Years and Years (of Pay TV Industry Predictions)

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by NashGuy, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. trip1eX

    trip1eX Well-Known Member

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    The acceleration of the DTV losses compared to cable seems to have really ramped (up) this year. I know everyone started losing subscribers in 2017 because of the rise of streaming. But was surprised when I saw DTV sub losses were so much ahead of cable losses this year.
     
  2. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    I've done the math on their bundles, and even Digital Starter and Digital Preferred are bundled near cost compared with standalone broadband.

    That being said, maybe they can eke out a single-digit profit due to their large negotiating power with content providers, and then make more on box rentals and PPV.

    And yes, it's also true that due to their ownership of certain channels, which should never have been allowed and violates the principles of anti-trust laws/regulations, even if they are breaking even on cable, their content arms make more money as a result.
     
  3. trip1eX

    trip1eX Well-Known Member

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    But what does cable (say Comcast) have compared to DTV in terms of app support. I know Comcast has Netflix. My parents have an X1. I've seen Netflix on there.
     
  4. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sling TV (for international), Pandora, and some other stuff. It's by no means complete, and some junk has slipped in there recently, but it's good enough for a lot of their target audience.
     
  5. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Comcast has said that want to build out the X1 app platform to rival Roku. (We'll see.) So far, they have Netflix, YouTube, and Prime Video, plus some music stuff. They just announced that Hulu will be the next big app to come to X1.

    HBO, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax and Epix content are built into X1's on-demand platform if you subscribe through Comcast. Believe the same is true with Acorn TV and some smaller a la cartes.
     
  6. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Sometime in 2021: Cable Mobile invests in DISH

    Comcast, Charter, Altice and Cox form a privately held joint venture called Cable Mobile, which in turns provides a huge cash injection in DISH in exchange for a special tranche of convertible bonds. DISH will use the capital to help build out their nationwide 5G-from-scratch network. Around the time that the first phase of the network goes live, Cable Mobile's bonds will convert to common stock, giving the group a huge equity stake in DISH and a voice in its future. Cable Mobile members will obviously use the DISH 5G network, complemented by their own cable/fiber-fed wi-fi networks, to power their own MNVO mobile services, such Xfinity Mobile and Spectrum Mobile. The complicated deal also involves the sale to DISH of bits of spectrum held by Comcast and other owners of Cable Mobile. Until DISH launches their own 5G network, DISH's wireless service(s) will continue to exclusively rely on MVNO access to the New T-Mobile's 3G and 4G LTE networks.
     
  7. Joe3

    Joe3 Active Member

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    Quatrain Predicts!

    "The young lion will not overcome the older one,
    On the field of combat in a single battle;
    He will pierce his eyes through a golden cage,
    Two wounds made one, then he dies a cruel death."
     
  8. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    I think this could happen sooner. DISH could use cable for strand mount small cells, but even more importantly, fiber backhaul, as Charter, Altice, and Comcast cover most of the US with fiber networks that DISH doesn't currently have. They are weird bedfellows, but Sling TV is already on X1 so it's not totally unprecedented for them to work together, this time on a much larger scale.

    I always assumed Comcast would have Verizon deploy their little bit of B71, but it could well end up being DISH.
     
  9. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it might. After the DOJ announced their approval of the deal yesterday, Charlie Ergen said that DISH has enough cash to cover the deal and build the first phase of the 5G network but he said that they'll definitely need access to additional capital beyond that. (He also said they could have an operational 5G network built out in their first city by end of 2020.)

    For backhaul, there are certainly other (B2B) fiber suppliers they could turn to, but having the cable companies on board would be a boon. And of course the cable companies need a 5G wireless play for the future. So that all makes sense.

    I guess the counter-argument would be that if DISH aims to get into 5G home broadband and IPTV/OTT TV service, as many presume they will (and as the New T-Mobile plans to do), then that would make them a direct competitor to the cable companies. Unless, I suppose, if the cable companies' equity stake in DISH were large enough to prevent them from doing that, setting a DISH policy that the company would only deploy fixed 5G home service for addresses not already on any of their own wired HFC networks.

    In the end, it just makes too much sense to me for one or more of the major cablecos to *somehow* hook up with DISH 5G for it not to happen. Because the future is that all the major players are going to want to offer broadband service both to customers' homes and mobile devices nationwide. But the scale of that is so great, and the market can only bear so many competitors (as Sprint has learned the hard way).

    BTW, did you read that Charter had contacted the DOJ with a last-minute bid for the divested T-Mo/Sprint spectrum, but not Boost Mobile and MVNO access to New T-Mo? The DOJ reportedly did not return the call, ha.
     
  10. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    There's no question that they are going to need a LOT of new capital.

    Sure, and I'm sure that Comcast/Charter/Altice would be happy to sell them fiber at normal commercial rates, but having them on board would be huge to cut a deal for network access in exchange for fiber access at a reduced rate.

    I don't think they have enough spectrum to compete against cable in suburban/urban areas, so if they did get into 5G home access, it would be bundled with DBS in rural areas, which was the idea of their spectrum all along. If that's the plan, then Comcast/Charter/Altice have nothing to worry about. In terms of IPTV/OTT, Comcast put SlingTV on their X1 box, so I just don't think they're too worried about that. The customers cable are targeting for wireless are going to be Triple-, Quadruple-, or Quintuple-Play customers anyway, and for other customers who might get SlingTV versus cable's IPTV system, I don't think they really care. They'll still make money on the broadband side.

    In terms of broadband, just from a pure technical perspective, they should be much more worried about Verizon eating away at their most profitable areas that are dense enough for mmWave, and T-Sprint eating away at suburban/exurban when they have massive MIMO n41 deployed that's cranking out gigabit speeds over wireless.

    T-Sprint's n41 system isn't going to be in any way equivalent to cable's fiber deep architecture, but skimming off some low-usage customers for whom wireless is "good enough" should be scaring the crap out of cable, as they have basically fixed costs, so lower penetration from a provider with a relatively low capital intensiveness to deploy should be of great concern.

    Yeah. The big question is if DISH tries to make a network that's equivalent to even T-Mobile's, much less Verizon's and AT&T's, or if it's largely a metro-market play with targeted rural deployments for home broadband. I just don't see there being 4 truly nationwide networks. It's sort of an insane idea. If they can get roaming on T-Sprint or one of the big two, then that would solve that problem.

    No, I did not see that. That's interesting. I think it's too bad that the DOJ approved this, as it will be bad for the consumer wireless market, even though it has the potential to put a big band-aid over the US's failed telecom policy that has failed to get fiber for all as it should. I would rather have seen the merger denied, and the government to work on our failed telecom policy as a separate issue. 5G is way overhyped for home broadband access, but with the government 15-20 years into a failed telecom policy, it's what some folks may end up with instead of the fiber that they should have.
     
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  11. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Lots of good points. I agree with most all you wrote. Although I would point out that Comcast has only put Sling's *international* packages on X1. They're not letting the main Sling service (which obviously competes with Xfinity TV) on their boxes. And I'm betting that when Hulu shows up on X1 soon, it will only be for the main core service, not the Live TV or premium add-ons.

    I think the DOJ is making the right decision here with approving the deal. The alternative was to let Sprint continue to bleed out and then get sold off for parts, with some of the spectrum likely ending up in Verizon or AT&T's hands as high bidder. At least this way, we'll have a third major competitor with a strong 5G network and there's a plausible plan in place to get DISH to actually deploy their spectrum as a viable business. It wasn't in anyone's interest for that spectrum to keep sitting there or for it to get auctioned off with much of it going to Verizon and/or AT&T. As you say, there may not really be room in the market for 4 truly nationwide network competitors. We'll see. If DISH fails and we end up with only the big 3, then that's what was always going to happen anyhow, I suppose. So again, hard for me to see the harm in approving this deal. I don't think the various state AGs have any chance of stopping the merger or imposing any additional significant concessions.

    One guy on another posted that, in addition to regular B2C service, he thinks an important part of DISH's 5G strategy will be serving government and industry purposes. Think smart cities, communication with cars to regulate traffic/speeds, etc. At any rate, I think you're right that when it comes to home broadband, DISH will probably only be aiming to pick up easy business where there's either 0 or 1 incumbent broadband provider and that mainly means rural/exurban areas. If necessary from a bandwidth perspective, I could imagine them continuing to rely on DBS for linear channels, although DISH receivers would still have an on-demand platform and all the popular OTT apps which could be fed by 5G. I suppose it would depend on whether the cost of doing those rooftop dish installs and the related equipment would justify the reduction in traffic that multicast video via 5G eMBMS would take up for linear channels.
     
  12. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Interesting. I thought that they were allowing the full Sling service. It wouldn't really serve any purpose since you have to have Comcast cable to have the X1 box.

