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Old 12-21-16, 01:10 AM   #1
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Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

Almost everything I want to buy, or a service I need, I have a near unlimited choice - too much choice, actually.

But internet, I have only two... why?

I have Cox right now, and they get slower and more expensive by the month. My other choice is AT&T (not U-verse, but DSL), and they just suck.
No Comcast, no Time Warner, no Verizon - none of them them. And I live in a fairly developed/populated area. What's going on?

Is this corporate shenanigans?
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Old 12-21-16, 01:44 AM   #2
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

What about Cablevision/Optimum Online?

Edit: Never mind just realized they only service NYC.
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Old 12-21-16, 07:56 AM   #3
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

It's the same thing here in Los Angeles. That's because"public" utilities many times have a monopoly over a certain area. Only one telephone co, only one cable co.
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Old 12-21-16, 10:03 AM   #4
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

Yeah, I actually don't even have two choices, really - I only have ONE; one cable, and one DSL.

What a bunch of crap.

I read somewhere that these companies got together in the late '90s and divvied up the country so they can each have a section and not have to compete with each other. Which would be fine if they were regulated like electric or gas, but they're not.
I'm sure our next president will fix it...
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Old 12-21-16, 10:07 AM   #5
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

Only one high speed internet source for me.
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Old 12-21-16, 11:14 AM   #6
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

Ugh.

So looking at my options - my Cox cable is a promised 50Mbps (I'm lucky to get 25 - though honestly, that's fast enough for my needs), and after the initial introductory price of $50 a month, it went to $65, and has been inching up over the last few years, and is now $80. $80 a month for roughly 20 Mbps is highway robbery!

So my ONLY other option is AT&T's DSL (not U-verse - it's not "offered", as it would compete with Cox). And that is an abysmal 6 Mbps (if it even goes that high) for $50 a month.

This isn't America.
South Korea has faster and cheaper internet because it's deeply regulated. But here, the corporations are slowly running (and ruining) things more and more for ever increasing profits. They're only goal is to keep shareholders happy; fuck the customers and employees.
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Old 12-21-16, 11:27 AM   #7
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

I asked before in one of the video game threads, but you still haven't talked to Cox about a new 1 or 2 year agreement? They've always been excellent to me in dropping rates for me when I ask. And have you actually talked to someone about your internet speed being lower then expected? They've also been good about fixing issues for me, or at least identifying them.

Also, i've lived in areas in Orange County that have both U-Verse and Cox Cable, so competition isn't the reason U-Verse isn't available wherever you are.

But yeah, lack of multiple ISP options sucks, especially for cable providers.
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Old 12-21-16, 11:34 AM   #8
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

Yeah, I have talked to them (mostly over the price), and they don't want to budge - they just want to sell me extra packages or downgrade my speed, not give me what I already have for less.

And I'm in Irvine too, a fairly nicer area, which is why it's surprising there's no U-verse.
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Old 12-21-16, 12:03 PM   #9
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

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Originally Posted by slop101 View Post
Yeah, I actually don't even have two choices, really - I only have ONE; one cable, and one DSL.

What a bunch of crap.

I read somewhere that these companies got together in the late '90s and divvied up the country so they can each have a section and not have to compete with each other. Which would be fine if they were regulated like electric or gas, but they're not.
I'm sure our next president will fix it...
Unfortunately that's pretty typical for many people. Only one phone company and one cable company per area. My options are Verizon (now frontier) for phone/dsl and spectrum (twc) for cable tv/cable internet.
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Old 12-21-16, 12:14 PM   #10
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

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Originally Posted by slop101 View Post
Yeah, I have talked to them (mostly over the price), and they don't want to budge - they just want to sell me extra packages or downgrade my speed, not give me what I already have for less.

