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Networking The Internet United States The Almighty Buck

The NYT Compares Broadband Upgrade Costs in US, Japan 257

zxjio writes with this excerpt from a New York Times article about just how much networking infrastructure costs vary between the US and Japan: "Pretty much the fastest consumer broadband in the world is the 160-megabit-per-second service offered by J:Com, the largest cable company in Japan. Here's how much the company had to invest to upgrade its network to provide that speed: $20 per home passed. ... Verizon is spending an average of $817 per home passed to wire neighborhoods for its FiOS fiber optic network and another $716 for equipment and labor in each home that subscribes, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Company. ... The experience in Japan suggests that the major cable systems in the United States might be able to increase the speed of their broadband service by five to 10 times right away. They might not need to charge much more for it than they do now and they would still make as much money."
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The NYT Compares Broadband Upgrade Costs in US, Japan

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  • Crazy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Caustic Soda ( 1286402 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @07:55AM (#27464457)
    That's just...ridiculous. No wonder they have such enormous speeds compared to the US. At least the States get a decent speed though. Here in Australia you tend to pay through the nose for anything more than 1Mb/s
    • Re:Crazy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by homey of my owney ( 975234 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @09:39AM (#27465033)
      In Australia you suffer even more so than we do in the western US in that there's LOTS of space between A and B, making any infrastructure cost much higher than Japan where they measure that space in feet or inches.
      • Re:Crazy (Score:5, Interesting)

        by AI0867 ( 868277 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @10:30AM (#27465315)

        Actually, they measure it in meters or centimeters, but your point still stands.
        This makes me wonder why the speeds in the Netherlands don't go much over 20mbps, as we actually have a higher population density than Japan.

        • Is the higher population density in the Netherlands on average over the whole country or higher in the cities?

          One thing I'm curious about with articles like these, are they looking at the cities such as Tokyo or are they also including the countryside?
          • Re:Crazy (Score:5, Insightful)

            by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @12:24PM (#27466031) Homepage

            No what is going on here is a neat trick of modern B$=PR marketing. They are spending $20 per house to 'upgrade' the network but, the article doesn't say from what it is upgrading ie, from lower bandwidth fibre to the home to higher bandwidth fibre to the home.

            So typical modern news as marketing B$. Think about it, even when fibre in the street how much would it have to cost to cut into the fibre, lay it to a point in the home from the street and and the outlet, no way you can get that done for $20.

            So no news there, yes it costs way more per house to upgrade from copper to fibre optic than it costs to upgrade existing fibre optic.

            Same old lies about why the are holding up upgrading to fibre, truth is they have got an existing inflated investment in copper which has to be scrapped and they intend to hold onto it for as long as possible and, they will do everything them can to block government from actively pushing investment in fibre to the home. Upgrades to fibre are simply being done where the government in that country is acting in the majorities interests rather than the minorities corporate executive greed.

            • Re:Crazy (Score:5, Insightful)

              by i_b_don ( 1049110 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @11:07PM (#27471353)

              ok... I live in the Japanese countryside, or at least this is what they consider the Japanese countryside, but is NOTHING like the barren nothingness that you picture when someone from the US says "countryside". Population density in the Japanese countryside is still pretty dense.

              Anyway, when I moved here nearly 3 years ago, I got 100Mb fiber to my house installed for something like $300 bucks full installation costs. Modems, first month payment, etc. I think it was actually more like $220 after discounts, but that was the price range. I now pay 50 bucks a month for this service and I've kept it and been very happy with it since it was installed.

              Now keep in mind, this included two guys coming to my house and running fiber onto the property (stand alone house), and installing the cable modem plus router.

              To compare, when I moved from the US, I was paying cable modem costs that were over $60 per month (with no cable service bundled, no extras) and maybe I'd top out at around 5Mb? I dunno, but no comparison in any case. When I was in the US I lived in Los Angeles.

              You can't give me any of these bullshit population density arguments when i paid MORE for for LESS bandwidth in an area with a HIGHER population density. Something doesn't smell right here and its not a population density argument. i think it starts with an "M" and ends with "onopoly", and has everything to do with government and telcos/cable companies getting in bed together.


      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by sternmath ( 1055910 )
        no, they use metric in Japan. =)
        • by brusk ( 135896 )

          Actually space in residential housing is often measured in tatami mats (jou).

          Damn, "ou" should be "o-macron" -- how do you use Unicode escape sequences on /.?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dcam ( 615646 )

        Sure, but in Australia approximately half the population is centered in 2 cities: Sydney and Melbourne. Why isn't there decent service in those two locations?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I live in Denmark and I have a 25 / 25 MB fiber connection with true unlimited bandwidth usage, no port restriction and static IP address for USD 45 per month. I paid 200 USD in a onetime fee for equipments and installation.

      I have the option to upgrade to a 100 / 100 MB connection for 180 USD per month.

      Sweden (our next door neighbor) is a lot cheaper.

      If it cost Verizon 1500 USD per customer they are doing something very wrong.

    • Absolutely. We should immediately begin crowding all citizens of the US into 10% of the land mass in order to achieve Japan's population density so we can reduce these costs. California would be good. I already live here and don't want to move.
  • by TrentTheThief ( 118302 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @07:56AM (#27464461)

    Of course verizon is going to milk its customers for every penny they can squeeze out. That what US telco's do.

    Remember the bright star of ISDN? Yeah. Priced out of existence when simply selling in volume could have made them a mint.

    Verizon! Bring me a 100Mbps line.

    • by olddotter ( 638430 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @10:00AM (#27465145) Homepage

      Are we really surprised that LARGE American companies keep whining that its too hard or expensive to offer high quality service that their customers want?

      We are into 40 years of Detroit automakers largely ignoring what their customers want. As a result they were already in serious trouble before the current financial mess. Mean while Toyota and Honda were giving people what they wanted. High quality reasonably priced cars in the sizes and shapes people wanted. When we come out the other end of this mess its likely only Ford will survive and hopefully they will be more responsive to market demands.

      I just hope someone American or foreign, comes in and shakes up the ISP/Cable/Phone market here the way that the Japanese car companies did the automotive industry.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Great points - big business here in the US could give a rodent's behind about the consumer, othe than us being a source of income - if they can strong-arm us into paying by buying up all the competition and then raising prices, all the better for them while we get hosed. Time Warner is now going to start charging cable Internet like "cell phone" plans with tiered bandwidth. With all they charge for Internet service/cable and digital phone per household, they have to be making money hand over fist, which you

      • People seemed to want big fat SUVs for a looooong time. Detroit just didn't give enough other options.

        I am not sure why this is.
      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        Why would Ford or anybody be responsive to market demands? If all else fails, just ask for more money and in the mean time take as much as you want if you are the CEO.

  • by cheebie ( 459397 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @08:12AM (#27464507)

    And what is the population density in the areas where they are installing this $20/house fiber optic? Do they need to trench through miles of yards to get the lines there? And how much time and resources do they have to exert fighting the local dictators in each and every state/county before they can even begin? A straight "it costs $x vs $y" comparison without looking at all the factors is useless.

    • by Fusen ( 841730 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @08:19AM (#27464531)

      This has nothing to do with digging up the roads, the article talks about the US basing their high speed lines around FiOS installs, where as Japan are simply upgrading their cable lines to use DOCSIS 3 instead of 1.

      In the UK atm, the main (pretty much only) cable provider is doing the same, they are upgrading half of their network to run off DOCSIS 3 and are offering 50Mbit, but leaving the rest of the network still on DOCSIS 1 that'll run speeds of less than 20Mbit.

      All it takes is for the ISP to replace the hardware in their buildings and send the customer a new cable modem that supports version 3.

      Literally, no spade is involved at all in the process.

      • by Fusen ( 841730 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @08:23AM (#27464559)
        Oh I forgot to add, the 50Mbit being offered is purely down to this being their first push into using DOCSIS 3, the company has been quoted as saying once they make sure their network is working properly and more areas are supported, in a year or less they'll start offering 80Mbit and upwards to 120Mbit. All still based on the hardware the current 50Mbit subscribers use and all still not requiring any digging.
        • by legoburner ( 702695 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @08:59AM (#27464805) Homepage Journal
          I currently have the 50mbit connection and finally, they have returned to their previous level of quality. I've managed to get 45Mbits out of it off peak, and consistently get 3.5MBytes/sec at peak times. I'm very happy right now, I have not even noticed the bandwidth constricting cap come in to play (which was a big problem on the 20Mbit/sec DOCSIS1)
          • I take it we're talking about Virgin Media here? Previous level of quality?

            I didn't realise Vigin had ever been high quality; everything's been going downhill for me since Virgin bought out my NTL connection.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I've got EuroDocsis 3.0 with 110 Mbits. A Helsinki based cable operator is selling the service for less than 60 euros.

      • by green1 ( 322787 )

        but is it really that simple?

        Would it be possible for cable lines the length of those needed in North America to carry those higher speeds reliably? If not, the solution is irrelevant.

        Secondly, can it run over the quality of lines in North America? If not, you're left re-running lines anyway, so you might as well go fibre.

        The company is unlikely to purposely choose the more expensive option, they make more money if they save money in the process. But I suspect there's a good reason not to go there, and my s

      • Rather, Verizon is rolling out FiOS, because it has no other option. VDSL technology over old twisted-pair phone line has peaked, it has no choice but to roll out FiOS if it wants to keep up with cable.

        Your comparison (and the articles) is therefore very foolish. The real question I have is why Comcast is not rolling out DOCSIS 3 - wait, actually I don't have that question, because they are already [].

        Man I hate misinformed articles and postings... I am not even an American and I know about this.

    • by mrobinso ( 456353 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @08:21AM (#27464545) Homepage

      The Japanese aren't worryied about monetizing every inch of their infrastructure. Here in Canada we're 2 - 3 years behind in technology because the telcos are busy harnessing broadband, wired and otherwise, so they can add to shareholder value, and they have the wonderful auspices of Canada's oldest whorehouse, the CTRC, to protect them while they do.

      Government protected, oligopolized hyper-capitalism is the new telecommunications mantra here. The end is nowhere in sight.

      • by jabithew ( 1340853 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @09:34AM (#27464997)

        You know, a state-protected oligopoly is hardly "hyper-capitalism".

        • by good soldier svejk ( 571730 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @09:43AM (#27465049)

          You know, a state-protected oligopoly is hardly "hyper-capitalism".

          Of course it is. Capitalism is an ownership model, not a market model.

          • by phoenix321 ( 734987 ) * on Sunday April 05, 2009 @10:15AM (#27465219)

            A state-protected oligo-/monopoly is hardly capitalism, let alone Hyper-Capitalism.

            Having The State and The Authorities protect a certain market sector from the activities of all but one trusted supplier is called Feudalism. Has been for centuries.

            The King giveth and the King taketh away a limited monopoly to one corporation which in turn pays a large recurring premium for this right. The East-India corporation springs to mind, but the Italians and the French had similar models, back in the 17th century.

            Quote Wikipedia on this: "Every man was the vassal, or servant, of his lord. The man swore fealty to his lord, and in return the lord promised to protect him and to see that he received justice."

