The main reason this happens on most ISPs that that there are so many stupid-about-technology people out there that call up ISPs. There are loads of people who think they know all about technology and computers, and it turns out that they don't really know more than a few buzzwords. Hence the tech support flowchart has to assume (no matter what the customer says) that the customer doesn't know anything and that they should (e.g.) restart their PC.
Right now, the "non-bozo bit" is basically a thread-local session variable--it's stored in the head of the operator handling your call, so if they ask you to call back and you get them again, you can skip the procedure, but if you get someone else, you have to go through it all again.
This article makes me happy to read.
I moved away from Germany almost 20 years ago but at the time my parents were still paying "Anmeldungsgebuehr" for their TVs/radios, the basic phone service was really cheap but local calls were metered in 8min increments.
I believe one of the big problems for the majority of Americans (myself certainly included) is the limbo created by poorly regulated local monopolies - I can choose between Qwest DSL and Comcast, neither are particularly good and both are expensive. There's not enough regulation to create a good minimum service level but there's enough regulation to prevent local players from really growing.
One thing I have to say, though, the pictures of the Sonic guys installing fiber look really scary. I could never get away with a crappy wiring job like this at work yet around town you see the worst kind of spaghetti jobs, crooked masts chewed up by woodpeckers, home-made looking junction boxes, etc.
In MA they did their best to stop it, but luckily people voted for freedom :P
Maybe they run dedicated coax from the head-end to your home's groundblock?
Business Fios sustained 35Mbps up/35Mbps down w/ fixed IP is only $130/month.
There is no rational explanation. Some people perceive the highest price as being the best.
Relevant discussion here:
However, companies like them need to realize that there are more stakeholders (like the community) than just shareholders.
The average user (and even the average programmer) wants to use the internet for 1) entertainment, and 2) information. Those tasks don't require sustained, maximum bandwidth usage.
The only people who actually need that kind of bandwidth are either bittorrent... um.... addicts, for lack of a better word, or infected computers, and consist of about 1-2% of the customers.
Their usage patterns degrade the service for everyone else.
The US was first. Everyone else had the experience in the US to learn from.
New areas in the US do use underground conduits, but most cities in the US are pretty old.
That's a joke, right? Every place I've lived in the U.S. (which granted is not that many) was built much later than most European cities, yet there are still overhead wires strung all over the place.
Imagine the cost of getting autorization for and digging a long hole through mile upon mile of in-city streets, and then repairing said hole - all while taking care of all the disruptions you cause to traffic and more. Unless you can find and use existing pipes in the right places with spare capacity (you're not going to, don't worry).
Directional boring is one of the most expensive ways to lay cable. Just going underneath at standard two lane road in a residential neighborhood is something like $50-$100K.
Undergrounding utilities (esp in a metro area) runs something like $250K to $1M/mile. There are many, many variables that affect cost.
Underground cables are also much more susceptible to failure when compared with aerial cables. When they do fail, it's sometimes more costly to repair them if they are buried as opposed to attached to a pole.
Underground utilities have do deal with more intrusions from water, ice, salt, digging, backhoes, insects, rodents and other stuff you find at "ground level." Ask any outside plant engineer and they will tell you that cost goes up and reliability suffers when you place utilities underground.
Aerial utilities primarily only have to deal with trees and ice. Oh, and gunshots. In the backwoods, the local yokels will sometimes shoot at transmission towers, taking out the fiber links with them.
So, yeah, undergrounding is a mess.
If you can store all your stuff remotely, and get it as quickly and easily as if it were on a local NAS suddenly things get a lot easier.
Ironically, it's the non-geeks who need this the most, because they can't setup a NAS. How many people do you see emailing images to themselves so they can get it on their other computer? Every person who does that needs 1Gbps internet so they can do that for their entire photo and film collection.
(And yes, I know Dropbox helps with this scenario, but even Dropbox is better with 1Gbps intenet...)
So latency is really important if you're doing something like playing a real time game. 32ms is basically a single frame if you're playing at 30 fps. Some people will notice if they're constantly a frame behind.
Not to mention the fact that the other endpoint needs to be as fast if you want fast communication.
But, the real point is there has never been a shortage of uses for more bandwidth. Instead, it has always opened new possibilities and created new value.
The great risk in not having inexpensive, fast Internet service is that the next great value-creations on the Internet will happen more often outside the US, and therefore not help to restore economic growth in the US.
A couple of the comments talk about speeds enabling cloud lifestyle, I would point out also that mainly hinges again on wireless.
edit: why all the downvotes? have i said anything thats wrong? how does 1gbps help you watch stuff outside one room in your home without unplugging and re-plugging all your devices? is 100mbps sufficient for viewing HD video or do you need 1gbps?
And for the record wireless is not just about mobile phones- as I said the PC is dying, it's about laptops, netbooks, ipads, tablets, internet-enabled TVs, gaming consoles, and the future IP devices (cars) etc all of which are now, today, usually connected wirelessly. And we are the better for it.
Sure, it doesn't help you download faster on your phone when not within wifi range... but if you use that argument against needing fast speeds at home, why not go back to dialup?
That's why all the downvotes.
