Not logged in
Log in now
Create an account
Subscribe to LWN
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2013
An "enum" for Python 3
An unexpected perf feature
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
Posted Dec 14, 2010 16:02 UTC (Tue) by NAR (subscriber, #1313)
Well, I can use internet access over cable TV or over ADSL, but both are from the same company. Theoretically I could by "ADSL internet" from an other ISP, but I'd still use the wire from the company that built it to my place. I could also use 3G, but that's really slow and expensive, so not a real alternative. So there's already an effective monopoly on access to the internet.
Posted Dec 14, 2010 16:09 UTC (Tue) by anselm (subscriber, #2796)
In most places there are only a few (as in, low single-digit number) carrier companies that offer mobile Internet connectivity, and they're basically free to screw you over any way they like. Yes, you can get a »flat rate« UMTS-based data plan for €20/month, but you need to look at the small print to find out that »flat rate« means 200 megabytes of data at UMTS speed before you will be throttled down to the equivalent of ISDN for the rest of the month, or that anything over that cap will be charged at 50 cents per kilobyte. Since all the carriers are doing the same thing one way or the other, good luck finding one that is noticeably cheaper or better than the rest if you're not happy with your current one.
Which of course does in no way detract from the observation that we'll also be at the mercy of the people hosting the data.
Posted Dec 14, 2010 18:51 UTC (Tue) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
I live in Ukraine. We have like eight 3G Internet providers and 2 WiMax providers, with 3G coverage for about 90% of the country (even including Chernobyl). Unlimited data can be had for about $1 per day, without contracts or any other commitment.
So it's not like data transmission is insurmountable obstacle.
Posted Dec 14, 2010 18:58 UTC (Tue) by wahern (subscriber, #37304)
Posted Dec 16, 2010 21:19 UTC (Thu) by Wol (guest, #4433)
But Ukraine won't have had the eflux that occurred in the new EU countries, so it won't have had the "downward pressure starting on a low base" that they've had.
Posted Dec 14, 2010 16:17 UTC (Tue) by dskoll (subscriber, #1630)
That would imply an effective monopoly on access to the internet.
Welcome to Canada. We have a duopoly. You can get cable access from your local cable company (of which there is exactly one in most areas.) Or you can get DSL access from a number of providers, all of whom lease access from the local phone company (of which there is exactly one in most areas.)
Posted Dec 14, 2010 18:19 UTC (Tue) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
The local governments gave out monopolies to companies in order to ensure that there was significant enough financial benefit for these corporations to come in and create the networks. Also most places helped with dealing with legal costs, and even used taxes in the form of subsidies to help finance laying fiber and maintaining lines.
The two networks that ended up getting created are telephone lines and cable lines. Telephone service and the cable was originally only used to get service out to rural areas and suburbs were television radio broadcast was spotty. It blew up from there.
Of course the FCC only gives out wireless access to the largest bidder, which is almost always going to be the biggest existing companies. And they suck because they are in a protected position and are artificially isolated from competition due to all the regulation.
So it makes it virtually impossible for anybody but the established companies to compete. Which they barely do.
Prior to all the effort to get 'broadband' out to everybody's house anybody could be a ISP and there were usually dozens to choose from in any town. The telephone system was already pretty much established government-sanctioned local monopolies, but anybody could use the telephone system to send data. They ended up 'solving' this problem by capping data speeds over modems to the 56k standards and set it up so that the telephone company was only legally required to maintain 28.8 baud speeds, which made it impossible for customers to complain and get slow data connections fixed. This was done, of course, to help the telephone and cable companies to get enough profits to get people on 'broadband'.
There are a few different ways were we can go about and solve these problems.
Communities paying for municipal data-only fiber networks that is open to any ISP to use on behalf of the community members is my favorite one. Then we end up in a similar situation that anybody who can connect to a major internet network can be a ISP. But there are other possibilities.
Posted Dec 15, 2010 4:24 UTC (Wed) by jamesh (guest, #1159)
In Australia, Telstra holds a monopoly on the local loop telephone connection but pretty much every ISP offers ADSL plans that make use of Telstra's wiring between the exchange and your home.
Things aren't perfect though, since Telstra offers retail DSL products and hasn't always charged itself the same amount for wholesale network access that it does to third parties. That has mainly been a problem with bad regulation, and should be reduced when management of the wholesale network business moves to NBN Co.
Posted Dec 16, 2010 21:27 UTC (Thu) by Wol (guest, #4433)
My ISP is Demon. They run their ADSL over BT lines, like everyone else. What *should* happen aiui is that when I connect to ADSL, BT is supposed to automatically route my call to Demon's DSLAM wherever. But sometimes, when they service the line, they accidentally route it to their own DSLAM. Which, of course, rejects my login leaving me without internet!
Then there's a big blame-game between Demon and BT until someone realises the system has been mis-configured :-( And because I've got a router not a modem, I don't see BT's DSLAM login page, which would be a big clue ...
I'd just like to see the physical infrastructure sold to the users in local co-ops. They could then buy service over that infrastructure from whoever ...
Copyright © 2013, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds