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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > The US Broadband Thread of "I can't believe these effers"

The US Broadband Thread of "I can't believe these effers" (Page 9)
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Jawbone54
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Feb 1, 2016, 02:39 PM
 
Ah, more good news in this thread. Nice.

Can anyone here explain to me why your speeds gradually increased of the course of several days instead of immediately hopping back to 6.75?
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Feb 1, 2016, 02:57 PM
 
Network management, I believe. same reason it degraded slowly. The system gives small bumps as it sees you can handle more. Theoretically I might get even closer to 7.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Feb 13, 2016, 12:57 PM
 


"I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a
nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin,
but by the content of their character." - M.L.King Jr
     
reader50
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Feb 13, 2016, 01:28 PM
 
They left out:

[x] Annual price hikes
[x] Reliable bandwidth caps
[x] Exciting customer service fails
[x] Random name changes
[x] Generous below-the-line charges
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Feb 13, 2016, 01:40 PM
 
I think you're missing the real laugher - all their points are about cable, not internet.
     
subego
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Feb 13, 2016, 01:48 PM
 
I'm trying to come up with an analogy for how twisted the "fastest wifi" pitch is.

"Buy this house... it has the warmest oven!"
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Feb 13, 2016, 01:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm trying to come up with an analogy for how twisted the "fastest wifi" pitch is.

"Buy this house... it has the warmest oven!"
"Buy this house... it has the best water pressure!*"




(*only in the shower, actual flow rates do not apply)
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reader50
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Mar 29, 2016, 10:26 PM
 
AT&T is going to enforce data caps now. AT&T caps used to be rarely enforced, and were 150 GB for DSL, 250 for Uverse, and no cap for Gigapower fiber.

The caps have been bumped a little. But they're also going to apply to Gigapower fiber now. The new caps:

DSL service: 150 GB (no change)
Uverse to 6 Mb: 300 GB
Uverse 12-75 Mb: 600 GB
Uverse 100+ Mb: 1 TB (including Gigapower)

Should you use your Gigapower fiber connection fully, you will burn through your 1 TB cap in 2 hours, 13 minutes.

Also, the caps only apply to Internet-only service. All customers who bundle TV get unlimited bandwidth at no extra charge.

For an extra $30 per month fee, you can get your unlimited internet back. If you don't cough up, it's an extra $10 for every 50 GB you use, capped at $100 per month in surcharges.

How generous. So the $30 per month is basically a TV fee for those who don't subscribe to TV. If you cut the cord and watch Netflix, Hulu, etc ... you can pay AT&T's TV charges either by the GB, or a flat fee each month.

It will be much easier if you just comply and bundle the TV service in the first place.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Mar 29, 2016, 10:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Also, the caps only apply to Internet-only service. All customers who bundle TV get unlimited bandwidth at no extra charge.
Yeah, this has become a thing. I think it's more about appearances then anything else. Otherwise shareholders might panic at how quick the tv numbers might be dropping.
     
subego
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Mar 30, 2016, 12:02 PM
 
The whole point behind a cap is to lock you into their dying TV model. If you still buy into the TV model, they don't care about how much bandwidth you use because it costs them virtually nothing.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 14, 2016, 10:52 AM
 
Court of Appeals denied petition to review NN. Title II stands.
     
reader50
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Jun 24, 2016, 08:06 PM
 
During a Senate hearing, Comcast / TWC / Charter admitted to millions of dollars of customer overbilling. Those little (or not so little) errors on your bill, for equipment you returned. Or a service you turned off. Or a TV service fee, when you don't have TV service.

Under Senate pressure, all three agreed to proactive corrections. ie - you don't have to call and ask, they'll go auditing for the errors. So don't be surprised if you get some credits on your next few bills.
     
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Sep 19, 2016, 10:16 PM
 
FCC Republicans refused to give Congress net neutrality documents | Ars Technica
The two Republican members of the Federal Communications Commission have refused to give Congress documents needed to complete an investigation into the FCC's net neutrality rulemaking process, according to a lawmaker.

Despite Cummings' concerns, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform investigation was started mostly to investigate the Democratic members of the FCC. It began in February 2015, led by Republican lawmakers who opposed the FCC's decision to reclassify ISPs as common carriers and impose net neutrality rules.

