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The Internet The Almighty Buck

US Broadband ISPs Expect Price Cuts 284

prostoalex writes "US broadband providers are trying to avoid the price wars, but the cost of DSL and cable hookups is still headed down with major promotions from players like Comcast and Yahoo/SBC. Currently there are 22 million US subscribers, 2 million of which subscribed during the past three months. It looks like the prices for broadband Internet are headed towards $20-30/month range, although most operators prefer to lock you into a yearly contract or provide special price for the first several months only."
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US Broadband ISPs Expect Price Cuts

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  • by Frisky070802 ( 591229 ) * on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:13PM (#7644399) Journal
    I use Cablevision's Optimum Online [] at home. The performance ain't bad, but the price is anything but optimal. It started at $30/month, increased to $40 after a few months, and then to $45. This is in keeping with the full menu of Cablevision services, since with my digital cable package, for a few TVs, I pay over $120/month.

    My employer subsidizes up to $30/month for online access, so the cable internet cost isn't as painful as it otherwise would be. But the idea that price wars with the CLECs would drive cable internet prices down seems ludicrous, at least in this market (NJ).

    Heck, considering that when I moved to my current house (end of 1998), Cablevision promised broadband within 6 months, and kept making that promise every few months for 2 years, I was grateful to have broadband in the first place! And that's what they must count on. Competition from another cable company, if not Verizon, would be nice. But the market tanked just as a competitor was considering jumping in.

    • by djdavetrouble ( 442175 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:29PM (#7644505) Homepage
      Same here, Time warner wants you to sign up for a package that includes 4 premiums like hbo, showtime, starz, etc. It costs around 120/mo with the Roadrunner service. Without the package the price is only 5 bucks a month less, no premium channels at all. This stuff is a total racket, TWC is profiting heavily. The In-Demand services are also very spotty, hard to get a movie started during peak hours. This should cost no more than 80 bucks a month maximum, for cable and internet. It is a total rip off, totally. I make sure to use all 45k/sec of my upstream traffic on a pretty constant basis so I can feel like I am getting my money's worth.
      • by saden1 ( 581102 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @10:28PM (#7644837)
        I got Comcast and they started me of at $25 a month for 6 months and that was sweet. After the 6 months was up they started charging me $56 for it. It would have been $46 a month if I had subscribed to their cable TV package but since I don't watch TV I declined their offer. When I called them up and told them I want to cancel because Quest has offered me DSL for $29 a month. Of course, I have not intention of switching to DSL , which sucks big time around this area. Needless to say when the support/sales lady heard that I wanted to cancel she gave me a $30 a month package for 3 more months. I told here I will cancel at the end of this deal and she said well give us a call and if we have a deal in 3 months we'll give it to you. I guess I am gonna call them up and do the cancellation dance all over again.

        Moral of the story, If you tell them you want to cancel they'll do everything in their power to keep you as a customer.
        • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

          by symbolic ( 11752 ) on Saturday December 06, 2003 @01:15AM (#7645725)

          I pay about $55/mo for 1.5 Mb, but in all seriousness, since their TOS forbids almost anything useful, the only time I really NEED that bandwidth is when I'm downloading the ISOs for a new version of linux, or the occasional game demo. I'm thinking I might be nearly as satisfied with a 128K DSL connection, which is $20/mo less. Granted, there's a huge diffrence in bandwidth there, but again...the time I'd use 1.5 Mbs is so limited, I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth the extra money.
    • by The Snowman ( 116231 ) * on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:32PM (#7644526)

      Competition from another cable company, if not Verizon, would be nice.

      Competition in the telco/broadband industry would be nice no matter where it is. Even then, everything is not always rosey. For example, I have a choice between an overpriced cable company or Bell South ADSL. Bell South charges less, but you get less speed, crappy customer service, more outages, etc. Two choices and they are both overpriced for what I get? No, give me some real competition.

      • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:45PM (#7644611) Homepage Journal
        They're both overpriced for what you get? Let's say that upstream is worth no more and no less than upstream. Assuming you live in an urban area, you might be able to get a full T1 for $600/mo. (I am aware that some people get it cheaper, and that in some places no one gets it that cheap. Can we move on?) So let's say that means that 1.5Mbps is worth $300. You can get 1.1Mbps SDSL for about $200/mo, or you can get 1.5Mbps/128 (or 256 sometimes) ADSL for $30 to $50, or you can get 1.5Mbps/256 cable for $50-$65. Each of these things is clearly a "better deal" than the T1. Now granted a full T usually comes with a /24 or so, though they're on loan, you don't own them, so their actual value is debatable. You have to pay a little extra for business class services to get static IPs on typical broadband connections, and they don't have as many of them, you typically get five usable addresses or so. You can't multihome and you don't get BGP advertisements in that price either. So maybe the actual value is more like half what the T1's is per unit of traffic. So, it's only worth a bit over $300 by that comparison, and you're getting it for $100?

        You can differ in opinion but the fact is that the connections keep getting faster, and they often get cheaper. They seldom go up in price. I should not need to remind you that broadband is a lot cheaper than using tymnet or compuserver back in the day, and that was at modem speeds.

        • T1 Pricing (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @10:01PM (#7644702) Homepage
          T1s have been historically overpriced, so it isn't really a fair comparison. What would T1s cost in a truly competitive market?
        • by The Snowman ( 116231 ) * on Friday December 05, 2003 @10:17PM (#7644783)

          You make an excellent comparison, but I partially disagree. Cable and T1 are different paradigms in terms of connections. Yes, you can compare based on megabits, but that is not the whole picture. T1 is a dedicated line. Even if you lease a fractional T1, you still have X amount of dedicated bandwidth, up and down, that is reserved for your use. With cable, the cable company can overload your cable loop. Bandwidth = cable size / customers, roughly. It fluctuates based on how many people are using it at a given time and how much bandwidth they are using.

          Then the whole static/dynamic IP issue comes into play. Granted those of us with cable routers that keep renewing DHCP leases basically have a static IP, then again, it is not guaranteed. Mine has changed at least twice in the year I've been at this address. That does me no good if I want to put my semi-static IP in the DNS database.

          Connections do get faster, both for residential and commercial use. My web host provider has multiple OC-12s. Between all eight of their backbone providers they have over 200 MBps of bandwidth. That was unheard of even ten years ago. Home broadband, ten years ago, usually meant you ran a cable from your office to your home, assuming you lived close enough, or you used a university computer lab. Now it is in the hands of almost anybody who lives near an urban center. You are correct on that account. I certainly am grateful that corporate America thinks there is enough money to be made by selling me broadband. They at least got that much right about me as a consumer ;-)

          • Dude, sorry, but you are way off.

            Most T's sold do *not* have "dedicated" bandwidth. Two other models are more common; either you get a T line that doesn't have a guaranteed throughput, or you get one that does, but you get charged for your average transfer at a certain percentile.

            Yes, you *can* get a dedicated bandwidth T, but few people do, outside of the service providers themselves.
        • No, its not worth it (Score:5, Informative)

          by tkrotchko ( 124118 ) * on Friday December 05, 2003 @10:54PM (#7644998) Homepage
          " They're both overpriced for what you get? "


          There have been articles in the computer press lately discussing that in Japan 20Mb/s download is the norm for approximately $20-30 a month, and Korea features 26Mb/s for the same price.

          We get 1.5 and we're supposed to be *grateful*?

          Your comparison with T1's is faulty for a couple of reasons:
          1) The cost of T1's is artifically high because of the way the local loop is priced. Its a huge profit center, and the phone company has always positioned it as a way to subsidize residential service.

          2) T1's have SLA's. Your DSL or Cable line does not.

        • T lines cost not because of the bandwidth (although dedicated T bandwidth is MUCH different from many times oversold residential bandwidth) but because of the regulated service. When a business T line goes down a truck usually rolls in less than an hour, when a residential line goes down you usually spend almost an hour on hold and another hour going through the idiot script.
    • by Eccles ( 932 )
      Agreed. My cable modem through Comcast is up ~15%, just like the regular cable fees. If there was an alternative source (I just checked Verizon DSL, no dice), I'd consider switching to DirecTV/DSL, but for now they have me by the happy sacks.

      Oh for pervasive wireless...
    • Split it (Score:4, Informative)

      by Angram ( 517383 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:39PM (#7644575)
      Ah, Optimum Online. I remember when my family got it, (5-10 years ago) - the price (30 if you had cable, I think) seemed high, but it stayed stable for a long time. Additional computers were discounted at $20, too. I came back from a year or two at University (3-5 years after first getting OOL), and found out it had shot up 10 bucks, despite their business massively increasing. A year later, it's up another 5 or 10. Not only that, but they took away the discount on extra computers. It went from $50 from two computers, to $50 for each. Last summer, we had 3 computers on which we wanted 'net access, so we had to shell out a major cash investment on a wireless hub and two wireless cards. Considering that it would have cost 300 dollars to have the extra 2 computers on for just the summer alone, it had to be done.

      I don't get it - aren't monopolies/price fixing illegal?
      • Re:Split it (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jusdisgi ( 617863 ) on Saturday December 06, 2003 @01:40AM (#7645830)
        "I don't get it - aren't monopolies/price fixing illegal?"

        No, not really. Common misconception. Most monopolies are illegal, but they can be legally sanctioned and even protected for a few reasons. One of the most widespread of these is companies that create expensive infrastructure. The idea is that it would be horribly inefficient to have a free market where companies all built their own phone lines, because they wouldn't work together and they would duplicate each other's infrastructure.

        Picture New York City, a Very Attractive Market. There would be 25 telephone companies that all had a geographically comprehensive network there; you could get service from any of them and it would cost as low as market-possible. But it might cost arm+leg to connect to someone across the street who had another company, especially if that company didn't have a good contract with yours. And the market-possible price might even end up higher than they are now, because each company had to invest in running wire all over manhattan.

        That's worst case, but you get the idea. It is easy to fall into a knee-jerk "regulation == bad" mentality, when in reality a lot of government regulation is damned handy. Think rural electrification or the EPA. In this case it's a hard call, but it is worth noting that most places that people point to where telecom is better than here (US) there is more regulation, not less. It's just that the regulation seems more tuned to the benefit of the consumer, rather than the telco., I personally think that our own "deregulation" efforts are a terrible fake that just re-regulate things for the benefit of those same telcos, but that's a different story entirely.

        In other words, we don't need to get rid of regulation, we need *better* regulation.
    • Isn't Optimum Online uncapped? IOW, isn't it up to 10000Kbs down/1000Kbs up?

      At least that is what they say on
      • Yes, it it. I have it, and I'm considering switching to DSL to save $10-15 a month. Their mail server sucks lately, and the speed really doesn't make that much of a difference in everyday use. The only thing it really makes a noticable difference is on downloading large files, like ISOs, but then you usually hit the speed cap of the server, so you don't even get the full speed. And I don't upload much, so the 1Mbit upload doesn't really matter much to me.

    • I use Comcast Cable internet. I don't subscribe to Comcast Cable TV, so they charge me an extra ~$10/month fee. That's ok because I went to Radio Shack, bought a splitter, and now I get free cable TV. :-)

    • I pay $25 for my DSL with 512k up and 1.5 meg down.

      Sympatico rocks.
  • Great!! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:13PM (#7644400)
    For us who live in Europe!
    • Re:Great!! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Guppy06 ( 410832 )
      Oh, bite me. At least you people in Europe have broadband. These little price wars are nice and all, but all they're doing is fighting over a handful of urban customers while continuing to ignore the teeming millions of us in suburbia (I don't exactly live on a farm here!). Keeping myself from giving up and just spending the $600 to sign up for EarthLink Satellite [] (at $70/month!) is getting more and more difficult. They do ethernet now...

      Anybody who thinks privatizing the US Postal Service is a good id
  • AOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:13PM (#7644401) Homepage
    "It looks like the prices for broadband Internet are headed towards $20-30/month range"

    And AOL dialup will still cost $24.99 a month.

    • "It looks like the prices for broadband Internet are headed towards $20-30/month range"

      And AOL dialup will still cost $24.99 a month.

      You can fool all of the people some of the time or some of the people all of the time...

    • Re:AOL (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Your_Mom ( 94238 )
      And AOL dialup will still cost $24.99 a month.

      Which people who cannot get broadband (yes, there are still people like that) and people who don't want to spend 2 hours figuring out what the hell IMAP is, will use.

