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View Diary: Bundle or Nothing: Big Telecoms ENDING Universal Phone Service (306 comments)

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  •  Alas, some areas don't have coax (17+ / 0-)

    There's no cable in many rural areas (including the one where I live). Our choices are: dial-up over old, noisy copper; satellite, or for the lucky among us DSL.

    DSL hit our neighborhood with an upgrade last year. The only reason for the upgrade: it was required by the public service board when Fairpoint bought Verizon's VT lines.

    If you live in a city or in the downtown of a fairly well-populated town, there's a chance you might have cable, but more likely it's satellite or dial-up.

    Where we last lived, we managed to get cable by running a ditch from our house down to the road off which our road ran, laying in some PVC pipe for the cable run through (with a rope pre-placed in it with which to pull the cable), then burying the whole thing. THEN the cable company was willing to install. And the only reason we even had that option was because a wealthy person who lived on the street in question lived further up the street than we did, and paid some insane amount of money to the cable company to get them to run it to their house.

    •  Ah, don't get me started... (4+ / 0-)

      ...on Comcast's crappy coax.

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 08:57:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Same out here (10+ / 0-)

      No DSL, no cable.  The only options are satellite or Verizon 3g.  Verizon throttles back 3g usage after maybe 10 minutes of online usage, sometimes it stays throttled back for days if you look at pr0n (according to my neighbor, I wouldn't know!).  But if you put in a service call, Verizon will turn on the 3g for you for one week, during which it will work flawlessly without shutdowns.  After that week they shut you down again.  Of course they've got a 10GB cap which you hit real quick with a few software updates and normal usage.  I run an eBay store so I'm always hitting the ridiculous cap.

      In sense, I'm sort of glad that's how it is out here.  This area is full of teabaggers, and they don't deserve good internet service, since it's impossible without government involvement.  Michigan was going to install broadband for everyone but the teabaggers shot that down real quick, so fuck 'em.  Let them use dial up or take it over a barrel from Verizon.  That's consolation to me for the bad ISP service.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 09:00:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In our rural area (Idaho) the best option is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      radical simplicity, ozsea1

      packet radio, mostly pre-WiMax. Faster than DSL over copper most of the time but bogs down at night when traffic gets heavy.  Still not adequate for streaming video.  It is subject to outages in bad weather; I think the nodes are mainly on cell towers.  There are several providers.

      Where are we, now that we need us most?

      by Frank Knarf on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 11:20:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  that's what we have a government for, ideally (16+ / 0-)

      building infrastructure that isn't immediately profitable, but serves the public good, and opens up potential opportunities down the road.

      letting corporations build your infrastructure is a huge mistake, IMO.

      •  If the road system in this country (7+ / 0-)

        was run and paid for like the phone/internet system, we'd have to pay for so many miles per month and every time we turned left or right.  We could pay a premium for "unlimited" miles, or we could pay a lower fee for a fixed number of miles per month. Then we'd have to pay extra for every mile after.  And any portion of a mile, even one foot out the door, will cost you the whole price of a mile.

        The system is messed up.  Where is Steve Wozniak?  I read his memoir, and I believe he could figure out an elegant and sensible solution that would benefit people/users.  I think he is being kept under wraps somewhere.  I would like to see him solving this problem.  He could be a folk-hero.

        •  I grew up on a road that had been built (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ozsea1

          ... in the 1600s as a toll road. It was the only north-south connector between two main east-west thoroughfares. I never found out what the good Captain had charged for the road's use, but since it's construction at the time cost the equivalent of 1 million dollars (in 1980 dollars, when I did my report on the road's history), I imagine it was a pretty penny.

          For many, many decades, people trying to get to Boston from, say, Lowell had two options, pay the toll to slog through a mile of muddy field, or spend an extra full day on the road.

          •  my understanding is (0+ / 0-)

            that toll roads failed historically because it was too easy for people to use them without paying.  That is exactly my point--if they had the technology we have now perhaps more (most) roads would be like that now.  Why did the country for the most part go with publicly funded roads?  I think it is because businesses (and government) saw an advantage for themselves in having decent roads, so they supported public sponsorship.  If business and government could see an advantage to having publicly funded internet, open to all, we could have that too.  

            •  I think people also got sick of being ripped off (0+ / 0-)

              There were some anecdotal but not well-documented stories of the Captain charging more or less depending on whether or not he liked you, and whether or not you were a local, and how bad the weather was (it cost more if you were desperate not to get soaked), etc.

              It wouldn't surprise me if there was a lot of that going on back in the early days.

    •  satan doesn't like those "public service boards" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1, radical simplicity

      and is lobbying hard to get rid of such oversight

      AT&T and Verizon also want to end state authority to resolve customer complaints, saying the market will punish bad behavior.
      So do not worry at all. I am sure if they get their way things will be much better. Free market you know.

      Link is informative about these issues and what people are likeliest to be hurt by end of universal landline service

      When cancelling my att phone today the guy I talked to was well aware of these issues and used the same arguments as noted in article about why they were entirely reasonable.

      I got rid of line because I finally got the obi110 I'd been reading about and contemplating for months, set it up, tried it out. Easy and works great. 40 something spent once and free calls forever instead of 40 something every month to att. Computer doesn't need to be on... and 100s of good reviews made it seemed worth a try.
      But the timing was good because I'd been reading about the issue so my reason for cancel wasn't just "I'm cheap" but "I am cheap and your politics suck" (paraphrasing)
      Just sounds classier

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