The Republican lawmakers claimed that President Obama had "an improper influence" over the FCC's decision and demanded documentation of all communication between FCC personnel and the White House, as well as calendar appointments, visitor logs, and meeting minutes related to meetings with the White House, plus all internal documents discussing the views and recommendations of the White House. They also asked for all documents and e-mails related to views of FCC personnel about the net neutrality proceeding.

But when it came to providing documents requested by Congress, Wheeler and other Democrats obliged. "Although Democratic Members of the Commission have cooperated fully with our request, neither of you has produced a single responsive document to date, and even more concerning, your staff informed the Oversight Committee that you had not even begun to collect them," Cummings wrote to Pai and O'Rielly.

But Pai and O'Rielly stonewalled the requests in the months that followed, Cummings wrote. In May 2015, the FCC's Office of General Counsel told lawmakers that Pai's senior staff would not permit the General Counsel office to collect any documents "that are in his custody or in the custody of his staff."
Commissioner O'Rielly's Chief of Staff informed our staff that although his office did conduct a preliminary search for documents with the letters "NN" (for "net neutrality"), they discontinued this search when it resulted in a large number of documents because a member of his staff has those initials. Commissioner O'Rielly's Chief of Staff conceded that they did not use any other search terms, such as "net neutrality" or "open Internet," to identify documents responsive to the Committee's request.
Whoops
     
Jawbone54
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Sep 19, 2016, 11:22 PM
 
I've noticed that towards the end of every single month, my Internet has started going out for days at a time. I reset my modem/router, and it works for about 30 more minutes before shutting down from an average of 173 MB down to less than 1 MB down. I suspected that we were being throttled, as my two kids watch Netflix all day, and my wife goes to sleep with Netflix playing each night. We also don't pay for TV, so all of our entertainment is coming in via the web.

I reached out to Suddenlink on Twitter several months ago to ask them if they throttle high-volume customers. Their response: "No, we do not throttle customers."

Fast forward to last week. We had a similar problem at the end of August / beginning of September. I DMed them and asked, "Do your terms of service state that Suddenlink does not throttle Internet users? I'm paying for unlimited data and have been monitoring our average speeds over the past few months in correlation with our Internet usage, and it's throwing up some red flags."

Suddenlink:

"Our residential terms state: Customer agrees that actual Internet speeds that are experienced at any time will vary based on a number of factors, including the capabilities of Customer's computer equipment, Internet congestion, the performance of network servers and routers, the technical properties of websites visited, environmental factors, the content and applications accessed, the condition of any lines between those two points, and any network management tools and techniques employed by Suddenlink."
And that is why the Internet must be overseen as a utility.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Sep 20, 2016, 12:21 AM
 
Oh man I posted in the wrong thread. Whoops, indeed.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Sep 20, 2016, 03:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
And that is why the Internet must be overseen as a utility.
Unless there's real competition, to keep ISPs honest, regulation is necessary. There's a de facto monopoly situation in 70% of the USA, and companies like AT&T are taking advantage.
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Jawbone54
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Sep 20, 2016, 02:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
Unless there's real competition, to keep ISPs honest, regulation is necessary. There's a de facto monopoly situation in 70% of the USA, and companies like AT&T are taking advantage.
No doubt.

What's weird is that here, AT&T (U-verse) is the competition. This region is split by the Red River, similarly to St. Paul and Minneapolis. The west side (Shreveport) is ruled by Comcast. The east side (Bossier) is ruled by Suddenlink. That's it. AT&T's U-verse service is the only alternative, and it's terrible.

I don't understand how these regional monopolies are allowed to exist. It feels an awful lot like collusion.

https://consumerist.com/2014/03/07/h...e-in-map-form/
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Sep 20, 2016, 02:46 PM
 
Because duopolies aren't any better
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Sep 25, 2016, 07:09 PM
 
ISP explains data caps to FCC: Using the Internet is like eating Oreos | Ars Technica
Imagine you are out for a walk and experience a sudden, irresistible craving for Oreo® cookies. You only want to spend two dollars, which means that you will be able to buy a two-pack or maybe even a four-pack but for sure you cannot get the family size of over 40 cookies. For that many, you have to spend more. Of course, it would be nice if your two dollars bought you the right to eat an unlimited number of cookies, but you know that is not the way our economy works.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Sep 26, 2016, 01:00 AM
 
