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WSRL.ORG / Fiber & The Government - June 2013 - Revised September 2013 - Page 1
Have we learned anything yet? The backdrop for this page is the known past and present incompetence of government and the unbelievable greed of telco corporations.
Telco Greed, Government Incompetence - From 2007

"There are no good guys in this story. Misguided and incompetent regulation combined with utilities that found ways to game the system resulted in what had been the best communication system in the world becoming just so-so, though very profitable. We as consumers were consistently sold ideas that were impractical only to have those be replaced later by less-ambitious technologies that, in turn, were still under-delivered. Congress set mandates then provided little or no oversight. The FCC was (and probably still is) managed for the benefit of the companies and their lobbyists, not for you and me. And the upshot is that I could move to Japan and pay $14 per month for 100-megabit-per-second Internet service but I can't do that here and will probably never be able to."

At the local level we had the legacy of incompetent State level IT systems which contributed to the problems. We had the Colorado High Speed Digital Network (Note charges for maintenance & monitoring) which was suppose to bring the Internet to rural Colorado. A bunch of public dollars were given to Qwest to implement this system but not much happened as a result. To the best of my knowledge, those publicly paid for contract(s) and assets are now in the hands of CenturyLink. Total loss to the public, nation wide, was set at $750 Billion in 2007 dollars. Apparently Cory Gardner thinks screwing the American public out of $750 Billion is no big deal but $15 million (0.00002% of $750 Billion), if in fact it's been lost, is truly tragic. Cory, you are the biggest JERK politician I know of. The above, of course, doesn't account for Bernanke caused inflation.
Is Anything Better Today? -
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Typical Providers List
Not much by my measure. The latest government effort to solve all our access problems. The map provided by the State can be found here. Looking at the providers list to the right and throwing out all speeds less than 6 Mbps (which you will never see anyway) you are left with three providers. Throw out Hughes satellite service because the delay through the satellite is greater than 0.25 seconds (plus ground station delays) and makes voice communications nearly impossible. That leaves JAB and TDS (Delta County Telecom). Forget TDS because their entire delivery network (RT/UA to the customer) is wireline based. The figures given for TDS are a big lie. As covered in the fiber index page, metallic wire-line cabling is nearly useless for high speed rural delivery because of pair cross talk issues and the distances involved. That leaves JAB (point to multipoint microwave) which I use. I'm about 4000 feet from their nearest AP and subscribe to the highest speed they can deliver. I'm lucky to get 4.5 Mbps (actual speeds links to the right) and top out around 5.5 Mbps. So, there you have it. The map provided by the State is basically a pack of lies (at least in my case).
New Satellite Launch 8/2013 -
For desperate rural users there is a new option. The Story is here. For those who can view video an actual demonstration can be viewed here. Watch out for caps and speeds to drop due to over subscription of services. This service doesn't hold a candle to fiber where the elite 1 Gig club continues to grow monthly. Still, for rural users dealing with dead-beat, do nothing telcos., this could spell some relief. Also, consider the effects of solar activity on satellite Internet. In comparison, fiber optics is totally unaffected by solar activity.
The USF Factor -
USF stands for Universal Service Fund or Universal Service Support Mechanisms. A description of the USF function can be found here. At the State level it's called the High Cost Support Mechanism. Administration of the fund is the responsibility of the Colorado PUC. The not so easy to find annual report can be found here. Why is any of this important to fiber optics? This fund dumps $millions of dollars into the telcos that are suppose to be delivering fiber based services to rural customers but are not. In my view, as long as the telcos continue to be awarded these $millions of dollars in support of delivering totally inferior and inappropriate services, nothing is going to change. Of course the SB 05-152 fiasco also helps the telcos dupe the public and maintain a monopoly. What really makes me mad is, even though I totally refuse to in any way support or use local telco services, USF charges get added on to my distant provider bill without my permission or approval.
Rabid Organizations Against Public Ownership Of Internet Resources -
The latest standout is the Fair Competition Alliance. The easiest way to see what the Colorado SB 05-152 document turned in to, go here. When dealing with deep pocket, $multi-billion dollar common carrier corporations there is no such thing as "Fair Competition". Any attempt to initiate a public funded and controlled fiber build is almost immediately met with legal action. Of course in Colorado puppets for Philip Anschutz were successful for putting Colorado CRS §29-27-1xx in place to prevent such nasty occurrences. If you feel this is a good law that is beneficial to the public you might want to go to this page. What you are viewing is a large corporation that is accepting $millions of US taxpayer dollars to install systems that are obsolete, out-dated and slow from the first day they are put into service. US math and science students are currently ranked 29th and 22nd respectively on a world scale. As for Internet speed, the US currently (1/2014) ranks 32nd on the planet. Considering everything on this page, I fail to see how the respective corporations, organizations or the politicians that support them can look themselves in the mirror or sleep well at night.
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June 2013
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