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This nation is fucking mad

Some of the crap that's been happening lately along with some of the ideas our venerable leaders have been tossing around are fucking ridiculous. The fact that Google or Verizon would be allowed to shape internet policy in this country should by itself be an indication that something is wrong.

Now we have this shit which is bascially the FCC saying it's ok for ISPs to introduce data caps and overage charges. Oh joy. I really have no idea how much data I transfer in a month but I imagine it to be well into the GBs with streaming TV, movies, music, and games. I don't find it entirely implausible that I would go over Comcast's "crazy high" 250 GB limit every now and then. More than any of this though, it's a thing of principle. When I buy broadband, I want to think of it as I'm buying a particular speed. It's already painfully obvious to me that because of the profit motivation, US broadband companies want to deliver as little service as they can for as much as they can. This, in my opinion, is just opening the door for more profit grabbing. Ars brings up the point, "When the cable companies roll out $5 data-capped Internet access to make it easy for poor families to get online, it's hard to envision much opposition," but it's also hard to imagine a scenario in which they don't make an attempt to limit the service they deliver to a user already paying $45/month for broadband service. They have much greater faith than I do that corporations will not be giant douchebags in order to haul in larger bags of cash.

Then, there's also the scenario Ars presents in the, "We're excellent 'managers'" heading. Consider that my Netflix is carried by Time Warner Cable which also delivers TV. If, as Netflix plans to do, they begin to carry currently airing TV shows on instant watch, is it safe to say that there could be throttling and/or price shenanigans on the part of TWC? I would say in all capitals with many "1"s and "!"s YES!!!11!1

Consider also that there are only two viable companies that deliver broadband service in Cincinnati. Cincinnati Bell and TWC. Cincinnati Bell delivers painfully slow Zoomtown which tops out at 5 Mbps for $35. TWC can deliver something like 15 Mbps for $60 or 7 Mpbs for $50. In my opinion, this isn't even competition because I sure as hell want more than 5 Mbps. Combine that with the fact that the copper in my rented apartment is so old I can't even keep stable connection to Zoomtowns routers. I used to have ZT, you see, and I had a tech come out no less than 3 times to fix the issue. I finally gave up and cancelled and just got TWC. I can't have the internet go out every other week and then have to call a tech. One can only talk to India so many times and power cycle the modem before wanting to murder oneself. This general lack of competition compounds my concern for "managed" services.

An Ars commenter:
"Yah I can see it now. Are you a gamer? Yes? Oh that'll be an extra 5 dollars on top of the standard fee. Do you use Netflix or any other kind of streaming video services? Yes? That'll be another 10 dollars. How about Skype? You can tack on another 7.50."




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August 2011


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