      I don't like it either, my parents still use AOL despite my 1.5Mb DSL connection ([shamlessplug]Brought to me by the wonderful people at Speakeasy.Net[/shamelessplug]) because its a nice pre-chewed web and e-mail package. I don't bother to change it as they know how to use it, and if it ain't bro
  • If the average John Q. Public didn't have, or didn't think of getting broadband, I think this is going to be a major boost for them. I can imagine this effecting the majority of "average users" seeing the price drop on broadband, and wanting to get that faster internet connection, this may very well be an excellent incentive for them to upgrade to broadband.

    I'm also personally excited about this, because of my tight budget, I just may be able to afford the beautiful broadband connection once again (I know

    • Indeed. When I got my DSL through AT&T Worldnet (which my parents use for dialup), my dad came over and was impressed with the speed for the price (I got a $19.95 for the first 3 months deal, $39.95 after that for 768/128kbps down/up, which is ok for now). He was close to getting DSL, and if they lower their prices by as little as $5/month he probably WILL get DSL. That and I'd probably upgrade my package to something faster :-)

      I just wish they offered higher upstream packages on their non-business lin
      • I just wish they offered higher upstream packages on their non-business lines

        Wish in one hand, shit in the other, and see which one fills up first.

        If the telcos/media/broadcast corporations in this country wanted us to run servers, have a voice among our peers, and turn broadcasting into a two-way medium (as opposed to TV), they would give us higher upstream bandwidth.

        Why do you think I pay money each month for web hosting?

    • I'm also personally excited about this, because of my tight budget, I just may be able to afford the beautiful broadband connection once again

      Broadband is one of those things like rent, water, gas, and electricity. Before I even budget for food, I must have broadband :-)

    • I'll believe it when I see it!

      My rule of thumb is that cable companies NEVER lower prices, for any reason, ever. They don't know how. The fact that my own cable Internet has already gone up twice in the last year or so just confirms it.

  • by j_dot_bomb ( 560211 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:17PM (#7644425)
    Its hard to figure out what has caused the difference. Is there more competition here ? I read once about a price cap. The lack of competition in the US may appear to be the most liekly answer.
  • I get 1500/128 service from SBC now for $29/mo with no price increase later. It's only specced for 768 down, but apparently they simply let the modem connect at its highest speed. Futhermore, they gave us an ADSL modem/router with both ethernet and wireless (and power line) routing built in.

    I would like higher upload, but that's where the kicker is. Most people don't need it, and they can sell hosting services (ie, sell the upload and download seperately - double your money)

    I imagine that it'll continue to drop as equipment becomes standard and they don't need to keep buying new equipment. Startup costs for the infrastructure and advertising are what caused the initial high prices. Now that the infrastructure is in place, you'll see more advertising about lower prices and better deals.

    • It's only specced for 768 down because most of the copper on the west coast is trash, and the FCC is nailing DSL providers with big fines when they don't meet expectations. This is also half the reason sbc/pacbell hasn't expanded DSL coverage more than they have already (the other half - pacbell itself doesn't have any money.)

      This is also the reason sbc/pacbell only installs to 14,500 feet now, when it used to be 17,000.

    • I just received an e-mail annoucement offering a 1-year renewal on my 1500/384 at $26.95/month. Can't figure why my rate is lower by a few dollars, but this price competition is definitely a good thing.

      I don't recall what my original sign-up rate is/was (I don't see the bills), but IIRC it was something like $50-60/month. Given that SBC is offering a "business class" service (5 static IPs, 1500/384) for about the same price, I'm seriously considering foregoing the cost savings and trading up. If nothing
    • by dameron ( 307970 ) on Saturday December 06, 2003 @01:31AM (#7645793)
      For two years I had SBC DSL and had no problem, everything was great, good speed, same ip for over a year solid then suddenly I started getting outages, every night, between 6-10pm.

      I did everything I knew to fix the problem but it always came back, almost like clockwork at the same time and ended at roughly the same time every night. When things were working the speed and stability was as I'd come to expect, when it wasn't I was basically cut off. I even let my pc sit and ping a server (one of my work servers) while I was out for town for a weekend and it still happened, so I was convinced it wasn't anything I was doing.

