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Feb 04, 2013

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Hartzman

No different than what happens locally in Greensboro.

polifrog

I'm struck by the lack of the term "monopoly" despite all but defining it:

All of this would be a lot less galling if I could simply cancel my service and sign on with a competitor. But the lobbying arm of Time Warner has been so effective in North Carolina that you have no competitors, and your industry even managed to persuade my state legislature to make it illegal for cities like mine to provide their own broadband service.

but the term monopoly absent.

Why?

Because, first of all, there is no monopoly in the traditional sense.

And, second, the "monopoly" being alluded to here is a market defined by a plethora of private sector choices (one of which is singled out) but lacking a government funded counterbalance as exemplified by the writer's complaint, "[it's] illegal for cities like mine to provide their own broadband service."

And that's the false assumption, the need for a government funded counterbalance to a healthy market.

scharrison

So, the term monopoly was not present, so you had to introduce it yourself so you could then argue it wasn't relevant.

Dorothy and Toto have a new companion.

justcorbly

What "plethora of private sector choices"? My broadband choices are T-W, rebranded T-W, or zip. By collective government fiat, T-W has broadband service to itself in these parts. I'm no more free to choose another provider than I am to ditch Duke as an electricity provider.

Are you arguing that T-W's current market position is a result of free market competition? (As in, perhaps, free to buy legislators?)


David Hoggard

You beat me to that, scharrison.

Lex

What TWC actually has is a "franchise," which both legally and practically is different from a monopoly, although it shares some of the same negative characteristics.

Stephen

I live in Greensboro and do not use Time Warner for broadband internet or TV. It's hard for me to understand why people keep throwing out the word monopoly.

polifrog

scharrison and Dave, I use the term monopoly to bring to light that a "monopoly" is being alluded to. Like I said:

the "monopoly" being alluded to here is a market defined by a plethora of private sector choices (one of which is singled out) but lacking a government funded counterbalance as exemplified by the writer's complaint, "[it's] illegal for cities like mine to provide their own broadband service."

What I note is that it appears liberals believe the private sector is a monolithic block against which only government can offer "competition". It useful to be reminded that there is a point at which terms begin to be redefined through allusion after which actual redefining is demanded, marriage for example. And it seems that the term monopoly is being redefined to mean government not offering a service already provided by the private sector.

An example of the the new monopoly would be TW, Hughs Network, 4g, Verizon, AT&T, DSL, Centurylink, 3g, Roadrunner, cable, U-Verse, etc. all offering their services in the absence of a government funded alternative.

Roch

"An example of the the new monopoly would be TW, Hughs Network, 4g, Verizon, AT&T, DSL, Centurylink, 3g, Roadrunner, cable, U-Verse, etc. all offering their services in the absence of a government funded alternative." -- To stupid to use his real neam

DSL, 4g and 3g all offering their services? Thank you for demonstrating the depth of your knowledge on the subject. I'm sure that crazy liberal David Wharton will shut up now and issue the proper apology to Time Warner.

David Wharton

Poli, if I had meant "monopoly," I would have said "monopoly." No allusion intended.

The other companies you mention either don't offer service in our area or don't offer sufficient mbps for our needs. (FYI, Roadrunner IS Time Warner, TWC is the only cable provider in Greensboro, U-Verse IS AT&T.)

The 2005 bill that took cable franchises out of NC cities' hands was supposed to increase competition and improve service (it says it right in the bill!). And yet their customer service still stinks.

polifrog

David Wharton:

The 2005 bill that took cable franchises out of NC cities' hands was supposed to increase competition and improve service (it says it right in the bill!). And yet their customer service still stinks.

2005?

You mean this bill enacted half way through 2011 when Perdue declined to veto or sign?

'All of 7 months later (pounds table) and still no competition with TW!!! Oh, and U-verse...' (while still ignoring 4g, Verizon, Sprint, 3g, AT@T)

I believe your complaint isn't so much about limited broadband choices as it is about limited choices through the cable "pipe".

David Wharton

No poli, I mean this bill. Check out section 17.

Do you really not know that 3g, 4g refer to cellular phone protocols/speeds and not service providers? And that U-Verse is a service offered by AT&T?

As I said, we need (and pay for) 50 mbps; none of those other services come close. Comcast actually offers up to 150 mbps. But not in Greensboro.

polifrog

@David:

...even managed to persuade my state legislature to make it illegal for cities like mine to provide their own broadband service.

How does the 2005 bill you reference accomplish the above?

And if the 2005 bill does what you claim why is it that this group was attempting to "protect municipal broadband" in 2011?

And if you do not have enough bandwidth, what is stopping you from having another cable run to your house, or cable and DSL, or do as I do, share wifi with a neighbor, his on cable, mine on DSL and my wife 3ging it on her phone?

Believe it or not, there are solutions that do not require government action or outright government ownership.

polifrog

If you need more bandwidth, David, why not pay for it?

bubba

We've had similar discussions about municipal broadband before. What's changed from the previous situation that ensures our localities would not repeat the fiascoes created by the majority of other municipalities who tried to establish local broadband, including several in NC alone?

bubba

"Believe it or not, there are solutions that do not require government action or outright government ownership."

Oh no, why do that, when we can manipulate our way into public funding for municipal broadband, in much the same way as was done for the Swimming Pool and the Greenway, and as is now attempted with the PAC?

