back to article Poor people should get slower internet speeds, American ISPs tell FCC

ISPs should be paid to provide slower internet speeds to poor people. That's the extraordinary upshot of a meeting between an ISP industry group and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US. In a letter [PDF] recording a meeting between the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) and the legal …

  1. Pax681

    Ahem... someone got it..

    arse over tit

    "As part of its 2015 Broadband Progress Report, the Federal Communications Commission has voted to change the definition of broadband by raising the minimum download speeds needed from 4Mbps to 25Mbps, and the minimum upload speed from 1Mbps to 3Mbps, which effectively triples the number of US households without ...29 Jan 201"

    not 25mb up and 3mb down as stated in TFA

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Someone once said...

      Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

      Perhaps this should be updated to be Lies, damn lies, statistics, and broadband speeds.

      We must all pray that the FCC's shenanigans don't get across the pond.

      1. LeahroyNake Bronze badge

        Re: Someone once said...

        It seems to manage to make the .co.uk news for some reason.

        Anyone fancy an opt out of US news that is of no interest of me as a resident of the UK ?... apart from making me feel better.

        Well it does make me feel better with my 16Mb down 2 up connection for £26 A month from Plusnet .....(Welsh valleys if you are interested / middle of bloody nowhere!) In a civilised place that has a large stock of sheep.

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: make the .co.uk news for some reason

          There is this magic trick: If the link contains the word "American" or "FCC" do not click on it and much of the US news will not appear on your screen.

  2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

    As Joni Mitchell so well observed...

    Some get the gravy

    And some get the gristle

    Some get the marrow bone

    And some get nothing

    Though there's plenty to spare

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As Joni Mitchell so well observed...

      She was appropriated a long time ago,"Joni Mitchell never lies"

  3. JohnFen Silver badge

    Just be honest...

    Just be honest and call it "internet access" rather than "broadband".

    Oh, wait, I forgot. This is Ajit Pai's FCC, and it doesn't do "honesty".

  4. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    Well, if they don't think it's fair...

    ...to put the burden of covering underserved areas on the backs of "unsubsidized ISPs", maybe that could drop their objections to local and regional governments setting up municipal broadband systems.

    Yea-a-a-ah... Didn't think so.

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

      RE: "municipal broadband "

      Everybody up sticks and move to Charlemont, Mass. The people there just voted to reject Comcast's offer to build broadband infrastructure (for a price), and to go for Municipal broadband instead.

      And it won't be the only Municipal broadband in the country, despite the FCC's opposition and the ISP's lobbying.

      Charlemont residents have, apparently, worked for years to get to this result. It can be hard work but it's not impossible, despite idiot libertarians squealing about "It's Communism!"

      Bootnote:

      Pay attention to the fact Comcast promised to allow the town to pay them, Comcast, to install the infrastructure that would then allow them, Comcast, to profit by charging for access to it.

      They also promised to provide access to "Up To 95%" of the towns inhabitants; Please note that "10%" is "Up To 95%".

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

      It's not fair if:

      a) doing the necessary things to EARN BETTER INCOME does _NOT_ get you "better things" (including internet service);

      b) you are CHARGED BASED ON YOUR INCOME for the SAME SERVICES as everyone else gets;

      c) HIGH TAXES "keep you in your place" so that those who do NOT work hard, etc. can have the SAME THINGS that YOU have to EARN;

      etc.

      ISP's could provide CHEAP DIAL UP for people who can't aford broadband. In fact, there are FREE DIALUP services, last I checked.

      But the _LAST THING_ I would _EVAR_ want to see, is a "universal lifeline service" for INTERNET. Because, _I_ would never get it, I'd ALWAYS have to PAY for it, and people who ARE LAZY would RECEIVE IT.

      Unless there is INCENTIVE for people to BETTER THEMSELVES, "the lazy" will ALWAYS use SOCIAL PROGRAMS and "PROGRESSIVE" taxation/fees as *A* *HAMMOCK* !!!!!

      ("get a job hippy")

      1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

        Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

        Not really sure what you're talking about other than the usual libertarian rant, but in case you're talking about municipal broadband, it isn't free, or even subsidized; it generally pays for itself. You still get to pay monthly for it so that should calm your angry libertarian soul. Unfortunately for Comcast et al, municipal broadband tends to be faster, cheaper (because it isn't paying for the ridiculously extravagant corporate lifestyle of a huge company and it's upper echelons), more reliable, and, should there be problems, offers better support. Compete with that, big boys!

        Oh, and this hippy has a job; provided by myself. How very libertarian of me.

        1. ArrZarr Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

          Libertarian =/= Bob.

          Libertarianism simply means that you believe people should be free.

          Bob appears to believe that governmental sadism is defendable.

          On the matter at hand, if the big ISPs can't compete with a government IT project, then they don't deserve to stay in business.

          1. Tom 35 Silver badge

            Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

            No, Bob is what libertarianism turns into. The idea that everyone is free will not stop some from taking all the cookies. Oh and it's your fault if they take your cookies too.

            1. Geoffrey W Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

              Libertarianism is the extremist faction of the republican party, and conservatism in general; The Taliban of the conservatives, if you will. They exist on the left side of the fine line between traditional politics and the militia mentality wherein there be dragons and conspiracies. The anger bleeds across that line by osmosis and fuels them to do such things as vote for Trump and hope for the best; if Trump doesn't turn out well, then never mind, it made a lot of snowflakes angry. It's voting turned into trolling.

              That's a sarcastic troll icon BTW.

        2. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

          Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

          I don't know what kind of libertarian Bob is, but he's not MY kind of libertarian. Not while he's spouting drivel like that.

        3. Alistair Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

          @Geoffrey W.

          Bob's not a libertarian. He's Ayn's #1 fan. Even libertarians get twitchy in that space.

          Sadly, Bob's not likely to be paving the street in front of his house or fixing the sewer line either. Those are jobs for lazy folks.

      2. James 51 Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

        Bob, remember Poe's law, You need a simlely face or too in there (the get a job hippy comment isn't enough). A troll icon, joke alert or I'll get me coat would have done too.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge
          Alert

          Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

          Bob, remember Poe's law

          Sadly, bob is not a parody account.

      3. 's water music Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

        @bOb

        WhAt's the UsE oF My beInG RiCh if YoU arR not pOoR?

      4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

        I'd ALWAYS have to PAY for it, and people who ARE LAZY would RECEIVE IT.

        You sir are an abomination. Did you ever stop to think in your smug world that maybe, just maybe the people without are without not because they are lazy but because people like you refuse to do your Christian duty to help the poor? You are so caught up in your refusal to acknowledge anyone else that you can't see that maybe, just maybe, people like you are part of the problem?

        For once in your life take a good look in a mirror and examine yourself. And not in a "I'm OK Jack" way.

        1. The Specialist
          Coat

          Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

          @CrazyOldCatMan said: "because people like you refuse to do your Christian duty to help the poor"

          Leave the religion out will you? Not everyone has invisible friend(s) but still help people in need nevertheless!

          1. Kiwi

            Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

            @CrazyOldCatMan said: "because people like you refuse to do your Christian duty to help the poor"

            Leave the religion out will you? Not everyone has invisible friend(s) but still help people in need nevertheless!

            Thing is.. I believe that Bob has portrayed himself as Christian, and like a great many on the right-wing side of things, claim to be Christian while railing against the "lazy poor" every chance they get.

            The big problem here, of course, is that Christians are supposed to help the poor every way they can (not necessarily to the "sell everything you have and give the money to the poor" level but certainly

            Many so-called Christians seem to say "The poor are lazy and deserve to be stepped on". The Bible says "True religion is this : Help the widows and orphans in their distress" and talks elsewhere of helping the poor. Even scarier for the RW-lot, the early Christians lived in COMMUNES and SHARED ALL THEIR STUFF with each other. Often converts would sell their land or other property, use the money to help the poor, and live with the rest of the God-bunch in whatever housing the COMMUNE had available.

            Almost like a bunch of pinko-hippy-commies if you ask me!

            (Yes, I follow Christ, and while not living in a commune I do live a lot closer to the early ways)

            1. WaveyDavey

              Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

              @Kiwi, I'm a bloody awful christian, 90% agnostic, but I'll still be putting my name on the local night shelter roster this weekend, cos it's gonna get bloody cold, and rough sleeping when cold is awful.

              Wakefield Baptist Church for the win: they actually *do* stuff.

              1. Kiwi

                Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

                I'm a bloody awful christian, 90% agnostic, but I'll still be putting my name on the local night shelter roster this weekend

                Sad to say it but.. That one act is more than most who claim to be Christians will ever consider doing in Western nations :(

      5. deadlockvictim Silver badge

        Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

        Hi bombastic bob,

        Are you of the opinion that poor people are poor because of their own failings and that the external environment has absolutely nothing to do with their poverty? Would you concede that there are systemic factors that severely hinder poor people escaping their poverty?

        Likewise, do you believe that rich people are rich because of their hard work and endeavour *and nothing else*? How do you feel about the lazy rich? Does a lazy rich person deserve his/her wealth more than a hard-working poor person? It's hard sometimes to understand where Republicans (and I'll assume that you are not a Democrat or Naderite) stand on these matters.

        I'm just curious.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

          Are you of the opinion that poor people are poor because of their own failings and that the external environment has absolutely nothing to do with their poverty?

          The rich and poor alike share the same external environment, thus the differentiator is primarily and heavily disposed to be their own failings. Sorry snowflakes, but in reality you get rewarded for effort and you don't get rewarded for lack of effort. In nature you'd just be dead, so first world "poor" is a pretty cushy place to land for zero effort.

          Would you concede that there are systemic factors that severely hinder poor people escaping their poverty?

          Taxes probably don't help much, but that is why they should be kept low. Other than that, there is no systemic system that penalises their efforts to increase their own wealth. There's also no actual poverty, at least not in the UK. Not real poverty.

          Likewise, do you believe that rich people are rich because of their hard work and endeavour *and nothing else*?

          I'm self made wealthy. When I worked all the hours I worked, did all the extra studying for all the additional qualifications, and when I'm at my desk putting in the effort and putting up with the shit, society was and is nowhere to be found. Who else do you feel is responsible for my success? It wasn't you. It wasn't your mates. And it wasn't "the poor".

          How do you feel about the lazy rich?

          Ambivalent. They cost me nothing. They're financially free, so can be as lazy as they choose. Its a benefit of ebing rich, not just a benefit.

          Does a lazy rich person deserve his/her wealth more than a hard-working poor person?

          Define deserve?

          The lazy rich person owns their wealth. It isn't costing the rest of us a penny. They deserve to own what they own absolutely. Your moral judgements regarding how they waste their time are irrelevant because you're not paying for it.

          Just how much of what I earn do you feel entitled to, and why? If you don't make the effort then you don't get the rewards. It's simple and its fair.

          1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

            Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

            "The rich and poor alike share the same external environment, thus the differentiator is primarily and heavily disposed to be their own failings."

            Wow, what the actual fuck?

            Now I've lived a pretty sheltered life, but even in that slice of people who are (by the standards of the world) wealthy and comfortable there were MASSIVE differences in opportunity. Even just having a parent who only worked part time, so could help with your homework. Or even bother to check that you'd done it.

            Luckily I'm in a country that does university entry entirely on merit. My friends in the UK spent ages getting all their applications in order, preparing for interviews, getting driven around to the different campuses etc. All the people who I know who went to Russel Group universities (that's the UK equivalent of Ivy League, albeit started a thousand years before) had a parent who'd been to one. Same for Ivy Leaguers, but I only know a dozen or so of them.

            So somehow in this merit based environment, only the offspring of previous elites gets to go to elite institutions.

            It's the same for many other factors. If we had anything resembling a meritocracy then society would not look the way it does.

            Of course, this does mean that if you have succeeded then it's not down to you, but more down to your good luck/choice of who your parents are and what country you are raised in.

            Being wealthy allows you to take far greator risks, since the cost of failure is much lower. Hence why certain schemes are in place to ensure only those who don't need anything as crass as a paycheque can enter certain industries. Can you afford to work as an unpaid intern for two years? If not, your not the right sort for us.

            It's the same reason why we pay politicians. For a long time, we didn't. Because only those with sufficient income to support themselves should be making decisions for others.

            But yeah, anyone who argues that we exist in a meritocracy either thinks that we're pretty terrible at doing stuff (hence why our experts are shit) or has very limited experience of the world. At every level of public and private enterprise you can find people who's only skill appears to be getting and holding onto the job. Oh, and taking credit from other people.

            "Just how much of what I earn do you feel entitled to, and why? "

            Oh, that's easy. I don't want the part that you created entirely yourself. Just the parts to cover all the things that you did use. Courts, roads, police, fire, education, that sort of thing. Plus if you don't like paying for those things you can always up sticks to Sudan and run your business from there.

            I'm also even worse than that. I don't just want what you earn, but tax on what you have! Since most of the mega wealthy have managed to avoid taxes on income, then asset taxes are the way to go. Personally I think income taxes are a disincentive to work, since you are rewarded far more for capital gains etc.

            But yeah, we don't live in a meritocracy. Within a certain group, maybe, but a meritocracy of white people isn't a meritocracy :D

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

              Wow, what the actual fuck?

              I presume you meant "Wow, what the actual facts?"

              Even just having a parent who only worked part time, so could help with your homework. Or even bother to check that you'd done it.

              So, you thought your homework was you mommas job? I begin to see that by "society" you actually mean "wet nurse".

              Luckily I'm in a country that does university entry entirely on merit.

              Not really, since everyone gets a gazzillion A*'s now anyway, admission isn't entirely on merit, its mostly on an aptitude test and a willingness to borrow the money to pay the fees.

              All the people who I know who went to Russel Group universities (that's the UK equivalent of Ivy League, albeit started a thousand years before) had a parent who'd been to one.

              And yet I went to one and was the first person to go to any university in the history of my very blue collar family. The world is bigger than your little group of mates.

              So somehow in this merit based environment, only the offspring of previous elites gets to go to elite institutions.

              I've already demonstrated why that isn't true. My dad wasn't even elite in the pub darts league.

              If we had anything resembling a meritocracy then society would not look the way it does.

              Sure it would. My family connections could have set me up with a bar job if I was lucky, and my family wealth might have stretched to a weekend in Ibiza. Off season.

              Of course, this does mean that if you have succeeded then it's not down to you, but more down to your good luck/choice of who your parents are and what country you are raised in.

              And yet it isn't. If it were, then I'd be cutting up pieces of steel for a living and earning about half of what I pay in direct taxes. I know you want to be right about this, but you just aren't. If you're not succeeding, then it IS your fault. It's not your parents to blame here kiddo.

              Being wealthy allows you to take far greator risks, since the cost of failure is much lower.

              Yup, and those greater risks may one day make me rich, but getting wealthy didn't require anything but hard work and willingness to understand how capitalism works, rather than sitting comfortably in my parents house ranting about how unfair life is and how only the rich get ahead. It was bullshit when I was your age and it's still bullshit now.

              ence why certain schemes are in place to ensure only those who don't need anything as crass as a paycheque can enter certain industries.

              Bollocks. Name one. Just one.

              anyone who argues that we exist in a meritocracy either thinks that we're pretty terrible at doing stuff (hence why our experts are shit) or has very limited experience of the world

              And yet I'd wager good money that I have seen more of the world than you and lived in it a longer time. If you're this whiney when you're confronted with reality, god alone knows what you're like in your bedroom at your folks gaff. Do you actually believe any of the nonsense you've written?!

              Your successes and failures in life are your own. If you want more success than failure, then step one is taking ownership.

              I don't want the part that you created entirely yourself. Just the parts to cover all the things that you did use. Courts, roads, police, fire, education, that sort of thing.

              So why then are 'you' taking so much?

              I don't use the courts. I don't use the police. My fuel tax pays for the roads 5 times over. I don't use the fire service. I paid for my own education, thanks.

              I don't mind paying for those things, but those things are a tiny fraction of my taxes. Mostly they're just wasted on welfare, public sector pensions, diversity nonsense, and administration. I've previously provided links where even the public sector think they only get 70p of value per £1 spent - that's 30p of waste that the people spending the money know they're wasting. Likely, in the real world, it's double that.

              I don't just want what you earn, but tax on what you have!

              Good luck. As soon as Corbyn announced he wanted to nationalise 10% of the FTSE, I moved most of my assets abroad. You can tax my house, sure, right along with your own. But much of my money is now permenantly beyond your reach. It's greedy small minded children such as yourself that discourage and render pointless the notion of hard work, personal success, and bettering yourself. Why bother when some whingey child will sinply steal it from you "because parents"?

              Personally I think income taxes are a disincentive to work, since you are rewarded far more for capital gains etc.

              I agree with the first part - income taxes are a disincentive to work - I've dropped nearly half my working week now trying to avoid them. And yet, still I make more from income than capital gains. Though, I'll never pay any CGT due to it not applying to offshore entities holding my assets. And you can look in the mirror for the reason I've done that.

              But yeah, we don't live in a meritocracy. Within a certain group, maybe, but a meritocracy of white people isn't a meritocracy :D

              Oh, so you're a racists then? White skin is not a disability or a birth defect. There's nothing about what I've done that a black person hasn't already done. It's not a race issue. Hell, most of my teams aren't white, many of them aren't men, but all of them, all of them, have taken personal responisbility for themsleves. And that, that is really all that sets them apart from you.

          2. Kiwi

            Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

            The rich and poor alike share the same external environment, thus the differentiator is primarily and heavily disposed to be their own failings. Sorry snowflakes, but in reality you get rewarded for effort and you don't get rewarded for lack of effort. In nature you'd just be dead, so first world "poor" is a pretty cushy place to land for zero effort.

            I shall use a simple but real example.

            Two graduates, same sex, same age, same fitness, same qualifications, marks and experience.

            Both are going to the same places for interviews at roughly the same time. In a day they are going to 4 sites, each 5 miles apart, each interview start time is 2 hours apart (1st is 9am, 2nd 11am, 3rd 1pm, 4th 3pm).

            It is a summer day.

            The richer person is driven to each site in an air-conditioned car. They also have with them changes of clothes and a gym membership that means they'll be able to shower and change at least once during the course of the day. They can spend their time reviewing any material relevant to the interview. They will arrive to each site fresh and happy.

            The poor person has to walk from site to site, or at best use public transport. While they started out clean they will not have time for a shower and do not have the resources for an extra set of clothes. They won't have much review time, and will arrive at each site tired, somewhat stressed, over-heated and less able to focus

            Who will put in the most effort? Who is most likely to be hired?

            Or there's the underwear example. You are poor, you have ONE set of underclothes. At the end of every day you have to wash and dry them so you have something clean for tomorrow. Someone gives you another set, you now have two. You still have to wash what you wear today so you have something for the next day. You also have to cook your own meals, do your own house cleaning and so on, and still be prepared for whatever work opportunity comes along.

            You're rich. You have plenty of clothes (even just 7 sets gives you a once-a-week wash cycle). You have someone else to do your cooking and cleaning. Your time and mental energy can be devoted solely to your job.

            Who has the better opportunity?

            That's without looking at other things like having family who know someone and so on.

            I know this from being orphaned young and having to make my own way while seeing friends get help from their family. I don't begrudge them that, but the effort they've needed to put in just to get to an interview has been far less than mine. And in many cases, their dad has been sitting there with them saying "If you give my son a job, I'll make sure my firm sends you some business" or "We'll up your discount by another 20% for the next 5 years".

            Not even close to a level playing field.

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

              Who will put in the most effort? Who is most likely to be hired?

              Even in your ludicrously conviluted example, the best candidate will get hired.

              4 interviews in just one day is unlikely. Preparing more than 60 minutes in advance is always possible and often desirable. I've never driven or been driven to an interview in my life. I've always used public transport. Always. It simply isn't a barrier to success.

              If that is really all you have, then you have nothing. Well, you seem to have an accountability problem, but other than that, you got nowt.

              You also have to cook your own meals, do your own house cleaning and so on, and still be prepared for whatever work opportunity comes along.

              A neat description of my life as it happens. Wealthy is not rich. If you don't understand the difference, then you're going to need some schooling.

              Rich people never have to work again and can fund their lifestyle from passive income. Wealthy people can fund a lifestyle from passive income, but not their current lifestyle. I make more than minimum wage from my investments, but I have no desire to live a minimum wage lifestyle, and my dividends aren't far enough ahead of minimum wage to run the risk of their never being cut.

              You have someone else to do your cooking and cleaning. Your time and mental energy can be devoted solely to your job.

              No I don;'t and no they aren't. You're making sweeping assumptions based on incorrect emotions. Look at what I wrote.

              I do my own cooking and cleaning (and the wifes ironing as it happens). Most of my post work mental energy is spent on raising my kids. The two hours free time I have a night are spent on hobbies, side projects (which do spin out cash as an after thought), relaxing, fitness, reading, and eating the occasional pizza in front of the TV. Probably the same as most others lives.

              Who has the better opportunity?

              We had the same opportunity (state educated in a crap school), paid for my own education post school, and worked my ass off to get where I am and own what I own. My car is probably older than yours because I funnelled the depreciation I would have had froma newer car into buying shares that pay enough now in dividends that I can buy a decent car using their income.

              That's without looking at other things like having family who know someone and so on.

              My family connections might have stretched far enough to get me a job on the factory floor. That's if I was lucky and my dad called in every favour he was ever owed.

              It's easy for people like you to see others success as undeserved, or inherited, or to imagine that it's come at your own personal expense. But none of that is true. None of it.

              I don't begrudge them that, but the effort they've needed to put in just to get to an interview has been far less than mine.

              I've had to put in no less effort than yourself. I'm not an orphan, but then, I don't work in the factory that employed my dad. I work for a bank, hundreds of miles from the nearest person I knew when I moved here and took the job.

              And in many cases, their dad has been sitting there with them saying "If you give my son a job, I'll make sure my firm sends you some business" or "We'll up your discount by another 20% for the next 5 years". Not even close to a level playing field.

              Imagine that if you prefer it to reality, but that is not reality. Yes, I'm sure it does happen on occasion, but almost everyone I see around me (my office is open plan in one of the big towers) is entirely self made. I know none of their parents, and none of them know mine. We're her on our own personal merit. And the first step to joining us if to take ownership of your own current self made situation. If you want to change, then do so. But pack in blaming me for it if you don't.

              1. Kiwi

                Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

                Reality isn't obviosuly something you're well aquainted with, but a few little facts.

                1) When you're desperate for a job you take every interview you can get. 4 in one day is pretty common. Last time I was on a benefit you had to prove you were applying for 5 jobs per day 5 days per week - that's 25 applications per week. If you turned down even one interview your benefit was cut unless you had a damned good reason, and only a direct scheduling conflict was enough. If you had 1/2 and hour to travel 50km then you could do it, if public transport wasn't available you were expected to find another way.

                2) Not every where has public transport. Not every job is during times that public transport operates. Not every interview meets those schedules. I have interviewed for IT work at 2am. The first test was being able to reach the place at that time of the day. The town I grew up in did not have public transport except to other cities. It still doesn't, except for taxis.

                3) You claim "none of that is true" and yet you're also claiming I don't know your life. You don't know mine, you don't know my name, where I grew up, what sort of school I went to, what education I have. You may've done OK with your life, but reality shows that your case is not common. Where it is not family help, it's luck. I know a lot of people including myself who have worked very hard and most get nowhere. I know a few who've always had it easy, and generally have family wealth to fall back on .

                My example, BTW, came from my own life. I did miss jobs simply because I wasn't as clean and fresh as others who had family provide them with transport while I had to walk or jog to the interview. Nothing 'convoluted' about it, it's reality for a lot of people.

                At least, when the next big crash comes, I'll happily live my life without fear of losing what I have while so many others will be struggling to get by with twice what I have.

                1. LucreLout Silver badge

                  Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

                  Yawn. More fact free nonsense form Kiwi....

                  1) When you're desperate for a job you take every interview you can get. 4 in one day is pretty common.

                  I haven't taken any interview I was offered since I got my first job. Stay marketable. You should know why you're sought after and hireable, and work to keep it so. If you choose not to, then whose fault is that really?

                  Last time I was on a benefit you had to prove you were applying for 5 jobs per day 5 days per week - that's 25 applications per week.</i?

                  You'd really have to piss off your job coach to get that many mandatory applications. What did you do?

                  <i>I have interviewed for IT work at 2am. The first test was being able to reach the place at that time of the day.

                  Why apply for a job you know you can't do? Either you can get to the office for working horus or you can't. Pointless me applying for a job in Arizona, because I can't get there for work.

                  You claim "none of that is true" and yet you're also claiming I don't know your life. You don't know mine, you don't know my name, where I grew up, what sort of school I went to, what education I have.

                  I don't need to know. You made some manifestly untrue claims for which my entire career shown cannot be true. I don't need to knwo anything about you to know that what you say is not true because it could not be possible for me to have lived the life I have lived were what you state in any way true. It isn't.

                  That you think it impossible may indicate a personal failure to achieve on your own part, but that in no way implies it's impossible or even particularly difficult for everyone else.

                  You may've done OK with your life, but reality shows that your case is not common. Where it is not family help, it's luck.

                  Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. The harder I work, the luckier I seem to get.

                  At least, when the next big crash comes, I'll happily live my life without fear of losing what I have while so many others will be struggling to get by with twice what I have.

                  I never live in fear of losing my money or career. It's simply not that important to me realtive tot he things that are - family, friends etc. Something else would turn up; it always does.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

        @bombastic bob - fucking hell -

        Most websites won't load on a dialup (or function correctly). Most of the poor need Internet now to look for jobs/work. It's stopped being a luxury and, in reality, a utility service that is needed.

