved there actually IS competition. But somehow this isn't valid because it's not as "good" as the large carriers.

And to that I say, so what?

quote:
You need to point out to me where I said I think it's OK for the government to take their towers.


Maybe it would help if you came out and said what you WERE for? Because you sure seem to be against my position, which seems to be diametrically apposed to yours. How about instead of debating me, you introduce your solution to us so we can all be clear exactly WHAT you are proposing?


RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/2011 7:51:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But then, ST can afford to sell that VERY SAME SERVICE to consumers at a price considerably less than HALF of what Verizon itself charges. That is the biggest point to take away here...if ST can pay Verizon to use it's infrastructure, turn around and sell that service to consumers for less than half of Verizon's own rates, and still turn a profit (they are) - what does that say about Verizon to start with? And by proxy, AT&T and the other major carriers?


I can't believe someone hasn't pointed out how busted your logic is on this.

Why is renting a house cheaper than having one built? Because the person you are renting it from ALREADY absorbed the large initial start up cost of the house construction, taxes, ect ect and has paid it off.

Verizon built those networks, so of course they have to recoup the initial costs and upkeep and all that cost, and that's reflected in what they charge their customers. Plus money must be generated for expansion. A company that large doesn't get that way by sitting on it's laurels and banking profits. Research, marketing, R&D, advertising, new construction development etc etc etc!

Hello? And you're honestly flummuxed as to why someone simply renting bandwidth from Verizon's towers can offer the end user lower rates?


RE: Build your own towers
By Motoman on 4/8/2011 11:47:01 PM , Rating: 1
Um, no.

Someone who's got rental property isn't going to charge less in rent than what it takes them to pay their own mortgage on the property. There's no "already absorbed" anything - it's all in the mortgage the landlord has, and he has to charge enough rent to cover his mortgage.

By that same token, I can assure you that Verizon isn't charging ST a fee that doesn't cover all their invested and ongoing costs in their infrastructure - to do otherwise would be financial suicide. All their research, marketing, R&D, everything you mention, I can assure you, has been accounted for in the rates that Verizon charges ST. If it didn't make economic sense for Verizon to sell ST bandwidth on it's infrastructure, including ALL costs, they wouldn't do it. Are you honestly stupid enough to believe that Verizon, VOLUNTARILY (as no one is forcing them to allow ST on their infrastructure) would let a 3rd party use their infrastructure at a rate below what would support their own costs?

You're a catastrophic fool - and have proven it, once again, beyond the shadow of a doubt.


RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/9/2011 12:10:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Someone who's got rental property isn't going to charge less in rent than what it takes them to pay their own mortgage on the property. There's no "already absorbed" anything - it's all in the mortgage the landlord has, and he has to charge enough rent to cover his mortgage.


Assuming of course that the house isn't already paid off? How convenient. Yes I'm sure every rental house also has a due mortgage.

Aren't you really just refusing to acknowledge that the cost of renting bandwidth pales in comparison to what it costs to build and maintain the network?

quote:
By that same token, I can assure you that Verizon isn't charging ST a fee that doesn't cover all their invested and ongoing costs in their infrastructure - to do otherwise would be financial suicide. All their research, marketing, R&D, everything you mention, I can assure you, has been accounted for in the rates that Verizon charges ST. If it didn't make economic sense for Verizon to sell ST bandwidth on it's infrastructure, including ALL costs, they wouldn't do it. Are you honestly stupid enough to believe that Verizon, VOLUNTARILY (as no one is forcing them to allow ST on their infrastructure) would let a 3rd party use their infrastructure at a rate below what would support their own costs?


Umm wow. Wrong. That's being mostly covered by Verizon SUBSCRIBERS. Verizon didn't build that network to rent it out, they built it to handle their own customers. In fact, when it was built, I can guarantee you that leasing bandwidth was NOT in the projections. That practice didn't exist back then.

The money from leasing the bandwidth is mostly pure extra profit because Verizons subscribers are already absorbing the bulk of the costs. Hence the higher fees in your example. That should be obvious if you actually analyzed the numbers that you yourself used to make this silly argument in the first place. Otherwise NOBODY would be able to buy discounted bandwidth rates because they wouldn't be able to offer lower service fees in the first place!

quote:
You're a catastrophic fool - and have proven it, once again, beyond the shadow of a doubt.


I guess I'm too much of a fool to even see how I've proven it. Arguments based 100% on guessing, conjecture, and unrealistically slanted situations do that to me.


RE: Build your own towers
By Motoman on 4/9/2011 11:29:29 AM , Rating: 1
...And if Verizon's infrastructure is also paid off? In either case, rental property or cell phone infrastructure, the owner isn't going to rent it out for any amount of money they're not happy with. That's how capitalism works.

Your continued insistence that somehow Verizon is voluntarily renting it's infrastructure to a 3rd party at a rate that doesn't at least cover it's operating costs demonstrates fully the fact that you haven't got the slightest clue how capitalism works.

From now on you get ignored, just like Pirks - because neither of you are worth wasting the photons on to transmit these letters to your eyeballs. I would part with you by recommending maybe you take a break from greasing your sweet Italian hair and attend some classes on economics and business - maybe there's a slim chance you'll come to understand capitalism some day. I doubt it...but maybe.


RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/9/2011 12:47:30 PM , Rating: 3
It doesn't matter. I have allowed you to draw me into another false premised argument, my mistake. You liberals are so good at that.

It doesn't matter if it's paid off or not. It's Verizons, they built it, and they can charge whatever they see fit. If you don't like it, you can build your own network. If you can't, then you can't compete.

It's not the Federal governments job to make sure everyone can compete or even start-up in the first place. You lose. I think YOU need to look Capitalism up. How dare you sprout Kaynesian economics and Collectivist talking points for two days and then tell others to study Capitalism. Are you an idiot?

quote:
I would part with you by recommending maybe you take a break from greasing your sweet Italian hair and attend some classes on economics and business - maybe there's a slim chance you'll come to understand capitalism some day. I doubt it...but maybe.


Sweet Italian hair? So Mr. Mature is going to part ways via a racist stereotypical comment while taking the high ground. I like how you think that works. Please, you ignoring me is doing me a favor. Everyone in this thread is dumber for having read your point of view.


RE: Build your own towers
By JPForums on 4/11/2011 10:23:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If Sprint Nextel goes bankrupt/gets acquired, both of which seem very possible, given the company's financial struggles there will be TWO major players in the whole country.

I agree it is possible, but don't think it very probable. Their early adoption of next generation data communications technologies probably contributed to their current financial troubles. Investments 101 tells us that investments involve taking current risks to obtain rewards later on. Given the current level of "4G" deployment by competitors, it stands to reason that Sprints window of opportunity has yet to pass. Also consider, many customers of T-Mobile are there for the discounted rates. Many such customers may leave AT&T for Sprint sometime after the acquisition, given Sprints current pricing philosophy.
quote:
Both AT&T and Verizon make decisions, including pricing nearly simultaneously. Is this a violation of laws against collusion (e.g. the Sherman Antitrust Act)? Perhaps.

Perhaps. It could just as easily be competitive forces at work. Neither AT&T nor Verizon would want to give the other an unchecked advantage. Thus, when the competition drops its price or offers a new feature, they have something waiting in the wings to answer with. Likewise, when the prices rise, there is no competitive pressure to keep their margins low and they don't want to miss the opportunity to raise their profits.

While I find it just as likely for these events to be the natural results of market pressures as collusion, it does highlight the issues of having few major players in the industry. So I have arrived at a similar, but distinctly different conclusion that their is the potential for a major problem.
quote:
Now the topic on hand this measure. Do I think it's a good measure? No, not really. I think the idea may be good, but I agree with the Republican commissioner to the extent that the FCC lacks the regulatory authority to enforce this.

Again, similar conclusion, but different reasoning. I think the effects on the market are what makes this a bad solution. First consider this from a customer standpoint. After all, the customer is the one that these measures are supposed to be helping. If I'm a customer at AT&T/Verizon, I've decided that it is worth the price premium to get faster data, more reliable coverage, or some similar reason. Now throw in a bunch of customers from third party providers on towers that have a more or less fixed capacity to support data/voice services. Now more people are allowed access to the towers that I'm on, only they don't pay the premium I pay, and thus there is less money to support maintenance and upgrade of said towers. I end up with degraded service. I then move over to a third party service provider and pay less for the same service. After all, why pay more for the same service. Unfortunately, this only serves to exacerbate the problem as even less money goes to maintenance and repair.

