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Internet costs
Old 01-08-2013, 09:13 PM   #1
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Internet costs

I have just been notified of a price increase for my internet use. Internet access is a necessity these days. But instead of prices coming down because the customer numbers have increased, the price for internet access has been escalating. It seems like Internet Service Providers have been carving up monopoly service areas, so often there are no real pricing competition. 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.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:33 PM   #2
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Maybe share your wifi with your neighbors?

I too am completely annoyed that internet service (and cell) seems to be getting more expensive not less.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:44 PM   #3
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Dialup still works as well as it ever did--about $20/month on average and available almost everywhere.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:00 PM   #4
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Guess I cannot complain : Canada's ISPs already have a cap on monthly usage, and the customers will be charged extra if they exceeded the cap. And it appears the basic internet access charge there is even higher than the US.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:07 PM   #5
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Dialup still works as well as it ever did--
Alas, it does...and that is the problem with dial up.

Also don't you have to have a land line to use it? Once you pay for that and the monthly charge you are probably close to or exceed the cost of DSL.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:14 PM   #6
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The subject was interesting enough for me to google for more information

The Cost of Connectivity | NewAmerica.net

The study was published in July 2012. One of the conclusions:

" 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. For example, customers in Seoul, South Korea, can get a 100 Mbps connection for as low as the equivalent of $23 USD, while in Hong Kong, it's possible to subscribe to a 500 Mbps connection from 3 in HK for about $38 USD. By contrast, it costs between $100 and $300 per month to get a connection speed of over 100 Mbps in most U.S.cities—if such high speeds are even available at all."
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:17 PM   #7
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I pay $52.99/month for internet with Cox Cable. It would probably be more if I did not also pay the for cable TV.

For me this is a great value for the money, considering how much I use and depend on the internet. They may be making an unreasonably high profit, but reliable high speed internet is worth so much more than $52.99/month to me.

On the other hand, $29.99/month to Verizon for unlimited 3G service for my iPhone just seems ridiculously high. I do not get as much value per dollar from that because I do not spend as much time surfing the net on my iPhone as I do on my computer (thank goodness!).
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:49 PM   #8
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My At&t lite dsl just went up from $20 to $25/mo. Plenty of speed for what I do on the net. It handles Netflix well which makes me happy. My total Att bill runs around $67/mo which includes a land line.

I can't believe I haven't tried Netflix before now. Great service for $8/mo. With my free 10 local channels and the internet, I have all the entertainment I need. Turned in my Comcast box today.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:58 PM   #9
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Alas, it does...and that is the problem with dial up.

Also don't you have to have a land line to use it? Once you pay for that and the monthly charge you are probably close to or exceed the cost of DSL.
Took me a while to realize how expensive dial-up + a second land line cost me compared to a DSL line, despite 2 rate increases from $20 per month to $25 per month since 2008. I recall a coworker/friend telling me after he switched to DSL a few years before I did, "Once you go from dial-up to DSL, you never go back. And you see how really lousy dial-up is if you use someone else's internet who still has it." And he was right.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:12 PM   #10
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I'm lucky to live in an area that has affordable DSL. My DSL (with DSL Extreme) is one speed above the basic at 1500/384 Kbps and costs $17.83/month. My only phone is a landline for $8/month, and I use One Suite for long distance. I have no cable or satellite TV, so my total monthly telecommunications bill, including long distance, comes in at under $30/month.

Considering how much I use the internet, $17.83/month for DSL is an absolute bargain.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I pay $52.99/month for internet with Cox Cable. It would probably be more if I did not also pay the for cable TV.

For me this is a great value for the money, considering how much I use and depend on the internet. They may be making an unreasonably high profit, but reliable high speed internet is worth so much more than $52.99/month to me.

On the other hand, $29.99/month to Verizon for unlimited 3G service for my iPhone just seems ridiculously high. I do not get as much value per dollar from that because I do not spend as much time surfing the net on my iPhone as I do on my computer (thank goodness!).
My current communications bill from Shaw is $72 per month for phone, high speed Internet and basic cable TV. When I moved into my present home, I signed up with Shaw because the integrated package, with phone, high speed Internet, and the entire list of cable channels, plus a PVR, was available for the first year for $29.99 per month. That was a sweet deal while it lasted!

Just today I checked with Telus and I can get the equivalent of my current package, plus a PVR and 2 HDTV ones, for $68 per month. I will investigate to see if I can get a good deal on cell phone service from Telus as well.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:24 PM   #12
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My current communications bill from Shaw is $72 per month for phone, high speed Internet and basic cable TV. When I moved into my present home, I signed up with Shaw because the integrated package, with phone, high speed Internet, and the entire list of cable channels, plus a PVR, was available for the first year for $29.99 per month. That was a sweet deal while it lasted!