      7. Captain Obvious

        Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

        Did it ever occur to you that faster broadband speeds AND even JUST broadband access will lift MANY people out of poverty? Plus, how would they access things like government services?

        Obviously, you must be near the lower band of income (LAST THING_ I would _EVAR).

        Worse yet, browsers underline words that are misspelled.

      8. InNY

        Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

        Bob, you are making an assumption that you will always be "safe" and that you will never be "dumped" into the cauldron reserved for those for whom your prejudice know no bounds.

        Be careful, that cauldron is very large and includes folks' who also thought they were "safe".

        1. Kiwi

          Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

          Be careful, that cauldron is very large and includes folks' who also thought they were "safe".

          I knew a US musician many years ago. Great fellow, did well especially in South American countries. Wasn't 'rich' but had a free-hold home and very healthy bank account.

          Liking to do things himself is what literally killed him. He took a fall while painting his house, and messed up his back. His medical insurance wasn't quite as good as he expected, and of course your options for changing aren't great when you're already injured.

          Not too long later he died while living on the street, his home long sold and his welfare not even beginning to cover his medical costs.

          In the US it seems it takes ONE accident to make a huge change to anyone from upper-middle-class and down. If your partner doesn't have the income to support your costs, and your insurance doesn't come to the party.....

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

            "In the US it seems it takes ONE accident to make a huge change to anyone from upper-middle-class and down."

            Thus the applicable advice to anyone with a medical emergency tends to be, "Die soon." With over 350 million others within its borders, the country couldn't really care less. "One dies, get another."

      9. FrozenShamrock

        Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

        Bombastic Bob,

        You're a disgrace to this country and a waste of carbon in general.

      10. Kiwi
        Thumb Down

        Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

        Bob, hope you never have an accident that means you cannot work for a while.

        You'll discover very quickly just how shoddy the US medial and insurance scams[1] are.

        You'll discover even more quickly the gulf between your rants and reality.

        And even if you heal, a good bet you'll discover how hard it is to get a good job again when you've been out of work for a year, are poor, and desperate.

        Welfare looks great when you think you can live off it. It looks terrible when you actually have to rely on it for a little while.

        It's absolutely disgusting when every where you go you get turned down because you are on welfare.

        You know where the downvote button is.

        [1] I was going to use the word "system" but no, these are terrible scams through and through. Nothing about them could be called a 'system'.

        1. deconstructionist

          Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

          "Bob, hope you never have an accident" well you must be the only one , hopefully whenever the accident happens he will be sharing the same uber cab as Ajit Pai,

          Usual Trumpite rules, don't like the rules just change them to suit ...he is on a roll why stop and poor internet speeds and access for the poor ..stops any election interference from undesirables.

      11. Avatar of They Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

        Wow, bet you wear a T shirt that says "I would rather be a Communist than a Democrat." as has been seen at Trump rally's of late.

        Sadly however as most things these days are online, education now needs an online presence so you are in favour of stopping kids learning it seems.

        And communities are now online enabling a great deal of freedom to isolated people or those who have limited mobility like pensioners, terminally ill. You know, keeping in touch with the outside world so they don't feel lonely. (probably no money as they have to buy health insurance)

        People who are lazy, yeah coz zero hour contracts and minimum wage doesn't exist in the US. Menial jobs are so well paid it seems. They earn so much they can afford proper broadband. (Obviously only democrat, because all republicans are rich. Or perhaps republican and they are always skint as they have to buy more guns because the redneck NRA demand they must)

        So that's old people, kids and those who do menial jobs (That you probably try and step on) that you don't like in your moronic rant.

    3. MHammett

      Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

      No need for municipal broadband to screw everything up. Just support your local, independent ISPs.

      1. Aedile

        Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

        I am so confused by your statement. Did you forget the /s flag? Have you read on this subject at all? The problem is that there is essentially NO local independent ISPs offering broadband. At 25Mbps 40% have 1 or fewer choices and 80% have 2 or fewer choices. I guarantee you that the 2 choices are more likely going to be Comcast and AT&T than Comcast and local ISP. As a result at least 80% of American's don't have a "local independent ISP" offering broadband to support.

    4. LeahroyNake Bronze badge

      Re: Well, if they don't think it's fair...

      I know a local 'Provider' that took a £3000 Grant from local gov coffers to provide a decent service to my company.... (Wi-Fi dish over ~2km) To be honest it was really good 50MB synch, RDNS, the works.

      2.5 years later they couldn't provide it amynore and wanted a new grant for fibre... Additional grant application ~£3k.

      They are called REDACTED. I'm guessing they got a grant for several companies in the same building next to mine at £3K each per connection / 15 connections... in the same building.

      Tried contacting my local council but they don't have a clue....wasting money ? ? ?

      Spectrum Internet/ NSUK BTW.

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    I think it is time now

    To take all these ISP CEOs and Pai, line them up behind the chemical shed and have them shot.

    How much blatant disregard can you take before you snap ?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: I think it is time now

      We're not at that point yet. But on the bright side, it's getting closer.

    2. Simon B-52

      Re: I think it is time now

      Could that possibly be amended to "against the perimeter wall, well away from the chemical shed"?

      A fresh consignment has just arrived and those old drums are badly corroded. Half of them have been stacked the wrong way up, who'd have thought we'd need russian speaking warehouse staff?

  6. Marty McFly
    Mushroom

    It stinketh

    Just checked Centurylink. I am "qualified for high speed Internet up to 3mb/s". The interesting thing is I used to be qualified for 8mb/s at the location. No doubt they are playing games, and in a few months will take it back to 8mb/s.....with the announcement to the FCC of a "266%" improvement in my area!

    The thing that irks me so much about ISPs is they think their customers are stupid and won't notice.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: It stinketh

      Doesn't matter if you do notice. The mere fact that you have to quote two separate numbers to make your point means that vanishingly few people will ever listen to enough of it to understand ... ooh, shiny!

      1. doublelayer

        Re: It stinketh

        Take a look at any ISP website and the large amount of space it devotes to its gigabit fiber system. That's always fun to read, right before you click the "is this available for me" button and get told no. I begin to think that they just have one fiber line connecting their headquarters to their off-site datacenter but can say that anyway because they technically have the services; just not in your area.

        1. Tom 35 Silver badge

          Re: It stinketh

          They just put fiber where I live. It's only $69 a month*

          * for the first 6 months of a 2 year contract. And they rip out your copper to make sure you can't go back. It's 50 cents cheaper without TV and phone.

          After the 6 months it's more then a car.

          1. Hans 1 Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: It stinketh

            I'd go dual, in case one goes down, what I have here ... ADSL and LTE. I am considering fibre, it's down the street, but not enough landlords of the flats have agreed to hook it up, yet, it so appears ...

            And they rip out your copper to make sure you can't go back.

            if anything rips out my copper wire, I order it back to fix at its expense.

            $69/mo better be ultra fast, oh, and no, I don't get into 6, 12, or 24mo contracts, I leave when I see fit, thanks ...

            From what I see, the US lacks a fair private ISP ...must be a "land of the free" thing, that!

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Tel
    Mushroom

    What do you expect?

    Welcome to Trump's America, where the rich are paid by the government to get richer at the expense of anyone in the bottom 9 deciles, but most specifically anyone in the bottom 2 or 3 deciles.

    Not that Trump would understand the word 'decile' of course. He considers both knowledge and the people in those deciles as beneath contempt.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: What do you expect?

      No, he'd not be paying attention and then get very angry because you just called him an imbecile.

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: What do you expect?

      "Not that Trump would understand the word 'decile' of course. He considers both knowledge and the people in those deciles as beneath contempt."

      He has deciles, the most deciles, the best deciles. But in six months they will be the worst deciles ever, the losers.

    3. naive

      Re: What do you expect?

      These things are not constrained to the USA.

      Living in a fairly sized Dutch city with 100,000 inhabitants, 25/3 is something I can dream of, since my connection is maximum 10/2 using 2005 ADSL

      In Holland there is no active FCC overseeing internet service providers.

      KPN owning the 1920's copper cable to my house does not have a schedule to update to vDSL

      1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: What do you expect?

        Jeepers, whereabouts are you?

        I live waaaaay down South, and I'm used to getting the short end of the stick from Dutch companies, doubly so for political choices.

        Yet I get 60/30 for 25 euro a month.

    4. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: What do you expect?

      Welcome to Trump's America,

      What makes you think that other places including UK are much different?

      Sure, there is some spit, polish and decorum, but frankly, just walk from the Grenfeld Tower area to the other half of the borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

  9. SNAFUology
    FAIL

    Different money for the poor

    Once a dollar would purchase you a dollars worth of a product in the country of your choice, but now if you are poor it will only give you 58/100ths or so of a product (or slower internet) if you are poor.

