back to article Trump backs push for bumpkin broadband with presidential orders

President Donald Trump has signed two executive orders aimed at pushing broadband internet into more remote parts of the US, capping a multi-year effort to get America online. But the effectiveness of those actions and the speed and quality of the internet access that will result is in doubt. The first executive order is …

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Is it just my perception, or is the photo of Trump parodying Alex Baldwin?

Not particularly germane to the subject but isn't a bit of humo(ur) always appreciated?

http://www.syracuse.com/celebrity-news/index.ssf/2017/12/alec_baldwin_may_turn_trump_impersonation_into_broadway_show.html

Somewhat more germane, I live in range of three cell towers (rural Vermont) and appear to have enough signal strength. But frequently there is not enough cell tower capacity to handle all the demand. These towers are shared by the major broadband operators in this area (Verizon, ATT, ???) and advertise LTE(4G). When the tourists come (leaf-peeping/snow-playing) the bandwidth contention is fierce.

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Simplest and most likely

The simplest and most likely outcome is the FCC along with the rest of the bureaucrats will set the goals as equal to the status quo, declare victory, and leave the pitch.

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Clever Plan

1) Define "broadband" in terms of "what average people in this area subscribe to". "If all they want" is 56Kbps up, 9000 up, then so be it.

2) Use the death of Net Neutrality to institute "Fast Lanes", So one can, for enough money (if you have to ask, you can't afford it", get "up to" 50Mbps down, 10 up (YMMV, and will probably be lower, just not as low as the schlub next door who can only afford $50/month for his standard line)

3) Profit! (for the monopoly-awarded cable company, plus some backhanders)

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Attention US Broadband Customers. Amazon is having a huge sale on Vaseline and K-Y Jelly. Better stock up before the FCC and Friends act again.

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Nothing will happen.

Since it isn't classed as a title 2 service anymore, there is no impetus for service to rural areas.

It was only having the plain old telephone service labeled as title 2 that got phone service into rural US in the first place.

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I still laugh once in a while when I hear "Home of the brave, land of the free" when in reality US citizens freedom's have been eroded continuously since 9/11 and even their services are going backwards thanks to the paid for politicians.

Unfortunately users on sites like Imgur like to b*tch, whinge and whine but like regular sheeple, that's ALL they do, so it serves them right for not actively doing something to help themselves.

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Why don’t we disband the FCC, and create a new entity call the BCCC?

(Big Cable Communications Commission)

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Somebody...

Needs to pay the bill for all of this. Whoever this is will need to build things to make it work. You have several technologies that vie for this, cable, wireless, DSL, etc. When we use the broadband internet, for whatever price whatever company provides the service must not do it at a loss (or it won't last long). All of this costs $$$ (or whatever your local currency is today), and the money comes from two sources, a government, or individuals. Take your pick. For the most part government money comes with a spaghetti mess of "strings attached" that some politician (or group of them) has put in place to accommodate someone. Private money wants to be paid for, so I pay for my DSL.

Do you get what you pay for? I really don't know, but I do get DSL for a few bucks a month, and it seems to work OK. Yes, I wish it were cheaper, but life goes on. (*SIGH*).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Somebody...

With most companies prisoners of quarterly results to ensure their execs stock options and big shareholders shares pay off, you can't really expect them to provide long-term investments for strategical and critical infrastructures - they will spend money in buy-backs, instead.

It's inevitable a government has to step in and drive the construction of such infrastructures - but a big tax cut for richer people doesn't exactly looks the way to provide the required funds. It doesn't also need to enter into direct competition - even a government funded infrastructure can be just leased to other commercial operators, and let them compete against each other to sell connectivity to end-users in an open market. That's being made in some European countries.

US risks an increasing divide - not only digital - between bigger and richer cities, and the less densely populated and poorer areas - and it looks to be run by increasingly short-sighted leaders, both in the private and public sector.

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Gimp

Down in Arkasas they'll call it "Sweetmouth Broadband"

Because when you see the prices they'll charge you'll be squealing like a pig*

*Poorest state in the Union with a huge number of pigs and pig farmers. State U football team is called "The Hogs."

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Re: Down in Arkasas they'll call it "Sweetmouth Broadband"

I live 1000 miles away from *Arkansas*, and even I know that the team is called the Razorbacks. And Arkansas ranks 24th in pig production.