    The problems I have with the merger are twofold. First, we don't know that there weren't any other potential buyers of Sprint, especially after a debt restructuring. There was a whole laundry list of companies that might be interested in Sprint, ranging from Amazon to a consortium of cable companies (who now look like they're going to invest in this DISH venture).

    Secondly, the way they structured the merger, they didn't force a divestiture of any of T-Sprint's spectrum, and now they have a utterly absurd amount of spectrum. They are going to be able to undercut AT&T and Verizon on the capital cost to build out a network, as they don't really need small cells except in a few very targeted locations. They can rely on a high density macro grid with n41 to have some insane capacity. I think that John Legere is smart in that he recognizes the value of the "two dot five" spectrum as he calls it for metro market deployment, as well as fixed wireless in rural areas.

    What I would have liked to see is Sprint and T-Mobile stay as separate companies, and DISH be forced to sell off their spectrum. Sprint needed the B71 and B25, Verizon needed the B70 and some of the B4/66, and the remainder of the B4/66 would have been good for T-Mobile.

    I doubt that the state AGs will be successful, but once Sprint is gone, they're gone. If the deal had been denied, Sprint would have had to figure out a way to survive as a much smaller fourth network. Unfortunately, the mess that we are in now can be traced much farther back in the various consolidations that have happened over the course of the last decade or two, how spectrum has been allocated and managed by the government (not well), and how the government has not rate regulated roaming, which would have allowed more competition in the market and one or two networks to be built into rural areas, with everyone using them.

    The problem I see with building an IoT network is that it takes so little capacity and is relatively profitable that an AT&T or Verizon can easily scoop it up, as they largely have. More and more power meters are going online, and I think that a lot of power grid and city infrastructure will end up with wireless connectivity, especially outside of the biggest cities like LA that have their own fiber and/or wireless networks for that stuff.

    Also, the whole 5G self-driving car thing is completely insane. The idea that cars will communicate with each other is insane. Self-driving cars needs to use their sensors to follow the rules of the road as if they are humans, and 5G is going to be of little help to the cars themselves. The latency is too high, and the connectivity too spotty. The idea that we're somehow going to go from 4G LTE that's not reliable to 5G that magically works everywhere and cars are going to use it to drive themselves is ridiculous. People peddling this stuff seem to forget that you can go a few miles away from the Acela Corridor and find weak spots where data barely works or drops out completely in the 4G LTE network. Heck, it was only a couple of years ago that they put the last tower in to cover the Acela Corridor itself. The rest of the country has no hope. There will always be weak/dead spots. Between cost and NIMBYs, wireless networks just aren't that robust.

    Their 5G spectrum isn't enough to support full-time streaming video for TV, especially in rural areas. I think they will continue to use DBS for that, and maybe do some VOD over 5G. DirecTV has found that installation costs are prohibitive, but that's in a mainly competitive urban/suburban market. While driving the truck around costs more in a rural area due to sheer distance, the installs themselves are a lot cheaper due to much lower churn. I don't think that multicast video will scale well over 5G. How many people are going to be watching the same linear channel on the same sector of the same site? Not many. DBS works great for that application, as you can stick a 2TB hard drive in the DVR and cover most of people's viewing that way.

    AT&T is currently capping FWI at 215GB/mo, although they are only using 10x10mhz to supply it. With DISH's spectrum, they should be able to offer 1TB caps. They'll also likely need an outdoor antenna for the FWI, so why not put a DISH dish up at the same time? I could see Ergen getting pissed off with the retransmission situation and putting up an OTA antenna as well, resulting in 3 antennas total. While that antenna farm would be unpalatable to many suburban dwellers, I don't think rural residents care, as long as they like the service and the price it's being offered at. DISH also has data on where their TV customers are, and probably some telemetry from the boxes that are connected to the internet on connection speed, as well as knowledge of which ones aren't so they can target areas with a lot of satellite customers who don't have good connectivity.

    I think this merger/DISH combo could be great for rural residents who have substandard connectivity today, and may end up creating not only available connectivity, but actual competition in those areas. If T-Mobile and DISH get in on the action, AT&T wont be able to resist, and they will offer something, probably on their existing cellular network, like the Home Phone and Internet product (not FWI, that's a separate network, the one that runs on their cellular network) with much higher data limits to bundle with DirecTV.