    * What next Free Speech is only 40% free for the poor ???

    * Poor people to get only not-voting shares in the stock exchange ???

    * Poor people only get to live 58/100ths of their life ???

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Different money for the poor

      "Poor people only get to live 58/100ths of their life ???"

      As per this study covering 1980-2014, there's a 25% difference in expected lifespan between the most and least well off counties.

      So poor people in the US get to live a whole 75% as long as the rich, that's loads better than 58% right?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Different money for the poor

      All they have to do is be honest an allow companies to sell two different speeds for Internet. and not at the loss of the other. slower cheaper bundle, and faster bigger bundles from a higher starting price.

      oh wow i guess they'll just have to change their definition and stop being lazy

  10. ThatOne Bronze badge
    Unhappy

    Change of times

    For a time there had been a thing called "decency", which made that although people still wanted your money, they at least pretended to be fair and honest.

    Nowadays they simply tell you they are going to get your money even if they have to beat it out of you. The "schoolyard bully economy" has risen, again. Watch your lunch money walk away.

  11. GerryMC

    I'm beginning to think the US ISPs have realised that when the next lot of LEO broadband satellites (StarLink, OneWeb etc) come on line, they will be unable to compete. As a result they are trying to milk as much as possible from under-developed infrastructure while they still can.

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Well, yes, except milking as much as possible from underdeveloped infrastructure has been their mission statement since forever, and will likely continue to be their mission statement when they buy up the LEO companies in the near future. Don't forget, we've already seen the future, and it's already passed.

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      "I'm beginning to think the US ISPs have realised that when the next lot of LEO broadband satellites (StarLink, OneWeb etc) come on line, they will be unable to compete. As a result they are trying to milk as much as possible from under-developed infrastructure while they still can."

      Except I would guess that the latency (as mentioned in the article) will be quite high for them.

      1. brainbone
        Headmaster

        Re: LEO Latency

        StarLink satellites are currently expected to operate at an altitude of ~350 km. The latency for these would likely be well under 25ms.

        1. Patched Out
          Headmaster

          Re: LEO Latency

          Propagation of light in a vacuum is 299,792 kilometers per second. At 350 km, a signal would take a minimum of 1.167 seconds ONE WAY. Any signal would have to be beamed to the satellite and then transmitted back to your earth-bound receiver, so 2.334 seconds as a theoretical minimum, not counting any latency getting from the ground station to the host website from which you are receiving the data.

          So you are off by a few orders of magnitude.

          1. Wellyboot Silver badge

            Re: LEO Latency

            @patched out

            No You are. - transmit time is 0.00167 sec.

            1. DryBones

              Re: LEO Latency

              Agree. You did 350,000 km instead of 350 km.

          2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

            Re: LEO Latency

            "Propagation of light in a vacuum is 299,792 kilometers per second. At 350 km, a signal would take a minimum of 1.167 seconds ONE WAY. "

            I just hope your manager has seen that and is frantically reviewing any code you may have committed.

            1. Patched Out
              Facepalm

              Re: LEO Latency

              Fortunately for everyone, I don't do coding or IT. I stand sheepishly corrected.

  12. guyr

    Rich man poor man

    Rich people have nicer stuff than poor people? Say it isn't so! When did this start to happen?

    This is not a new issue. This exact same thing happened during the telephone era. Running a telephone wire 90 miles out into the country to serve 5 farmers just wouldn't pay for itself, so the early telephone companies wouldn't do it. The solution was a government access tax on everyone to subsidize service to those the profit-making companies refused to serve otherwise. If we (society) deems that in our time everyone should have internet access, then we'll need to do something similar.

    I'm as much a liberal as anyone, but I see this issue more as a capitalist one, not a fairness one. We can't take a profit-making company that has to earn its own way, and force it to provide money-losing services.

    1. David M Hoffman

      Re: Rich man poor man

      The problem has been that the private companies won't provide services and then pay bribes to stop municipal broadband.

      1. MHammett

        Re: Rich man poor man

        Municipal broadband wouldn't solve this.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Rich man poor man

      Well ISPs in the US already get a subsidy to pay for them rolling out broadband to less well off areas. This whole article is about how they'd like to reduce the definition of 'broadband' to make it easier (and cheaper) for themselves.

      So your society has already deemed that everyone should get internet access, but the ISPs are trying to change the rules so that they don't have to spend as much money.

      1. Donn Bly

        It isn't about being cheaper for themselves

        Well ISPs in the US already get a subsidy to pay for them rolling out broadband to less well off areas. This whole article is about how they'd like to reduce the definition of 'broadband' to make it easier (and cheaper) for themselves.

        Actually, this article was about a meeting with WISPA. WISPA is a trade organization of local independently owned ISPs that deliver services over license-free wireless. The problem is that license-free wireless does not support the speeds of "broadband" as currently defined, even though they supported broadband as it was defined when they first started. Most WISPA members don't currently get subsidies, so your premise is incorrect.

        WISPA members' problem isn't that their networks are worse, it is that the definition of broadband changed. Since the definition changed, they are no longer eligible for the subsidies. Since they aren't eligible for the subsidies, their growth rate is slower and unserved areas still don't get any service.

        The areas we are talking about here aren't cities and urban areas, they are small towns and farms out in rural America where the antennas go on top of tall buildings and grain silos. The networks are slow and fragile, but in many parts of the country they are the only thing short of satellite service or dialup for Internet access. Many of these areas don't even have reliable cellular service.

        Part of their problem is they use obsolete technologies that were never originally intended for outdoor point-to-multipoint use, the other part of the problem is that the cost to change exceeds the price point that consumers will pay. In effect, they are the obsolete wagon makers being superseded by the automobile. In that sense they will die off by attrition on their own without outside life support, so the question then becomes should public money be used to support them?

        If yes, then people complain about the subsidies, but if no then areas will continue to go unserved.

        Any area in the United States that is currently unserved is because it isn't economically feasible to do so. Internet access is a commercial venture so the companies have to operate to make a profit, and they aren't going to willingly enter a market where they know that they are going to lose money. That's why you don't see cable companies or phone companies building in those areas.

        Note that I use the term "unserved". Unserved and Underserved are two different things, and you cannot equate the two. Since the subsidies go for both unserved and underserved, the larger players are taking subsidies to build out in the "underserved" areas where they can make money, but not in the "unserved" areas where they cannot.

        Quite frankly, none of the choices are a good ones. Either you put public money into a dead business model or citizens don't get any Internet access at all, and even if you spend the public money the citizens still don't get broadband. Is half a loaf better than none?

        My hope is that newer technologies will evolve to fill this gap, but I've been waiting for decades. Technologies have improved, but they haven't outpaced the consumer demand in this area.

        Let the downvotes begin by all of the people who are too ignorant to know that there are more flavors of wireless and more types networks than cellular.

        1. Amplex

          Re: It isn't about being cheaper for themselves

          Donn,

          While I appreciate the reply there are some errors in your assumptions in your comment. Very few WISP's have ever received ANY subsidy money. Fixed wireless technology is very capable of delivering broadband speeds in much of the country. The problem with the FCC changing the definition of broadband is not that WISP's can't keep up - it's that it rewards the same large phone companies that have already been paid multiple times to deliver broadband and have not done it. Imagine you invested a million dollars of your own money to build a WISP and the FCC comes along and says 'well, today we changed our mind and your company isn't doing a good enough job, so we are going to give your failed competitor more free money to compete with you'. That's exactly what is happening here. The subsidy whores are pushing to receive more money by creating a 'crisis' - which they can do by simply changing the definition of what Broadband is. The FCC gave away $11,000,000,000 in grant money to the iLEC's in 2014 and gave them 10 years to get to 10/1. And now they are back for more. First they need to get the pesky WISP's out of the way that are actually offering broadband though.

          1. Donn Bly

            @Amplex

            You might be confusing the quote (the part in italics) with my post, because I don't make such assumptions.

            In addition, I don't have to imagine investing my own money. I used to own a wireless ISP back in the time-frame with WISPA was starting, and some of my friends/friendly local competitors were even among their officers. I am quite aware of the market and its challenges. Some 12-15 years ago when the municipality where I live looked at doing their own fiber rollout I saw the writing on the wall and sold off the ISP, even though we were the ones supplying the municipality with their bandwidth, and signed up my home to be on the waiting list for the municipal network. It took a few years before it got connected (and I suffered with DSL in the meantime) but it was worth the wait.

            I wasn't happy at the time with public money being used to compete with private enterprise, but today I would be among the first to admit that in my local situation it was the right thing to do -- even though I was one of the private enterprises with which they were competing.

  13. imanidiot Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Pai has done everything in his power to remove the FCC from regulatory oversight of ISPs under his notion of "light touch regulation."