From the carrier standpoint, they can no longer compete on merit. What incentive do the carriers have to improve your service if it only serves to improve their competitions service at the same time. Why would any company invest in infrastructure when it's cheaper to let a competitor invest and then use their network. Further more, the large networks have to maintain the networks on top of providing service. Note: I do not trust the government to set a "fair" access price that provides for both maintenance and upgrade. Such an action would force a lowering of prices in the industry, but there would no longer be a need to improve.
quote:
That said, there needs to be SOME sort of solution. I hear a lot of criticism of this solution, but so far the only real argument of an alternative (build your own towers!) has been a poor one for the competitive barrier reasons outlined above. I think its a topic that needs to be talked about and debated.

I disagree with the suggestions by some in this thread that there is no real problem. That said, I also disagree that the needs to be SOME sort of solution. A solution should only be implemented if it solves more problems than it creates. The reason you see a lot of criticism with few solutions in this thread is two fold. The solution provides a problem people perceive as worse than the original problem. A more effective solution isn't immediately obvious.

Most people I know (who use smartphones) are dissatisfied with current wireless data speeds. Many would pay much more if they could achieve significant speed increases. To them, building newer, better towers is the most appropriate solution.
quote:
This isn't a sub shop. This is a super-high tech venture that requires massive investment to even put your foot in the door.

The ideas aren't different. It's just a much larger scale. While it does take a massive investment to put your foot in the door, the current wireless carriers had to put an even larger investment in to get the industry started. Economies of scale has brought the relative cost of building towers down significantly. Many of the problems associated with early towers have been figured out. So, while it is a large investment, it's smaller than the investment by current carriers. More importantly, there are large rewards for such an investment.

As to a solution. If you are going to force networks to open their lines, I think it only appropriate to for third parties that wish to use these lines to be fully invested in the network. In addition to operating costs, some portion of the maintenance, and upgrades to the network would be need to be paid by the third parties that access the network. A simple (though not perfect) solution would be to split the cost by percentage of users. I.E. if company X has 90 million customers and company Y with 10 million customers wants to use company X's network, then company Y has to pay the 10% the cost of every tower upgrade, wire run, or other infrastructure related cost. Decisions as to which technologies, when to build, and where to build would remain with the network owner (though it is possible that these could be negotiated).

While there would still be a possible drag on innovation due to upgrading competitors, this makes it less likely that the largest competitors would use each others networks. It also provides some additional funds as compensation for usage. Finally, leaving decision making in the hands of the network owner while keeping the largest networks unique keeps both the desire (ownership) and need (unique merits) to upgrade alive.

There are still issues here, and I'm not entirely convinced that it is better than the initial problem yet. However, I see this as much more fair than letting the government step in and arbitrarily negotiate prices. This is at least forward looking and based on future costs. It is much easier for a third party to track the cost of land, equipment, and man hours (nice paper trail) than it is to split out usage and operating costs of specific parties on a network (subject to host provided monitoring information).

That aside Jason, while I am often at odds with your opinion on different matters, I give you credit for making a case for your views and explaining them when necessary. All to often, I find views that aren't entirely thought out, much less well thought out. Even worse is when I find well thought out views that get dismissed due to lack of ability to stick to relevant facts or related subject matter.


RE: Build your own towers
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2011 10:27:25 AM , Rating: 2
Who owns the cell towers? The company who built it.
Who has the right to decide who uses it? The company who built it.

I guess if you build a tennis court in your back yard, I should be able to get the local government to force you to let me and anyone else pay you a fee to use it. Never mind if you don't want me using it because it's your property and you don't want strangers on it. I have a right to use a tennis court without spending the capitol to build one myself.


RE: Build your own towers
By BSMonitor on 4/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/2011 10:43:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
OH right, your analogy makes no sense in this context.


You analogy nitpickers are being silly. They are ANALOGIES, they illustrate, they are not supposed to be or/are meant to be exactly matching the given subject. Hello?

And let's get this out of the way, EVERY BUSINESS gets tax breaks in one form or another. Even these little guys trying to compete. Tax breaks or subsidies cannot be used as an argument for supporting the forced taking of ones property or investment. Sorry, in the real world things don't work that way.


RE: Build your own towers
By Aikouka on 4/8/2011 12:23:18 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree. Analogies shouldn't be tossed around like rice at a wedding. Analogies are good for creating a solid understanding of a problem using terms that are possibly more common; however, using a malformed analogy is nothing more than spreading misinformation.

Let's look at the definition of an analogy:

quote:
Logic. a form of reasoning in which one thing is inferred to be similar to another thing in a certain respect, on the basis of the known similarity between the things in other respects.

Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/analogy

The tennis court analogy is valid in part because of the first phrase; however, the user was showing that they are not valid because of the last phrase requiring other commonalities between the comparisons. Essentially, he's saying, "it's not a valid comparison, because the costs associated between a single tennis court and an entire cellular infrastructure is not even similar."


RE: Build your own towers
By MeesterNid on 4/8/2011 10:47:27 AM , Rating: 3
Wow, dude, your ignorant ravings are not relevant to the matter at hand. You obviously can't draw parallels which he clearly outlined in his comment.

The tennis court is just a metaphor.

If the cell companies can't afford to build cell towers then it's freaking game over, dude! What are you expecting here? You need capital to break into an existing market. It's not the job of the government to go around and police enterprise to allow for everyone who can't afford it to jump into that market.

As for the tax breaks...that's a much better way to go then force other companies to open their infrastructure for their competitors to use. Do you actually have some sort of source stating that there were tax breaks given out for cell tower build outs? If so, have the tax breaks ceased and can't be taken advantage of now? I'm not familiar with them so I'm just asking.


RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/2011 10:57:27 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
If the cell companies can't afford to build cell towers then it's freaking game over, dude! What are you expecting here? You need capital to break into an existing market. It's not the job of the government to go around and police enterprise to allow for everyone who can't afford it to jump into that market.


We have a winner.

Haven't we seen enough of what happens under Obama when we allow the government to pick winners and losers instead of us??


RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/2011 11:05:45 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
If so, have the tax breaks ceased and can't be taken advantage of now? I'm not familiar with them so I'm just asking.


Good question. Apparently they were given the "Big Boy Monopoly Only" tax break that smaller carriers now can't take advantage of? Doubt it.


RE: Build your own towers
By BSMonitor on 4/8/2011 12:28:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Good question. Apparently they were given the "Big Boy Monopoly Only" tax break that smaller carriers now can't take advantage of? Doubt it.


Are you just naive on life? If you take money from someone, free money... Ultimately they will want something for that money.


RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/9/2011 12:54:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are you just naive on life? If you take money from someone, free money... Ultimately they will want something for that money.


Big shock that you would take this position. A tax break is NOT taking money from someone, it's keeping more of the money that YOU earned. Which I know people like you think is the same thing, but it's not.

Plus you missed the point. If Verizon got a tax break for building those towers, than anyone else building them would qualify for the SAME break. So it's a moot point.


RE: Build your own towers
By BSMonitor on 4/8/2011 12:08:01 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Wow, dude, your ignorant ravings are not relevant to the matter at hand. You obviously can't draw parallels which he clearly outlined in his comment.


And you clearly are as narrow minded as your butt friend.

An individual's property and rights are not even remotely the issue. We are talking about CORPORATE MONOPOLISTIC behavior. Explain in what way does a local government taking over an individual citizen's personal property is anywhere near the same thing.


RE: Build your own towers
By FITCamaro on 4/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/2011 1:52:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In any other way, it has the same rights as any person including the right to not have the government illegally seize its property. Which is, in effect, what the FCC would be doing. It would be stating that they no longer own their property and must give it out to others for a fee even if they don't want to.


Exactly. This is the cut and dry issue here. You are either for freedom, or theft. Anyone on the fence about this article needs to read this and read it well.

When you cut through the BS, the article is trying to cast a favorable light on the government forcibly seizing property or control of said property from it's legal owners.

This is the kind of thing the government was created to PREVENT in the first place, as a matter of fact. Not be for it.


RE: Build your own towers
By chripuck on 4/8/2011 1:51:42 PM , Rating: 2
The analogy is irrelevent in the end.

Do you or do you not want Verizon and AT&T to build out their network? Because if they build out their network in remote, regional carrier infested areas, they'll be required by law to share access to that. If that's true then WHY WOULD THEY EVEN BOTHER TO BUILD IT OUT? The served population in these areas is miniscule compared to their suburban/urban areas.

Additionally, what's going to happen to costs associated with Verizon/AT&T? If they have to share their towers at a low fixed costs then they WILL make that money back, even if it's through increases to our own cell phone bills. Someone earlier jumper all over StraightTalk vs. Verizon without so much as acknowledging that StraightTalk is ALREADY cheaper than Verizon. All this law will do is make it even cheaper while making Verizon more expensive.