    This will be both good and bad. It will be good to have some connectivity, but bad in that it will likely torpedo any future plans to actually fix our completely broken telecom policy and do fiber for all. The ILECs, particularly AT&T and Verizon should be held accountable for the billions of dollars in tax breaks and incentives they have been given over the years to build out fiber that they have failed to build out. The larger ILECs should be forced to go 100% FTTH/FTTB on their own, with smaller ILECs offered government loans or subsidies if needed to get there, and provide everyone with one fiber provider.

    Further, the government should figure out how to properly define where MSOs build out, as they seem to be able to pick and choose where they want to go too much, and then create some program to both incentivize overbuilders like RCN and WOW, as well as muni and local private providers to expand HFC and/or fiber overbuilds to get 3 options into more suburban/urban markets, as well as remove barriers (like pole access) for them to do so.

    Lastly, minimum speeds should be set, caps should be outlawed, and net neutrality should be enforced. ILECs should have a minimum of gigabit for all SFUs and small multi-families, and 300/100 for large MDUs with fiber inside the building (to allow for G.Fast). Meanwhile, MSOs should have a minimum speed of at least 1000/100, maybe even 1000/250, the former allowing for mid-split, the latter requiring either high-split or FDX. These speeds with no data caps would effectively force them to go fiber-deep.

    Then, fixed wireless could be used for off-grid locations or locations that never had an ILEC due to their remote nature, as well as temporary access, backup connectivity, and RVs/trucks/boats/etc. And the few off-grid locations that don't have an ILEC or wireless access would have to remain on satellite broadband.
     
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  13. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    So what you're saying is that you'd like to see 3 big, strong nationwide networks (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile) and 1 smaller/weaker network (Sprint). How is that so different from the scenario we're headed for under the deal with AT&T, Verizon and New T-Mobile on the one hand and DISH on the other? And how did you think that Sprint was going to buy that B71 and B25 spectrum from DISH and build it out? Sprint can't afford to build out very much of the 2.5 GHz 5G spectrum that they have NOW, much less build out any additional licenses. At least with DISH, we'll have a company building a new 100% 5G (and probably 100% virtualized) network from scratch. Their operating cost per GB of bandwidth served will be significantly lower than the big 3 and that will good for them and for consumers. Check out what Rakuten is doing in Japan and Jio in India, with both building 5G-from-scratch networks. Something like that will be the game plan for DISH.

    Not insane at all. It's already being developed and tested in labs. You'd only need continuous 5G coverage along the busiest streets in the core urban grid, plus several miles along the main arteries feeding into the urban core (plus the beltway around it). The 5G coverage for cars need not bathe every square inch of America, not even close.

    Maybe, although I think your view of video consumption remains stuck in roughly 2010. Live linear channel viewership is dying, there's already a ton of on-demand viewing done on wireless networks and that's only ever going to rise with 5G. And if you had clicked through and read about eMBMS on 5G, you'd have a better understanding of how multicast works there. It's actually dynamic, so that streams switch from unicast to multicast as the number of viewers rise so that network bandwidth is always used most efficiently.

    This is probably the future of free local TV distribution at some point in the 2030s. The FCC will just shut down all ATSC 1.0 and 3.0 spectrum and convert it all over to 5G. Certain types of TV, including emergency alerts, local news, local community events, national cultural/political/historical events, children's educational content, etc. (all of which will be seen as special "protected" classes of media under FCC rules), will hitch a free ride on commercial 5G networks to any device with a 5G receiver chip (including phones, home network gateways, big-screen TVs, etc.). And of course, the "broadcasters" offering that content will offer free (usually ad-supported) streams over wired internet connections too. Free universal TV that gets a free ride on 5G will essentially just be PBS and your local news. Everything else will be subsumed into paid subscription (e.g. Hulu) or free ad-supported (e.g. Tubi) streaming sources that will be available over any internet network but the consumer will have to pay for that internet connection as a precondition of viewing, unlike with the free universal TV on 5G, which would not require any active service with Verizon, AT&T, T-Mo, DISH or any other internet carrier.

    You need to forget this fantasy of 100% FTTH penetration from sea to shining sea. Never gonna happen. Way too costly. Only way it could happen is if the federal government heavily subsided it and I have to think that's going to be a political loser. The 80% of non-rural Americans will see better ways to spend tax dollars (or, who are we kidding, borrow from their grandchildren) than to subsidize first-class connectivity for the 20% of Americans living in the country.

    Hopefully AT&T's AirGig technology proves to be economically feasible for wide-scale rural deployment. It could be a real game-changer and the closest thing we'll ever see to 100% FTTH.
     
