Why Your Internet Sucks, Internet inequality in the US

VictorTango777

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 28, 2017
409
445

Who is to blame for this issue:
Comcast?
The federal government for not representing the people? How did that guy get the job of FCC director?
 
Last edited:

vertical smile

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2014
3,947
5,145
This isn't really anything new.

I like the montage of the politians coming something needs to be done, because politicians like to talk about the issue, but never do anything about. If they do, usually it is just a half measure and never actually amounts to anything.

As with most complex issues, probably a combination of several factors.
I think this is the reality of the situation.

There is plenty of people/entities to blame for the issue, and no easy solutions to solve it.

It would be different if the US was a smaller country, but it is so big, with so many people living is (relatively) remote areas.

Maybe for some locations, it is a cost of living there, like owning property in a flood zone. If you purchase property in a known flood home, and there is a flood, is there really anyone else to blame but the person that decided to buy property in the flood zone?

If I buy property in an area that is underdeveloped and isolated, should I be entitled to unregulated (or even regulated) utilities just because I want to live in a remote region?

IDK, but it is something to think about.

You can, but they are working in the best interest of their stakeholders.

It would be literal billions of $$ to cover a tiny % of their current base, with little incentive to do so. Many areas mentioned are lower income and demographics were people would more likely to not be reliable paying customers.

Why invest that money that will never see a ROI?


The federal government for not representing the people?
Very rarely do I like to see more regulation by the government on things, because typically it just causes more problem, causes prices and costs in increase, all while lowering the quality of products/services.

But, the private sector has shown that it will not address these issues, and something needs to be done.

Maybe 5G fixed wireless access might have an impact for some of the underserved community, but there places that are just too remote and too costly for any type of service to reach them.

So maybe it should be regulated like a utility, which I understand will have downsides to it, but the private sector is failing this population, so something should be done about it.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2014
3,947
5,145
How did that guy get the job of FCC director?
I didn't see anything wrong with what he did, and he is correct about the limited fiscal power the FCC has. I don't agree with all of his views, but I think the video is demonizing him for issues that were caused decades before he was at the FCC. To put the problems just on him, like the video seems to do, is just disingenuous.

In reality, to have the government to address the issue, it will need much more than the FCC.
 

VictorTango777

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 28, 2017
409
445
Maybe for some locations, it is a cost of living there, like owning property in a flood zone. If you purchase property in a known flood home, and there is a flood, is there really anyone else to blame but the person that decided to buy property in the flood zone?

If I buy property in an area that is underdeveloped and isolated, should I be entitled to unregulated (or even regulated) utilities just because I want to live in a remote region?

IDK, but it is something to think about.


You can, but they are working in the best interest of their stakeholders.

It would be literal billions of $$ to cover a tiny % of their current base, with little incentive to do so. Many areas mentioned are lower income and demographics were people would more likely to not be reliable paying customers.

Why invest that money that will never see a ROI?
I didn't see anything wrong with what he did, and he is correct about the limited fiscal power the FCC has. I don't agree with all of his views, but I think the video is demonizing him for issues that were caused decades before he was at the FCC. To put the problems just on him, like the video seems to do, is just disingenuous.

In reality, to have the government to address the issue, it will need much more than the FCC.
But according to the video, not only did Comcast have no desire to improve their service in the region. But when cities started their own municipal broadband projects, Comcast worked to undermine those projects through lobbying federal government and running attack ads on TV, both of which cost money.
 
Last edited:

Plutonius

macrumors 604
Feb 22, 2003
7,854
6,018
New Hampshire, USA
But according to the video, not only did Comcast have no desire to improve their service in the region. But when cities started their own municipal broadband projects, Comcast worked to undermine those projects through lobbying federal government and running attack ads on TV, both of which cost money.
Comcast is running a business to make money.

Like most businesses, the customer comes second.

I found out this weekend that Spectrum raised their price on my 15 / 2 (slow cable internet) from $47.00 to $76.00 :(.

Now that the acquisition of Time Warner has been complete for a year, Spectrum is gouging it's customers in order to make back the money that they spent on the acquisition.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2014
3,947
5,145
But according to the video, not only did Comcast have no desire to improve their service in the region. But when cities started their own municipal broadband projects, Comcast worked to undermine those projects through lobbying federal government and running attack ads on TV, both of which cost money.
Like most businesses, the customer comes second.
Yup, regardless of how the customer feels about the situation, Comcast is going to do what is best for Comcast. Sometimes what is best for Comcast is what is best for its customers, and sometimes it is not.

You can say the same for many other businesses, but Comcast is just so easy to hate.

Look at Apple for instance. They knew there was a design flaw with their keyboard on the MBP, but instead of acknowledging and addressing the problem, they chose to add condoms to new models of the keyboards. They tell the public that the condoms are for sound deadening purposes, but internally, the new condoms were to try to keep dust out of the flawed-designed keyboards.

If you want to get political, Apple has been a champion of the LGB community and committed to equality for all people.......Well, if you are in the US.