            • by good soldier svejk ( 571730 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @11:08AM (#27465553)
              First of all, that isn't the definition of feudalism. Feudalism is a system where a monarchy grants rights to use of the (agrarian) means of production in exchange for military service. The crown retains ownership. The East-India model is not feudal, it is mercantile. The government granted rights to exploit specific markets, but the company owned the means of production. Capitalism is defined by private ownership of the means of production regardless of how markets are structured or regulated. Popularly, people often use capitalism to mean free market capitalism, but that is only one type. Ownership and markets are separate phenomena. You can have government owned companies (socialist) competing in free markets and privately owned ones (capitalist) in government sanctioned monopolies and oligopolies (like cable companies).
          • Quoth the dictionary on my Mac:

            an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

            Wikipedia says:

            Capitalism is an economic system in which wealth, and the means of producing wealth, are privately owned and controlled rather than commonly, publicly, or state-owned and controlled.

            Google's definition (from goes:

            An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.

            I seem to have missed the bit where state-protected oligopolies are mentioned.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by falconwolf ( 725481 )

            You know, a state-protected oligopoly is hardly "hyper-capitalism".

            Of course it is. Capitalism is an ownership model, not a market model.

            Read Adam Smith's, the father of capitalism, "The Wealth of Nations []" sometime. Capitalism is both an ownership and a market model. It calls for voluntary exchanges between people, which is what a free market is.


    • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @08:25AM (#27464573)

      Don't you have telephone poles in America?


    • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara@hudson.barbara-hudson@com> on Sunday April 05, 2009 @08:28AM (#27464599) Journal

      And what is the population density in the areas where they are installing this $20/house fiber optic? Do they need to trench through miles of yards to get the lines there? And how much time and resources do they have to exert fighting the local dictators in each and every state/county before they can even begin? A straight "it costs $x vs $y" comparison without looking at all the factors is useless.

      So, according to your theory, high-density cities like New York should have broadband on a par with Japan.

      Of course, this overlooks the fact tht in Japan, just as in New York, it's MORE expensive to trench in a high-density area than in the exurbs, where you can just quickly string the cable along existing utility poles.

      • by cheebie ( 459397 )

        So, according to your theory, high-density cities like New York should have broadband on a par with Japan.

        No, it would just be a fair comparison at that point. Japan may still win. They probably will, given that they built their way out of their own economic collapse recently.

        Of course, this overlooks the fact tht in Japan, just as in New York, it's MORE expensive to trench in a high-density area than in the exurbs, where you can just quickly string the cable along existing utility poles.

        And have the cabl

        • The japanese are using DOCSIS 3 modems over the cable network - $60 per house for the upgrade to 160mbit. At that price/point, fiber-optic is a waste of time and money.

          Also, burying ANYTHING in an urban area is expensive, mostly because there's already so much buried (power, gas, water, data, traffic sensors, lighting ...) but also because it has to be done to the standards set by the municipality for buried lines. Stringing coax along a pole is a LOT cheaper.

        • by yuna49 ( 905461 )

          Verizon isn't stringing fiberoptic cable along poles for the simple reason that a break in the fiberoptic is not anywhere near as easy to patch as a break in telephone lines. They are trenching.

          No, they're using poles when they can. My FiOS service comes off the pole. They're not going to dig trenches or pull wire through conduit unless conditions (including regulatory ones) require it.

          We had quite a bit of snow this winter here in New England; I never lost service.

      • Living In Japan and having 100MB Fiber for over 7 years, I can say a couple things about this matter.

        1) I am pretty sure fiber is more popular than cable. It definitely had a first mover advantage over cable. ADSL was held back because getting phone lines here used to be so damn expensive (you had to basically buy the line from the phone company and it was around $800). Plus the fact that the majority of the lines here used to be ISDN. ADSL got around this by allowing a rental line that was used specificall

        • KDDI came by the other day here in Osaka and offered me 1,000Mbps if I'd switch over from my current service. Plus 10,000 yen (about $100) cash. I kid you not. They also are going to charge me about 800 yen less than what I pay now, and it'll show up on my regular phone bill.