David Wharton

Poli, the 2005 bill I linked is not related to the sentence fragment you quoted. I mentioned the 2005 bill in the general context of market competition that you raised, to point out that market competition in the cable industry has been here for a long time, yet TWC's customer service still sucks.

As my letter made eminently clear, my technical problem with TWC is not with its bandwidth, it's with reliability, so your suggestions are quite pointless.

Thanks for your aphorism about conservative principles, but I've been reading National Review since 1982, subscribe to the WSJ, and occasionally contribute to the Weekly Standard. I think I'm up to speed on that stuff.

Roch

"And if you do not have enough bandwidth, what is stopping you from having another cable run to your house," -- L'idiot

Yeah, David, because if the service stinks what you need is twice as much of it.

polifrog

Okay, it's not bandwidth even though you say

As I said, we need (and pay for) 50 mbps; none of those other services come close.

It's with reliability:

As my letter made eminently clear, my technical problem with TWC is not with its bandwidth, it's with reliability, so your suggestions are quite pointless.

With the bandwidth issue off the table, how is having bandwidth available from two (DSL, Cable) or more providers not going to raise reliability? In your case you may even have 4g available during those times you have cable issues.

Why saddle everyone else with the cost of using government to possibly solve you peculiar issues?

Take your hand out of my pocket and solve the problem yourself you Rovian, gentry GOP, WSJ reading, National Review thumbing RINO.

Andrew Brod

Yeah, that Rove is a commie.

polifrog

Thanks, Andrew.

That should have concluded '... Rovian RINO.'

polifrog

...because, you know, Rove is a Keynesian attacking fiscal conservatives.

Frank

Why is this moron taken seriously in reply? He's sh-t all over the thread.

polifrog

@All:

This should make the moochers like Dave happy, and lead the big gov. types like Ed closer to heaven on Earth.

David Wharton
...solve the problem yourself ...
That's what I'm trying to do by writing to the president of the company and shaming the company in public.
.. you [sic] peculiar issues ...
No, not peculiar.
...Rovian, gentry GOP, WSJ reading, National Review thumbing RINO.
So's your old man.

I'm conservative enough to believe in the principle of subsidiarity, and don't think the State of NC should take away the power of cities to regulate their own rights-of-way or to experiment with different kinds of public services. It's particularly un-conservative when it does these things in collusion with business interests, as Adam Smith observed. I'm perfectly happy to use the threat of municipal broadband as a stick with which to beat Time Warner into better customer service, because the city is far more responsive to my needs and interests than is Time Warner. I have the mayor's phone number.

Ed Cone

Spoke today to a partner in a creative local business that has grown nicely over the past several years. Great small GSO company. Biggest complaint about downtown? Lack of good broadband.

polifrog

That's well reasoned, Dave, and I'd be inclined to side with you but for the fact that ours is no longer a nation that shunts governmental power to the smallest political unit; indeed our nation is not even content with federalism.

And in fact, "solutions" are more often than not pursued at the federal level with no regard for the benefits lost in forgoing the local route.

At this point it has unfortunately become difficult to trust any political unit with any stick with which to beat any opponent as it invariably becomes a source public/private collusion when the stick invariably becomes selective.

It's better to steer clear of the government solution even when the government seems as pocketed as a an individual's phone number.

===


The old man is closer to a libertarian than I.

hartzman

bundled "packages" of intertwined services sucks.

sean

someone needs to unclog the tubes running through frog's cranium. just.... wow.

JimC

Is there a 4G network operator offering unlimited data? You can quickly run through a 2-4GB/mo limit. From what I've read, 4G services in the US will not approach 50MB/s soon. However, wireless options are probably the best alternative to cable/DSL. I'm talking small-cell cellular networks attached to buildings, powerlines, or other existing poles/high spots.The reason is that the network will not depend on a physical connection to your home. However, it may be more susceptible to time-varying interference effects (truck getting close to the antenna). Any data network has significant infrastructure costs, thus they do not change quickly.

TWC's policies are in direct proportion to the competitive threats they have in local markets. I'll bet cable operators are more responsive in areas with fiber-to-the-home competition (technically speaking, for total available bandwidth, fiber >> cable > DSL). I wonder the responses the people of KC get from their cable operators?

DW - you need to quit complaining. You always have the option of calling Verizon and having them run a dedicated fiber line to your office, giving you GigaBit connection speeds.

The biggest threat to TWC is people ditching the CATV model for a-la-carte type pricing, or services like Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu. Of course, TWC is a provider of the bandwidth people use to access those services...

polifrog
DW - you need to quit complaining. You always have the option of calling Verizon and having them run a dedicated fiber line to your office, giving you GigaBit connection speeds.

FiOS in Greensboro? Yes.

Need more info?

David Wharton

Wish it were available in my zip, but it's not (27405). But I don't need to quit complaining.

polifrog

Wish it were in my zip too.

JimC

PF - that is the problem with your comment - FiOS is NOT available to many people in this area, and Verizon is not rolling out FiOS to new areas. U-Verse could be an alternative, but both those aren't available at my home, and I'd wager probably not at Wharton's either.

DW, you can keep complaining. I was being sarcastic, pointing out that you can always pay to get reliable service - just a question of how much. Dedicated fiber lines (NOT FiOS) are VERY expensive, and usually limited to very bandwidth sensitive businesses (need to transmit multi-GB/s rates).

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