      Eventually I called SBC and they "fixed" the problem (their explanation "Your phone line has degraded.") by halving my UL/DL speeds from UL 1.5M to 750k etc.

      Everything was fine, then a couple of months later, the problem is back. Same problem, same answer, cut my UL/DL in half again to 380k. At this point I start looking for alternative services, alas none are available, and other DSL providers were out they'd be using the same crap lines/equipment that was causing the problem...

      Few more months, it's baaaaack...

      Suddenly I'm playing $55/month for 128k down with insufferable packet loss (i.e. no meaningful online gaming) and no recourse. Eventually my local cable company finally wired my block and now I'm back to 1.5m so the story has a happy ending for me. Not so happy an ending for SBC as they were nailed in a class action for these very problems, slower than advertised speeds, frequent interruptions, barely functioning Usenet servers...

      Read about it here. []

      As I'd already switched to another provider I was only due $20, but those who were still on SBC could get up to $100 in, get this, credit from SBC for DSL service! If you were so fed up with SBC that you wanted to cancel your service before the one year contract was up that $100 might go a long way toward your cancellation fee.

      Given all this frustration I'll never recommend SBC to anyone.

      Plus, their phone CSRs have a neverending litany of "We don't have supervisors", "I am the supervisor", or "There is no other tier of technical support available". Great tip to get to someone who knows what their doing in a tech phone tree: Lie just like they do. An (somewhat embelished) example:

      CSR: "What version of Windows are you running?"

      ME: "Three".

      CSR: "Three?"

      ME: Yeah, three.

      CSR: There's no such thing as Windows 3.

      ME: Yeah, there is, I'm looking at it. It's on an old 486 laptop. I've got Trumpet Winsock running and a PPOE client I wrote that used to work fine, but now just lets me connect and ping servers on my local subnet, but ever time I start up a web browser I get a password dialogue and no matter what I type it comes back with some Redback Aggregation Router configuration thingee about "Do I want to commit these changes and reset " or something like that.

      CSR: Uh, let me put you on hold for a minute.

      That's how you find the supervisor...

  • by rrace ( 606598 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:20PM (#7644446) Journal
    Here in good ole Canada, the price for cable here is around 50 bucks, and if SOCAN have their way it will probably go up even more. Instead of going forward we are going backward and soon broadband will not be accessible to everyone. Sad really.
    • Here in good ole Canada, the price for cable here is around 50 bucks

      I'm not sure where you're getting your numbers, but I get cable access, unlimited dl/ul for $37/mo from Rogers. The speed is rated at 1.5mbit, but I'm actually getting around 2.3mbit.
    • I pay US$65 for 1.5/256 and I'm grateful. Of course, a lot of people have access a lot cheaper than I do. Comcast has been saying they plan to bump rates to 3/384 for which I would be happy to pay $70/mo rather than get it dropped to $40/mo and keep my current caps, so maybe they'll do that. I draw the line at seventy bucks, though.
  • by stroustrup ( 712004 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:22PM (#7644461) Journal
    I have dial-up at home, and the reason is that I don't want to sign a 1 year contract. I want to connect to the net with linux, but cannot as I am using netzero.

    I contacted them to find out if they will support linux soon and here is their response.

    NetZero is involved in a partnership with ThinkNIC to offer a Linux version of the NetZero software on the ThinkNIC machine. Currently, we do not have a downloadable version available for Linux, but please check back on our Web site at for updates.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I know a group of people who spent a great deal of time tring to access NetZero's dialup service without their software.

      We spent months working at it.

      Currently netzero employs a sofisticated password encryption and rotating username prefix along with a 2nd level web authorization data that is passed to the netzero webservers at logon.

      All this hiding is due to the fact they were a 'free' ISP, and wanted people to use their lame advertising bar. Their $9.95 services seems like a semi-decent idea, but its
    • I have dialup and I don't have a year long contract. I don't use netzero.
    • Get a local dialup isp. $15-20 per month, multiple mail boxes, etc. And just about every one uses simple expect/send login scripts.
  • by badfrog ( 45310 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:23PM (#7644465)
    I decided needed high upload rates, so I'm shelling out ~$200/month for business cable. There's no clause against servers, and I get the super-secret phone number where a REAL PERSON actually answers. But it also is quite painful to the toy budget.
    • hear hear (Score:3, Informative)

      by The Tyro ( 247333 )
      I also have business-class cable at my home... costs about 80$ per month (the install was a very-painful and unnecessary 250$). It's great... I get about 3mb down, and around 256kb up, so it's still asymmetric.