    • by ruckc ( 111190 ) * <> on Sunday April 05, 2009 @08:32AM (#27464623) Homepage

      What the article is saying is that you don't need fiber to the curb for the cable companies to get 100mbps service to the home. What Japan and other countries are doing is using the existing cabling with newer hardware. Verizon is running all new lines to their FIOS neighborhoods so of course its more expensive, its like comparing riding the bus to school and digging your own trench.

      Additionally, I would prefer to trench through yards compared to running wiring in an older giant apartment complex that wasn't designed for rerunning cable throughout.

    • Trench?

      Now I've seen the gas company install a gas line to your home. They don't dig a trench. They dig a small hole in front of your house and then put one of those tiny and shoot one of those mechanical moles from the hole to your new gas meter. In fact, they don't usually even dig a trench to go down the street--the just dig small holes every couple hundred yards and shove that mole thing through.

      Dunno how that impacts the cost, I just picked up on "do they have to dig a trench?". The answer is "nope

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05, 2009 @08:13AM (#27464509)
    You mean in the US it's all about making money? It's not about trying to do the rollout as efficiently as possible? Especially when they can repeatedly charge the customer for it? I'm shocked. Ahhhh, the joys of a hyper-capitalist society.
    • In a Hyper-Capitalist society, every capitalist with enough capital could come riding with a white horse and shiny armor and start laying out some cable.

      Competition is the hallmark of Capitalism. Hyper-Capitalism as a stronger, overdosed form of it would mean that all company activities are stretched out to deliver diminishing returns, because each and every one is trying to undercut each others prices.

      Hypo-Capitalism, a pathologic lack of a free market and a lack of freedom to employ one's capital would br

  • I want Fios (Score:2, Interesting)

    by aoeu ( 532208 )
    It is right across the street and has been for three months. I watched while they put it on the poles. There is a coil of fiber hanging for each building. I'm planning on buying their triple play, who wants comcast. The fiber is not dark, many houses get it already on my street. My availability, not so much. They are not doing it right.
    • Re:I want Fios (Score:4, Interesting)

      by aurispector ( 530273 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @09:53AM (#27465105)

      I talked to the guy stringing it up on our street last spring but I couldn't get anyone at Verizon to tell me when it would be ready to go. Once they did start marketing, the prices were unreasonable. If they made it cheaper than Comcast everyone everywhere would be onboard. Instead they're busy trying to gouge - giving Comcast time to roll out Docsys 3.0. They had a narrow window of time to beat the pants off Comcast and they missed it. Of course Comcast might have dropped prices to actually *compete*, but price competition is the LAST item on the list of things american telcos are willing to do for market share.

  • by overseasjp ( 1438367 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @08:19AM (#27464533)
    THe cost on this is actually pretty simple. I have been living in Japan for 10 years and yes we do enjoy some really incredible bandwidth here. Most of the population lives in very condensed areas. Greater Tokyo has about 30 million people in an area the size of LA... so rolling out the latest technology in one of the most wealthy and densely populated cities in the world is well... nearly easy if you can say that. Cell phones are the same way. Docomo, Softbank, AU etc.. rolled 3g out YEARS... before the US, simple put because logistically they can. Japan is 2/3 the size of California with 45% of the population of the entire US. 80% of the country is mountainous (ie.. nobody lives there) and half the countries population is centered in 4 or 5 cities. Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo.. Heaven for Technology fans. In a nutshell, you can roll out new technology fast and cheap because the distances between hubs are short, and the overall physical breadth and width of the network is small.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05, 2009 @09:45AM (#27465057)

      Here's a hint from rural Japan. A small town in Hokkaido to be specific, which is pretty much the middle of nowhere. Population of 12,000 in an area a little under half of Tokyo "City" (23 wards). More specifically, a population density of 51.5 persons / sq. km versus Tokyo's 14,064 persons / sq. km. That's a 1:273 ratio. We don't have fiber, yet. They're installing it right now. We do have 54Mbps ADSL though, and have had it for some time. We also have 3G cell phone reception not only town wide, but in the mountains as well. The mountain range is the size of Kanagawa Prefecture, by the way, but as long as you're not in the shadow of a huge ridge, you'll get your mail.

