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The US Broadband Thread of "I can't believe these effers" (Page 7)
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Cap'n Tightpants
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Jul 8, 2015, 11:42 AM
 
That's a good precedent, and likely the only way they'll learn. Plus it's nice the money is going to a person, and not just some secret gov't slush fund.
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 8, 2015, 03:37 PM
 
Schroedinger's Verizon – Verizon: Let us install fiber—or we’ll shut off your phone service | Ars Technica
But Verizon still insisted that it could no longer offer him phone service over the copper line. If he refused a fiber installation, his phone line would be cut off and his account closed on July 3, Verizon told him.
They don't want to roll-out fiber and they don't want you to stay on copper.

Just give them money and they'll go away, I guess.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 10, 2015, 02:48 PM
 
An Ars staffer signs up for Comcast Internet—how hard could it be? | Ars Technica
After trying and failing to find an "activation department" option in my first call (one in which the automatic system hung up on me), I made a second call to a tech-support rep who firmly and repeatedly told me why I had speed issues: my cable modem was not compatible with Comcast's higher speeds. Even worse, she said, the modem in question was never activated on Comcast's end. My account didn't really exist, and my connection shouldn't be working.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Jul 12, 2015, 01:39 PM
 
That's nothing compared to what others have dealt with, Comcast CS is a ****ing nightmare.
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 13, 2015, 09:20 AM
 
I'm always a big fan of "You shouldn't even have service!" customer support.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 24, 2015, 04:10 PM
 
     
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Jul 28, 2015, 11:33 AM
 
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Jul 28, 2015, 12:07 PM
 
"AT&T said the FCC does not have the authority to require it to allow customers to evade early termination fees or stop using the term 'unlimited' or to bear the 'scarlet letter' of having to inform its customers that it violated the transparency rule, which it called a violation of the First Amendment."

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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 28, 2015, 12:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
"AT&T said the FCC does not have the authority to require it to allow customers to evade early termination fees or stop using the term 'unlimited' or to bear the 'scarlet letter' of having to inform its customers that it violated the transparency rule, which it called a violation of the First Amendment."

     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 30, 2015, 03:07 PM
 
FCC has already gotten 2,000 “net neutrality” complaints | Ars Technica
The Federal Communications Commission received about 2,000 net neutrality complaints from consumers over a one-month period, according to a National Journal article today. The overarching theme of the complaints is that customers are fed up with their Internet service providers, often due to slow speeds, high prices, and data caps. In a sampling of 60 complaints, the most frequent targets were AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon.

There doesn't seem to be any smoking-gun proof of violations of the core net neutrality rules that prohibit Internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic or prioritizing services in exchange for payment. But the FCC's reclassification of broadband providers as common carriers allows customers to complain that general business practices are “unjust” or “unreasonable," making it a judgment call as to whether many of the early complaints are really violations.
Doesn't seem like a whole lot, but I imagine proactive people are the exception, and you'd have to know about Title II applying to ISPs, too.

Complaints can be filed on the FCC's website. The FCC forwards the complaints to ISPs, and they are required to respond to the commission and the customer within 30 days.

Even if the customer can't prove a net neutrality violation, the complaint process itself can help customers pressure their Internet providers. Customers we interviewed for a previous story complained about allegedly unfair billing practices and got price breaks from Comcast and Time Warner Cable as a result. While the FCC already accepted complaints about other topics, the addition of net neutrality complaints seems to have inspired many of the new filings.
Yeah, so this has given me the inspiration to file a complaint. My speeds have degraded over the years and service seems at the mercy of the weather sometimes. Maybe NN will help me directly after all.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 30, 2015, 03:20 PM
 
Question: I noticed last night my upload speed exceeded my advertised plan. It's also the highest it's ever been. Is that out of the ordinary? I'm supposed to be capped around 768k (And have been for like, 10 years), but I noticed last night the last few speed tests I was hitting in excess of 930 kbps. That's a pretty significant bump, right? Coincidentally, the next tier is 1 Mbps.
     
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Jul 30, 2015, 04:05 PM
 
Sounds like you're on a 6M / 768K DSL plan. Overprovisioning has been standard for some time in the cable world, where they set a line speed higher than advertised. So you'll get the advertised speed, even if you're a little further away than they think you are.