And I'm in Irvine too, a fairly nicer area, which is why it's surprising there's no U-verse.
I have had a problem with this too. They reduced the first few times then refused to reduce.Then let's say another person in your family wanted internet... They can sign up and get the introductory rate... Rinse and repeat. It sucks but that's the game.
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Old 12-21-16, 12:36 PM   #11
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

I'm with TWC, cable internet only. I get snail mail and emails almost daily promoting the great new rates with Spectrum. When I call they say, "Sorry, that's only for new customers." Morons, you only have my email because I'm already a customer.

Is this corporate shenanigans? Yes.
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Old 12-21-16, 12:44 PM   #12
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

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I'm with TWC, cable internet only. I get snail mail and emails almost daily promoting the great new rates with Spectrum. When I call they say, "Sorry, that's only for new customers." Morons, you only have my email because I'm already a customer.

Is this corporate shenanigans? Yes.

Had a similar thing happen to a friend of mine who currently had twc. They had another family member sign up for spectrum and cancelled the old twc plan
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Old 12-21-16, 12:58 PM   #13
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

That's a good option, have a family member sign up if possible. Cox's website shows $54.99 for 50 Mbps internet for new customers versus the regular $77.99.
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Old 12-21-16, 04:58 PM   #14
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

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Originally Posted by slop101 View Post
Almost everything I want to buy, or a service I need, I have a near unlimited choice - too much choice, actually.

But internet, I have only two... why?
Frankly, because running wired infrastructure is expensive. The 2 major options available to most people use repurposed existing infrastructure (copper phone lines for DSL and coaxial cable TV for cable modem), which were already installed and paid for (and in many cases, subsidized) decades ago.

Some lucky people get new fiber optic installations (Google Fiber, Verizon FIOS), but that's usually only to high density population areas where economies of scale make it feasible. I think it's also telling about the build-out costs that both Google Fiber and Verizon FIOS have halted all new fiber installations.

Most places where there is a 3rd option, it is delivered via various wireless technologies, which avoids the high build-out costs. The wireless is either delivered directly to the end-user or it's a wireless backhaul to the location (usually a multi-dwelling unit like a condo or apartment complex) and then leveraging existing wiring (phone or cable, within the premises) for the "last mile" delivery.

A 3rd "existing infrastructure" wiring option, Broadband over Powerline, hasn't really panned out at any large scale, though it works fine for in-home network distribution via HomePlug technology.

One more note. It easier for places like Japan and South Korea to have fast Internet speeds available to most people, because they have much higher population densities, so it's much easier to build-out and deliver high speeds. The US has a huge population, but spread out over a huge land area, with lots of very rural areas. Just as a comparison, South Korea has a population density of 501/sq mile. Japan is 339/sq mile, and the US is 84/sq mile.

Last edited by TheBang; 12-21-16 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 12-21-16, 05:10 PM   #15
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

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Frankly, because running wired infrastructure is expensive. The 2 major options available to most people use repurposed existing infrastructure (copper phone lines for DSL and coaxial cable TV for cable modem), which were already installed and paid for (and in many cases, subsidized) decades ago.
But then, similar to how I had choices when it came to cable-TV back in the day, why is there only one cable-internet provider?
Multiple companies should be able to use that existing infrastructure of cable lines just as easily as one company does, right?
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Old 12-21-16, 09:13 PM   #16
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

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But then, similar to how I had choices when it came to cable-TV back in the day, why is there only one cable-internet provider?
Multiple companies should be able to use that existing infrastructure of cable lines just as easily as one company does, right?
While the poles themselves can be used by anyone, Cable Companies intentionally don't allow other cable companies to use their lines. The big cable cos are in cahoots and won't impede on another big cos area.

So a new cable co trying to enter an area would have to get regulatory approval(which isn't easy) from the local municipality before starting to run wires. Now let's say they were able to run wires. They would have to run significant promotions to get users. The users call into their existing cable co to cancel... Existing cable co will match the deal of the new cable co so many will stay... And the new cable co will likely go belly up. Then the old cable co would jack up the price again.



You would need a huge company not in cahoots with the other cable cos like Google to do it to be successful. And even then the big cable cos are lobbying local governments to enact laws to make it harder for Google fiber to expand .