      What I'm saying is that it's a fallacy that Japan has high-tech only because of the population density. If that were true, only Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya would have these high-speed networks. Even Sapporo is way too spread out to compare. Yet the only areas that I know of that don't have high-speed internet that exceeds what is available in most homes in large U.S. cities, are the extremely remote villages way up in the mountains, which are even more remote than where we live.

      I believe the fact that 97% of the population is covered with high-speed internet right now in Japan says something to that extent (even though that figure is a bit optimistic). Less than 20% of the Japanese population live in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Mod parent up. He's right- I live in Sapporo, and I know what the countryside here in Hokkaido is like.

        Japan doesn't have high access simply because of pop. density- Sapporo has poor service at the edge, but blazing fast speeds in the middle- that's ADSL, the majority of what's available here. My 50mb ASDL connection is shit here- always dropping.

        My old 8mb ASDL in the middle of Sapporo had much better service.

        Fiber internet like FiOS is still taking off here.

    • by rdnetto ( 955205 )

      What kind of bandwidth do you actually get in practice? I know the connection may be labelled ~160 MBPS, but what is the actual speed achieved when connecting to local sites?
      I'm curious to see if the ratio of acutal-to-promised is the same as it is in the US.

  • Verizon is spending an average of $817 per home passed to wire neighborhoods for its FiOS fiber optic network and another $716 for equipment and labor in each home that subscribes,

    WTF? Who knew running a cable between telephone poles cost so much.


    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      Well, in my rant to the TWC marketing execs ( already explained that's what I pay on a yearly basis for them to give me a crappy 3Mbps copper-based service that's been there for the last 20 years. If that's all it costs for them to give us FiOS, I don't understand why it takes so long.

  • J:Com's costs were substantially reduced because they rolled out DOCSIS 3.0 on their existing copper infrastructure.

    Verizon is laying new infrastructure in the form of fiber-optic cable.

    Ah the New York Times, where Journalism meets Technology like a retard smacking his head into a brick wall.

    • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @08:50AM (#27464745) Homepage Journal

      What I wonder is, are companies like Cox pulling maneuvers similar to "Hollywood Accounting" [] to make their end costs really high, which would appear to justify jacking everyone's rates up, but under the table they're paying themselves off (via their affiliate or otherwise owned companies) and turning an insane profit in the big picture?

    • The article is badly written, it's true. However, the issue the article is trying to make clear is that there is a cheap way of providing much faster service: by upgrading cable service. Upgrading cable service doesn't require new cable, or work in the streets; it just requires new equipment at the central office and new modems for the customer.

      The reason that the cable companies don't do that, apparently, is because in the U.S. they were granted poorly regulated monopolies. Therefore they can 1) lie to customers, 2) give poor service, and 3) give slow service, and still raise prices.
  • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @08:48AM (#27464733)
    screamingly fast connections are only useful if the box that is serving up content can keep up. That means that not only the end-server, but every node along the way, as well as the capacity of the cables/fibres is up to the job.

    While it makes for nice, simplistic headlines (and even more simplistic marketing - along with unfulfillable expectations that just cause resentment and ill-feeling later) it's largely pointless. Far better for the providers to come up with a balanced delivery, than to go around having to make excuses for who someone's gigabit/second link is only running at 1MByte/s in real life.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 05, 2009 @08:55AM (#27464769)

    I question that. Here in Sweden I know of at least one company (bredband2) connecting private consumers at 1 gbit.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Idiomatick ( 976696 )
      Go to any speed test site and the fastest recorded tests will be in gunma japan someplace.
    • There are several different companies in Japan that offer speeds faster than 160Mbit/s.
      One of them is Japan's largest telephone company: NTT (Nippon Telephone and Telegraph).
      (there are several different companies [] that provides gigabit services and I think another was mentioned before on slashdot).