      Still, the tech support is MUCH better than the residential service (not that I ever call... calling tech support is a sign of weakness), and you get priority for bandwidth on the node, etc.

      I like it... reliable, fast, no upstream port filtering, and they don't care if you run servers. I'll neve
    • DSL (Score:3, Interesting)

      by KalvinB ( 205500 )
      I don't know what your speeds are but I had a non-artificially capped 640/256Kbit business DSL line for $70 a month. Cox wanted to charge $200 or so for a line that was only 50% faster up and artificially capped. Since I was (and still am) running a very large web-site it's the upstream speed that matters. Cox also caps the upload amount at a rediculous 7.5GB. Compare that to the 50GB+ I was doing with my DSL line. It was nearly saturated when I went to colo.

      Qwest couldn't get me a faster line either
  • I hope... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by musingmelpomene ( 703985 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:24PM (#7644471) Homepage
    I hope they manage to continue developing the infrastructure for the technology. Otherwise, we're going to end up with so many cable modems per node that there won't be appreciable speed differences between cable and dialup during peak usage times. If the demand increases, but they refuse to continue to create infrastructure due to the new, lower pricing, people will be faced with higher-than-dialup fees for not much more real speed.
    • If this happens, then DSL will become the more attractive option. Remember, DSL is not a shared segment like Cable. This makes a big difference in real world performance. DSL may have a lower cap, but I get 1.5mb all day, every day.
      • The problem with ADSL, aka the cheap DSL, is that it is asynchronous (hence the A) and you generally get very crappy upstream. So while you are using half of your crappy upstream, you can only use half of your usually very pleasant downstream.

        I believe DOCSIS cable is also asynchronous, but note that DOCSIS peaks out in the lab at 10 megabits up and 45 megs down. In the real world, out in the boonies, I got 6 megabits down from @home, before they imploded. I suspect you could get a good 512k up, maybe 768

        • A is for Asymmetric (Score:3, Informative)

          by Detritus ( 11846 )
          The A in ADSL stands for asymmetric.
    • I was the first guy on the block to get a cable modem. Then everyone else got one, and the speed decreased (everyone must have been running napster at the same time). But the speed is not that bad the past year. Having said goodbye to my cable modem after a bad customer service experiance a few years ago, and switching to AOL dial-up, I can say with 100% certainty that a slow cable modem blows away the best AOL could ever do with dial up. I ended up calling back my cable company for the cable modem after fo
  • by panaceaa ( 205396 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:26PM (#7644481) Homepage Journal
    SBC promises download speeds as fast 1.5 megabits per second - one megabit is 1,000 kilobits - ...

    Way to break down megabits per second into something the average person can understand, David Koenig. I guess you're trying to compare 56kbps to 1.5mbps, but still, how many people reading IWon News know what a kilobit is? Why don't you say "1.5 megabits per second means 1 megabyte takes 5.3 seconds to download"? That's something people could understand.

    At least Libraries of Congress aren't in your conversion rate.
    • I've always wondered how big an LOC (library of congress) unit is. I know the joke is always kicked around here on /., but I've never seen anyone attempt to define it as X number of bits or bytes. Anyone know of any attempt/estimation to represent the ammount of info in the LOC in terms of bits and bytes?
  • by zipwow ( 1695 ) <> on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:32PM (#7644529) Homepage Journal
    I got an email the other day saying that they're upgrading my upstream for free, permanently. Considering that I have a contract, that's an extremely nice gesture...

  • Since where I live now (SE of Taco in Ypsilanti - halfway between Ann Arbor and Detroit), I have three options:

    Dialup, which I can (for a while, anyway) get free through UMich, where I get a top speed of 33k, and my connection stays live anywhere from 30 seconds to 8 hours

    Cable, where I pay $42.95 a month for a fast connection that stays up for days on end (but I still have to power cycle my network gear once a week to refresh my IP lease)

    DSL, where I can pay $100 a month for 144 SDSL (something about li
  • by doormat ( 63648 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:33PM (#7644535) Homepage Journal
    Huh? Dont think they have a lot in common? They do...