There are exceptions of course but that's the general gist
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Old 12-21-16, 09:54 PM   #17
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

Yeah, which is what I was getting at with "corporate shenanigans".
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Old 12-22-16, 03:03 AM   #18
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

GREED! Enforced monopoly keeps prices very high, and the avaricious ISP companies in the US love this. So do utility companies. The internet is already to many considered a utility. It should be cheap, accessible to all, ISPs *should* be a not-for-profit enterprise.

Who wants to join my neighborhood wifi party? One house, midblock, providing affordable internet to the entire block. Fuck the ISPs, I'll get them at their own game. More of a "neighborhood watch" against being screwed over by ISPs.
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Old 12-22-16, 10:03 AM   #19
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

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Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
GREED! Enforced monopoly keeps prices very high, and the avaricious ISP companies in the US love this. So do utility companies. The internet is already to many considered a utility. It should be cheap, accessible to all, ISPs *should* be a not-for-profit enterprise.

Who wants to join my neighborhood wifi party? One house, midblock, providing affordable internet to the entire block. Fuck the ISPs, I'll get them at their own game. More of a "neighborhood watch" against being screwed over by ISPs.


If this were facebook, I would "like" the hell out of this post.
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Old 12-22-16, 03:41 PM   #20
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

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Originally Posted by D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB) View Post
While the poles themselves can be used by anyone, Cable Companies intentionally don't allow other cable companies to use their lines. The big cable cos are in cahoots and won't impede on another big cos area.
There was a time when Time Warner would lease lines to other companies. EarthLink was available in my area over Time Warner's cable lines. It only lasted a few years as the price was the same as Time Warner. Even with access the competitor didn't have incentive to offer lower prices.

In London my family pays like $10 for fiber. BT ownes the lines but the government regulates the wholesale rates so several companies offer service and compete on price.

Last edited by Kdogg; 12-22-16 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 12-22-16, 04:34 PM   #21
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

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In London my family pays like $10 for fiber. BT owes the lines but the government regulates the wholesale rates so several companies offer service and compete on price.
I am so jealous!
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Old 12-22-16, 05:05 PM   #22
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

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Originally Posted by slop101 View Post
But then, similar to how I had choices when it came to cable-TV back in the day, why is there only one cable-internet provider?
Multiple companies should be able to use that existing infrastructure of cable lines just as easily as one company does, right?
This article explains it pretty well. Very, very few areas are served by more than one cable tv operator.

http://gizmodo.com/5830956/why-the-g...-cable-company
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Old 12-23-16, 04:10 PM   #23
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

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I am so jealous!
So am I, especially when I see the $45 charge from TWC for 15mps on my bill ever month.
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Old 12-23-16, 04:19 PM   #24
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

I'm sort of in the same boat.

I have Spectrum and pay $70/month for 50 MBPS. I already think that $70/month for internet is expensive and that's the most I can afford to pay.

There's really no other options in my area. AT&T is the other option, but as of right now they only have crappy DSL, which I previously had with them and promptly cancelled.

Supposedly AT&T fiber is coming to the LA area, but as of right now it's not available. I would love Fiber, but as I said, I don't know if I could realistically afford more than what I'm paying right now.
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Old 12-23-16, 04:50 PM   #25
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Re: Why do I have a choice between only TWO ISPs?

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I'm sort of in the same boat.

I have Spectrum and pay $70/month for 50 MBPS. I already think that $70/month for internet is expensive and that's the most I can afford to pay.

There's really no other options in my area. AT&T is the other option, but as of right now they only have crappy DSL, which I previously had with them and promptly cancelled.

Supposedly AT&T fiber is coming to the LA area, but as of right now it's not available. I would love Fiber, but as I said, I don't know if I could realistically afford more than what I'm paying right now.
That's weird... I am paying $40 for 100mbps with spectrum. Guess pricing depends on the area
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