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The Engineer
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The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/28/2016 2:25 PM

No Real Alternatives

I was just talking with a coworker about how internet access costs have been increasing like crazy this year. We're located in upstate New York so for most of us around here there's really only one show in town for getting internet to our homes (rhymes with "dime mourner table").

We figure it's because people are cutting their cable packages and going with an online alternative like slingbox and hulu. Thus if dime mourner table can't overcharge us for cable, no problem, they'll just shift the costs.

My coworker knows more about this stuff than I do and he was saying satellite internet access has latency issues but he could see a wireless solution taking hold to challenge the cable/phone companies current stranglehold. Something that put repeaters on homes and offered comparable speed. He was even suggesting somehow using the wireless routers found in almost every home to create a mesh network. Really I just spend my time wishing Fios would become available in my neighborhood.

I know at this point I'm willing to try anything to get out from under the thumb of dime mourner table. Just tired of constantly finding increases in my bill every few months.

Anybody live in an area where there's actually competition when it comes to internet access? Does it help the quality of the service (it must, right?)?

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Guru
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#1

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/28/2016 2:57 PM

Anybody live in an area where there's actually competition when it comes to internet access? Does it help the quality of the service (it must, right?)?

Yea, prices were always really high down here but have been steadily dropping while the data limits are increasing, and it all looks like its driven by multiple providers competing with each other to offer a better (more competitive) service than they were previously.

The down side is you would have to move to New Zealand.

Once there is more competition in your local market you should see a big change in prices. Too long have the cable companies had it too good over in America with little real competition.

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#10
In reply to #1

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/28/2016 6:30 PM

I've been to New Zealand. What's the downside of moving there??

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Guru
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#12
In reply to #10

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/28/2016 8:41 PM

Internet is still more expensive than Europe.

I am sure there are other downsides, but none currently spring to mind.

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#17
In reply to #12

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/29/2016 10:22 AM

Being the last one out and having to turn off the lights?

or trying to drill in 60' swells to prove DW active heave on the Deepwater Frontier

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#2

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/28/2016 3:07 PM

Perhaps Google Fiber in a few years. http://bgr.com/2015/12/30/2016-tech-predictions-google-fiber/.

Cost: https://support.google.com/fiber/answer/2657118?hl=en. The price might not be much different from the company you didn't mention but for the same price the service is GB vs. 30 MB.

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The Engineer
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#15
In reply to #2

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/29/2016 7:43 AM

I'd love for Google Fiber to come here.

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#3

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/28/2016 3:31 PM

Competition always drives down prices.

I'm surprised that the local Telco doesn't have DSL available. Since the explosion of cell technology, practically no one has a landline anymore. That is a lot of wiring infrastructure that someone can make use of for DSL.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/28/2016 4:06 PM

Our local Telco sends out LOTS of mailers trying to get people to sign up for their "HIGH SPEED INTERNET". It is contract only with huge cancellation fees. And in the fine print they define "High Speed" as 3 MB/sec. I don't know if you can run a single video stream over a line rated at 3 MB/sec (and probably delivering less payload). If anyone in the house streams video I don't think that service like our local Telco is an option.

We noticed a lot of issues with a service rated at 10 MB/sec. Things were quite a bit better with a 20 MB/sec line. After my latest call complaining about the huge bill they bumped me to 30 MB/sec for no additional charge. In the evening we average either two high definition video streams or one high definition stream and one hard core gamer stream. A service advertised at 30 MB/sec max seems to be a good fit for our needs.

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#9
In reply to #4

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/28/2016 5:53 PM

Wow! That is one crappy Telco! I live in a town of ~7000, and our DSL handles our TV (including HD movies), phone, 3 laptops, and a printer without any problem.

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#13
In reply to #3

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/28/2016 8:58 PM

Competition only drives down prices when the competitors are not in bed with each other which at this point in time only take one person with half a brain in each company to figure out that by working with your competitors under the table profits for all involved will be substantially higher than working against each other in public.

