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Thread: Anyone read this article?

  1. #1
    Regular Member ncswimmer's Avatar
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    Anyone read this article?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/03/te...gy/03NECO.html

    I think it's an interesting article. What does anyone think about it? I think the answer is to force cable companies to sell access to their cables to outside companies. The link may only work until about midnight, but I don't know.
    It's better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

  2. #2
    SG Enthusiast Matt615's Avatar
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    it says you have to sign in to read the article

    Copy and paste it here
    Windows has not yet detected a keyboard. Press any key to continue.

  3. #3
    Regular Member ncswimmer's Avatar
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    Here's the article

    From the NY Times.
    Shortly after Congress reconvenes tomorrow, the House will take up a complex bill that raises two simple, essential questions about the nation's digital future. In the effort to deliver high-speed Internet service to consumers, what is the ideal number of competitors? And should the government make that decision?

    In recent years, the battle for high-speed, or broadband, access has been dominated by two technologies. One is digital subscriber lines, or D.S.L., which use telephone wires. The other is cable modems, which use cable television lines. Despite the development of satellite and land-based wireless systems, the broadband media world will continue to be ruled by phone wires and cable lines for many years.

    Cable lines are essentially under the sole control of the cable companies that own them, companies like AT&T (news/quote) and AOL Time Warner (news/quote).

    The question posed by the House bill is whether the Bell local telephone carriers, companies like SBC and Verizon, should essentially have sole control of Internet access over phone lines or whether competing companies should also have a fighting chance to use those local connections.

    The bill appears to have a reasonable chance of passage in the House but much stronger opposition in the Senate.

    If the bill became law, it would be difficult for competitors to build a sustainable business delivering high-speed Internet service to consumers over telephone networks. Congress would basically have determined that the consumer broadband market should be a competitive duopoly of cable operators and the Bell companies, with a small role played by satellite providers.

    If the House bill fails, on the other hand, the Bell companies will continue to be obliged to share many parts of their networks with outside companies. Because cable companies are generally under no such obligations, the Bell companies will continue to face costs and regulatory hurdles that cable providers do not.

    The issue is really that simple: should the nation's broadband future be determined by a clean fight between two big combatants or by a messy battle among many potential competitors?

    The bill in question is known as Tauzin- Dingell, for its two principal sponsors, Representatives Billy Tauzin, Republican of Louisiana and chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and John D. Dingell of Michigan, the committee's ranking Democrat, both longtime supporters of the Bell companies' aspirations. In pressing for the bill, the Bells have adopted a time-honored technique: try to convince Congress that there is a problem and then convince Congress that the bill will solve it.

    But neither assertion is quite true.

    The foundation of the Bells' case is that broadband Internet access is not being introduced quickly enough and that what they describe as the slow pace of broadband deployment is hurting the economy.

    In a speech two weeks ago in Aspen, Colo., before the Progress and Freedom Foundation, Thomas J. Tauke, Verizon's senior vice president for public policy and external affairs, cited the growth of a number of new communications services, including the Net.

    "Trouble is, the rate of adoption of these technologies has slowed dramatically, along with the growth of the economy itself," he said. "So what's flattened the slope of the curve in 2001? The answer is the lack of widespread deployment of broadband technology."

    He added, "At the very moment when the U.S. economy is mired in a high-tech slump, broadband is still in the `beta' phase."

    But in fact, broadband is already beyond the beta, or test, stage. By the end of this year, about 17 percent of the nation's Internet-linked homes, or more than 10 million homes over all, will be using broadband, according to analysts. That figure would be up from close to zero just four years ago.

    The Bell companies argue that this is slow growth. But listen to what Bell executives have to say about the pace of competition in the local telephone market, which was opened to outsiders five years ago.

    "The F.C.C. says that nationwide, competitors have taken about 8 percent of the lines," F. Duane Ackerman, BellSouth (news/quote)'s chairman, said in an interview last week, referring to the Federal Communications Commission. "It's moving along at a very rapid clip."

    Can 17 percent penetration of broadband be slow if 8 percent penetration of local phone competition over a comparable period is rapid?

    It is hard to detect a crisis in broadband deployment. Verizon itself says that almost half of its roughly 60 million lines are capable of carrying D.S.L. and that it plans to invest $4.7 billion this year alone in high- speed data services.

    The real crisis for the Bell companies appears to be that they are lagging the cable operators in winning broadband customers. By the end of the year, cable operators will have about 7 million broadband customers, compared with about 3.3 million D.S.L. subscribers, according to the Yankee Group, a research firm in Boston.

    It is true that under current law the cable companies do not have to open their networks to competitors, while the Bell companies do. But that is not the reason for the disparity in cable broadband and D.S.L. subscriptions.

    To begin with, the big cable companies took a lead of at least two years in widely adding Internet broadband technology to their systems. Moreover, for some arcane technical reasons, cable modems by most accounts are a superior product, faster and far more reliable than D.S.L. for most homes.

    The technical gulf is clear, and on condition of anonymity, Bell executives acknowledge its existence. Those disparities are why the Bell companies want to extend optical fiber deeper into their networks, closer to the customers' homes, in hopes of approaching technical parity with the cable operators.

    One of the central provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was that the Bell companies must sell direct access to parts of their networks to other companies. The core of the Tauzin-Dingell bill essentially says that as the Bell carriers extend optical fiber into their networks, other companies will not have the right to buy direct access to those new Bell lines. For many if not most outside D.S.L. companies, losing that ability would be tantamount to being put out of business. (Even under the current ground rules, D.S.L. companies are going out of business nearly every week.)

    The Bell companies argue that if they make investments to improve their networks, they should not have to "unbundle," or sell direct access to, the new parts of those systems to outsiders. Many people in Washington see some merit in that argument. In the late 1990's, the F.C.C. agreed to exempt SBC and Verizon from unbundling requirements for their data systems, as long as those companies placed their data operations in separate subsidiaries.

    That arrangement, however, was overturned by a federal court last winter. So now, with the Tauzin-Dingell bill, the Bells are trying to win an unbundling exemption that is far broader than the F.C.C. had granted, and without setting up the separate subsidiaries.

    Passing the Tauzin-Dingell bill would change the nation's digital landscape. In the name of embracing market forces, Congress would be determining the design.
    It's better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

  4. #4
    Regular Member ncswimmer's Avatar
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    It will probably affect us all

    You should read it, I even pasted it into here for you guys. Could affect your service, price, etc.

    If you already read it, what do you think about it?
    It's better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

  5. #5
    Regular Member DaveM's Avatar
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    I really don't care what the government does.

    Whether I want to intervene or not, has nothing to do with what ends up on the end of the wires or Radio waves that come to my house.

    Interesting article, But It's not going to make a big difference if I even know about whats going on.

    Come on, be realistic here, does knowledge actually mean power?

    Nope. Knowledge means nothing, unless you have the POWER to exercise it.

    I'm a 35 year old technical person which can't even get his ISP to read a technical document I create showing them exactly where their failures in the system are, everytime it fails.

    As long as I have mediocre service or better, I don't care what the governments involvement will be.
    Last edited by DaveM; 09-04-01 at 06:06 PM.

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