Just today I checked with Telus and I can get the equivalent of my current package, plus a PVR and 2 HDTV ones, for $68 per month. I will investigate to see if I can get a good deal on cell phone service from Telus as well.
Are Shaw and Telus not Canadian companies? I was under the impression that internet services are more expensive up north. But the bundled price you quoted are cheaper than what is available in the US. Do they charge you GST and PST on top of the service charge?
(BTW, when I googled it, it appears Bell Canada and Rogers both charge extra if you exceed the monthly cap for usage. Are there cap?)
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:06 AM   #13
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Are Shaw and Telus not Canadian companies? I was under the impression that internet services are more expensive up north. But the bundled price you quoted are cheaper than what is available in the US. Do they charge you GST and PST on top of the service charge?
(BTW, when I googled it, it appears Bell Canada and Rogers both charge extra if you exceed the monthly cap for usage. Are there cap?)
I am in BC. There is 12% HST, but after April 1, we will go back to PST and GST, the sum of which will be the same. I have never had extra charges for data usage.

Here is a recent report showing international comparisons, which may be of interest.

The Cost of Connectivity | NewAmerica.net
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:37 AM   #14
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I pay about $40 a month for cable, using Comcast from home. Without Netflix online. My AT&T bill is more like $200 a month.
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My At&t lite dsl just went up from $20 to $25/mo. Plenty of speed for what I do on the net. It handles Netflix well which makes me happy. My total Att bill runs around $67/mo which includes a land line.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:37 AM   #15
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instead of prices coming down because the customer numbers have increased, the price for internet access has been escalating.
That can happen when demand increases in two dimensions, number of customers (which tends to lower prices) and the value customers derive from what's offered (which tends to raise prices). When the latter grows quite fast, then prices increase.

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It seems like Internet Service Providers have been carving up monopoly service areas
We have three ISPs here: Xfinity, FiOS and RCN. Price comparisons have always shown our prices to be pretty consistent with places that have only one ISP.

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I have lived in several complexes where one company is the exclusive provider and I have no choice.
Sounds like your state government isn't doing its job.

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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.
Why should my neighbor across the street, who spends a half hour each day online pay the same as my next door neighbor who is streaming HD video all the time?

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The trend was unlike long distance telephone calls and air travel, where until recently, competition had really brought the cost down.
Long distance telephone calls finally became free add-ons to a standard monthly service after over 50 years; air travel has never been truly inexpensive, at least not with my family's budget.

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Maybe share your wifi with your neighbors?
That's a violation of the terms and conditions. I know you know that, but I find casual suggestions about violations to be counter-productive to a society within which we hope to be able to navigate the waters of profit to achieve early retirement.

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Dialup still works as well as it ever did--about $20/month on average and available almost everywhere.
Very true.

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Alas, it does...and that is the problem with dial up. Also don't you have to have a land line to use it? Once you pay for that and the monthly charge you are probably close to or exceed the cost of DSL.
Which demonstrates that the cost of DSL is pretty much a good representation of what it should cost.

I really object to the idea that people get to make up their own rules and inflict those capricious judgments on service providers. If you don't like the price, do without the service. If you feel that the service is too essential to do without, then get your state government to do what it needs to to bring in competition if that's necessary (and as I pointed out above, that's probably a red herring anyway), and if that's not enough, then have them subsidize the service.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:08 AM   #16
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My At&t lite dsl just went up from $20 to $25/mo. Plenty of speed for what I do on the net. It handles Netflix well which makes me happy. My total Att bill runs around $67/mo which includes a land line.

I can't believe I haven't tried Netflix before now. Great service for $8/mo. With my free 10 local channels and the internet, I have all the entertainment I need. Turned in my Comcast box today.
I have the same DSL service. I do wish there was an alternative to the AT&T plan, because the creeping cost increases are so irritating.

Remember when it was $14? And I love Netflix too but get the mailed ones instead, for that price. I haven't ever tried to get local tv channels though.

And you don't need that landline any more-naked DSL doesn't need a landline to work. Ditch it!
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:21 AM   #17
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Your experience with service availability is very different from mine, and I am not sure which is reality. My experience was with 3 different states within the last 5 years, 2 were in large cities and one is in a more rural area. I did not have choice of provider in any of the three situations. In the 2 urban setting, the building or the apartment complex had an exclusive provider. In the more rural area, there was only one company servicing the area. I do not see what the city, or state or federal government have anything to do with the practice. Are you saying every activity should be regulated or approved by the government?

The frequency and the amount of use of a service do not quite reflect on the cost and who ends up bearing the cost. One ready example is the use of government services. Try your concept of "fair use" there.

I do not understand your counter-argument about how competition and the de-monopolization of telephone companies brought down the price of long distance phone calls nor how your argument disproved the premise. For air travel, the proliferation of no frill airlines had brought down the cost of air travels. The price of plane tickets have gone up more recently with increased fuel prices, and with many of the low cost airlines going out of business and with the consolidation of the major airlines. If you travel frequently, you would have noticed the reduction of number of flights, the pretty steep price increase in tickets, and the dramatic deterioration of in flight services.

