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Comment: Re:So, what was the nature of this agreement? (Score 1) 81 81

Nope, the city didn't pay Verizon any money. In fact, Verizon pays about 5% of their TV revenue to the city as a franchise fee.

The city did provide something valuable to Verizon, however: the right to offer TV service in NYC (along with Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, and RCN). Verizon wanted that, and agreed to buildout requirements as part of their franchise agreements to get it.

Comment: Re:Undefined or ambiguous language (Score 1) 81 81

It's not, and there's a lot of debate between the city and Verizon about how much of the homes that don't have FiOS service available are because of buildings not letting Verizon in vs. Verizon not doing the work.

It's not easy to install FTTH in a high-rise building, particularly an pre-war building, which probably has riser space designed for enough wiring for a couple hundred watts of lightbulbs and a fridge, along with a single phone line, in a two bedroom apartment.

In my building, which is post-war, the crews had to drill two 4" wide holes in each floor by the laundry area on each floor to run the conduit to get the fiber up to the apartments. Took better part of six months from starting the process to bringing up service.

Comment: Re:So, what was the nature of this agreement? (Score 1) 81 81

There's zero exclusivity in the franchise agreement. Anybody can get one (who can show the financial wherewithal, etc.). The city does have the ability to decide who gets to offer TV service in NYC, and, since Verizon wanted that right (non-exclusively), they had to sign a franchise agreement.

Google could get a franchise agreement in NYC tomorrow if they wanted to, but they'd have to agree to terms like Verizon's, which include passing all the homes in NYC, not just those in certain areas.

Comment: Re:Shocking... (Score 1) 81 81

"I'm so tired of your snarky half wise/idiot dipshits that enter every discussion, make some stupid comment that you think is clever, and then when challenged you run away thinking you accomplished something."

You clearly spend a lot of time looking in a mirror. Look, if you want to believe that there's a huge amount of empty space running under Manhattan streets, just waiting to be wired with fiber, be my guest. You're also welcome to believe that the main problem is dealing with the CHUDs down there. Both beliefs are equally true.

If you want to think that the primary cost of network deployment is the license, not the fiber (which is cheap) or the labor (which is NOT), let me pose one question to you then: Google has deployed minimal amounts of fiber, in markets where construction and deployment is much cheaper than in NYC, and where they have all the licenses. Are they just idiots, who don't have your understanding of network and construction economics?

Finally, one more question for you: do you understand the difference between the license needed to run fiber and the franchise agreement needed to offer TV service on the fiber you've run? Because it doesn't sound like you understand that there's a difference, with one being much more complicated to get than the other.

Comment: Re:Shocking... (Score 2) 81 81

In new york there is PLENTY of room in the conduits to run as much cable as people could possibly want to run.

Really? How interesting. You really need to call up Verizon, AT&T, Level 3, Cogent, etc. etc. etc. and let them know about these hugely extensive empty conduits under NYC, since they'd love to make use of them.

The reality is that the conduits are often totally fully, requiring extensive reroutes (many date from the late 1890s). There's also a lot of dead cable in there (providers who went belly up, or old copper phone lines), but getting to the conduits to clear that out usually requires ripping up the streets. In addition, there's a natural reluctance to rip out cables unless they're known to be dead, as nobody likes getting their phone service cut off.

Comment: Re:it's a just a first tiny step (Score 1) 591 591

absolutely should you shop around for nonemergency care.

you don't shop around for an oncologist when you have cancer (not that you don't have the time, you lack the knowledge to make an educate choice)

Consistency, thy name isn't circletimessquare.

I'm amazed that someone who claims to live in Manhattan doesn't believe that people frequently shop doctors and hospitals (NYP, Mt. Sinai, or NYU Langone, ever heard of them?) for all but emergency care.

Also, I'm amazed that someone who claims to know a lot about healthcare thinks that nonemergency care is "orthogonal to the main fucking point of what healthcare actually is," when nonemergency care makes up about 98% of all health care spending.

Comment: Re:it's a just a first tiny step (Score 1) 591 591

you don't shop for care when you're having a heart attack or you have a broken arm or any emergency

you don't shop around for an oncologist when you have cancer (not that you don't have the time, you lack the knowledge to make an educate choice)

all you have done is enunciate related topics like doctor supply that does not disprove the fucking actual topic: healthcare is a natural monopoly. you need a hospital to cover a given area, and you don't shop around for various hospitals when you need emergency or knowledgeable care

please understand the fucking basic facts of a topic then open your ignorant mouth

or shut up, because you don't matter. all of our social and economic peers and even most countries less developed than us understand that healthcare has to be single payer. and they all spend far less than us and have higher quality care. so it doesn't matter what you think or what you say, history has passed you by, and we will drag the retarded propagandized wing of americans into the realm of common sense, and they will live longer and spend less on healthcare in spite of their abject ignorance

Just a hint: you might spend some of the time you devote to working yourself up into a lather to actually understand the health care system a little better. Then, you might understand that the wisdom of single payer (personally, I prefer the Swiss system, but the NHS works very well) has nothing to do with whether it's a natural monopoly or not, and that a lot of single player markets have very significant provider competition for a lot of services.

Also, as a note, people definitely DO shop around for a wide array of non-emergency health care services, including primary care. People choose to go to one oncologist or another, they choose which OB to use (and hence what hospital to use) when they're having a baby, etc. That's true in the US, it's true in the UK, it's true in Germany, etc. etc.

Comment: Re:it's a just a first tiny step (Score 1) 591 591

Firefighting can at times qualify as a natural monopoly, depends on things like population density. It has absolutely nothing to do with the idea that firefighting should be provided as a free government service.

Health care as a whole, however, is definitely NOT a natural monopoly. It's possible that, in certain markets, certain services might be, depends on the marginal economics of the business (driven by factors such as density for ambulance services or services requiring extremely costly imagine equipment).

It's extremely unlikely, on the other hand, that the market for primary care physicians is a natural monopoly (since the entry costs for a new provider are very low, removing one of the most important prerequisite for a natural monopoly).

Might want to read this piece (although I'm afraid it's full of analysis and rather short on ranting):

I'm a huge fan of the ACA, and I'm glad SCOTUS upheld it. If you're going to support it, though, you should actually have some understanding of how the system it's attempting to reform works, particularly since, even in countries with single payer (like the UK's NHS), there are many competing providers.

Comment: Re:Right to protest (Score 1) 333 333

I know the price of the same route can differ even if distance and time are the same, simply due to supply/demand.

This has nothing to do with surge pricing.

If you live somewhere with very little traffic, so the best route between A and B is (a) always the same route, and (b) takes the same time, then Uber's estimates can be very consistent.

In my case, however, the same trip between two points (my home and the airport) has (without any impact of surge pricing) been anywhere between $28 and $46 over the past three weeks, depending on route taken and traffic.

Also, Uber doesn't offer price forecasts in the app, you have to go to their website to do that. You can also get a price forecast for taxis in most markets (try

Look, I like Uber, and it's great, and I use it much more than taxis, but if you're using it because you think you're getting an upfront fixed price, you could be in for a rude shock at some point.

Comment: Re:Uber is shit (Score 1) 333 333

Or, you could just walk up to somebody at a stoplight on in a parking lot and put a gun in their face. No need to set up an elaborate system with buying a prepaid credit card (assuming they even work with Uber), creating a fake email address, getting a burner smartphone and activating it, etc. etc.

A commune is where people join together to share their lack of wealth. -- R. Stallman