DSL seems to be adopting overprovisioning finally, possibly because so many people are bailing out to faster options. Overprovisioning is typically in the 10% - 20% range, while your figure is 21%. They're probably trying to reduce customer losses.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 30, 2015, 04:10 PM
 
I was on a 7 Mbps up / 768 kbps up plan years ago, (up from 3 / 768) and I was getting 6.5 Mbps. It slowly degraded over time and now I get around 4.5 Mbps. I checked verizon's website and at some time they switched it so the middle tier became 3.1 – 7 Mbps (768 up) and added a new tier 7.1 to 14 (1 Mbps up). As you can imagine, the last tier is not available to me. (I'm also amused at how difficult Verizon makes it to see what speeds are available in your area)
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 30, 2015, 04:25 PM
 
Here's where I get cold feet lodging a complaint. The last thing I need is this:
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I'm always a big fan of "You shouldn't even have service!" customer support.
Only about my 3 Mb+ plan.

And that's the industry in a nutshell. I'm afraid to complain because they might make my service worse when they take a look at what's going on.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 30, 2015, 04:31 PM
 
Verizon's site seems made to hide what plan I'm on. It's says 'enhanced' but that comprises three tiers and it doesn't specify which speed I'm on. Oddly the one I was on last seems to be missing.
     
Laminar
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Jul 31, 2015, 11:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
And that's the industry in a nutshell. I'm afraid to complain because they might make my service worse when they take a look at what's going on.
I bought my own cable modem to replace the ISP-provided unit that required resetting every other day. When I called to complain that they were still charging me $2/month for "wireless internet", they wouldn't remove the charge from my bill, but all of a sudden I was getting 150Mb speeds (I'm paying for 50Mb) and for some reason it's been almost three years and I'm still getting the introductory 2-year price special, about half normal price. At this point, no matter what happens I will not call the ISP for any reason. I don't need them looking into my account and realizing what they've done.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 31, 2015, 11:24 AM
 
Yes, exactly. I think I'm going to bite the bullet. If they screw me I guess I'll see how bad having cable with a cap is.
     
reader50
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Jul 31, 2015, 01:00 PM
 
Laminar, I think you just won the page.

Finally, someone getting a fair deal from a cable company. I knew there had to be at least one.
     
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Aug 3, 2015, 10:39 AM
 
Well, I was having issues connecting to Netflix etc, constantly resetting the router... and called Verizon... the first time they told me I needed a better router for $100, I said never mind, thinking we'd maybe get our own... Then I called again and a more helpful rep said here, let me send you this new router!

So I call that a win. Not as good as Laminar, but a win.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 4, 2015, 01:55 PM
 
Where broadband is a utility, 100Mbps costs just $40 a month | Ars Technica
While SandyNet is blowing past the competition, it was started in 2001 because private companies weren’t serving the city, which is less than 30 miles from Portland.

“We couldn't get a DSL line at City Hall and this was back in 2001,” Knapp explained in the Institute for Self-Reliance Video. “We literally called the phone company and said, ‘We want broadband,’ and they said, ‘Sorry, we don't have it.’”

The cable company at the time also wasn’t providing broadband, Knapp said.

“The mindset was, if that's what they're telling the city government, what are they telling our residents, and what are we going to do about this problem?” Knapp said.
SandyNet competes against Wave, a cable company, and Frontier, a DSL provider. Before the fiber upgrade, SandyNet’s market share was about 30 percent of homes in the city, Knapp said. That number has already risen dramatically and it expected to hit more than half of the city’s 3,700 households once the project is able to hook up everyone on the waiting list, which should happen by October at the latest. SandyNet also sells Internet service to local businesses.
     
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Aug 13, 2015, 07:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
I bought my own cable modem to replace the ISP-provided unit that required resetting every other day. When I called to complain that they were still charging me $2/month for "wireless internet", they wouldn't remove the charge from my bill, but all of a sudden I was getting 150Mb speeds (I'm paying for 50Mb) and for some reason it's been almost three years and I'm still getting the introductory 2-year price special, about half normal price. At this point, no matter what happens I will not call the ISP for any reason. I don't need them looking into my account and realizing what they've done.
That story is so freaking awesome.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 14, 2015, 02:05 PM
 
     
Jawbone54
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Aug 14, 2015, 03:32 PM
 
No crap, Comcast.

At least the guy was kinda/sorta honest about it. I wonder if he's been reprimanded.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 14, 2015, 03:39 PM
 
He'll be staying off twitter for a while, I imagine
     
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Aug 14, 2015, 08:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
At least the guy was kinda/sorta honest about it. I wonder if he's been reprimanded.
My thought exactly. The honest voice will be quickly punished.
     
reader50
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Aug 18, 2015, 05:38 PM
 
I've been thinking about the Comcast data caps. Including all the user complaints that it over-measures. Like slowly ticking upwards even when the line is disconnected.