Apple's Gay Pride Apple Watch face is one of many ways of Apple showing its support....Unless you happen to be living in Russia, then no Pride Apple Watch face for you, as the OS is hardcoded to prevent that watch face from showing up if pair to an iPhone with a Russian local. I guess this example isn't that bad when you consider Apple's continuous dealings with nations that have a death penalty for homosexuality.

Apple cares about the equality for all, just as long as you live in the right spots. Actually if you think about it, what Comcast does can be easily explained as it comes down to business, but what Apple does is very hypocritical.

There are a lot of examples you can list for Apple that many people just chose to ignore. Comcast is just an easy target. Yes, they do a lot of self-serving stuff, but it is a business in the end.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Plutonius

Bug-Creator

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2011
552
2,131
Germany
Unless you happen to be living in Russia, then no Pride Apple Watch face for you, as the OS is hardcoded to prevent that watch face from showing up if pair to an iPhone with a Russian local.
Apple conforms to local laws they may not like but they do it in a way that minimizes impact outside of Russia.
Wouldn't even surprise me if doing it this way was helping ordinary Russian see how insecure their government is over such issues.

What Comcast seems to be doing is either exploiting the incompetence of politicians or more likely downright corruption.

Add the smear campaigns the profiling and so on ..... closer to way the Mafia does business then just looking out for it stakeholders.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2014
3,947
5,145
Apple conforms to local laws they may not like but they do it in a way that minimizes impact outside of Russia.
Wouldn't even surprise me if doing it this way was helping ordinary Russian see how insecure their government is over such issues.

What Comcast seems to be doing is either exploiting the incompetence of politicians or more likely downright corruption.

Add the smear campaigns the profiling and so on ..... closer to way the Mafia does business then just looking out for it stakeholders.
I guess that is one way to spin it.

Apple could choose ideals over profits, and not do business in Russia, and even more so, places that consider homosexuality a crime that is punishable by death.

They wouldn't have to be quiet about it either, but make it known why.

But, just like Comcast, $$$ comes first.
 

VictorTango777

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 28, 2017
409
445
Not only did Comcast have no desire to improve their service in underserved regions, they also did not want anyone else to be able to step in and help improve the situation. And instead of letting the cities handle their own business, the federal government took the lobbying money from Comcast+other monopoly ISPs to help them make things difficult for municipal broadband projects. This would seem to go against the idea of less federal regulation. And under the current FCC chairman, this government intervention to serve monopoly ISPs continues. So the federal government (FCC) was and still is complicit.
 

pshufd

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2013
1,305
881
New Hampshire
Comcast is running a business to make money.

Like most businesses, the customer comes second.

I found out this weekend that Spectrum raised their price on my 15 / 2 (slow cable internet) from $47.00 to $76.00 :(.

Now that the acquisition of Time Warner has been complete for a year, Spectrum is gouging it's customers in order to make back the money that they spent on the acquisition.
I have Comcast and have spent probably 15 hours arguing with their customer retention team over the years and it's saved me $2,400 over the years. It's not a large amount but the dollars per hour are decent. These companies exploit the lack of competition, consumer apathy and the fact that you need their service in the modern age.
 
  • Like
Reactions: vertical smile

vertical smile

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2014
3,947
5,145
Not only did Comcast have no desire to improve their service in underserved regions, they also did not want anyone else to be able to step in and help improve the situation. And instead of letting the cities handle their own business, the federal government took the lobbying money from Comcast+other monopoly ISPs to help them make things difficult for municipal broadband projects. This would seem to go against the idea of less federal regulation.
Interesting, but it kind of reminds me of:

Apple is fighting Right to Repair initiatives in California by telling lawmakers that consumers could hurt themselves attempting to repair their own devices, reports Motherboard.
Over the course of the last few weeks, an Apple representative and a lobbyist for ComTIA, a trade organization representing major tech companies, have been meeting with legislators in California with the aim of killing right to repair legislation that would make it easier for customers to repair their own electronics.
Apple has continually lobbied against right to repair legislation across multiple states. Such legislation would require companies like Apple to provide repair parts, tools, and make repair information available to the public.
It seems that Apple has no desire to improve their service in underserved regions, they also did not want anyone else to be able to step in and help improve the situation. Apple has lobbied and spend $ to actively prevent the right to repair under the clearly ridiculous guise of customer safety.

BTW, I am not defending Comcast or their doings. Look at my old posts on this forum about Comcast. I just think that a lot of hate gets directed at Comcast when they are doing very similar things that other companies, such as Apple, are doing.

And under the current FCC chairman, this government intervention to serve monopoly ISPs continues.
I think they have more of an oligopoly.

Also, the issues with the big ISPs have been going on long before Ajit Pai headed the FCC in 2012. To put the blame of the ISPs' continued oligopolies on the current leadership of the FCC is a little disingenuous.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2014
3,947
5,145
I have Comcast and have spent probably 15 hours arguing with their customer retention team over the years and it's saved me $2,400 over the years. It's not a large amount but the dollars per hour are decent. These companies exploit the lack of competition, consumer apathy and the fact that you need their service in the modern age.
This is true.