As if data throughput is a limited commodity. Lying bastards. Yes, there is cost associated with bandwidth, ie. the "fatness of the pipe" but not the volume you consume as a whole. They rely on the ignorance of politicians to not realize the difference. Using their own stupid analogy: Want 100 Oreos at once? That'll cost you. Want a stream of 10 Oreos indefinitely? No problem.
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Sep 26, 2016, 03:48 AM
 
What makes this even better is that there is a cost associated with the data for the ISP. They have to pay upstream for data, so you can get a figure. This figure means that the price they charge has a markup of several thousand percent - a price they can charge only because they have a monopoly position. If that is not abuse of market power, and don't know what is.
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 26, 2016, 12:09 PM
 
It all comes down to regional monopolies (or duopolies), as mentioned before. If the FTC would do their damned jobs and bust these up, competition would drive the prices down, but as it stands the Devil's deals the states have made with various telcos have, FAIAP, made virtually all new last mile connections impossible.
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Oct 4, 2016, 07:06 PM
 
Verizon workers can now be fired if they fix copper phone lines | Ars Technica
Verizon has told its field technicians in Pennsylvania that they can be fired if they try to fix broken copper phone lines. Instead, employees must try to replace copper lines with a device that connects to Verizon Wireless’s cell phone network.

The wireless home phone service, VoiceLink, is not a proper replacement for copper phone lines because it doesn’t work with security alarms, fax machines, medical devices such as pacemakers that require telephone monitoring, and other services, the union said.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Oct 12, 2016, 11:28 AM
 
     
Jawbone54
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Oct 13, 2016, 11:46 AM
 
Worst industry ever.

$2,300,000 doesn't seem nearly enough.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Oct 13, 2016, 11:52 AM
 
They should be fined $1 for every dollar they took inappropriately in addition to having to pay every dollar back to the wronged customers.
     
reader50
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Oct 13, 2016, 12:48 PM
 
The consent decree has a curious omission. (Redress terms on pages 8-10.) There's no requirement for Comcast to proactively go back, find false charges, and refund customers. For the next 5 years, customers can report false charges and Comcast must investigate. But most customers won't bother.

When normal people commit theft, they have to pay it back + a fine. Comcast gets away with a fine, and keeps most of the ill-gotten gains.

I've been a fan of the FCC lately, since Wheeler has been in charge. But this is a misfire.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Oct 13, 2016, 01:14 PM
 
It's because government doesn't have the backbone to enforce this stuff. Look at the states that are settling with Verizon over their failure to connect everyone.
     
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Oct 13, 2016, 05:10 PM
 
They punished them to the fullest extent, it's the legislation's fault for not being up to date with penalties.
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Oct 13, 2016, 05:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
It's because government doesn't have the backbone to enforce this stuff. Look at the states that are settling with Verizon over their failure to connect everyone.
Those same state's are worried that if they come down on the ISPs, campaign contributions will start going to the candidates that protect the ISPs.

I am actually for regulating the internet market. What we have now is essentially a government enabled monopoly that isn't beholden to competition OR regulation. You need one or the other to keep the companies honest. The fine schedule must exceed not only the profit, but the revenue of ill-gotten proceeds.

In this case Comcast should be paying to audit every single bill ever issued, issuing restitution to those wronged, and paying a fine equal to amount stolen from customers. It's government sanctioned fraud, and worse - it's profitable.
     
Jawbone54
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Oct 18, 2016, 02:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
I am actually for regulating the internet market...
I completely agree, but...

What we have now is essentially a government enabled monopoly that isn't beholden to competition OR regulation.
...do we trust the same government to regulate anything? I'm not sure there's a great solution to this that involves the government getting MORE involved, but I'm also certain full capitalism isn't going to end the collusion and anti-competitive practices that have created this mess.

In this case Comcast should be paying to audit every single bill ever issued, issuing restitution to those wronged, and paying a fine equal to amount stolen from customers. It's government sanctioned fraud, and worse - it's profitable.
Yep. Absolutely nauseating.
     
