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Not sure why this isn't a bigger issue this presidential cycle, if you've ever heard of the story of how Chattanooga created super cheap gigabit (generally free wifi gigabit is available in most of the city) through it's public utility then you know how much this could help so many people.

 

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Just read the actual plan and, unsurprisingly, it rules.

- $150B in grants for municipalities to build their own, publicly owned and democratically controlled* broadband
- Grants conditioned on providing union jobs* with no sub-contractors*
- Grants conditioned on universal access*, speed guarantees, and subsidies for the working/poor
- Prioritize rural network access (last-mile focus)
- $7.5B specifically for the Indian communities (Liz, not Mindy)
- Require all ISPs to provide cheap/affordable 100MB down/10MB up everywhere
- Eliminate data caps and throttling*
- Break up major ISPs
- Make broadband subject to Common Carrier rules*
- Reverse OTMR, an anti-union thing that sucks but I only know vaguely about
- Fiber built in with all new roads

* - denotes every time I busted reading this

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Yep, that is very solid. Very very few people actually like their ISP and the big telecom companies, it could honestly be a good wedge issue to drive support for something like M4A.

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2 hours ago, GSU&UT said:

Not sure why this isn't a bigger issue this presidential cycle, if you've ever heard of the story of how Chattanooga created super cheap gigabit (generally free wifi gigabit is available in most of the city) through it's public utility then you know how much this could help so many people.

My take is that this is largely a solution in search of a problem. A couple of comments here.

The city of Chattanooga did decide to enter the broadband market via its electric utility (EPB) as they were already laying fiber for their smart grid initiative. I see no evidence that there is free wireless gigabit available in the city, and why would there be if their plan is sell gigabit access. I believe free wifi is available at the airport and a few other places, but you can see what they charge for the service ($68.00 per month): 

https://epb.com/home-store/internet

They were greatly aided in this effort by a $111M grant from the federal government related to the smart grid initiative. This utility currently services approximately 180,000 households so its not a trivial amount of money per household to deliver the service. In fact the utility estimates is will spend $300 million on the smart grid initiative,so not exclusively broadband.

Contrast that with recent news from TMobile on their 5G wireless network build out which also went live a week or two ago. They claim they can reach 200 million Americans with their 5G coverage and while the speeds are nowhere close to gigabit, tests show it at 100-200MB which will certainly improve as they enhance the build out. Cost for that service is $85 for one line and $170 for 4 lines. Once Verizon and Sprint roll out 5G, I imagine the prices will be kept in check. I may be wrong, but I don't think they are getting billions from the government to build out their networks. 

So you have Verizon, Sprint, Tmobile, DIsh  all building out 5G networks based on wireless technology on their own dime, and you also have the standard cable companies, Google and others  building out their infrastructure. Hell even SpaceX is building their satellite constellation Starlink which they claim will offer Gig speeds, and they will have competition in the satellite sector as well (https://www.pcmag.com/news/371511/spacexs-satellite-internet-plans-for-mid-2020-launch-in-the ).

So why exactly does the US taxpayer need to spend $150 billion dollars? I'm certainly not a Republican, but goddamn the Dems need to stop trying to invent new ways to blow 100's of billions of dollars. Its not a constitutional right to be able to download a movie in 3 seconds. Leave this shit to private enterprise and focus on blowing money in areas that private enterprise cant help. Should the government also take over all cellular service? How about movie/music streaming etc... Drives me fucking crazy.

If the government want to invest in delivering broadband to the areas where people don't have any options, fine, but promising government supplied broad band to all Americans is a waste of money. The vast majority of Americans have options today and will have far more options in a few years. 

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7 minutes ago, Blotto said:

So you have Verizon, Sprint, Tmobile, DIsh  all building out 5G networks based on wireless technology on their own dime, and you also have the standard cable companies, Google and others  building out their infrastructure. Hell even SpaceX is building their satellite constellation Starlink which they claim will offer Gig speeds, and they will have competition in the satellite sector as well (https://www.pcmag.com/news/371511/spacexs-satellite-internet-plans-for-mid-2020-launch-in-the ).

So why exactly does the US taxpayer need to spend $150 billion dollars? I'm certainly not a Republican, but goddamn the Dems need to stop trying to invent new ways to blow 100's of billions of dollars. Its not a constitutional right to be able to download a movie in 3 seconds. Leave this shit to private enterprise and focus on blowing money in areas that private enterprise cant help. Should the government also take over all cellular service? How about movie/music streaming etc... Drives me fucking crazy.

If the government want to invest in delivering broadband to the areas where people don't have any options, fine, but promising government supplied broad band to all Americans is a waste of money. The vast majority of Americans have options today and will have far more options in a few years. 

Those companies aren't doing this "on their own dime". That's a straight up lie. Taxpayers subsidize their build-outs to the tune of billions and billions and billions of dollars.

This is our money, our land, and our infrastructure. We should own it.

Edited by bad_teammate

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Don't have time to respond to most of your post but I was just up in Chattanooga and there was free public fast wifi in lots of places I visited. I'm not suggesting that the internet is free in Chattanooga, that's different.