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Facepalm

Republicans voted against financing municipal broadband

Are these the same people that proposed a bill to prevent federal, state, or local funds financing municipal broadband.

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Coat

Re: Republicans voted against financing municipal broadband

And just wait until they start raising the chocolate ration.

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Unhappy

We just got AT&T fiber!

I had a conversation with an AT&T rep earlier this week - they are installing fiber in our area and will upgrade us from our cable internet (70/10mbs for $100/month) to fiber ... sounded great until they told me the spec and price .... (10/10mbs for $400/month with a 2 year contract)

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.

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Re: We just got AT&T fiber!

$400/month for 10/10 !!!! Daylight Robbery especially the $400 bit. They really are taking the piss.

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Re: We just got AT&T fiber!

Those numbers seem high.

This site (https://www.inmyarea.com/internet/70810/providers) has a menu that says full fiber 1000mbps is $80 from AT&T with a one year commitment. That is just internet with no extras though.

Maybe your rep is smoking crack.

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Re: We just got AT&T fiber!

I'd actually consider paying that much for that tier provided:

99.999% uptime SLA, with a full month's credit for breaching it. (this is the main thing; i.e. the service can be down for ~26 seconds in a given month)

10/10 dedicated throughput.

No datacaps/other restrictions on hosting/resale.

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Re: We just got AT&T fiber!

AT&T Consumer Fiber will only show me the first month's base price if I try to sign up. I have to agree to pay all additional taxes and fees but can not be told what they are. I can not be told what the monthly bill will be, how much static IP addresses will cost, how much equipment rental will cost, which of the many blocked ports can be opened and how much unblocking costs.

An actual bill of $400 a month sounds credible given my past experience with AT&T. It's about what AT&T Small Business Fiber costs. A telco's "small business" offering is usually the same as the "consumer" offering but with a more honest contract.

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Distance

Kieran,

You seem like you are avoiding the elephant in the room; distance and population densities. I live in Montana and we have the 4th largest area state and only 1million people to fill it (still too many in my opinion). It is tough to recoup cost when at best you will have a few thousand people subscribe to a service that you had to trench in a hundred miles. For the most part we have antenna tower networks built out to cover the population centers and the closely surrounding areas as well as travel corridors so it would make sense to upgrade those antenna to handle more load at faster speeds rather than spend several factors more money to trench. On top of the pure cost difference (although trenched in fiber would of course have much better performance) the bureaucratic obstacles to trenching are much higher than upgrading existing towers. As you said, they are going for the low hanging fruit.

That being said I am also quite skeptical of the current FCC leadership and just how many bones they are throwing to the various business players.

As a cost comparison I am on DSL at 20mpbs down (all I need in a single household) for $45/month. I can go 100-140mpbs for $65 if I need to.

Cable fiber is available but is more bandwidth than I need on their base plan. And they play bundling games and jack prices after introductory periods - which I'm not real fond of.

There is also a company here that was paid by the Feds to pull fiber and provide "rural" broadband access but their customer service is atrocious and the cost isn't better enough to put up with it.

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Re: Distance

You're right of course.

This isn't a black and white issue (what is?) and the issue of getting people in rural areas online is affecting every country for exactly the reasons you outline.

In a lot of countries, the government has decided that a federal/national program paid for by the government is the best solution (and there has been a wide range of stories from success to failure - just ask Australia about its NGN program).

In the US, the pendulum falls, inevitably, toward private companies doing the digging and owning the lines. And that has created an uneasy situation because Big Cable simply hasn't bothered to expand networks to anywhere where it can't make a healthy profit.

The dark side to this - as someone has pointed out above - is that those same companies have gone to enormous lengths to block efforts by others to build out networks where they have failed or refused to do so.

And, as this article points out in some length, the other big problem is that the federal government is effectively doing what Big Cable wants rather than using its power to pressure it to look past short-term profits and look toward long-term national interests.

In short, it is a failing of federal government to do its job properly.

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Anonymous Coward

From the article :

The award would be done through reverse auction, meaning that interested companies will seek to underbid one another in a series of auction rounds to get the rights to specific areas.

Ok, I bid $0 for all of rural USA. Beat That!

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Joke

The Trumperfly Effect

So Trump is cutting science, and is pushing for rural broadband. I predict a lot more cat videos in the near future...

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