Laminar
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Oct 18, 2016, 03:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
...do we trust the same government to regulate anything?
The FCC has been kind of kicking ass lately, though, right?
     
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Oct 18, 2016, 03:12 PM
 
It's worth noting that some of these monopolies are from municipalities that have exclusivity agreements in order to lure providers in.
     
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Oct 18, 2016, 05:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
I completely agree, but...

...do we trust the same government to regulate anything? I'm not sure there's a great solution to this that involves the government getting MORE involved, but I'm also certain full capitalism isn't going to end the collusion and anti-competitive practices that have created this mess.
Right now you guys have the worst of two worlds, an unregulated monopoly. There is no competition which could help keep the prices down, and no oversight which would either encourage competition or force monopolies to be consumer-friendly.
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Oct 18, 2016, 06:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
The FCC has been kind of kicking ass lately, though, right?
They're trying, at the very least.

FTC says it may be unable to regulate Comcast, Google, and Verizon | Ars Technica
So is the FTC, but they're getting blocked by the courts. Right now Verizon, Comcast and such are totally having their cake and eating it too.
     
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Oct 19, 2016, 02:39 PM
 
Comcast customers sue over fees that push price above advertised rate | Ars Technica
any customers who question Comcast about the bogus charges, Comcast staff and agents explicitly lie by stating that the Broadcast TV Fee and the Regional Sports Fee are government-related fees or taxes over which Comcast has no control.
You'd think falsely claiming you're collecting government taxes would be a big deal.

T-Mobile punished by FCC for hidden limits on unlimited data | Ars Technica
Heh, somehow t-mobile of all people gets nailed.
     
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Oct 23, 2016, 04:31 PM
 
My internet is now intermittent thanks to Friday's rain. Guess whatever fix they did a few years ago finally wore out. Pieces of shit.
     
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Oct 26, 2016, 11:55 AM
 
Comcast sues Nashville to halt rules that help Google Fiber | Ars Technica

I don't understand how a city doesn't own it's own utility poles. Also I can't understand how anything gets done if companies constantly have to rely on each other to get anything done on said poles.
     
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Nov 2, 2016, 07:38 PM
 
     
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Nov 2, 2016, 09:21 PM
 
It's a weird story. Sports programmers are the biggest single license cost for cable - the leagues have kept demanding huge increases, which get passed on to subscribers. And the sports networks resist unbundling - all subscribers have to pay the $10-15 per month for sports channels, whether they watch sports or not.

ESPN is the worst, they signed huge exclusive contracts and are estimated to cost $8 a month on everyone's cable bill. ESPN has resisted being moved to a "Sports" package - they want to be in the basic lineup of everyone. This story is about the Dodgers (baseball) network, which costs less than ESPN but only covers Dodgers-related content.

This time DirecTV wasn't willing to cave and pay. They called the other cables networks in town, advised them of what SportsNet LA was demanding. All the ISPs avoided being ambushed with price hikes and refusals to be unbundled. Since no one signed the jacked-up contracts, SportsNet LA was blacked out most of the time.

For once, the ISPs were trying to limit subscriber costs. How odd - I hope they're feeling OK.

So now the government is suing ... the ISPs for collusion to limit prices that get passed on to subscribers. In sports programming, which has experienced runaway prices for the past decade-plus. No word of any collusion charges against the sports networks, who all demand the same thing on each contract renewal (double-digit increases and no unbundling).
     
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Nov 4, 2016, 03:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
ESPN is the worst, they signed huge exclusive contracts and are estimated to cost $8 a month on everyone's cable bill. ESPN has resisted being moved to a "Sports" package - they want to be in the basic lineup of everyone. This story is about the Dodgers (baseball) network, which costs less than ESPN but only covers Dodgers-related content.
One of the main reasons why I'm a cord cutter. I can count on one hand the number of times I've watched ESPN in the last decade. So why should I be paying for this again?

OAW
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Feb 2, 2017, 07:05 PM
 
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/...n-speed-tests/
Schneiderman accused TWC of providing customers with older-generation cable modems that couldn’t produce the speeds customers paid for. This was a problem in the FCC’s testing, so in the summer of 2013, TWC assured the FCC that it would replace the deficient modems for all of its subscribers and would start by replacing the modems of those subscribers involved in the FCC panel. Based on this assurance, the FCC excluded poor results from its annual report.
Obviously they could have delivered the speeds if it hadn't been for all the overregulation from the FCC.
     