 

And yes, to echo BT, this should be regarded as a utility and I do not give one single fuck about big telecom companies having to spend money to enhance their infrastructure. Everyone knows how much it sucks to get locked into a one or two year contract with Comcast and how many weird sneaky charges you get that you may have to dispute, a publicly owned utility (which granted may not worked in every single town in the US) cannot fuck you in the ass over costs like a big telecom. I dropped comcast at my last place because they started doing repairs for several days and literally didn't tell me, even when I called customer support. They are a shitty evil organization that I would not trust to run a fucking lemonade stand correctly, at least with a public utility you can freaking hold public officials accountable, quit giving me this ~ * MARKETS * ~ crap

 

34 minutes ago, Blotto said:

So why exactly does the US taxpayer need to spend $150 billion dollars? I'm certainly not a Republican, but goddamn the Dems need to stop trying to invent new ways to blow 100's of billions of dollars. Its not a constitutional right to be able to download a movie in 3 seconds. Leave this shit to private enterprise and focus on blowing money in areas that private enterprise cant help. Should the government also take over all cellular service? How about movie/music streaming etc... Drives me fucking crazy.

This isn't the US government doing it across the nation, it's going to be up to municipalities to do so in a publicly owned way hopefully. You cannot seriously suggest to me that in 2019 having shitty slow internet in a less than urban area (without paying out the ass) doesn't put you and your town at a economic disadvantage than a very big city. This whole Vice article goes into it,

 

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ezpk77/chattanooga-gigabit-fiber-network

Edited by GSU&UT

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Again, if we had an infinite supply of money, I wouldn"t give a fuck. My only point is that laying fiber ain't cheap, and IF 5G solutions (and in a few years satellite broadband) can provide rural access why should the government get involved. In terms of pricing, sure Austin is pretty wired and an  exception, but I have several gigabit options available to me today. I use grande and its solid. I dont pay for gigabit because I get about 200MB already which is fine for me. But if I did want Gigabit, its $70 per month with no contract, almost identical to Chattanooga. Sure Comcast, Time Warner and other cable companies suck dick, but they will eventually be phased out of the picture as competition increases. It will be much harder for them to maintain their monopolies (where they still have them). 

The landscape is shifting due to wireless technologies. I would argue that cellular service  is more essential for everyday life than broadband, so are you also arguing that local municipalities should take that over ? Unless your argument is that the government should provide cell, TV, and other "essential services" I don't see why broadband will be any different in a few years. If its fine for wireless carriers to charge $60-$100 per month for cell service with unlimited data, why is a similar rate problematic for residential  broadband? Its quite likely that both would be bundled into a single bill for your family.  

I believe the large national cell companies charge the same amount for cell service no matter where you live in the US, and I I think its likely that they and the satellite companies once they come online, will adopt a similar price scheme. They will have to be price competitive or people will look elsewhere. If it costs me the same today in Austin for gigabit services as the municipal owned solution in Chattanooga, the wireless carriers will have to be at that rate to win business. 

Regarding satellite broadband.... 

https://www.businessinsider.com/spacex-starlink-satellite-internet-how-it-works-2019-5

https://www.theverge.com/2019/10/22/20927277/spacex-starlink-broadband-satellite-constellation-internet-2020

Maybe SpaceX is full of shit and this will never work, but if it does, it will be much more cost effective than running fiber everywhere. We'll know soon enough as they have already launched 60 more satellites more since the business insider article above. If they fail, there's several more people behind them willing to try. 

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On 12/6/2019 at 6:00 PM, Blotto said:

IF 5G solutions can provide rural access

giphy.gif

the range on high bandwidth 5G is barely better than wifi.  the long range 5G network that tmobile just turned on only averages 20% better than tmobile's LTE product.

https://venturebeat.com/2019/12/05/t-mobiles-600mhz-5g-peaks-at-roughly-225mbps-but-there-are-caveats/

 

 

On 12/6/2019 at 6:00 PM, Blotto said:

(and in a few years satellite broadband)

Quote

"If millions of people want to hop on to Starlink all at one time, that is just not going to work" within a populated area like a city, Handley said. The problem is akin to a cell tower being overloaded with too many users, which can slow or disrupt connectivity.

so, it should help rurally, but it isn't going to help in cities and it's going to crash every time a new episode of the mandalorian drops. 

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2 hours ago, bad_teammate said:

100% automatic free-to-use healthcare for literally everyone with zero disqualifications ever or get the hell out

Yeah but the billionaires don’t want to pay for that. Sure they easily could but they don’t wanna. They would rather you rely on their charity and their decisions about whether or not they wanna do that or not, since they made all that money all on their own. 

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Bernie ran away because those young women wanted to steal his seed and vitality

My man knows.

Bernie's volcel powers will team up with Corbyn's trainsexual tendencies and heal the West

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Ahh shit, apparently that video is two years old. Still, pretty damn impressive.

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mpu


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