Around here, anything sold to the public by measure, must be certified for accuracy. ie - the scales in the grocery store have cert stickers from Weights & Measures. So do gas pumps. The stickers are good from 1-10 years, after which the device must be rechecked for accuracy again.

I don't live in a Comcast area (yay!), but we must have members who suffer under their boots. Someone affected by Comcast caps "usage trials" should write a complaint to their local Weights & Measures department, complaining there is no valid certification associated with the bandwidth meter.

Weights & Measures is usually a county department, but there might be a related state office as well. The state attorney's office might be interested too - they're supposed to go after rackets and crooked business practices. Like doing business without a license, or selling products or services using uncertified meters.

Cracking down on them county-by-county might be the ideal solution. Comcast would have to open up the source code for the meter, and get certification from *every county* they use it in. The meter would have to be turned off until they passed, and might never be turned back on.
     
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Aug 18, 2015, 05:44 PM
 
Brilliant. I'm doing exactly that.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 28, 2015, 12:27 PM
 
AT&T grudgingly accepts $428 million in annual government funding | Ars Technica
AT&T has struck a deal with the US government to get nearly $428 million per year to bring 10Mbps Internet service to parts of rural America after protesting that it shouldn't have to provide speeds that fast.

The money comes from the Connect America Fund, which draws from surcharges on Americans' phone bills to pay for rural Internet service. AT&T accepted the money even though it argued last year that rural customers don't need Internet service better than the old standard of 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream.
AT&T has had wireline operations in 22 states since it bought BellSouth in 2006. In exchange for getting that merger approved, AT&T promised home Internet service of at least 200kbps (meeting the definition of broadband at the time) to 100 percent of residences by the end of 2007.

AT&T claimed it met the requirement but has let its network fall into disrepair in the years since, leaving millions with slow Internet service or none at all. AT&T promised to expand broadband deployment in exchange for the FCC's recent approval of its purchase of DirecTV, but not in the areas where it will use Connect America funding. The Connect America funding is for "rural service areas where the cost of broadband deployment might otherwise be prohibitive," the FCC said.
Goddammit.
     
reader50
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Aug 28, 2015, 03:22 PM
 
10 Mbps is "speeds that fast"? I'd call it a slow speed.

Remember, AT&T cares. they care a lot if your payment is late.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Sep 1, 2015, 03:36 PM
 
New Comcast innovation: A $30 charge to eliminate your data cap | Ars Technica
But customers in Fort Lauderdale, the Keys, and Miami, Florida, can now purchase unlimited data for an extra $30 per month. Paying this additional $30 eliminates the 300GB monthly cap, but customers have to pay the extra amount each month even if they use less than 300GB.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Sep 1, 2015, 03:51 PM
 
Trying to milk it for all they can before caps are outlawed.
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Sep 2, 2015, 07:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
10 Mbps is "speeds that fast"? I'd call it a slow speed.

Remember, AT&T cares. they care a lot if your payment is late.
I dropped back down to 10/1 for a year (when transitioning ISPs, for... reasons), and it is actually OK. Streaming HD video is no fun, and it takes much more of a toll on your experience if something is downloading in the background, but it is OK to use. If all you can get today is modem speeds, it is a great improvement.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Sep 2, 2015, 11:23 AM
 
It's all relative, until recently some people around here were still using ISDN (128-256k), and were charged through the nose for it. Going to just 6 mb/s (for only $60 /month) was like warp speed.
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Sep 2, 2015, 11:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Streaming HD video is no fun,
Huh? I stream HD with half that.
     
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Sep 2, 2015, 12:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
10 Mbps is "speeds that fast"? I'd call it a slow speed.

Remember, AT&T cares. they care a lot if your payment is late.
Honestly, at the moment, I'd pay it. I'm currently paying $20 per month to Suddenlink in order to bump my data cap from 350 GB to 450 GB. I'm paying freaking $20 for an extra 100 GB. What Comcast is offering would actually be a good deal for me.

Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
Trying to milk it for all they can before caps are outlawed.
Is this really a possibility?
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Sep 2, 2015, 01:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
Is this really a possibility?
It's not just a possibility, it's an eventuality. People are starting to understand that data caps are a nuisance charge based on a myth (that data is somehow a limited commodity, like water or electricity). I don't mind utilities charging more if there is scarcity involved, but the fact is that while bandwidth costs them more to facilitate (Ex. going from 10Mb /sec to 100Mb), volume of data (Ex. whether you use 10GB /mo or 1TB /mo) doesn't. Fat pipes are expensive to install, but once that infrastructure is in place, the cost differences associated with data usage are trivial.
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Sep 3, 2015, 12:47 PM
 