I wish I, or anyone else, can "make up my own rules and inflict them on the internet providers ". In my experience, the direction is overwhelmingly one way: The internet providers pretty much made up the rules and control the terms. Like electricity, gas, and health care, there is no realistic possibility of doing without, and I find your suggestion that if I feel the service to be too essential to do without, then bring the government in, curious to say the least. But hey, the United Nations recently passed a resolution to say broadband internet service availability is an essential human right.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:51 AM   #18
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Your experience with service availability is very different from mine, and I am not sure which is reality.
I assure you - this has been discussed on A/V-specific forums ad infinitum. Every time someone has posted a copy of their Internet bill online, claiming that it is artificially high, it turned out to be within 5% of what we're charged here. Regardless, the point is that if there is a problem, then that problem is with the local government - not with the service provider - and doesn't justify making up one's own terms and conditions and inflicting them on the service provider. Railing against the mass-market is fine - but take it out on the mass-market as a whole (by doing without) rather than on any specific supplier, just doing what society has implicitly told them to do.

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My experience was with 3 different states within the last 5 years, 2 were in large cities and one is in a more rural area. I did not have choice of provider in any of the three situations.
Friends of mine moved to New Hampshire when taxes started getting really high here in Massachusetts. What was Massachusetts doing with the money that New Hampshire wasn't doing? Fostering innovation; helping build a strong business environment. The result? My friends from New Hampshire work here, in Massachusetts - oh, and now pay Massachusetts income tax, because folks in Massachusetts were sick and tired of subsidizing the labor market that benefited New Hampshirites. If we have three providers, here, then your local government, if it was doing its job, could have ensured you would have at least two (just like New Hampshire could have fostered a better labor market for New Hampshirites, if New Hampshirites were willing to spend the money to do so, voluntarily). Why doesn't your local government do so? I have no idea, but perhaps because their constituents don't actually think it is important enough (see above, regarding folks in New Hampshire enjoying lower taxes but less focus on fostering great jobs), or they realize that competition wouldn't actually change the price significantly.

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I do not see what the city, or state or federal government have anything to do with the practice. Are you saying every activity should be regulated or approved by the government?
Local government is empowered to regulate telecommunications in every state in the nation. I know; I used to deal with regulators in each of the 45 or so states the company I worked for in the early 1990s sold into.

They already control "the practice". They have the ability, if they (you-collectively) are so-inclined, to do whatever it is my local government has done to provide us what you say you want. And again - "Regardless" - any applicable equivocations along these lines would still not justify making up one's own terms and conditions and inflicting them on the service provider.

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I do not understand your counter-argument about how competition and the de-monopolization of telephone companies brought down the price of long distance phone calls.
I don't know what about it you didn't understand. Perhaps you think long distance rates went down right after deregulation. They did a little, but they didn't drop to effectively zero for so many people until this past decade. And again - "Regardless" - any applicable equivocations along these lines would still not justify making up one's own terms and conditions and inflicting them on the service provider. If you feel that there are monopolies (judges say there are not, not even locally) and that some kind of anti-trust action is necessary, then make it happen. There is no justification for abusing loopholes and otherwise shifting the cost of use of service from those who steal the service onto those who are honest and forthright.

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If you travel frequently, you would have noticed the reduction of number of flights, the pretty steep price increase in tickets, and the dramatic deterioration of in flight services.
The market righting itself after excessive regulation destabilized so many airlines financially that so many of them failed.

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I wish I, or anyone else, can "make up my own rules and inflict them on the internet providers ".
If you read the message I replied to, that was precisely what we're talking about.

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In my experience, the direction is overwhelmingly one way: The internet providers pretty much made up the rules and control the terms.
This is the nature of the mass-market. You would not want to incur the costs associated with operating mass-market businesses in such a manner that each customer has their own engagement activity, with their own negotiating of terms and conditions. That would in some cases double prices. A fundamental feature of the mass-market is that providers make offers, and consumers have the right to accept or decline.

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Like electricity, gas, and health care, there is no realistic possibility of doing without, and I find your suggestion that if I feel the service to be too essential to do without, then bring the government in, curious to say the least.
You shouldn't. Perhaps before you were born, that's the way electricity and natural gas was - practically 100%. It is only through de-regulation that such utilities became less-regulated, mass-market service offerings. In other words, it was the government coming in that opened the doors that are opened, to the extent that they are open today. It should be pretty clear that if you want the doors to be opened more or closed more, or turned into a different shape, and you're unhappy with what the marketplace offers, then you would bring about such changes through the good offices of government.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:01 AM   #19
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I have the same DSL service. I do wish there was an alternative to the AT&T plan, because the creeping cost increases are so irritating.

Remember when it was $14? And I love Netflix too but get the mailed ones instead, for that price. I haven't ever tried to get local tv channels though.

And you don't need that landline any more-naked DSL doesn't need a landline to work. Ditch it!
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.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:23 AM   #20
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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? All I got is an notification from the company that my rate is going up.

And which loophole did I abuse, and where and how did I steal the internet service?

The steep increase in airplane ticket price and the dramatic deterioration of in flight service is the market righting itself? For consumers, air travel became cheaper after de-regulation. The only regulation the government put on the airlines are safety related. And in your judgement they are excessive? Actually the price the airlines charged still are low if you look at the breakdown of the components, the steepest increase are the tax and fees imposed by the government.
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