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Old 01-09-2013, 07:31 AM   #21
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I do not know where or when I made up my own terms and conditions and inflicting them on the internet providers?
It wasn't you. You may want to reread my original reply, and note that not everything in it was in response to your posting.

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The steep increase in airplane ticket price and the dramatic deterioration of in flight service is the market righting itself?
The airfare increases and fees were the market righting itself. The dramatic deterioration of in-flight service was a reflection of consumers placing bargain-hunting over in-flight service quality, and airlines listening to consumers and giving them what their priorities dictated. Imagine if the latter didn't occur - the steep increase in prices would have likely been much much steeper.

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And in your judgement they are excessive?
Not at all. Perhaps you're replying to something that no one said. I'm not taking a stand one way or another with regard to prices or service levels. My point is that the marketplace and business environment (including the extent to which it is shaped by regulation) set those things, and so the only proper responses to being dissatisfied with what's offered are doing without, pushing for regulatory changes, and/or trying to change consumer behaviors. There are no other legitimate options.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:45 AM   #22
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"The market righting itself after excessive regulation destabilized so many airlines financially that so many of them failed."

Your word and your opinion.

Again, look at the breakdown of the price on the plane ticket, the government's take through tax and fees is close to 50%. The airlines tried to keep ticket price down still by cutting services, and the consumers have to live with the poorer service and the other not so hidden charges ( baggage fee, change fees) in order to keep air traveling still within their means. But the portion of air plane fare increase from the increasing government take is not readily noticed or acknowledged.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:54 AM   #23
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Time Warner has a monopoly on home-based internet around here. I have just the basic Road Runner. I think it's around 11Mbps. I pay $53.00 after calling to get a discount. It was in the $60's/mo. The only other option i've been able to find is AT&T but they haven't gotten the good stuff out to my area yet. All I can get is the slowest thing they offer which is less than 1Mbps-no thanks. I've asked around and everyone else pays about the same as me if they don't bundle with cable.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:55 AM   #24
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"The market righting itself after excessive regulation destabilized so many airlines financially that so many of them failed." Your word and your opinion.
My word, yes. But I wasn't talking about safety regulation, there. I was talking about anti-trust scrutiny that prevented airlines from merging and acquiring other airlines as they wished.

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Again, look at the breakdown of the price on the plane ticket, the government's take through tax and fees is close to 50%.
Please restate what point you were making with that assertion.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:21 AM   #25
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I've been debating dropping the land line. My 95 year old mom rarely calls me but when she does, she dials that number. Can't get her to use my cell number. Plus the quality of a cell call is not always good and I need it to be for her. So I need it for now.
That was our situation for a while, but the cell service out here in the country has improved in the past few years (and you might try a different carrier for the cell, if you can). You might also get your mom a phone that is programmable, so she can just dial "1" to get you, "2" for the police, and so on.

Oh, and I guess we are lucky to have the DSL option--our neighbors down the street about a mile can only get satellite internet, which is slow AND expensive. Have no idea why ATT doesn't service their dirt road but does ours. Go figure.

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:33 AM   #26
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I have lived in several complexes where one company is the exclusive provider and I have no choice. The price of connecting to internet has been increasing, especially if you do not bundle it with cable TV and phone services. In addition , the ISP has been squeezing out additional charges for installation and modem rental fee (in the case of Comcast) , and repeatedly tried to bring in traffic based pricing. The trend was unlike long distance telephone calls and air travel, where until recently, competition had really brought the cost down.
Sounds like it may not help you, but I lowered my hi-speed rate by dropping down one level when my last increase hit. There are 7 levels of hi-speed with XFinity, something I did not know before. I also bought my own modem saving me $7.00/mo. FWIW...from an earlier post.
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Comcast threatened to raise my monthly rate from $48.95 to $62.95*. When they've done so in the past, I told them I would switch to DSL, and they backed off. This time they refused to back off, so I dropped down one level keeping my monthly cost at $49.95**. They offer 7 performance levels and corresponding prices, I had no idea:
  • Economy
  • Economy Plus
  • Performance Starter**
  • Performance*
  • Blast!
  • Extreme 50
  • Extreme 105
The difference in speed isn't even noticeable for most activities including streaming. It's only apparent on large downloads, and then it's not that bad. I may drop down another level or two and save even more.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:38 AM   #27
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The basic customer contract with Comcast (excluding sub contracts) contains more than 15,000 words. The Declaration of Independence has 1137 words, and the Constitution 4543 words

Comcast Agreement for Residential Services

Would love to hear from anyone who has read the full contract.

Best advice?
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:40 AM   #28
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My word, yes. But I wasn't talking about safety regulation, there. I was talking about anti-trust scrutiny that prevented airlines from merging and acquiring other airlines as they wished.

Please restate what point you were making with that assertion.
My point for the government's part in the plane ticket cost was stated.

Your definition for what is good regulation is curious. So prevention of formation of monopoly and decreasing competition by merging and acquisition of airlines is bad? Deregulation leading to existence of low cost airlines was destabilizing the financial well being of the industry? And the breaking up of AT&T monopoly has nothing to do with the drop in long distance telephone charge?