    And that's working just wonderfully now isn't it...

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      "light touch regulation."

      And that's working just wonderfully now isn't it.

      Just like it did in the Banking world. After all, it didn't cause the biggest recession this century did it?

      Oh.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Banking Recession

        Just like it did in the Banking world. After all, it didn't cause the biggest recession this century did it?

        Actually, much of the recession in the US was caused by the government REQUIRING banks to write high-risk loans. Recovering from those losses is what caused the tight money supply. The rule changes necessary to implement those requirements were of course then exploited by a small minority of greedy bankers and brokers, making the problem much worse.

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: Banking Recession

          "Actually, much of the recession in the US was caused by the government REQUIRING banks to write high-risk loans."

          This is repeated by right-wingers (gummint shouldn't lend to poor people) but as Gillian Tett so forensically analysed it in her book Fool's Gold what actually caused the crisis was a lethal combination of investors demanding low risk (AAA) investments, oversupply of high end property developments like condos in Florida, and the banks deciding that mortgages could be repackaged as investments. It wasn't the high risk debt to poor people that caused the crisis - most of them repaid because they were honest as well as poor - but the fact that investments labelled low risk were actually very high risk because of falling prices, and the rating agencies didn't notice. It was the big crooks caused the crisis.

          Tett is a social anthropologist as well as a financial journalist and she exposes the extremely toxic banking culture.

          The government had to step in and fix the problems in the end. In this particular case the problem may turn out to be a stock market crash as the overvaluing of the Internet-based companies is more and more exposed, and fixing Pai won't fix that.

          1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

            Re: Banking Recession

            And there are again voices warning that the next economic disaster is well on the way. No one is really listening.

  14. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Bias...

    Alternatively, and whilst I'm unbiased, you could look at this story a different way by stating that the ISPs want better financial to support for those with no, or very poor internet speeds. My assumption for this being that a circa 2010 broadband speed is better than zero broadband speed if you are in a rural or unserved area.

    It's very VERY easy to get complacent about your 100mbps home line if you are in an urbanised or semi-urbanised location such as where I am. But between 2010 - 2014 I was living in the middle of nowhere where my line speed was approximately 0.3 mbps. Assuming it's gotten no better, if the urbanised average line speed in 2010 was 15mbps (just a guess) then I'd be more that happy with that if I lived in the arse end of nowhere.

    1. Aedile

      Re: Bias...

      I partially agree with you. I live in the middle of nowhere now and I'd love even 15Mbps, low latency and no data caps. However, the reason I don't agree completely is that the bulk of the cost for new lines is the trenching/labor/permits not the cost of the cable itself. So if you're already creating a trench then why would you want to install an inferior solution instead of a marginally more expensive and vastly better one?

  15. David M Hoffman

    Internet minimum data transfer rates for broadband.

    When they made the change to 25/3 I knew they had made far too large of a change from the previous minimum. Going to 10/1 would have been a moderate change that ISPs would have seen as attainable and affordable. By going too far the FCC ended up with the very predictable result of ISPs going into full noncompliance and uncooperative mode. The ISPs are determined to punish the FCC for that bad decision.

    The interesting thing is that once the ISPs have punished the FCC they will still be planning on deployment of new technologies that will eventually allow them to meet both the data transfer rates of 25/3 and the 100ms latency minimums. It just won't be on the FCC's planned schedules.

    1. cdegroot

      Re: Internet minimum data transfer rates for broadband.

      Indeed. I don't know what idiot decided 25/3 qualifies as minimum "broadband". I'm on 5/3 on a local rural wireless ISP and I work from home full time, do video conferencing while my wife is watching Netflix, so I don't get what all the fuzz is about. My guess is that Google/Apple/... sponsored that 25/3 upgrade to make sure that people stuff more things in their clouds.

  16. ccc13481

    Municipal cable companies

    I'm working with a municipal cable company in my spare time. We are able to offer broadband at 80% of the price from the major commecial cable company. And we are making so much money that we have been able to replace most of our cables over the last 5-6 years.

    And we are not that big - 5600 cable TV subscribers and 4200 internet subscribers.

    The major problem/issue why no more are doing this is that it looks like a lot of work....

    It really is not - it is not easy, but not that hard either.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Municipal cable companies

      "The major problem/issue why no more are doing this is that it looks like a lot of work...."

      I thought the major issue was corporate lobbying to get them taken down the woodshed and shot in the back of the head before they can get going?

      1. ccc13481

        Re: Municipal cable companies

        No - if you are a small municipal and you have the 2 options of:

        - Having a major cable corporate to do the work and offer the municipal a small kickback

        - Do it your self - to boldly go.....

        What do you do?

        If you own the cables you can start with as few as 200 internet subscribers and still earn (a lot of) money. But you have to talk to suppliers, make support and take ownership. And have some start capital.

        Or do you lean back and let the corporate do the work and take money...

        We have done it our self for the last 10 years but it was no always smooth sailing - we had to have a new provisioning system developed, the learning curve has steep and there have been times when we had problems of getting the cost to cover the income.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Municipal cable companies

      "And we are not that big - 5600 cable TV subscribers and 4200 internet subscribers."

      And yet so-called economies of scale are usually touted by the big boys as reasons they can provide cheaper and better, but can't beacause they are servicing huge debt and executive bonuses.

      It the same across all industries. Surely ecomomies of scale dictate Dominoes can sell be a better, cheaper pizza than my local independant but agaon, the reality is the local independant is better and cheaper.

    3. Maelstorm Bronze badge

      Re: Municipal cable companies

      About 22-24 years ago, a cable company known as Century Communication Corp replaced ALL the cable in my town with fiber optics and served our TV service from that. Then they got bought out by AT&T broadband, which was eventually sold to Comcast...affectionately known as Comcrap or Crapcast. Since the technology was still relatively new, there were problems with the fiber optic terminals that converted the fiber signal to the 75 ohm coax cable. I don't know what they spent to wrap the town in fiber, but I know it was a pretty penny to do so.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Put their neck in the balance.

    Offer a carrot-and-stick situation.

    The isps offer stable 25/3, they get bonuses.

    They fail, get shafted.

    Offering 10/1 in places where there is none, smaller bonus. So forth.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Put their neck in the balance.

      How do you keep them from bribing the government to change the rules, which to them is cheaper than just rolling out, making it more sensible economically?

      The thing with capitalism is that you have to remember that everything is for sale: including the rulemakers.

  18. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Pirate

    Let them eat cake

    Worked out well for the French monarchy. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

    1. DavCrav Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Let them eat cake

      "Let them eat cake"

      Let's do this one now. This was

      1) not cake but brioche, which is more a sweet bread than cake, and

      2) never said by Marie Antoinette. In fact, it dates from at least 50 years before she was born.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Let them eat cake

        1) not cake but brioche, which is more a sweet bread than cake, and

        2) never said by Marie Antoinette. In fact, it dates from at least 50 years before she was born

        1) As a recovering brioche addict, it really depends how much butter is in the mix as to how fattening. But still not healthy to try to live on it.

        2) Whether MA said it or it was merely attributed to her is of little note in this case. Whether it was an actual sentiment shared by the moneyed or the poor merely suspected that was the sentiment is another entirely - and going by the bad example set by Bombastic Bob I'm inclined to believe it was the former.

      2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: Let them eat cake

        "1) not cake but brioche, which is more a sweet bread than cake, and

        2) never said by Marie Antoinette. In fact, it dates from at least 50 years before she was born."

        According to one biographer ( and it may be a myth because biographers tend to love their subjects) what happened was this:

        Bread price was regulated; cake price wasn't.

        Therefore when wheat was in short supply, bakers made cake rather than bread.

        It was therefore decreed that if there was insufficient bread, the government could force bakers to sell brioche for the same regulated price as bread.

        Therefore, Marie Antoinette being told there was not enough bread correctly advised them to enforce the law on brioche and sell it at the bread price.

        But it didn't help because as so often happens (a) the Royals were terrible at PR and (b) the opposition was rather good at it. (However, monarchs traditionally have been good at ensuring the poor - who might have nothing to lose by revolting - at least get fed in the capital city, panem et circenses, so there may be some truth in the story.)

        I guess the equivalent in this case would be regulating the maximum prices for network speeds, requiring the ISPs to provide service, and penalising them by only allowing them to charge at the rate for the lowest bandwidth in a given municipality.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Let them eat cake

          Which then raises the question, what's to stop them from just pulling out and hauling kiester to somewhere friendlier, taking their equipment with them so no one else can poach on their territory?

  19. MHammett

    Is this article a joke? I don't mean what WISPA is advocating for, but the premise that people don't pay more for faster Internet?