RE: Build your own towers
By gamerk2 on 4/8/2011 10:51:27 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Secondly do you really want every company to have its own towers? Do you really want to see 8 cell towers every 20 miles or so?


No, thats why in Europe, theres only one set of towers/cables, with the bandwidth broken up by market share. Much more efficent and fosters compeititon, while lowing infrastructure costs for everyone.

Of course, thats also blatent "Socalism", nevermind its cost-effectivness and competitive advantages...


RE: Build your own towers
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2011 12:43:02 PM , Rating: 3
Good for Europe. We don't live there.


RE: Build your own towers
By Kurz on 4/8/2011 1:35:21 PM , Rating: 2
We have strict sense of property rights here.
So sorry we don't feel the need to force everyone to share property with each other.


RE: Build your own towers
By Gzus666 on 4/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Build your own towers
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2011 2:51:42 PM , Rating: 2
The vast majority of power lines belong to the power company who built them. So unless you have power provided by a city run power company, they don't belong to the government. Utilities are the same way.

Public parks are just that. PUBLIC. Same with roads. There is such a thing as private roads though. Toll roads.

Lets go back to analogies. This one even more applicable. Should the government pass a law that says that a company who owns a toll road has to lease out space along the toll road for other companies, who want to run a toll road but don't have the capitol to build the road, to just build a toll booth?

Because that is essentially what the FCC is trying to do here. Others can't afford the road so they want the FCC to force those who have roads to let them use their roads. They want to pay the owners of the road a fee while still making money off the road themselves. Why would a company want to do that when they can make more money by just having the people get the road through them?

And as already discussed, the road owners already lease out sections for those who can't afford to use the road under their terms(tracfone vs. contract). Those people just have to drive slower(slower data) or ride on a crappier part of the road(worse phone).


RE: Build your own towers
By BSMonitor on 4/8/2011 4:17:09 PM , Rating: 1
Another useless attempt at an analogy. Toll roads/roads in general have all kinds of government regulation wrapped up in them. Ever heard of eminent domain? Joe Schmo Toll Road builder cannot force every property owner from Cleveland to Chicago to turn over part of their property for use as a road.

Only the federal government could do that. Hence it is involved in any road building project.

Keep shooting blanks. Trying to use third grade simpleton logic to bash on government regulation does not work when dealing with adults. The real world is a lot more complex than you'd like to believe.


RE: Build your own towers
By FITCamaro on 4/9/2011 11:33:22 AM , Rating: 1
Not all toll roads go through an area where eminent domain must be employed you dumbass.

Tell me where the fuck in any of this I have said no regulations should exist. I haven't. I recognize that some regulations are necessary.

A regulation though that tells a company that they must loan out their property to others, even if charging a fee, so that others can compete with them because they don't want to spend the money or don't have the money to spend to do it themselves is entirely unnecessary.

And for the record, there are legitimate uses of eminent domain. Roads sometimes need to be expanded or built. The building of roads is a legitimate use of eminent domain because it is for everyone. Something like the use of eminent domain to take land from the owners to give it to a private developer to build condos on is not.

And the federal government is not involved in eminent domain in the expansion of state roads. It is the state government. Now an interstate, yes.

My analogy assumes the road is already built. Just like these towers. And if another company wants to use a tower, they can either try to lease capacity on an existing one, as many smaller services already do. Or they can build their own. And it is WAY easier to build a cell tower than it is a road.


RE: Build your own towers
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2011 10:16:58 AM , Rating: 1
Damn right.

There is no monopoly here. Anyone can build a cell network in the US. You just have to have the money to do it.

Also.
Monopoly: exclusive control of a commodity or service in a particular market, or a control that makes possible the manipulation of prices.

Explain to me how there's a monopoly on cellular service when there are THREE major providers for it. And probably dozens of smaller ones throughout the US.

Another "great" article from Jason Mick.


RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/2011 10:26:39 AM , Rating: 2
Yes. This is just the kind of collectivist crap that kept me from coming back here for so long. I had hoped things had changed, but nope, still the same DT. Soon to go the way of Slashdot (you know, where people used to go for news and where Jason pilfers half his stories from) before they went so left it turned everyone off.

If it's big and makes money, it must be evil. That's pretty much the foundation of every story you see on DT.


RE: Build your own towers
By Motoman on 4/8/2011 10:27:44 AM , Rating: 4
...more of an oligarchy.

There are certainly issues with the cellular industry...they tend to act like a cartel. But I'm not sure taking away their infrastructure is the right thing to do...

We have bigger, more obvious fish to fry anyway. Like cable companies...which frequently actually do have a monopoly in a given area.


RE: Build your own towers
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2011 12:44:19 PM , Rating: 2
Only because the government gave it to them.


RE: Build your own towers
By Motoman on 4/8/2011 1:06:21 PM , Rating: 3
Correct. We need to take it back.


RE: Build your own towers
By RandomUsername3245 on 4/8/2011 10:29:00 AM , Rating: 2
Fundamentally, they do have a monopoly on the limited set of frequencies available to cell phones. The frequencies used to broadcast wireless data are the real valuable and scarce commodity here, not cellular towers.

Since these broadcast frequencies are a scarce, public resource, they *MUST* be regulated by the government. This is one of those cases where the government actually does need to exert some control over how this scarce public resource is used. They should ensure that it is used to the maximum benefit of the people, not to maximize the bottom line of a corporation.


RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Build your own towers
By RandomUsername3245 on 4/8/2011 10:49:17 AM , Rating: 3
1. Cell phones are not a public resource, but the wireless bandwidth is.

2. I never said free. The corporations need to exist to run the networks, but they also have to be regulated. They are, in fact, heavily regulated and always have been. They would not even exist without heavy regulation -- i.e. the government regulates the spectrum.

3. My only point is that the current regulation on the cellular industry does not work well. This needs to be updated to improve cellular service and coverage for the people.


RE: Build your own towers
By Boze on 4/8/2011 10:53:07 AM , Rating: 2
Explain to me how the wireless bandwidth is a public resource?


RE: Build your own towers
By RandomUsername3245 on 4/8/2011 11:01:38 AM , Rating: 2
There are a limited number of frequencies available that can travel for 1+ miles, over hills, through walls, etc. There is a fundamental limit to how much bandwidth you can transmit on each of these frequencies. These frequencies are shared over specific geographic regions. People are not good at sharing things unless you have laws (or parents) forcing them to behave.

If the government didn't regulate who could broadcast these frequencies, then anyone could broadcast on any frequency as long as you could afford the broadcast hardware.

You'd end with corporations and individuals fighting it out to see who could build a bigger transmitter for the same channel, jamming each others signals, and people just screwing with people for fun.


RE: Build your own towers
By Kurz on 4/8/2011 11:07:23 AM , Rating: 2
LOL! Damn and I bet you think Tea party members are Nuts.

Look you can have overlap on frequencies. The 2.4ghz spectrum shows this. They have some filtering tech that makes sure data is being interpreted correctly.


By RandomUsername3245 on 4/8/2011 11:17:00 AM , Rating: 3
Wow awesome comeback. Are you bragging about being a member of the Tea Party or trying to call the Tea Party nuts??
----
Obviously there are different ways of using spectrum. You can one channel per frequency (inefficient) or share multiple channels over multiple frequencies (more efficient). You can use analog or digital, etc..

(Can we say Frequency Modulation versus Quadrature Amplitude Modulation versus Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing?)


By RandomUsername3245 on 4/8/2011 11:18:22 AM , Rating: 2
Oops ... forgot my conclusion.

Fundamentally, NO MATTER HOW YOU SHARE THE FREQUENCIES, there is a limited amount of available bandwidth!


RE: Build your own towers
By Gzus666 on 4/8/2011 2:31:03 PM , Rating: 1
And this is how we know you have absolutely no idea how wireless works. There is no "filtering tech that makes sure data is being interpreted correctly". There is a reason spectrums are licensed for critical things like cell phones, cause you get interference. If frequencies match, guess what? They don't dodge one another, they have an in air collision. 2.4 GHZ is broke down into smaller channels with bands for each channel so people can run multiple broadcast points in proximity without bothering one another. The issue is of course, you only have 3 non-overlapping channels in the US and no one uses them wisely.

Go into an office building that is saturated with wireless and enjoy the mess that is slow transfer speeds and constant drops. This is because the spectrum is unregulated. I love that, but people abuse the crap out of it cause no one understands wireless, as seen above in your insane post. You can't just violate laws of physics with magic tech.


RE: Build your own towers
By Kurz on 4/8/2011 3:21:56 PM , Rating: 2
Really I thought we are talking about waves and particles. The likely hood of them hitting each other in this amount of EM saturation is unlikely.


RE: Build your own towers
By Gzus666 on 4/8/2011 3:27:02 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Really I thought we are talking about waves and particles. The likely hood of them hitting each other in this amount of EM saturation is unlikely.


You just solidified the fact you have no idea what you are talking about. Let me give me something to look into, CSMA-CA with the RTS/CTS extension. Once you understand that and why it is needed in wireless networks(highly doubtful you ever will), you might have a little better understanding. Then I would recommend you pick up a physics book and learn how radio waves work, cause it is terrifying your level of ignorance on the subject.


RE: Build your own towers
By Motoman on 4/8/2011 7:04:43 PM , Rating: 2
...that is awesome. That is the EM physics version of saying to someone "hey, we're throwing a baby shower for Nancy next week" and you going "...I thought the mother licked them clean."

You are a catastrophic failure, and every photon that travels from your monitor to your retina to confer information to you has died in vain.


By RandomUsername3245 on 4/8/2011 11:04:46 AM , Rating: 3
Let's list some of the utilities that exist because the government currently regulates the frequency spectrum:

1. Broadcast radio
2. Broadcast television
3. Cellular service
4. Satellite Radio / Television / Phones
5. GPS
6. Radar (commercial and military)
7. Military communications
8. WiFi

...and the list goes on...


RE: Build your own towers
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2011 12:39:50 PM , Rating: 1
Sorry but "the air" is not a public resource. Them sending a signal through it does not cost you anything or affect you in any way as long as it is low enough power.

I agree that there is need to control who uses what frequency to help prevent one group blocking out another. But nothing beyond that.


RE: Build your own towers
By Kurz on 4/8/2011 10:39:03 AM , Rating: 1
What scarce resource?
I live in an area where there are 20 wireless routers all on the same channel. I never bother to change the channel.

You can have overlap as long as you have the tech to help weed through the noise.


RE: Build your own towers
By RandomUsername3245 on 4/8/2011 10:42:30 AM , Rating: 2
Do you understand how wireless works at all??? Maybe you think two radio stations can broadcast on the same frequency? Why not try running your 2.4Ghz 802.11 router right beside an operating microwave *and* a 2.4Ghz baby monitor *and* a 2.4Ghz wireless (landline) telephone. Tell me if you still get your 54Mbps or 300Mpbs of bandwidth.

You won't.... because wireless bandwidth *is* scarce.


RE: Build your own towers
By Kurz on 4/8/2011 11:11:50 AM , Rating: 2
Thats not a fair comparison. Microwave leaks way too much radiation.


RE: Build your own towers
By RandomUsername3245 on 4/8/2011 11:25:33 AM , Rating: 2
Ok forget the microwave. Just try the baby monitor vs. the telephone vs. the 802.11. They're still all sharing the same broadcast spectrum which has a limited amount of available bandwidth.

It's based on physics -- it's pretty hard to argue against it.

You can improve things with fancier (spread spectrum) broadcast methods, but there's not a Moore's Law of wireless communications. We're not going to get a 2x increase in wireless bandwidth every few years for the next few decades. It's LIMITED


RE: Build your own towers
By Kurz on 4/8/2011 11:31:55 AM , Rating: 2
The atmosphere isn't some pipe that has limits on how much frequency it can take. Technology exists to filter out unwanted data/signals/noise. All you need is a header to every data packet to make sure the data recieved.


RE: Build your own towers
By RandomUsername3245 on 4/8/2011 11:39:11 AM , Rating: 2
Yes...It...IS!

Go take a wireless communications class from an electrical engineering department, or read a book on wireless telcom fundamentals, or read wikipedia.

Saying the atmosphere has unlimited bandwidth is like saying that silicon computer chips have unlimited frequency clocking potential.


RE: Build your own towers
By Kurz on 4/8/2011 12:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
Of course there are Physical limits before the electromagnetic spectrum becomes too staturated for any meaningful signals to be distingished.

What I am arguing is we are no where near those limits. And the tech exists to filter out unwanted signals.


RE: Build your own towers
By Gzus666 on 4/8/2011 2:33:17 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Of course there are Physical limits before the electromagnetic spectrum becomes too staturated for any meaningful signals to be distingished.


I'm just going to say it, cause clearly you have no understanding of anything you are talking about. YOU ARE A RETARD.


RE: Build your own towers
By Kurz on 4/8/2011 3:05:37 PM , Rating: 2
So I guess when you live in a neighborhood of 20 wireless routers. Instead of going to my dailytech.com I get images from XXX site. Yea I guess there isn't any filtering tech.

IE SSID Info, Channel Info, Packet Headers, TCP connections (The kind that asks your computer to send back a confirmation you recieved information), Yea I guess there is no safe Guards and I am a retard.


RE: Build your own towers
By Gzus666 on 4/8/2011 3:11:30 PM , Rating: 2
What are you babbling about? Let me give you some inside info, I'm a Network Engineer for a carrier, I work in the core and I did corporate engineering with a Cisco partner before that. You aren't going to dumbfound me with buzzwords. Talk shop or go home.


RE: Build your own towers
By Motoman on 4/8/2011 3:19:42 PM , Rating: 2
He can't. He's a moron.


RE: Build your own towers
By Gzus666 on 4/8/2011 3:23:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
He can't. He's a moron.


This is becoming painfully obvious, ha.


RE: Build your own towers
By BSMonitor on 4/8/2011 10:30:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is no monopoly here. Anyone can build a cell network in the US. You just have to have the money to do it.


SHOCKING you take the anti-government stance. Meanwhile, AT&T and Verizon will soon be the only two mobile carriers. $200/month 4 year contracts with 500MB data caps to come.

You are a broken record. "No government" "No regulation" We should should go back to the 1800s.. Slaves and/or 15 cent wages with 65 hour work weeks. Let businesses do WHATEVER they want to make a buck.

Who is "anyone" ? Does "anyone" also have the money to throw at cell-phone makers to make phones that will connect to their service?

Another ignorant rant by a narrow minded fool.


RE: Build your own towers
By Kurz on 4/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Build your own towers
By BSMonitor on 4/8/2011 11:55:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
are narrow minded enough to believe the government is here to help you... You are the bigger fool.


Paranoid are we? The government helps no one. You would be completely fine on your own with no government whatsoever...

LMFAO for the entire weekend on that one.


RE: Build your own towers
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2011 12:47:00 PM , Rating: 2
So you don't think the government helps anyone but think it should have whatever power it wants. Including the power to take away a companies infrastructure.

I'll be scratching my head all weekend on that one.


RE: Build your own towers
By BSMonitor on 4/8/2011 4:27:19 PM , Rating: 2
LMFAO still.

You totally missed it dude.. Give it up.


RE: Build your own towers
By MeesterNid on 4/8/2011 10:52:56 AM , Rating: 1
lol, the only ignorant fool is yourself. Your arguments are sophomoric and naive and you can't seem to grasp the fundamental problems that we're discussing here.

Wait, are you just Jason Mick using another account?


RE: Build your own towers
By Akrovah on 4/8/2011 11:13:07 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
$200/month 4 year contracts with 500MB data caps to come.


IF that were to happen, no one would be able to afford it, and the company would be forced to either:
A) Go out of business
B) Lower rates and/or improve service.

And this will come about through the simple act of supply and demand, no governement regulation needed.

These companies can only charge what we are willing and able to pay.


RE: Build your own towers
By BSMonitor on 4/8/2011 12:03:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
These companies can only charge what we are willing and able to pay.


And yet, as we sit here today. My iphone originally came with unlimited data and text 450 minutes for $90 a month.

A new iphone/android user gets the same rate only 2GB max. Each additional 1GB is $10 or whatever it is.. The only thing saving me from this tragedy is regulation that says AT&T cannot change the terms of my original contract. Hence I am grandfathered to the unlimited data.

Even with these new caps, the business of smart phones is booming. Clearly we are no where near this "cannot afford it" point.. If there was MORE competition, you think these caps would have come about? You think prices would be going up?

You clearly have no idea how corporation think and act if left to themselves.


RE: Build your own towers
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2011 1:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
Yes because the vast majority of users come no where close to using 2GB of data. Even with heavy usage in a month, the most I've ever used is 1.5GB.

And if you don't like AT&Ts caps, go to Sprint which doesn't have them. But I guess the government should just force AT&T to give you what you want right?


RE: Build your own towers
By BSMonitor on 4/8/2011 4:23:07 PM , Rating: 2
So Mr. anti-government regulation is for a company setting limits on the few in favor of the majority?

Careful, sounds a lot like government to me.


RE: Build your own towers
By BSMonitor on 4/8/2011 4:25:53 PM , Rating: 2
And you have what? An expensive Android phone that I am sure you fawn over for checking email and sending texts?

I tend to like watching College Basketball and MLB games wherever I might be. And that is much more than 2GB for a month.


RE: Build your own towers
By Akrovah on 4/8/2011 4:29:54 PM , Rating: 2
As I have worked for a medium sized corporation with little to no competition in their local area I think I do have a decent understanding of how corporations think and act when left to themselves.

But think about it logically, even taking into account corporate greed. The corporation has a product. People want this product. The corporation raises prices, because they figure "Hey, if everyone wants it, we can make even MORE money if we charge more for it." Eventually the price gets raised to a point where people are no longer willing to pay for it, and the corporation either has to give the public what they want, or go out of business. It is basic economics.

quote:
Clearly we are no where near this "cannot afford it" point..


I can't speak to whether we are close to this point or not, but you have to keep in mind that Smartphones are still a relatively new market, especially in the numbers they are selling at now. The masses only began deciding they wanted smartphones with the intoduction of the iPhone, and that was only, what, 4 years ago? They are still greatly outsold by standard or feature phones. Eventually the smartphone market will stabalize.


RE: Build your own towers
By BSMonitor on 4/8/2011 5:03:30 PM , Rating: 2
What motivation was there for your medium sized corporation to improve their product or provide additional benefit to their customer? None, except their good nature.

Logically, in a monopoly the company cannot go out of business. They control the price. So the company would never price itself completely out of business.

You are totally missing the point. No one is saying these companies will raise their prices indefinitely. The point is, without competition, they will charge as much as possible while retaining as many customers as possible.

By allowing for competition, the customer gets better service, better pricing, more innovation.

i.e. New York City AT&T service. iPhone users were locked into AT&T. AT&T service in NYC is/was terrible according to everything I read on multiple sites. If users were allowed a choice, in a competitive situation, they would leave AT&T instantly. However, contracts, exclusive contracts, vices that corporations come up with to eliminate competition make that very costly for the customer. AT&T's response to the problem of dropped calls: take away unlimited data. Push for legislation to throttle heavy data users connection speeds.
What should their response be if they were responsible to their customers?? Probably add better coverage in the NYC area. Point being, it's their company (for you FITCamaro), they can say, "F NYC iPhone users". Right or wrong. They can do whatever is best for AT&T in their mind. But if they are doing that, and using their market position to bully customers to stay with them or to overcharge for lower quality product. Well that's where FCC MUST intervene.


RE: Build your own towers
By Akrovah on 4/8/2011 6:42:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What motivation was there for your medium sized corporation to improve their product or provide additional benefit to their customer?


The customers stopped showing up. Kind of like what I was saying before.

And your right, I did get a little off track, so lets try to return to the topic at hand.

quote:
By allowing for competition, the customer gets better service, better pricing, more innovation.


This I absolutely agree with. Don't get me wrong, I love competition and I agree that Monopolies are a thing to avoid, and even that should a monopoly exists the Gov should come and break it up a little bit, like they did with Ma-Bell, but there is a right and a wrong way to go about it. And this is the wrong way.

If the government forces companies like AT&T to let others use thier network, then that means that those companies profit without spending the heavy initial investment. What motivation then does AT&T have for improving thier network, knowign that thier competition will be the ones to reap the benefits? Since AT&T would have to foot the bill for any such upgrades thier own profits would become signifigantly lower than the ma and pop service piggybacking on the AT&T towers. This seems to me as though it would produce even more stagnation than having only 2 or 3 available carriers, as no one is going to be willing to help out thier competitor.

Starting a cell carrier is a huge initial investment, and if you can't afford it, then you have no business being in that business. In no why does support of competition mean you have to actually HELP your competitor.

As far as your NYC AT&T iPhone example, it is rather simple. Apple made the iPhone. They decided to be exclusive with AT&T. If you absolutely HAVE to have an iPhone, then you get to use AT&T (at the time at least) and if you don't like it, then don't get one. People HAVE a choice, they have the choice to either deal with AT&T's bad NYC service or to not get the phone they want. They did not bully customers to stay with them, customers CHOSE to stay with them because AT&T had the phone they wanted, and the customer decided the phone was more important than the service. No FCC regulation required here, just people learning to take respnsibility for the choices they make.


RE: Build your own towers
By FITCamaro on 4/9/2011 11:38:07 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
However, contracts, exclusive contracts, vices that corporations come up with to eliminate competition make that very costly for the customer.


You do not have to sign a contract if you want a cell phone. You are free to purchase the phone at full price and pay month to month. As far as exclusivity deals for phones, there's nothing wrong with that. It's the phone manufacturers job to decide what is best for their business. If choosing to sell deals for phones to a particular carrier is best for them, that's what they're going to do.


RE: Build your own towers
By Mathos on 4/8/2011 10:32:37 AM , Rating: 2
Not a monopoly per say, but, there IS a major problem with Collusion between AT&T and Verizon on pricing, and whats offered. It's the same problem with the broadband market. Some other things you may need to think about. Prior to Verizon buying out Alltel, they use to rent usage bandwidth on Alltel towers to provide coverage in areas where they didn't want to spend money on building towers. And no there aren't smaller local or regional competitors.

Tracfone, and Net10 are both owned by AT&T, straight Talk runs off either AT&T or Verizon depending on the phone, they're the only exception, Virgin mobile is owned by Spring if I remember correct.

Oh don't get me wrong, in some area's you have whats called city phone, or Metro pcs, but they are useless outside of their local area's, or outside of large cities.


RE: Build your own towers
By BSMonitor on 4/8/2011 12:19:55 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly!

Broadband. Cable Television for years. These companies get help laying the infrastructure and then milk people who have that as their only real option for either. Look what's going on now with Direct TV and Dish being more available. Free installation, Free HBO, 2 years of fixed lower price for new subscribers. Free HD for life.

Why? Because people have 4-5 TV choices everywhere if you include U-verse and things like that.


RE: Build your own towers
By Kurz on 4/8/2011 3:30:44 PM , Rating: 2
Cable Television doesn't milk... You don't need Cable TV.
There is always Radio based TV.

What you get with Cable is a luxury that you don't need to sign up for.


RE: Build your own towers
By BSMonitor on 4/8/2011 4:29:18 PM , Rating: 2
You are right, they pillaged and raped for 20 years.


RE: Build your own towers
By amanojaku on 4/8/2011 10:22:02 AM , Rating: 2
That's not a fair comparison at all. You can pretty much put a restaurant anywhere, including your own home or a truck. The possibilities are endless.

A cell tower has to get approval by both the government and the residents. You can have all the money you need to build a tower, but you might not be allowed to do it. Your only choice is to rent capacity on a nearby tower. This happens all the time. It's not like the large carries are giving access away for free, either, and they admit that they rent capacity to third parties already. This measure ensures such deals are fair.

As to the "republican bashing", it's a fact that the republicans voted against this, and they themselves state this would "hurt" the larger companies while "benefiting" the smaller companies. Since you like analogies, landlords should stop renting apartments because they can't possibly profit from tenants, right? Wrong. When you provide infrastructure to someone else you always profit from it, particularly because the renter is accessing unused capacity that you already payed for.


RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/11, Rating: -1
RE: Build your own towers
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2011 1:06:09 PM , Rating: 2
No you cannot run a business out of your house. Zoning laws prohibit it.


RE: Build your own towers
By amanojaku on 4/8/2011 1:43:14 PM , Rating: 2
Would you care to clarify your statement? I certainly did not mean to imply that you can run ANY business out of your home ANYWHERE, like a toxic waste dump in your backyard, or a slaughterhouse in your home, but you absolutely can run a business out of your home. Many types, at that.

http://www.sba.gov/content/zoning-laws-home-based-...


RE: Build your own towers
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/2011 1:45:33 PM , Rating: 2
A business is different than a "restaurant". Most places you cannot run a eatery out of your home because of zoning laws. And even if you could, you wouldn't WANT to for tax purposes.

But good grief guy, really? Do we really need to make posts about this side-argument caused by an analogy?


RE: Build your own towers
By amanojaku on 4/8/2011 2:26:21 PM , Rating: 2
The point to this side argument is that there are plenty of businesses that can be started up without government intervention. Wireless communication is not one of them. Hell, you can start up an ISP from your house if you tried, but a wireless communications system is out of your reach for more reasons that just money. That's where the government steps in, otherwise there will NEVER be competition. And example was the breakup of AT&T, which was gouging customers left and right. Actually, nothing has changed, really, so maybe you're right...

Besides, you're the one who initiated the comparison in order to justify your argument that the government should stay out of this. I simply pointed out that your argument held no merit due to the chosen analogy. It's similar to a lawyer's use of precedent to justify a case, and subject to the same scrutiny. I suppose you would be a little miffed at someone for pointing out that you could have done a better job...


