"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It's about time

The F.C.C. is waking up to the possibilities of the Internet, and the telecommunications industry doesn't like it:

The proposal already faces resistance from the TV industry. Stations say they still serve a valuable public service, especially during emergencies, and say the F.C.C. proposals could cause gaps in signal coverage.

"Valuable public service" -- well, TV is the opiate of the masses, I guess, although whether corporate news media can be called a "public service" is up for discussion.

And wait until AT&T unleashes its lobbyists -- we'll see Congress mandating that the F.C.C. go back to policing costume malfunctions as its main order of business. Any number of congresscritters should be up for that one.

You may have guessed how disgusted I am with service providers in this country. (Earthlink sucks, basically, but I can't see that it's worse than any other -- one of its major virtues is that it's not AT&T, which is nothing more than a nest of thieves.) They've bought in to the American business model of crappy products for high prices. Chris Ryan at AmericaBlog has reported on the comparison between Internet service in the U.S. and in Europe. (You'll have to dig for the posts, but it's an ongoing topic for him.) We're looking pretty sad in comparison. (I remember noting in one of his posts that the U.S. ranks something like 19th in Internet access speeds.)

[T]he plan will include an initiative the chairman calls 100 Squared — equipping 100 million households with high-speed Internet gushing through their pipes at 100 megabits a second by the end of this decade. According to comScore, the average subscriber now receives speeds of three to four megabits a second.

The government is “setting a stake in the ground by setting a standard for broadband speeds in order to be a competitive nation,” said Dan Hays, director of PRTM, a global management consulting firm in the telecommunications industry.

He said the plan could place “significant pressure” on incumbent providers to improve their networks.

It seems, now that competition is more buzzword than reality, providers need "significant pressure" to provide the service they're in business to provide. It's getting like the insurance industry -- rake in the money for not doing much, not even what you said you'd do.

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