  14. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    No, you don't need Xfinity TV to have an X1 box. Comcast has a program called Flex in which they rent their standalone broadband customers an X1 box (the Xi6), which can be used for all of the OTT (and managed IPTV) services supported by X1. Not sure what Comcast is thinking there, as who wants to rent a glorified Roku Ultra for $5/mo? I think it's really just Comcast easing their way toward what will happen next year when they launch their nationwide OTT NBCU SVOD and OTT X1 TV, with the Xi6 either rented, sold or given away nationwide as the preferred custom device to be used with those services.
     
  15. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    T-Mobile today is nowhere near AT&T and Verizon. They have hit a sweet spot in-between Sprint's lousy network and AT&T and Verizon's superior but far more expensive networks. Sprint's finances are a problem, but with some outside investors, they could have purchased that B71/B25 and then started to fix their own network. It's far harder for DISH to create a brand new network than it would have been for Sprint to fix an existing and at least semi-functional one. The CAPEX required to build a new network is absolutely monstrous, and they have to compete with T-Mobile, which will now have a huge incentive to sell bandwidth relatively cheaply due to their massive spectrum position. Where I'm still skeptical is in T-Mobile's rural coverage, as they have to date done a poor job with the rural coverage that they have built. Maybe they'll go back and re-build it all, but I'm skeptical that they'll ever have the same reach as T and VZ, who have, through M&A, been building towers in various places since 1983, and are currently spending CAPEX at a rate of around $20B/year each.

    So there's three issues. One is the actual coverage itself, which I still think is a problem. There are spots in major cities today with poor 4G connectivity, and we're talking about 5G everywhere? On top of that, what is the point? Self-driving cars need to be able to make decisions on their own, based on their own sensors. Even if every car on the road was fully self-driving, there are bikes, pedestrians, scooters, trucks unloading things with hand carts, etc, etc. Secondly, all the manufacturers would have to get onto the same system, and it would have to go through the same servers on the other end. Third, what's the point? If you need short-range V2V communication, just do it ad-hoc V2V, and then it will work just as well in the middle of a cornfield at a 4-way stop in Iowa as it will in the middle of Manhattan.

    I'm just not buying the 5G self-driving car thing. I think self-driving cars will take over, and I think it's inevitable that most vehicles on the road are fully self-driving, but I don't think 5G will play much of a part in that. That being said, it's a huge opportunity for 5G, as people will be freed from driving, and can watch videos loaded with targeted advertisements, or their Netflix, or adult videos or whatever they want to watch in the privacy of their own car rolling down the road under autonomous control.

    I still think that they're going to need DBS for traditional linear channels. You're right in that linear is dying off, however, it is a slow, long tail, and rural users are probably, on average, well behind the technological curve, whether due to what is available to them, or some self-selection and demographic (age) factors involved. There is still a culture of people having the TV on a lot, even when they aren't really actively watching it, and that puts a lot of load on a 5G network, so why not keep that on DBS for the time being?

    Does 5G work on frequencies below 600mhz? From what I understand, T-Mobile is about maxed out on the size of antennas that are practical to mount on towers, and phones and mobile devices can't go a whole lot lower. Of course there are always new technologies and new engineering, unless we're running into a limit of physics. I also wonder what the broadcasters would think of something like that. In the end, they'd probably give up their spectrum for the right price, however, so it depends on how much other companies would be willing to pay for that spectrum.

    I just have a hard time seeing broadcast TV going away entirely given how much of a part of American culture it is. AM radio is still around, as is FM. I think they will all be drastically reduced in importance, but I doubt that they will fully go away. If the current trend of wireless coverage decreasing from generation to generation of technology, i.e. AMPS to 2G/3G and 2G/3G to LTE, then 5G, which should have coverage equal to LTE, isn't going to be that great, and is still going to leave a market open for broadcast radio, as well as TV.

    I could see them cutting back to RF 30 at some point after the ATSC 3.0 transition either happens or doesn't, although for the cost of another repack, it might not end up being worth it, and we might just keep the status quo. The focus on 5G seems to be mid-band and mmWave for capacity, and wireless carriers already have some low-band spectrum for coverage.