Again, the suggestion that us little people are coming up with our own terms and inflicting them on internet providers is laughable. Comcast and AT&T were the third and fourth largest contributors of political campaign money in 2012. Comcast and AT&T spent 4 and 7 million dollars last year on lobbying.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:41 AM   #29
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I've been debating dropping the land line. My 95 year old mom rarely calls me but when she does, she dials that number. Can't get her to use my cell number. Plus the quality of a cell call is not always good and I need it to be for her. So I need it for now.
That's a familiar story. I got magicjack and use it to make LD calls to my elderly parent. Mostly have her retrained to call the MJ number. I don't even have the land line connected to phone. I need to get rid of it but the security system is tied to it.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:44 AM   #30
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Thanks, but you ought to be ashamed of coming up with your own terms and conditions and inflicting them on the helpless Comcast.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:06 AM   #31
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As far as dialing-up still working, most modern web pages are designed for high speed internet and won't even load over dialup. It was starting to have problems years ago with AOLs graphic interface. There actually was a text based browser I used on linux called lynx, still around. It just displays text and discards all the graphics, addons etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynx_(web_browser)
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:19 AM   #32
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So prevention of formation of monopoly and decreasing competition by merging and acquisition of airlines is bad?
I didn't say that. If you're going to argue against things no one said, then are actually arguing with yourself.

If I don't use the word "bad" or "good" what I write, then you don't add them in when you're reading what I wrote.

What I said was bad was a consumer inflicting their own terms and conditions on a mass-market service provider.

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Again, the suggestion that us little people are coming up with our own terms and inflicting them on internet providers is laughable.
Only because you apparently refuse to go back to the message you replied to and read the comment that I was responding to.

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Comcast and AT&T were the third and fourth largest contributors of political campaign money in 2012.
What conspiracies do you care to allege against the #1 and #2 largest contributors?
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:26 AM   #33
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As far as dialing-up still working, most modern web pages are designed for high speed internet and won't even load over dialup. It was starting to have problems years ago with AOLs graphic interface. There actually was a text based browser I used on linux called lynx, still around. It just displays text and discards all the graphics, addons etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynx_(web_browser)
Yep, you'd need to strip out the graphics and also choose an ISP offering a good compression capability. I could very well do without most of the gee-whiz graphics on most web sites, but I'm sure there would be frustrations with formatting, etc if they are stripped out of an existing page ("where did the menu go?" What tabs are they talking about?)
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:49 AM   #34
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We've had Roadrunner cable modem Internet service since 1997. I think it was $29.95 back then. It increases every few years and then was $39.95 for a while. Kept creeping up and it's currently $58. We use it a lot and like the service.

One alternative would be AT&T U-Verse but we like our DirecTV and don't want a home phone landline. We're still under a DirecTV 2 year contract since we got a free upgrade. When the contract is up I'll consider other offers because they change their packages and new customer offers all the time.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:09 PM   #35
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I didn't say that. If you're going to argue against things no one said, then are actually arguing with yourself.
If I don't use the word "bad" or "good" what I write, then you don't add them in when you're reading what I wrote.
What conspiracies do you care to allege against the #1 and #2 largest contributors?
Then follow your own standard. Where did I put the word "conspiracy" or allege one?
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:17 PM   #36
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Where did I include the term "little people"? If you aren't alleging a conspiracy, then the last two sentences in that posting you wrote were non-sequitur. I'm fine with that conclusion.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:15 PM   #37
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At the risk of interrupting the bickering and bonding going on here, I noticed tomorrow's Diane Rehm Show on NPR will be on "why Americans are paying more for Internet access but getting much less". Might be worth a listen.

Susan Crawford: "Captive Audience" | The Diane Rehm Show from WAMU and NPR
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:33 PM   #38
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I think I've heard Susan Crawford before. If she's who I think she is, she places much of the blame for how things are on lack of will of Americans to support substantial reregulation. Back in the day, we (I say "we" because that's where I was working at the time) would earn 13% profit on expenses for telecommunications service. (Think about that. If it looked like we wouldn't make our numbers for the quarter, we would simply need to spend more money to bolster our profits. That's the down-side of regulated utilities that aren't actually funded through taxes - their rates are driven by their costs, rather than by the value you receive.)

Deregulation was intended to spur on innovation and essentially make more data cheaper. It sure did. And we're paying a lot less per bit today than we did thirty years ago, I assure you. However, there is a price for deregulation and that's that the innovation may be so attractive that you feel compelled to consume more and more and more so that whatever cost savings deregulation brought about was subsumed into the effect of added demand.

The solution, of course, is going back to the old model, where government has a say about what providers offer in return for establishing pricing whereby providers receive a guaranteed 13% profit on expense. I doubt that there are enough Americans willing to support such a move, even though they would prefer to have lower rates, because the point will be made to them that such a move would stifle innovation (and it will, again, I assure you, from personal experience).
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:38 PM   #39
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At the risk of interrupting the bickering and bonding going on here, I noticed tomorrow's Diane Rehm Show on NPR will be on "why Americans are paying more for Internet access but getting much less". Might be worth a listen.

Susan Crawford: "Captive Audience" | The Diane Rehm Show from WAMU and NPR
I linked to a study earlier in this thread (post #6)that Meadbh also linked to (#13) . The study had this finding:

"When looking at the cost and speed of Internet access in major U.S. cities in comparison to other global cities, it is difficult to ignore the fact that the U.S. is so much more expensive than many of its international counterparts. As this report demonstrates, U.S. consumers often pay higher prices for slower service than many other parts of the world."

It will be interesting to listen to Diane Rehm's take on that.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:26 PM   #40
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Susan P. Crawford - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Susan Crawford will appear on Diane Rehm show tomorrow to discuss her book: Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age, published by Yale University Press in 2012. ( Kind of a funny title, come to think of it. Don't we all know there is no monopoly when it comes to Internet Service Providers?)

But she, a professor of Law at Yeshiva University, a visiting professor at Yale Law, the K School, Princeton and Harvard Law School, who served as the President's Special Assistant for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy, and is a member of Mayor Bloomberg's Council on Technology and Innovation, is probably not a credible source.
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