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      "Is this article a joke? I don't mean what WISPA is advocating for, but the premise that people don't pay more for faster Internet?"

      The premise is that it's wrong to redefine 'broadband' for poor people. We wouldn't like a redefinition of a safe medicine to 'really safe if you are rich, but if you are poor, well it's safe enough'. The FCC shouldn't have a sliding scale of the definition of broadband depending on earnings.

    2. holmegm

      Yeah, puzzling.

      The specific shenanigans listed, yes, they are certainly bad. Burn the ISPs at the stake for them, fine with me,

      The article headline that is here though? Well, yes, generally if you are poor, your stuff is less shiny. That's an injustice in itself? No.

      Slower broadband does not exactly make me think of the poverty of Jean Valjean or Cosette.

  20. MHammett

    How condescending to assume that people that live in areas with slower or non-existent broadband are poor!

  21. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    What does "broadband" get you these days?

    Sure, some entertainment but mostly it's just faster fake news - us old farts grew up on 110/300 baud connections and were thrilled when they released the 1200 baud modems.

    I'm not advocating slower speeds, but think about what fast internet has done to us... I used to enjoy sitting back drinking a beer or two while waiting for a file to download ... but those days are gone now. Fast download speeds mean that bloat doesn't matter anymore, broadcast TV is dying because targeted adverts work better with internet connections - faster speed are a double edged sword.

    1. Steve K Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: What does "broadband" get you these days?

      Drink quicker then?

      1. Jay Lenovo
        Happy

        Re: What does "broadband" get you these days?

        A little store in Bend, Oregon, sees these internet setbacks and thinks, "We can still pull this out!".

        That store is... the last remaining Blockbuster.

        1. doublelayer

          Re: What does "broadband" get you these days?

          Broadband gets you a lot of things. It gets you el reg, and sites like it that don't exactly have tiny text-only article files, and most other news sites, which go straight out past medium sized files into the tons-of-images articles that would load in minutes over a non-broadband connection. It gets you the ability to stream video, which may just be entertainment, but may also be something like online educational materials. It gets you the ability to videochat with your friends or coworkers. It gets you the ability to download a linux update in minutes, or a windows update in an hour, rather than hours and a week, respectively. It gets you the ability to check job boards, go online to reserve a flight, or yes spend some time enjoying the content that the internet provides.

          We've seen slower everything. None of us need things to go faster, as we'd all survive even if using a computer from 1990 with its modem access. We choose to use faster things, not because they are truly necessary, but because they are more functional and useful. And if we use those things, then the slow internet becomes obsolete and gets dropped. Like it or not, the 1200 baud modem of yore doesn't work. Even if we were able to connect it to the modern internet, you wouldn't be able to use it for anything. Even an SSH session uses more data now. The modem is obsolete. Dial up is obsolete. They should be replaced.

  22. BGatez

    Surprised? Anyone?

  23. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
    FAIL

    No cost to the suppliers

    Once you get an infrastructure inplace, the cost of connecting an additional customer (if you've planned your network correctly) is very low. Likewise, the cost of supplying 100Meg broadband (as long as you're not trying to do it over RF carrier on coaxial cable).

    The Greatest Country in the World(tm) should be able to manage getting fiber to every doorstep. We did it in the last century with electricity and POTS, we should be able to do it with fiber. Sure, it will take work, and sure, the ISP execs won't like it, but at this point, 25Meg broadband should be everywhere.

    1. Kiwi

      Re: No cost to the suppliers

      Just as a little challenge to the so-called "Greatest Nation" : Poxy little NZ is doing a nation-wide broadband-to-every-house rollout (in fact we're doing fibre-to-every-house!).

      Sure, we don't have some of the vast expanses with little population that you do, but we also don't have the huge numbers of populations that you do.

      We have quite a few independent ISPs as well.

      If a tiny bunch of what drumpf calls "free loaders" (because we're smart enough to pay a reasonable price for medication instead of paying $tupid$$$$$$!) can do it, then surely the nation with the "biggest", "bestest" and "mostest" can achieve something like this.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: No cost to the suppliers

      "Once you get an infrastructure inplace, the cost of connecting an additional customer (if you've planned your network correctly) is very low."

      Except that's EXACTLY the problem with most rural rollouts: no infrastructure in place, meaning huge initial outlays that have to be amortized with rural communities that usually don't have a lot of money (many get assisted at state level, as an example). And you wonder why a lot of rural setups were made under sweetheart deals; it was either take the deal or go without and watch your taxpayers move away.

  24. Scott 1

    I still think one of our biggest problems here in the U.S. are the government-created local utility monopolies. For example, in my neighborhood we have only one coaxial cable provider and only one landline phone service provider (who is also the only fiber optic provider) because it is *literally illegal* for anyone else to attempt to offer those services. Ending that stupidity would go a long way toward solving these problems, because then we'd be able to get real competition for broadband services.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Ending that stupidity would go a long way toward solving these problems, because then we'd be able to get real competition for broadband services.

      ----------

      The greatest and most ardent propents of capitalism and the "free market" seems to be suffering badly from monopolies in most areas and over regulation in a few small pockets.

      I wonder if the pockets of over regulation are a backlash against the commetcial monopolies?

      It's interesting how free market advocates denigrate Europe as "socialist" (implying communist) and yet in general we don't suffer the same problems.

  25. Amplex

    Kieren,

    You continue your campaign of uniformed attempts to smear all broadband providers with the same brush as the large providers. You should attend some of the WISPA events where you would meet many of the small providers and individuals bringing broadband to rural areas and competing in urban and suburban areas. The next event is March 19-21'st in Cincinnati, Ohio. Show up and you will find plenty of people delivering broadband that have just as much contempt for the Cable and Phone companies as you do.

    The WISPA meeting was about keeping the FCC from throwing even more subsidy money at the same ILEC's and RBOC's that have utterly failed to deliver broadband. The FCC subsidy money is WHY we don't have good rural broadband from the ILEC's and RBOC's - it's throwing good money after bad. That WISPA wants to protect the small companies that are investing their own money from the FCC throwing more cash at the failed LEC's should not be a surprise and it's something you and The Register should be supporting, not trashing.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Dead Kennedys had planned for this in 1980

    Efficiency and progress is ours once more

    Now that we have the Neutron bomb

    It's nice and quick and clean and gets things done

    Away with excess enemy

    But no less value to property

    No sense in war but perfect sense at home

    The sun beams down on a brand new day

    No more welfare tax to pay

    Unsightly slums gone up in flashing light

    Jobless millions whisked away

    At last we have more room to play

    All systems go to kill the poor tonight

    Gonna kill kill kill kill kill the poor

    Kill kill kill kill kill the poor

    Kill kill kill kill kill the poor tonight

  27. Howard Hanek
    Happy

    Oliver Twist

    For this evening's performance Oliver will be played by 'Poor People' and Mr. Bumble by 'ISPs'

  28. johnksellers

    ISP's don't get it.

    ISPs incorrectly assume they should make money without giving back. They are wrong.

    Why? Because they are completely beholden to what they provide to people for every single penny of profit that they make. If they provide nothing, they don't deserve to exist. Not only that, but they certainly would NOT exist except for providing benefit to people.

    Seeing that they owe EVERYTHING they have gained to what they do for people, it is disingenuous for them to complain they have a right to any profit for not doing something that is fundamental to their very existence.

    What is more, it is the job of every person on this Earth to make things better for everyone. If they don't, they should not have any more right to consideration and should be treated with the same negative consideration they have for the poor.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: ISP's don't get it.

      Seeing that they owe EVERYTHING they have gained to what they do for people, it is disingenuous for them to complain they have a right to any profit for not doing something that is fundamental to their very existence.

      ---------------

      I once went on a sales course. The instructor said each area owef the company £xxx and it was our job to collect it. I only lasted a week before I found a proper job.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: ISP's don't get it.

      Guess you never heard of a Captive Market, have you? What do you do when guerilla control the only well for miles?

  29. 404 Silver badge

    Horseshit...

    Been on an AT&T DSL waiting list since 2007 - currently have Viasat @$62/month for 12GBs data and 758ms avg latency... Heard all about the plight of rural areas, yet nada changes...

    Living the Dream...

  30. This post has been deleted by its author

  31. Maelstorm Bronze badge
    Boffin

    Here's the thing...

    Here's the thing, I used to work for a major telephone company in the USA. I worked there for many years. Basically, under heavy regulation, business wireline telephone service subsidized residential service, generally speaking. However, everyone paid a fee called universal lifeline. What that is, it's a subsidy that allows the phone company to provide basic service to people who cannot afford it or are on low income...such as my 89 year old grandmother who just gets Social Security.