The important part though is to have a connection that can actually utilize the full wireless speeds. Wireless has been 100mbps for a while now, but nobody can utilize that much on their lines (at least in the US)
4G and LTE are okay but nothing close to 1 gbps. We need a new wireless standard to saturate that connection.
Similarly, by raising the limits on internet speed, new web apps that are inconceivable now will come on stream. For example, an infamous 'dot bomb', boo.com, would make more sense in the broadband era than the 56k modem era. Similarly, there will be new ideas that aren't viable currently that will become viable with 1Gbps.
I also have 16 HD surveillance cameras, all of which are remotely monitored in realtime.
We also run our own live streaming video servers using Wowza.
Just kidding, I have no idea why a home user would need 1gbps, unless they are a huge family with many hulu/netflix watchers (maybe a frat/sorority) house or a home-based business with the server hardware onsite.
I am assuming it is 1gbps up and down.
This would be great for cloud computing with family videos or games that you rent online which stream all the content directly from the servers.
With the rise of IPv6, it could also lead to the development of a more distributed web content model where people host a lot of their own content for others to access and browse using personal web servers instead of P2P clients, since pretty much everyone will have the extra processing power and bandwidth.
There's a lot of uses, and many of them could easily become the new "needs" of the future.
Instead of all these offsite services that stream 'licensed' versions of media, why not have it all stored at home on your 'cloud' appliance, and it can stream your music, videos, and photos to any of your devices wherever you are (country agnostic).
So, if you have a decent size family, they can watch their shows at home, in the car, at a friend's house, or wherever there is a suitable connection.
Not everyone needs a car that goes over 65... I'd actually argue that in non-US cities, the vast majority don't need it 99% of the time (the 1% being when you're planning on doing a road trip).
See also: Tata Nano or Maruti 800 (my car).
OTOH, I'd really appreciate 1gbps internet :) . In a college in Germany they had 1gbps for all the students, and they enjoyed streaming HD movies and all that.
1. Do you believe higher speed internet service will lead to a better jobs
2. What policies will you pursue to so that more Americans have internet access
comparable to our global counterparts? E.g. Germany where speeds are 10x's as
fast at 2/3 the price?
Unless you feel the current regulatory structure has no responsibility for getting us in this situation, how are they not pertinent?
Perhaps, but how would you (and others with vested interests in better internet) react to a politician that gave a thoughtful and coherent response?
The point of these questions is to give the politicians an opportunity to win over a very influential and growing segment of the population. I suspect that a single strong response from a politician would have a domino effect and force the others to answer in-kind.
Based on how most of us view politics in the U.S., it's easy to be cynical about these sorts of things, so I can understand why you wouldn't want to put in the effort. However, the iron is hot and it seems foolish to waste an opportunity to hold our elected officials feet to the fire.
Please understand that I am not trying to "score points" here with a joke, but my honest reaction when I encounter this is "(S)He's never going to make it past the nomination process."
Which so far has a 100% success rate.
Politicians do that because otherwise they don't get elected. One of the core competencies of a modern politician is to have their feet held to the fire, and dance away from it unscathed. I'm not kidding; if you can't do that, you will not reach the national stage... or at least you won't stay for long. The reason is that whatever substantial answer you give to a question like that pisses off more people than you excite. On the other hand, a vague answer excites those whom you want to excite as they will read into it what they want to see, but doesn't piss anybody off because it's really just a generality.
If you really want to accomplish something, step one is understanding the landscape. You can do things, but trying to get straight answers out of politicians is not step one of any plan that will work.
Don't get your hopes up just yet.
Bring on the FTTH providers!
So when another ISP shows up and wants to string cable all over the poles...guess what? They're turned away. Verizon FiOS found this out when trying to get into markets where AT&T had the telephone franchise.
Call it a monopoly, call it anti-competition. But America is huge. There's no other way to get a company to invest in so much infrastructure to cover all of the land.
I worked for a city-owned electric utility that would regularly negotiate with outside entities to do pole-attachments. We did fiber loops around the city and started to offer Internet service. When it looked like we might actually make some meaningful progress, Bellsouth and Cox went to the state government and got a law passed that forbade ANY governmental organization or political subdivision from getting into the telecomm business.
If we had the national political will to insist on a competitive telecommunications infrastructure, we'd have one. I'm happy to see that some ISPs are giving it a go. Unfortunately, the capital costs are so high that it's hard for an upstart to really gain traction.
Our best bet for a truly competitive marketplace is for the CableCos to finally get into the business of doing SMB (small/medium biz) customer service that gives the ATT/Verizons a run for their money.
In Florida, prior to the deployment of Fios, as a competitor to cable television, Verizon lobbied the Florida legislature to rescind the minimum service level requirements to offer television to all citizens.
As a result, there are random neighborhoods with Fios access and others without. Verizon cherry picked the neighborhoods it wanted to service.
As you pointed out, the real problem seems to be the politicians.
I wish it was different but telecom market domination is close to network neutrality in being out on the minds of the citizenry. Unless you can connect it to jobs or taxes, it's unlikely to interest any outside of a select few.
But politicians are short-sighted.