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May 24, 2019, 01:14 PM
 
Some good news. The first 60 Starlink satellites have launched. This is really happening - competition for all rural locations, and most urban locations. If the regular ISPs won't compete on price, they can fade from the market.

These 60 sats are listed as test sats (they lack inter-sat comm links) but are believed to be complete otherwise. I expect they could be used as part of the final network. Two more launches (minimum) are expected this year. ~400 satellites are the minimum before service can be offered, with capacity and coverage going up dramatically with more sats.

So, next year before they let anyone sign up. Still, if your ISP won't negotiate on price this year, you can tell them you'll be gone next year. They budge or you walk. Finally, some leverage on our side.
     
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May 24, 2019, 01:38 PM
 
If I put “next year” through Google translate (Musk to English), I get “three years”.
     
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May 27, 2019, 10:24 AM
 
Based in Redmond, Washington - suspiciously close to a certain large software manufacturer. The megarich founder of that company famously funded low altitude satellites for internet communication ever since the late nineties. I wonder if this comes off of that?

Anyway: The issue with satellites is the same as it always was: latency. Surfing the web isn't going to be enjoyable with that kind of latency. It could be very useful if you also had mobile phone networking - or just plain old DSL - for low-latency communications and then used satellites for high bandwidth uses (like streaming video on demand) but used on its own, I doubt it will compare to cable or DSL for regular usage.
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May 27, 2019, 11:19 AM
 
SpaceX claims typical latencies of 25-35ms, comparable to cable. Made possible by the satellites being only a few hundred km up. A smaller number will be at 1,150 km, presumably for inter-sat relay for areas far from a ground station. Still much faster then geosynchronous sats.
     
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May 28, 2019, 12:58 PM
 
I have seen the latency claims, and they claim to be great over long distances (over the Atlantic or longer) because they can use lasers in vacuum. The current batch of satellites aren’t equipped with those lasers yet, though.

But what makes my bullshit alarm go off is that they’re talking about theoretical values for sat transfers, and comparing to actual values from installed fiber-optic systems. You will always add latency in every switching operation, there is no way around that. Add in that there is an extension to DOCSIS (cable ISP protocol) that drops latency to the 1ms range, and I think that they will still have latency issues.

This makes me wonder how they will make money. If their system is worse than cable in every respect and they can’t make money from financial transfers needing better latency, they will only ever make money from people who can’t get cable. As DSL providers know, that is not a great position to be in.
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.
     
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May 28, 2019, 01:46 PM
 
It depends a great deal on their prices, whether they have caps, what upload speed they offer, etc. DSL is failing in the US because it's slow today, and because much of it is unreliable. Frontier and Verizon in particular, are letting their copper networks rot. Frontier is broke from too many acquisitions, and Verizon prefers to invest in more-profitable cellular service.

Even if Starlink latency if 50+ms, that's still within reason. If they're price-competitive, they'll sell. Likewise if they offer symmetrical upload speeds. Cable talks about Full Duplex, but no hardware is ready. And it will likely require extensive plant upgrades.

Extensive areas of the US have no cable, and few cities have fiber. Most Americans can choose between 0 or 1 broadband providers. Can't seem to find the chart today, but it's pathetic. I think it's less than 30% who can choose between 2 or more broadband providers.

Where cable is the only choice, we suffer from runaway prices. Cable is making up for lost TV subscribers. In many cases, you can remove the bandwidth caps on your service - if you add the TV package. The caps are there to hobble streaming competition.
     
Chongo
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May 28, 2019, 02:24 PM
 
CenturyLink strung fiber in my neighborhood and most of Arizona in 2017. I pay $80 for unlimited 1Gb service.
     
Jawbone54
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May 28, 2019, 03:13 PM
 
We have exactly two options:

$30 DSL - 6 Mbps down
$90 - 450 down, 50 up (no data cap)

I opted for the latter, but for some reason my modems get fried after 12-24 months. I don't buy the cable companies modems, BTW. Not sure what's happening. The modem usually loses connection whenever I upload a few photos.
     
 
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