Verizon union seeks government investigation into network deterioration | Ars Technica
The $200 million amounts to $28.6 million a year, or about $3.50 per line per year for "poles, cables, wires, pedestals, terminals, batteries, and other plant and equipment needed to build, maintain, repair, and service its copper network," the union said. With copper landline customers paying $300 to $370 a year for basic voice service and about $400 a year for DSL Internet, "Verizon spends less than one percent of the rate it charges for basic voice service and less than half a percent of the rate it charges for a voice/DSL bundled service on the upkeep of its copper network," the union said.
The union told Pennsylvania officials that Verizon technicians and customer service employees can confirm that the telco "is not providing safe, adequate, and reasonable telephone service." The requested state investigation should analyze network revenue and expenditures; the condition of the copper infrastructure; staffing levels for preventive maintenance, repair, installation; customer service; and policies and procedures that impact the quality of phone and Internet service, the union said.
This is where I remind everyone I'm in PA.


The union isn't the only one criticizing Verizon's network priorities. Consumer advocacy groups last year asked the Federal Communications Commission to investigate complaints that Verizon is letting copper landlines deteriorate. The FCC subsequently said it would do so, and it has been considering how best to protect customers as copper networks age.
     
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Sep 3, 2015, 01:53 PM
 
Couple that with the pictures of the cabling leading into your place that you posted last year.

You've got it rough, Dakar.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Sep 3, 2015, 01:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
Couple that with the pictures of the cabling leading into your place that you posted last year.

You've got it rough, Dakar.
That was a home issue and I did have the landlord fix it. I now have Cat5 cable going from the phone box directly to the living room. Assuming the guy was competent, that kink has now been resolved.

Edit: I tried to check the noise level on the line now, but I can't open the modem admin page and I can't be bothered to reset and reset-up the damn thing.
     
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Sep 3, 2015, 02:02 PM
 
IIUC, because copper falls under telco laws, you can use Verizon copper with any provider you want.

They want copper to die, because they can lock themselves in as a provider with cable or fibre.

I've heard rumors if you get cable or fibre, Verizon will just cut your copper connection.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Sep 3, 2015, 02:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
IIUC, because copper falls under telco laws, you can use Verizon copper with any provider you want.

They want copper to die, because they can lock themselves in as a provider with cable or fibre.

I've heard rumors if you get cable or fibre, Verizon will just cut your copper connection.
That's interesting. I'm not sure the FCC would be ok with Verizon claiming a phone line monopoly because they installed the fiber.

As always, I still think its in the best interest of everyone for the government to wire everyone's homes and lease out that last mile connection.
     
subego
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Sep 3, 2015, 02:16 PM
 
I think that's the trick.

They can't monopolize the copper, but if you receive non copper phone service, they can take their copper ball and go home.

Nobody's monopolizing it because it doesn't exist anymore.


I could be wrong, though.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Sep 3, 2015, 02:22 PM
 
I'm sure it's a legal grey area. Actually maybe not: It's not telephone service – it's VOIP – an internet based service.

Evil ****ers, I don't think anyone has picked up on this angle.
     
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Sep 3, 2015, 02:32 PM
 
Verizon accused of tearing out copper telephone lines to force FiOS and wireless on customers | ExtremeTech

"Because copper service is regulated in a way that voice-over IP services aren’t. By shoving people off copper and locking them into fiber deployments when it’s the only fiber carrier in town, Verizon avoids its regulatory requirement to provide service to all citizens."
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Sep 4, 2015, 02:07 PM
 
I have a dumb question – who built the copper landlines?
     
subego
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Sep 4, 2015, 02:41 PM
 
I think it's mostly AT&T with some Verizon, which is why AT&T is DSL or die.

Probably die.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Sep 4, 2015, 02:46 PM
 
I think you know where I'm leading with this – so how does anyone have access to lines they didn't build?
     
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Sep 4, 2015, 02:54 PM
 
Regulation.

Even with regulation, they use all their might to skate around it.

I don't know if Leo still hawks cheap DSL on his radio show, but he did when I used to listen, and like clockwork he'd get people who signed up for the DSL, but couldn't get AT&T to flip the proper switches at the DSLAM.
     
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Sep 4, 2015, 02:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I have a dumb question – who built the copper landlines?
Universal telephone service (especially in rural areas) was heavily subsidized by taxpayers. Continued today via the Universal Service Fund. Telephone companies were granted franchises (local monopolies) in exchange for "carrier of last resort" terms - a requirement to serve anyone who wanted service.

So we paid directly to wire up most locations, and gave monopolies for decades to indirectly pay for most of the rest. The phone companies did build the copper networks. But the public paid for most of it.
     
 
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