Years ago our two primary fuel suppliers would get into a peeing match every few months to which effect we would see huge gas price drops at the pumps happen in a matter of a day or less.

Now that the next generation of each supplier has taken over and they are buddy buddy on everything so a major gas war here is one station dropping its price by 2 cents for a 24 hour period if even that while our local average prices run 10 -20 cents a gallon higher than most everywhere else despite having two rail road delivery systems plus a major fuel pipeline literally running right through our town and a refinery least than 100 miles away.

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/29/2016 6:46 AM

Having a refinery is not as good as having a distribution tank farm. The only fuel you could burn from a refinery is diesel. Modern gasoline directly from a refinery has an octane rating in the low 60's.

If you think gas prices are unjustifiably high, go to your local govt and complain...or just go to the cute tv news reporter!

Drew K

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#18
In reply to #13

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/29/2016 11:21 AM

"Competition only drives down prices when the competitors are not in bed with each other"

At that point it isn't competition, it's collusion.

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Anonymous Poster #1
#5

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/28/2016 4:06 PM

In Amarillo TX, I paid about $45 / month for 60 or so channels and 15 to 25 mbs service. In the Tampa Florida area, I get about 70 channels and a bit slower speeds for over $100 / month. There are several providers here and there was only one in Amarillo. I only really watch the local cable news channel on tv so we are dropping it and going to just internet...but will still be paying more than Amarillo.

Anon for privacy

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#6

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/28/2016 4:44 PM

I always thought broadband over power lines (BPL) would become a viable option. It sounds like Google Fiber will be a nice option if it ever comes to the area...

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#7

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/28/2016 5:20 PM
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Guru
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#8

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/28/2016 5:35 PM

Now sure where you are in upstate NY, but I just checked and verified that HughesNet is available in the Rochester area. It's internet via satellite. They have various plans, the cheapest being 10Mbps download speed for $60 per month.

http://www.hughesnet.com/

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Anonymous Poster #2
#11
In reply to #8

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/28/2016 6:31 PM

I used Hughes Net satellite internet in rural PA before high speed DSL was available. You have to read the contract very closely. Watch for their right to throttle as you reach their arbitrary byte count, back then it was on a daily basis, and streaming a movie was limited so buffering was the only way to get a picture without interruptions.

You also have to get used to the transit delay due to the multiple round trips after you hit "enter"; i.e., up to the satellite, down to the server, up from the server, then down to your computer, plus processing and queing time for each step. Depending upon the time of day it could take anywhere from 1.5 to 4.5 seconds for a response, and that does not include the delay between real-time and wall clock-time that at times could reach 10 seconds.

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The Engineer
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#16
In reply to #8

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/29/2016 7:45 AM

We are in the capital region (Albany, Schenectady, Troy). I'll check HughesNet out, thanks!

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#21
In reply to #16

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

02/05/2016 4:21 PM

We're actually stuck on sub-par .8mbps DSL due to being the only house on our street, despite being in a town serviced by TWC.

There's a local company called Hudson Valley Wireless that I looked into a while ago. http://www.hvwisp.com/

It looked promising but I ended up not having line of sight between their tower in downtown Albany and my home, so I couldn't use the service.

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#19

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/29/2016 2:33 PM

We have three broadband carriers in our neighborhood and I am sorry to say it has not contained (true) costs at all. There are deals for people who jump ship, but it is temporary. I think before too long the carriers are going to be charging for data not bandwidth.

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The Engineer
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#20
In reply to #19

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

01/29/2016 2:57 PM

I think paying for data makes more sense but I have to admit I'm worried how the broadband carriers will exploit it. I could see that as a means for them to squeeze competition to their set top cable boxes.

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#22

Re: The Increasing Cost of Internet Access

04/01/2016 8:20 AM

Have no fear. Archiving cost is constantly dropping. S.M.

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