RE: Build your own towers
By BSMonitor on 4/8/2011 4:19:02 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong. You can run a business out of your house. At least in Michigan. Keep trying. Your tiny world does not apply everywhere.


RE: Build your own towers
By RandomUsername3245 on 4/8/2011 10:23:43 AM , Rating: 2
By this logic, we should have never broken up the original ATT. They built their own network and really just used public land right-of-ways for their lines.

I'm sure you'd be happy in that alternate reality working with your pay-per-minute local phone and dialup internet.


RE: Build your own towers
By Kurz on 4/8/2011 11:15:28 AM , Rating: 2
You forget that Government created the monopoly that was ATT.


RE: Build your own towers
By RandomUsername3245 on 4/8/2011 11:31:16 AM , Rating: 2
So monopolies are only bad if the government sanctions them?


RE: Build your own towers
By Kurz on 4/8/2011 11:36:30 AM , Rating: 2
More often than not Monopolies exist only because government created the conditions for them to exist.


RE: Build your own towers
By phatboye on 4/8/2011 10:28:42 AM , Rating: 2
your analogy is flawed in that Subway and Quizno's didn't receive federal tax payer money to help them build their infrastructure. Also Subway and Quizno's and not part of a three company triopoly.


RE: Build your own towers
By RandomUsername3245 on 4/8/2011 10:34:55 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe his analogy would be more correct if bread was like the cellular bandwidth allocated by the government to the cell companies:

If only 1,000,000 loaves of bread existed per day, and these loaves came out of public resources, then the government should be able to regulate the operation of Subway and Quiznos.

i.e. like the frequency spectrum allocated to Verizion, ATT, etc...


RE: Build your own towers
By MeesterNid on 4/8/2011 11:06:56 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
if bread was ... allocated by the government
...to the unwashed masses.

Don't worry, that's coming up pretty soon here! We'll default on our currency in the next couple of decades because our entitlements will balloon our deficit to the point that the interest we have to pay on it is more than our GDP!

Go government! I suggest you get in that line...for the bread.


RE: Build your own towers
By RandomUsername3245 on 4/8/2011 11:35:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I eat children's brains


Because we all love making quotes that have nothing to do with the quoted thread!

In any case, I totally agree that we need massive entitlement reform. I wonder if we'll get riots in the US like they had in Greece and France. I can't believe that when you take Social Security away that people will take it lying down.


RE: Build your own towers
By MeesterNid on 4/8/2011 12:24:03 PM , Rating: 2
Acknowledged. It would not have been as pithy were I to provide disclaimers as to how I was misquoting you.


RE: Build your own towers
By Kurz on 4/8/2011 12:58:18 PM , Rating: 2
Social Security doesn't run on savings, so there is nothing to take. We are just preventing the elderly from taking money from the young.


RE: Build your own towers
By Krotchrot on 4/8/2011 1:19:41 PM , Rating: 2
You mean like the money that the elderly put into social security was taken?


RE: Build your own towers
By Kurz on 4/8/2011 3:24:43 PM , Rating: 2
The current elderly were giving money to a previous generation. So the government started a chain of thefts.


RE: Build your own towers
By Uncle on 4/8/2011 1:47:20 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry to burst your bubble but do some research and find out how much the taxpayers paid through incentives, depreciation allowance etc, and outright grants.


RE: Build your own towers
By Skywalker123 on 4/9/2011 3:32:56 PM , Rating: 2
Another idiotic comparison, anyone with some cash can open a sub shop.


A bit slanted, but...
By farsawoos on 4/8/2011 10:33:52 AM , Rating: 2
The point conveyed here is still very valid. Like someone above me said, "Is it really fair?" No. Not at all. In a perfect world, a company wishing to make something of itself would step onto the stage and build itself up - and its $multi-billion infrastructure - by its bootstraps and balls. But let's be realistic: the cost of opening a sub shop, to continue one analogy, versus the cost of start a telecommunications infrastructure are not even remotely similar, nor are the methods for procuring such funding. As I'm sure we can all attest by our own experiences, this is a world that is not perfect and a playing field that is far from level.

So, no, it's not fair, but the reality of it is the telco's had plenty of opportunities to "moderate themselves" like Right-of-Center seems to think all industries do. Instead of maintaining any semblance of interconnectedness or fostering (or even allowing) any kind of competition - like no self-respecting, blue-blooded American corporation ever will - they've used every ounce of their fiscal and technical wherewithal to beat their way to the top. And good for them for making it this far. But times have changed, needs have changed, and the importance of the technologies they helped develop has reached new levels that demand new levels of moderation and even-handedness.

Just my $.02...




RE: A bit slanted, but...
By Kurz on 4/8/2011 10:47:55 AM , Rating: 2
The only reason there is no competition is strangle hold Government has on Frequencies.


RE: A bit slanted, but...
By BSMonitor on 4/8/2011 12:23:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The only reason there is no competition is strangle hold Government has on Frequencies.


Ok Kurz. Now I am just curious why you personally distrust the government so.


RE: A bit slanted, but...
By Kurz on 4/8/2011 1:53:11 PM , Rating: 2
Why do you think some entity that has 'monopoly' power to, coerce you, tax you, Create money digitally, easily corruptable, is better?


RE: A bit slanted, but...
By BSMonitor on 4/8/2011 5:12:46 PM , Rating: 2
So it is more just a general paranoia, than an actual bad experience?

As there has not been war on this continent(maybe excluding mexico civil wars?!) in 145 years and counting (with countless differing cultures living side by side), I would say it still has a lot more corrupting to do before I totally give up on it.

But it's human, it has flaws. Nothing is black or white. Except for a chess board. And only sometimes.


RE: A bit slanted, but...
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2011 12:33:38 PM , Rating: 2
Well to be honest you do need some control of frequencies. Otherwise people would be overlapping each other left and right and nothing would work.

There's already risk of GPS not working anymore once the governments feel good project of letting a company build a data network that uses frequencies right next to GPS is finished.


RE: A bit slanted, but...
By callmeroy on 4/8/2011 12:57:09 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed...I'm all for the "rawr rawr Government is bad...." mantra on just about anything as well...

BUT the FCC does serve a needed role whether you think they are Satan or not -- doesn't change that truth.


RE: A bit slanted, but...
By Adonlude on 4/8/2011 12:57:06 PM , Rating: 2
Cmon, monopolies come into play just a bit! A good society will constantly be balancing true capatilism with true democracy with an eye on fundamental rights.


RE: A bit slanted, but...
By Kurz on 4/8/2011 12:59:54 PM , Rating: 2
Ask yourself who owns the Frequencies? The Federal Government. They sell this supposed limited resource to a few major players. Hence we have only so many players.


RE: A bit slanted, but...
By carigis on 4/8/2011 12:13:29 PM , Rating: 3
I have no problems with this in the case on infrastucture. Cell phones are rapidly replacing wired phones and there is a limited supply of spectrum to lease from the government.

This does not take the the equipment away from the telecoms it simply requires them to make an agreement with competitors for usage and still be paid a reasonable rate for it.

Sorry If im not shedding a tear over att and verizon pouting. maybe if these go into effect we wont have to pay $20+ a month for a measly 2GB bandwith as thier will actually be competition.


RE: A bit slanted, but...
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2011 12:37:01 PM , Rating: 2
So nevermind the fact that they place limits on it because they don't have the capacity to handle unlimited data from everyone. Especially as more and more people move onto smart phones and use them as a primary source of data.

Now once 4G services are completely rolled out, then we should see some restrictions of bandwidth caps due to the much higher potential capacity of those systems. I don't ever think you'll be able to see truly unlimited data on them though. Otherwise people will start using it for downloading hundreds of gigs of data.

We don't have a right to their service. Just the opportunity to pay for what they want to offer us. You won't die because you don't get all the bandwidth you want. And you have the right not to purchase it if you deem it to be unfair.


RE: A bit slanted, but...
By mcnabney on 4/8/2011 12:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
Even 4G systems can't handle many customers streaming Netflix or Bittorrent.

Also, this article doesn't note the fact that all of the wireless carriers are also in the business of doing this right now . It is called 'wholesale sales' and it has allowed companies like StraightTalk to exist. That business buys billions of minutes and megabytes from Verizon at a steep discount and uses them to provide service on the Verizon network for their customers. Similar operations exist at Sprint and AT&T. For example, Kindle uses Sprint and Nook uses AT&T. I don't understand why any action is needed here.


RE: A bit slanted, but...
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2011 1:15:16 PM , Rating: 2
Depends on the quality. Millions already stream youtube to their phones every day. Netflix is no different.