    What I'm proposing is not sea-to-shining-sea, but rather covers the existing POTS and electrical system footprints. It's not a matter of cost. That has been proven over and over again with rural co-ops that have done successful fiber deployments. It's a political failure of regulation. We built out universal electric service, we built out universal telephone service, universal fiber service is peanuts in comparison. The problem is government corruption and regulatory capture, and that is why it will never happen. It would cost the government very little to force AT&T and Verizon to build out on their own dimes, and offer loans or modest subsidies to the other, smaller ILECs that can't afford to do it on their own dime. Some further regulations of MSOs and regulatory reform and financing mechanisms to encourage overbuilders would encourage more competition.
     
  16. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    AirGig is yet another half-***ed kludge. It will never be widely deployed. Anything that provides enough coverage will be close to the cost of just doing it right and putting in fiber, so the companies will balk at the cost and continue to abandon their responsibilities as the ILEC in those areas.

    That's true, there is Flex. I forgot about that, as that's relatively new and small in comparison. Comcast's whole Xi6-as-a-Roku plan seems kind of absurd, but I guess it's sort of a low-risk program for them, as they need to develop the X1 software for themselves and their MSO partners in the US and Canada anyway, so why not?
     
  17. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    If the federal government (or all states) specifically permitted co-ops (such as rural electrical co-ops) to create and run their own wired IP networks to serve those communities, along with a little cash thrown at them from the Universal Services Fund, that would go a long way toward the problem. But the reality is that it will be a patchwork of different solutions from different providers that will bring fast broadband to rural America. Everyone is NOT going to have FTTH (just as, even now, nowhere close to all urban/suburban residents have access to FTTH). The price/performance ratio of broadband in rural areas may never be as good as in metro areas but that's OK. The shopping, dining and cultural amenities aren't as good either. Life is a series of trade-offs and if you want the peace, quite and fresh air of country life, away from the maddening crowds, that's always going to mean giving up some things that you could have in the city.
     
  18. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    We already have a system for dividing and conquering: the ILEC. If the federal government forced ILECs to migrate POTS to fiber and thus provide universal FTTH/FTTB service, it would create a lot more competition in areas already covered by MSOs, and would provide a provider in the rest. Further, it would protect regulated POTS service, which is decaying to the point that it's useless in many areas, since it would run over the same fiber lines that gigabit and TV would, as Verizon is currently doing in some areas with FiOS. In areas that don't have an ILEC, they are probably too remote to ever be wired and can be served by fixed wireless or satellite. I'd be in favor of a system that allowed an AT&T or a Verizon to find willing takers of their ILEC status in certain areas, and run the POTS/fiber systems instead of them, and allow them to negotiate the terms, which might involve paying to get rid of some less desirable rural areas.

    Of course it's going to be a very long time before fiber service reaches most of the US, but it's not because it's actually too difficult or expensive, it's really not, it's due to a failure of our political, financial, and regulatory systems. We can't just leave behind rural areas, as they are the areas that need fast broadband access the most. I would allow for slightly higher prices for delivering service to areas with low density, as it just costs more to build out fiber plant when there are a few houses a mile versus in cities where you could be hitting thousands or tens of thousands of units per mile, as well as send trucks out to those areas, but it has to be reasonable so that people can actually afford and use it.

    Our lack of a coherent policy on broadband is just one of many. We basically have no energy policy, no transportation/infrastructure policy, and no policy for many other areas. We did rural electrification, we did rural telephone service, now it's time for rural fiber for all. Unfortunately, our government has been failing at this since the early 2000's when it was clear that FTTH was the future. If they had put in place a policy to do fiber for all back then, we would have actually had fiber virtually everywhere by the mid-2010's.
     
  19. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    I am enjoying this extensive, erudite colloquy between you two knowledgeable fellows but feel called upon to interject a small linguistic correction to your post above.

    The phrase you are looking for is "far from the madding crowd" ("madding" in the archaic sense of "frenzied"). It is taken from a poem by the 18th century English poet Thomas Gray entitled "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard."

    Also often misquoted (and a pet peeve of mine) is the following line from Gray's "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College": "Where ignorance is bliss, 'Tis folly to be wise." Here Gray is not maintaining that "ignorance is bliss" (as those who take the line out of context would have us believe) but rather questioning the wisdom of gaining insight into the troubles that life might have in store for us if the knowing would only cause us further grief.

    Now back to your debate over technological esoterica.:)
     
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  20. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough, except that "madding" isn't a word in American English. (Americans' limited knowledge and use of the word is exclusively as a literary relic.) You're right that I didn't quote the English poem correctly (frankly, I didn't even realize the phrase was from that poem) but -- assuming I was aiming to use a word that's actually recognized and used as a part of American English -- then I chose correctly. :)
     
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