I have hope that 5G fix wireless access will help reduce the traditional ISPs' hold on the consumer. But, that is still a while away, and I am sure that it will not be everywhere.

I personally noticed a huge change in price, customer service, and overall quality of their product when my area had a second ISP move in. Comcast had their hold on the area for a few decades, and Verizon FiOS moved in, slowly, about a 10 years ago.

I now switch between Comcast and FiOS about every 6-12 months, always with a contract-free plan, and switching guarantees me the "new customer" rate.

I am now paying a lot less towards my ISP bills than I did 10 years earlier. Comcast's customer service has improved a lot, and when I use Comcast, I have a lot less outages than I did before. Also, when FiOS first moved into the area, their customer service was worst than Comcast, but I have noticed that over the past few years, their customer service has improved as well.

Oh yea, while Comcast never enforced their data cap in my area before, they have recently completely removed the data cap. So, another win for the consumer.

This is the way it should be for everyone in the US, but it isn't.

Unlike the video above would let you believe, this is a complex issue and the solution to the problem isn't going to happen over night. They put blame on ISPs and the FCC, but not on the people that let it happen in the first place.

I would like to see some government intervention, as the oligopolies are not working toward a solution. There needs to be more than a FCC type involvement, as an issue like this cannot be fixed by the FCC.
 

Tech198

macrumors G5
Mar 21, 2011
13,976
1,643
Australia, Perth

Who is to blame for this issue:
Comcast?
The federal government for not representing the people? How did that guy get the job of FCC director?
To make for this a bit, Australia is not any better... FTTN roll out. so ya, internet sux, but its not limited to U.S that's for sure. I would blame governments, and regulations.

Here at least: ACCC in addition to. any governments responsible not just for providing it, but "going through with it" even its its inadequate..

You don't provide slow internet if you want to HELP the country. and any others just go along with what you say. You make it better.. if not now, then overtime.
 

Herdfan

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2011
267
3,842
It would be different if the US was a smaller country, but it is so big, with so many people living is (relatively) remote areas.

If I buy property in an area that is underdeveloped and isolated, should I be entitled to unregulated (or even regulated) utilities just because I want to live in a remote region?

IDK, but it is something to think about.
Yes, much easier to have blazing fast speeds in a dense urban jungle than it is out here in the boonies. But as noted, I choose to live out here, but also realize I have it better than most out here.

When we moved into my current neighborhood, I was one of the earliest DirecTV customers because cable was all the way here yet. I survived. Then we got cable in 95-96 maybe, and I subbed the basic package because back then satellite was super expensive to have on more than 1-2 TV's. And basic it was, about 50 channels and no internet.

So for HSI, I initially used 1-way satellite and then 2-way and it was fine for surfing and email, but that is about all. Then after Adephia bought out Wilderness Cable (actual name of my cableco) they rebuilt the entire system with fiber to the hub and then in 2004 they lit up the internet. And it was fast, for the time at 2M when DSL struggled to get to 500K.

Over time it has improved to the point that I don't even sub to the fastest package as 100M is fast enough. But I was willing to deal with not having the fastest internet as a trade-off for not having to deal with urban sprawl and congestion.

Sometimes people make choices and don't need the government to fix it.
 

LizKat

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2004
5,345
29,978
Catskill Mountains
Sometimes people make choices and don't need the government to fix it.
But sometimes people who ARE "the government" make choices so "the government" doesn't have to fix something. This is particularly true in the era of Republicans wanting to demonstrate fiscal prudence.

For instance, the FCC to this day is still embroiled in discussions about how slow a connection constitutes "broadband" and even argued awhile back that the 4/1.5 tier standard was satisified by delivery of, are you ready, 3Mbs. That was when they weren't sure they'd have enough money to "finish wiring" the USA by doling out dollars to phone companies to at least upgrade their DSL capabilities.

Then as it turns out not enough phone companies even picked up the contracts, figuring it wasn't worth their while. Interest faded along with hopes of the underserved. I think the FCC's "broadband" designation minimum hovers around 25Mbps now. It remains a meaningless notion anyway in the absence of determination to finish wiring the country. Most underserved areas that have some kind of wired connection option are still working off DSL rated at 6 to 12Mbs download, often enduring 3Mbs delivery if they're fairly far from the CO, yet the plans still bear alluring nicknames like "Broadband Max".

So urban residents would ROFL even while complaining about their high speed connections being throttled if they understood that their country cousins were enjoying net service routine delivered at really low rates. 12Mbs rated plans often turn out to be just about enough to deliver streaming of a movie at low-quality density to a single computer in a household, basically. Whoop de do. Tell your wife and kids to hold up on those FB or email check-ins, and to keep a lid on the searches for homework solutions until the movie's over...