I didn't say caps would disappear. Just they might be higher. As you yourself acknowledged, 4G system simply can't handle the constant draw of video and huge amounts of data. I was told in Indianapolis (I think) by my soon to be new CEO, he got 20 Mbps down on his Thunderbolt. Right now 4G services are extremely fast. But there's also very few people using them. Once it becomes the mainstream technology, speeds will slow a bit.

And yes I mentioned that they already sell to other smaller companies. I think the goal of this is that the government wants to set what they can charge for access.

Part of the reason they can sell service to other providers and those providers are cheaper, is because those providers typically do not subsidize the phones. Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint on the other hand have network maintenance, operation, and improvement to pay for, as well as losing a few hundred dollars per handset on newer handset.

Now what the actual cost of providing 450 minutes is? I don't know. We already know text messages are essentially free for them. But its a product like anything else. It's worth what people are willing to pay for it. People have proven they're willing to pay quite a bit.


RE: A bit slanted, but...
By mcnabney on 4/8/2011 6:23:44 PM , Rating: 2
Fifteen second Youtube clips aren't a problem. Two hour long movies, especially when 'viewing times' are concentrated, would blow away a network if more than a couple dozen were doing it on one tower.


key to it all
By Ammohunt on 4/8/2011 3:27:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has approved a measure that could force wireless operators to open their towers to competitors, including small operators, for the first time.


Key operating word highlighted and bolded. Those that agree with this approach wouldn't mind the federal governement forcing them to open up their houses so that i can throw a party for all my friends the actual owner of the house should not be the only ones with a monopoly on such parties in their house.




RE: key to it all
By fldude2k1 on 4/8/2011 5:22:35 PM , Rating: 2
Not even close to being the same thing. The point with cell towers is that there is a limit to how many most communities will allow to be built. There are no shortage of houses to have parties at. In addition, a company renting space on AT&T or Verizon's tower would not affect AT&T or Verizon's use of the tower. It would only give them competition which is what it's really all about. Being forced to allow you to throw a party for all your friends at my house WOULD affect my use of my own house.

Suppose an airline doesn't like the prices it's charged by the local airport to land flights there. Or suppose the airport won't allow the airline to operate there at all. So the airline decides to open it's own airport in that undeveloped land a few miles down the road from you. I'm sure you'd have no problem with the extra traffic, noise and lights since it's only fair that the airport shouldn't be required to open THEIR runways to every airline. Yeah, maybe that's an extreme example, but no more ludicrous than comparing cell companies being forced to allow other companies to rent space on their towers to homeowners being required to allow others to host parties at their home.


RE: key to it all
By Skywalker123 on 4/9/2011 5:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't think anyone could top reclaimer and fits ridiculous analogies, but you did it!


RE: key to it all
By The Raven on 4/11/2011 2:28:27 AM , Rating: 2
I'll try my hand at it...

This is like some scalpers buying up all the tickets to the World Series and then having the gov't force them to give up some of those seats to competitors.

Of course nowadays there are measures to eliminate such occurances at sporting events, but not in the wireless business. Americans wanted "the games to sell out quickly" so they could have such great services available NOW at a greater cost without having to wait "in line" for the tech to evolve.

Attempts at meaningful analogies aside, if you invest in something with certain assumptions, it is crazy to think that the gov't can artificially change those assumptions at the drop of a hat.


It's not just having money to build the towers
By fldude2k1 on 4/8/2011 5:07:17 PM , Rating: 2
What many people don't realize and only one other post has touched on is that building a cell tower isn't like going out and building a sub shop. A sub shop (or any business) in an existing location or shopping center is simple -- sign a lease and get a few building permits. Even a sub shop in a brand new site is relatively easy to do. However, there are numerous approvals required by the local, state and federal governments covering everything from height for airplanes by the FAA and local airports to aesthetics by the Planning department to securing access rights to your property as many cell towers aren't right of a street right-of-way. Having worked in land development, I know that many communities are placing limits on how many cell towers they will allow to be built. As a matter a fact, a few years ago I knew of several communities which had placed moratoriums on construction of new cell towers because they were considered an eyesore. Some communities required cell towers to be disguised as trees or look more natural. Many communities already have hundreds of cell towers. With nobody complaining about service, are they going to easily allow enough towers to be built by a new company to go into business when they know that the existing towers can accommodate more than one network? The point is that it's not a simple situation of companies not wanting to spend the money to build a new network from scratch.

The sub shop analogy is stupid. It's apples and oranges to compare cell networks to sub shops. A closer analogy would be to say that anyone can build a sub shop, but the community isn't allowing or is limiting the construction of new parking lots and Subway and Quiznos own all the parking lots already built and are unwilling to allow customers of other sub shops to park in them. Maybe you get approval to build a parking lot but the closest location available is 10 minutes away. In this case, all the money in the world wouldn't make a different if you can't get the approval to build a parking lot.

Suppose a new garbage company wants to start doing business in your city. Because the owners of the current landfill refuse to allow the company to dump their garbage there, the company proposes to build a couple new landfills in the community -- one of them being a couple miles from where you live. How many people would be okay with new landfills being built near them because we don't agree with the government limiting the construction of landfills and requiring landfill owners to accept garbage from other companies for a fee? Anyone who's ever been to or near a landfill knows how bad they can smell, even from miles away.




RE: It's not just having money to build the towers
By Looey on 4/9/2011 3:27:05 PM , Rating: 2
Comparing garbage dumps with cell towers is out there. I didn't call you stupid like you did the other guy. Communities put up cell towers all over the place. Have you ever heard of imminent domain? My city uses it to take property away from a citizen when they need it. Cities get taxes from cell phones so they're definitely going to allow the towers. City councils don't always follow a neighborhood association request. They're looking for funds.

The FCC doesn't have the legal right to tell AT&T and Verizon to share their equipment. A court threw out the law requiring companies share DSL lines a while back. If AT&T and Verizon decide to take this to court and make appeals if necessary this ruling will be dumped as it should be. Some of this is coming from Google who wants more smart phones available to advertise on. They have made large donations to the Democrats. Ex CEO Schmidt was at Obama's beck and call. There will be an investigation of Obama's relationship with Google and the rulings made for their benefit. It has already started. The FCC has become a political action arm of the Obama administration.

AT&T and Verizon won't have any incentive to expand into sparsely populated areas if they are doing it for other companies. Better coverage for smart phones won't improve until the yoke is taken off of AT&T's and Verizon's neck or the T-Mobile/Sprint juggernaut decide to spend some money on new equipment.

AT&T and Verizon bid on the airwaves they use and paid for them. Anyone could have bid on them and a lot of companies did. Sprint is in the shape they're in because of mismanagement. The previous CEO was fired because of it. T-Mobile has been bought and sold a couple times, the latest is owned by a German company and by the ads seen on TV they have great coverage. T-Mobile under another name was started by McCaw who founded Celluar One which AT&T bought and was merged with AT&T's original cell service. So what are T-Mobile and Sprint complaining about? If you can't make it in the marketplace go whine to the FCC. What incentive does that give any company to do a good job? Just lay back, don't invest or worry about making mistakes. Just wait for the FCC to take down the market leader and give part of it to you, unless of course that market leader is a political comrade. This is a free country and will stay that way despite attempts to turn it into a socialist/marxist country of slaves. Innovation doesn't grow on the socialist tree.


By fldude2k1 on 4/12/2011 6:15:14 PM , Rating: 2
Comparing cell towers with garbage dumps may be out there, but it's a lot closer analogy than comparing them to sub shops. And I didn't call the other guy stupid. I called his sub shop analogy stupid. Perhaps you should work on your reading comprehension.

I know exactly what eminent domain is. Do you? I have my doubts since you can't even spell the word correctly. If you knew what you were talking about, you'd know that eminent domain is used by governments to take property from private owners. The owner is compensated for the property -- it's not like the the government just takes it. It's usually used for things like roads, utilities, railroads, and things like that. Cell towers are a private project, so they wouldn't fall under most usages of eminent domain. There have been a few cases where eminent domain has been used for private projects (most recently in New London), but they have been very controversial and all end up in lawsuits that have gone to the U.S. Supreme Court. I can guarantee you that eminent domain would NEVER be used for building a cell tower. It would be hard to convince a judge that there are no alternative locations to build a tower that would require condemnation of a private property owner's land.