    This system has worked for many many years. So I can see this happening with internet access. I am old enough to remember, and I'm sure many here are as well, during the 1990's dialup is all we had. If you had a 9600pbs modem in 1991, you were smoking. 14,400 or 28,800 in 1995 or so, and the 56k modems in the late 1990's. If you were willing to shell out some money, you could get bonded ISDN service for a whopping 128k speed, metered of course. If you wanted faster, then you could get multiple ISDN lines, or pop for a T1 for $995.00/month for 1.536 megabit service. But in the late 1990's, ADSL came out and it started a feeding frenzy that continues to this day with various implementations and advancements. For 10 years through the 2000's, I had 6 mbit ADSL and it was fine for me. Cable modems from the cable company came out in late 1996 or early 1997. For a long time, my mom had 384k internet, and that was considered broadband.

    So, you will understand when I say that anything faster than dialup I consider broadband. The 10/1 minimum for people who cannot afford it otherwise is actually a good idea. The people who can't afford it otherwise probably don't have computers that can handle the applications that use the high bandwidth network anyways. I'm talking about streaming video, games, and other applications. General web browsing is fine.

    In this day and age, I call it high speed network access. A 10 mbps datalink was a standard LAN speed back in the day, and it will suffice for most things, especially for someone who has nothing at all. With the things that I do, I can bury a 100 mbps network connection. So I can see ISPs such as AT&T, Verizon, and Qwest charging a little extra to subsidize those who cannot afford internet access, and still turn a profit.

    No taxpayer dollars needed.

    It worked for regular POTS phone service, and I see no reason why it wouldn't work for internet access. Companies are for making money, and asking for taxpayers to help foot the bill is just being plain greedy.

    Disclaimer: I own sock in one of more of the companies that have been mentioned.

    1. doublelayer

      Re: Here's the thing...

      I somewhat agree with your points, but I think broadband should be defined higher than you do, because dialup doesn't work anymore. If we took your connection down to dialup levels, browsing wouldn't work anymore. Some sites still use small files and have done with it, but with the image, script, and other media-heavy sites out there, a dialup connection would take forever to load it. It is not feasible to use those services without the scripts and images, at least most of the time. So I think we should find a reasonable lower bound on the speed needed to do standard browsing, and then define broadband as some level significantly higher than that. Otherwise, I think your ideas are good.

    2. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Here's the thing...

      "The 10/1 minimum for people who cannot afford it otherwise is actually a good idea. "

      The article is consisting ISPs for saying that people who pay less should get slower broadband, your idea does exactly the same thing.

  32. itzman
    Big Brother

    And you find this surprising?

    In short, American internet providers are determined to give its citizens the worst possible internet for the highest possible price and under industry-friendly chair Pai they are willing to state that publicly – while asking for taxpayers' money to do so.

    Isn't that the goal of all commerce, to deliver the cheapest possible product at the highest possible price and get either taxpayer money to do that, or government legislation to mandate its adoption?

    That is the EU model in a nutshell.

  33. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Its a lefty-liberal plot!

    >>"....not to promote competition among multiple providers in areas already receiving adequate service"

    Because free markets are Socialism!

    If we have competition in the market the next thing you know they'll be taking our guns, raising taxes and forcing our poor, downtrodden and horribly persecuted billionaires to pay more than a minimum wage laborer, which will lead to those hateful democRATs forcing us to eat tofu and bean sprouts made by married homosexuals while praying to the Marxist Islamo-Mexican devil and Lenin, before finally herding us into Soros-brand death trains to the FEMA death camps guarded by black helicopter flying UN troops from Venezuela and some other shithole countries that I don't know the name of! Sad!

    MAGA! Lock her up!

    Make sure President Putin Trump protects those poor, patriotic, and long suffering communications companies like Comcast, AT&T and Spectrum from possibly having to give up even 5 cents of their hard earned billions of dollars in profits a year by competition based on their merits! Do you love freedom, apple pie, processed cheese, the Grand Old Party, baseball and America? Or do you want the Islamic Mexican-Canadians, RINOs and Soros to win?

    If you love America, then do everything you can to save Comcast from having to provide adequate services to the poor, because if you don't, the immigrants taking our jobs and women win and we're all headed to the camps.

    (I hope its clear but this is pure sarcasm. It was hard to write but I hear this kind of shit on a daily basis from the idiots I'm surrounded by)

  34. FreeTard

    "Anythng under 100ms is fine".

    Maybe in the third world, in the real world that should be under 10ms.

    I must say, every time I visit the US I find the internet to be shite. I had assumed this was down to the hotel's internet but if they think 100ms latency is fine then that explains it.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      100ms is the probably the best you can expect, due to sheer physics. Using the c figure of 186,282 miles per second, 10ms will only get you an absolute (theoretical) maximum distance of 1863 miles. That's not gonna get you from New York to Los Angeles as the crow flies (about 2500 miles), and after you account for routing inefficiencies, relay latency, and the fact you can't get to the actual speed of light in fiber or copper (a good ballpark figure is about 95%), you're gonna need even more time to work cross country both ways, just as you would a transoceanic connection.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    about 2025

    Ajit Pai , after a long term serving as FCC person , has now taken a directorial role with ZAX LLC a wholly owned subsidiary of Comcast, with generous back dated share options etc etc etc.

    The wounds on his back will likely never heal properly ....

  36. Fred Goldstein

    It has nothing to do with poor people

    The story, and especially the headline, confuses two FCC subsidies. Lifeline is the low-income subsidy, phones for poor people. That is not where the 10 vs. 25 Mbps issue comes in. Connect America Fund is the subsidy for rural service, which goes to carriers, not customers, and applies equally well to a rich ski resort as to a poor farming area. WISPA (disclaimer: a client of mine) is referring to the rural subsidies, not Lifeline.

  37. jockmcthingiemibobb

    Misleading headline much. Look, it boils down to this; if a WISP invests their own money in underserved community then gets government funded competition they should be compensated. Otherwise the WISP can't invest in other underserved rural areas and the lost revenue has to be passed on to their remaining customers.

    Perhaps the feds should be funding the WISPS to upgrade to >25Mbps and extend their reach to areas fiber and LTE providers have no interest in (even with subsidys) as is done in some other countries not led by an idiot.

  38. Dwarf Silver badge

    Room for some competition

    Multiple vendors in each area will soon see some investment.

    Those that treat their customers properly will get more, those who treat them with contempt will get nothing.

    Its a simple model that works well in other countries.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Room for some competition

      But breaks down when they all decide to work in a cartel and buy or beat down those who won't play.

  39. -tim
    Pint

    Rural ISPs in the USA have unique problems

    I've helped some of the one man ISPs that are represented by WISPA. They tend to be providing service in regions that have very low population density centered around monopoly controlled areas. They often will have a few wireless access points on a radio tower but will have to backhaul the uplink feed to a remote larger city because the local towns ISP only covers a few blocks from the exchange. The owner of the exchange may not be willing to sell upstream service to a competitor or will sell but but mess with the speed and that assumes they haven't oversubscribed their link to the exchange. Another problem is the density is just high enough to make things expensive. If you can get a fiber line from a larger town, you still have to run it though intermediate towns and that might require going around it. Many power companies think they are in the ISP game yet won't or can't provide service so leasing space on their poles is out. The regulations are a mess as they might be federal, state, Indian, county, town, home owners associations, water authority, electrical authority, telco co-op, sewer authority, federal or state parks, railroad or even the army corp of engineers and those are just the ones I've heard about. Some of these ISPs are replacing dialup services that wouldn't do much over 9600 baud and sometimes cover areas where satellite coverage is even an issue due to steep mountains.

  40. amoffett

    This article misrepresents the entire situation

    This article wants me to be believe that WISPA wants to exploit poor people.

    Firstly, WISPA’s position was that money should not be spent upgrading people from 10/1 to 25/3 until the people with nothing at least get 10/1.

    Secondly, we are talking about "unserved" and "under-served" households. This often means rural, but it does <I>not</I> mean poor.

    WISPA represents fixed wireless operators. These are usually tiny companies operating a shoestring budget. They want funding to build for 10/1 because 10/1 is achievable. Building for 25/3 or higher probably means waiting for fiber optic, and frankly that may take decades.

    I recognize that the author does not actually want to deny internet to rural people for another 20 years, but that is the alternative being advocated whether he realizes it or not.

  41. Winkypop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Show me the bunny

    Bombastic Bob and LucreLout.

    Guys, you're doing 'Narcissistic Prick' wrong.

    Waaaay too much empathy...

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Show me the bunny

      @winkypop

      And you're doing outraged for no realistic or rational reason, life is just so hard snowflake perfectly. Enjoy your crushed avocado toast while you pay off the landlords mortgage; I'm sure he appreciates it.

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