      Anyways, NTT offers what's called Flets Hikari [] (Flets "Light" as in fiberoptic).
      Though it is limited in deployment to locations that are properly wired, speeds can be upto 1Gbit/s up and down as well as other versi

  • That's something that we all get charged on our bills for the federally mandated fund that's supposed to be used to build out broadband infrastructure.

    Why aren't they building out their infrastructure?

    Why, instead of building upgrading to the highest speed available, are they only upgrading to the next increment?

    It's the mentality of these industry giants. They spend as little as little as possible only when absolutely necessary. But they charge out the ass for it.

    Comcast has the capability of providing 100Mbit service with their docsis 3.0 upgrades. Will they provide 100Mbit service? No. Because it makes more sense to charge double the normal rate for 20Mbit service.

    They will probably provide 50Mbit service also. They will charge $300 for 50Mbit. Capitalism does not like innovation.

  • Comcast will have DOCSIS 3 nationwide by the end of the summer. Qwest is running fiber to the home in select areas. AT&T is still rolling out uVerse service. Verizon FiOS is still moving along. Clearwire, while not in the same league as the wired services, is building out. I agree the pricing is harsh, but faster Internet will be here soon.

    The way the NYT article read, we'll never see any improvement over what we have now, and 6 months is an eternity. Meanwhile I click the "preview" button and wait 5-6

  • My understanding of the Fiber to the home projects is that it is a legal maneuver to re-establish absolute monopoly on services to the home. I have heard that as they bring the fiber in they are ripping the copper out to ensure it is VERY expensive for you to decide to switch back to your old provider.

    This is because of a law/regulation that says networks laid down during the telco-monopoly days must be shared with competitors at market rates. If they put in a new network for the "last mile" (or 100 feet)

  • Comcast is rolling out DOCSIS 3, just like the "$20 per house" Japanese company, because they can reuse their existing coax cable. They may have to move the fiber nodes in their fiber/coax hybrid network a little closer to their customers but hey, no big deal. Eventually they'll have to go FTTH but they can get by for now.

    Verizon's old telephone copper wire pairs are woefully inadequate for high speed Internet, much less video, so going straight to FTTH and reaping the operational cost savings from their

  • $20 per home passed indeed. It doesn't cost much per home to pass an apartment building with hundreds of homes and declare it eligible. Verizon is only building to single family homes right now; the cost per structure is lower than J:Com but the cost per home is higher.

    On the other hand, the $716 per home hooked up is Verizon's own fault. They never have processed the old AT&T lesson that it ain't cool to require the customer to lease the CPE.

  • So if the cost to upgrade a house is $60, how much would a typical cable company need to invest in their own infrastructure in the core and distribution networks to deal with the higher amount of bandwidth.

    I've got 16Mb down service wit Comcast, and if they gave me 100Mb, I don't think it would make that much of a difference, since I can almost never find sources that will provide me with enough content to fill that pipe. Even torrents with hundreds of seeders never get that high.

    How would the service prov

  • Why they do that all the time, according to their ads :)

    "Blazing fast"

  • by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @03:35PM (#27467545)

    Having spent time in Asia I've come to find that Americans wouldn't recognize a free market if it bit them on the ass. And yet they rant and rant that capitalism is screwing us. No, improper regulation is. All this regulation has stifled competition and made it exceedingly difficult for anyone new to enter the market and be competitive.

    These issues could be easily addressed, but with the government heading towards even more regulation things are only going to get worse.

  • And in America.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by the_macman ( 874383 ) on Sunday April 05, 2009 @03:52PM (#27467721)

    This is why government mandated duopolies by the cable companies are retarded. From TFA:

    Mr. Fries added another: Fear. Other cable operators, he said, are concerned that not only will prices fall, but that the super-fast service will encourage customers to watch video on the Web and drop their cable service.

Loose bits sink chips.