Have you worked in the cell tower construction business? I have and I can most definitely tell you that cities "don't put up cell towers all over the place." Cities and counties are selective on how many cell towers they want built, and will strongly suggest you use an existing one if it can accommodate you. To suggest that they want to allow cell towers to be built on every street corner to get taxes is ridiculous. First, the city or county would only get property taxes on the land the cell tower occupies. The electric utility would get money for power usage. The cities and states do get taxes from cell phone users, but that is based on where the user lives, not where he uses the phone. So a city or county's tax revenue from cell phones only is based on how many residents have cell phones inside its tax district. Putting up more cell towers will not increase this tax revenue, unless you believe more towers will lead to more users. I personally believe that if a cell phone user can't get a good signal, they won't stop using cell phones but instead switch to another company that does have a good signal where they live. Thus, they still own a cell phone and still pay local taxes.

AT&T and Verizon have no incentive to expand into sparsely populated areas because it's not profitable for them. This wouldn't make a bit of difference as far as that goes. That's why there are companies such as CenturyLink that have concentrated on building in rural areas to get the business that the bigger companies don't care for. What yoke is on AT&T and Verizon's neck? I guess I'm just imagining Verizon's LTE build-out or AT&T's 4G build-out?

Get your facts straight. This has nothing to do with the airwaves. I assume you're talking about spectrum. The smaller cell phone companies have paid for their spectrum. AT&T and Verizon wouldn't lose the spectrum they bid on and paid for. This is about allowing smaller companies to have coverage to serve the spectrum they have. It wouldn't affect another company's spectrum. It's about letting newer company compete with the big boys who built their towers first in communities where new cell towers are limited. And they would have to pay to use those towers, much like alternative phone companies and ISP's pay phone companies and cable companies to use their lines.

Try not to turn this into a political debate. Some people seem to enjoy that and pointing fingers at the left or right. This is about preventing monopolies and encouraging competition, which very much is in the spirit of free enterprise and will only result in better service and prices for consumers.


America the land of the Corrupt
By MechanicalTechie on 4/10/2011 7:56:26 PM , Rating: 2
As an outsider looking in, makes me laugh how corrupt your country is...sentors being funded by telco's and your surprised they don't work in the interest of the public??

Better yet you have a FCC Commission that was once worked as a telecom lobbyist and policymaker... are you mad?? Nothing like having an unbais adjudicator. Insane!!!!




RE: America the land of the Corrupt
By Reclaimer77 on 4/10/2011 10:41:40 PM , Rating: 2
Yes much less corrupt is having the government come in and nationalize all industries. Basically stealing them out from under the ones who busted ass building them in the first place.

Way less corrupt....


By MechanicalTechie on 4/11/2011 7:24:35 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting that you worry about nationalization of industries while the rest of the world is madly in the grip privatization.

Speaking from an Australian view i can say that all my costs for good and services have increased in price without any further increase in quality. At least the government can be made accountable... well in Australia at least.

That asided it's still crazy to have special interest groups take control of national industry compliances. Since when does the player also make the rules???


So No 5g then.
By stm1185 on 4/8/2011 1:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
Verizon: I was going to spend $100,000,000,000 to build a nationwide network but now I can just wait till ATT builds it and pay them millions a year instead of spending a hundred billion.

ATT: LIKE HELL IF WE ARE FOOTING THE BILL. WE CAN WAIT YOU OUT.

Consumer: 4G is fast enough?




RE: So No 5g then.
By zxern on 4/8/2011 2:28:26 PM , Rating: 2
With current data caps, yeah 4g is enough.


History wrong...
By kb9fcc on 4/8/2011 2:31:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Then in 1976 the U.S. Department of Justice decided to break up AT&T...

The Bell System divestiture occurred in 1984 after a settlement agreement in United States v. AT&T was reached in 1982. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_System_divestitu...

Often missed in this discussion, is how much the cost of phone calls went down between the time of the late 1950's through the late 1970's. I recall a TIME article (~1977) exploring this. A typical long distance call in 1960 could be in the 10's or 100's of 1960's dollars a minute (especially international) while those same calls were often under a $1/minute in 1977 dollars. Meanwhile, the cost on every other good or service (milk, food, gas, electric, etc.) had gone UP by 10's if not 100's of percent, even with inflation considered.

Much of that lowering in cost was due to the massive amount of R&D AT&T did via Bell Laboratories that advanced the technologies we have today. And being a highly regulated monopoly, licenses to Bell Lab's patents were practically given away. That all ended in 1984.




RE: History wrong...
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2011 2:56:13 PM , Rating: 2
I was 1 in 1984 so I don't remember all this. But I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case.


Looking for ideas
By Exedore on 4/8/2011 5:46:17 PM , Rating: 2
I was just trying to think of some ideas on how a better system might work. How about this:

There would be two types of companies. One type can build and own infrastructure, such as the towers and the network to connect them. The second type of company can license these towers and provide services to the end users. The first type of company cannot provide services to end users, and the second type cannot own infrastructure.

Basically this would still allow the capitalist system to function, and there would be competition to keep end user prices low. Anyone could start a service company with no infrastructure costs, only having to license tower use from the infrastructure company or companies. All the government would have to do is pass the laws setting up an environment where this type of two player system could function. I am not a fan of the government breaking up or forcing private companies to open up assets that they spent billions on to their competitors, but I think national communications is a place where we need a more competitive environment, something that simply cannot happen with the current situation because of the enormous barrier to entry, wireless spectrum availability, etc.

What would happen if a company like Verizon had to turn themselves into two separate entities, one holding the infrastructure assets and another one being the wireless service provider? Kind of like AMD and Global Foundries?




RE: Looking for ideas
By fldude2k1 on 4/8/2011 7:36:25 PM , Rating: 2
There are actually independent companies that solely build, own and operate cell towers in the U.S. and lease space on them to the cell operators. American Tower and Crown Castle are two of the biggest. Clearwire also built cell tower sites for Sprint's 4G build-out, but it also sells its own wireless broadband service. I do think it had signed an agreement with T-Mobile to allow them to put 4G antennas on its towers.

But your idea is a good one. The AT&T/T-Mobile merger would be a perfect time to implement it, but I doubt it'll ever happen. I remember in the 90's, Time Warner was required to allow ISP's to provide internet service on its cable lines. It seems to have led to lower or at least stable prices for broadband. In the same way, for people who actually use landlines, long distance and international rates are much cheaper now than they were a decade ago. Remember when those 10-10-321 access numbers came out to bypass AT&T for long distance? You were still using the local telco's lines and in some cases AT&T's long distance lines that were leased by the alternate long distance provider. Now you have calling card which give you the same function without having to have a phone line. In those cases the company that built the infrastructure still provided the same service as its competitors that it was required to open up its lines to, but they seemed to have survived okay.

What really sucks is when you have local franchise agreements between the city/county you live in and cable, phone, sanitation, and power companies. It limits you to using whatever company they make the agreement with and because there is no competition allowed, the prices seem to keep going up and up.


hmmmm
By sprockkets on 4/8/2011 1:12:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Equally important was the year's U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case Hush-a-Phone v. United States, in which the court ruled that third parties could legally connect their devices to the telephones of the American Telephone and Telegraph company. That decision opened the doors to the possibility of competition at a time when AT&T held a monopolistic death grip on the U.S. phone market.


Hmmm.... that reminds me of another company who patents their accessories and sues others who make reasonably priced alternatives to them...can't remember the name, but their leader is 1 Douche Bag Way.




in Finland
By mahax on 4/8/2011 2:49:24 PM , Rating: 2
we used to have the same situation, basically two large telcos with their own "strong territories". We paid our calls in "arms and legs" until gov mandated roaming. The call prices fell instantly to 1/5th and today there's three large telcos and they all have their own networks that expand (and overlap) the whole country.

For us atlest it was a huge success story.




Anti-competitiveness
By StormyKnight on 4/8/2011 11:22:27 PM , Rating: 2
If the government is so concerned with the lack of competition between cell carriers, why are they allowing mergers like Sprint/Nextel, Verizon/Alltel, AT&T/Cingular/T-Mobile???




By MDGeek on 4/11/2011 1:13:44 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
"Build Your Own Towers? .......Seriously?"


Historical background of Telephone:
The first submarine transatlantic telephone cable system (1955-56) was a joint project between the General Post Office of the (UK), the American Telephone and Telegraph company, and the Canadian Overseas Telecommunications Corporation. The share split in the scheme was 40% British, 50% American, and 10% Canadian. The total cost was about £120 million.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TAT-1)

At the time every telco in US, Canada, UK, and other global Telcos, used it thru some kind of contract arrangement instead of being forced to build their own TransAtlantic Submarine Cable System in order to compete.
Fast-forward to today; This is similar to what the regulation in question is aiming for: to allow the smaller regional cell phone providers work out a contract arrangement with the big national Telcos to lease their towers/inftrastructure to provide services to consumers.

I dont see any harm in leasing a fraction of the pipe lines for data/text when they are already doing exact same with voice services.




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