    Casual dining restaraunts charge higher prices, and serve you more food than you (should) eat. This leads to fatter americans (eating more than they should, you wouldnt want to be wasteful would you?), and increased margins for the restaraunts. As long as you think, "hey, for $8 I got a lot of food", you'll be OK with it.

    Cable companies are starting to do the same thing. My cable co (Cox), is looking at replacing the 1.5/128 plan with 3.0/256, and creating a new plan for $80 for 4.0/384.
  • Brandband prices have dropped in my area as more companies has started offerring the service. i was paying $50 for cable modem. After a while that dropped to $35.

    Verizon came in and started offerring DSL @ 34.95 + a free modem. I switched.

    a few months later verizon actually dropped our price another five dollars plus... Now paying $29 and change for 768/256. not bad, eh?
  • by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:40PM (#7644582) Homepage
    The telcos still have a major problem with selling and deploying DSL. Their copper wire infrastructure sucks and they aren't interested in doing anything, especially spending money, to improve it. Even though I live in an area with above average population density, it's 25,000 feet to the nearest central office. That means no DSL for me. The number and placement of central offices were frozen decades ago, when this was primarily a rural area. New housing developments get SLCs (subscriber line concentrators), not copper pairs to a central office. If the telcos were serious about providing DSL service, they would upgrade their network to make DSL available to every customer, not just those lucky enough to live near a central office. I'm not a big fan of the cable company, but they have spent far more money than the telco on upgrading and extending their network.
    • The telcos still have a major problem with selling and deploying DSL. Their copper wire infrastructure sucks and they aren't interested in doing anything, especially spending money, to improve it.

      That's because the phone companies have no incentive to improve it. The cable companies do.

      Why? Simple. Competition.

      The cable companies have a monopoly. They're the only ones providing cable service in an area (this is true virtually everywhere in the US -- I don't want to hear from the 0.1% of the US that actu
    • You think that's bad... I live in NYC/Queens (all around apartment buildings; tons of potential customers), and I can't get DSL! (not for the lack of trying - had people from two different companies come in and try - and all concluded the wires leading to the building suck, and nobody is gonna pay to upgrade'em).

      Thankfully, cable came to the area a year ago (when it seemed like everyone else had it for ages).
  •'s about damn time. I've been paying about $30 - $45US a month for years - first for 1.5Mb ADSL, then 8, 12, and now 24Mb ADSL. YahooBB will be offering 45Mb ADSL (3Mb upstream!) in January for about the same price (translation courtesy of the fish: here []).

    Amazing? Yes, I know. But keep in mind these technologies are severely distance limited and wouldn't really be an option in most of the US (I live in Japan BTW - no, not Tokyo and no, I will not buy you any anime). 8Mb ADSL and up normally drop

  • They beat on that tired, dead horse that "Cable-modem service can be as fast for downloads as several megabits per second, though the speed can suffer if several users in one neighborhood log on at once."

    Um, nope. The cable providers make allowance for that. That's so worn out. ALL the DSL providers trot that dead horse out in every DSL v. Cable discussion.

    I had SBC DSL and it was absolute SHIT, plus they screwed me everytime someone down in billing farted..
    I dropped them and got RoadRunner.
    They penali
    • pair_a_noyd said: I had SBC DSL and it was absolute SHIT, plus they screwed me everytime someone down in billing farted.. I dropped them and got RoadRunner. They penalize me an extra $5 a month because I have internet only, I don't have cable-TV. With the penalty and tax, I pay $54 a month for bad ass speed.

      I don't know where you're at Sir, but I would see if your Time Warner Cable area offers you a choice of ISP. Here in NC, we have a choice of four (AOL, RR, Earthlink & Max.Internet) down our cab

  • by donutello ( 88309 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @10:07PM (#7644731) Homepage
    The article states that Comcast was offering a $19.99 rate for cable modem rates.

    That is incorrect. Comcast has run this deal multiple times where they offer $19.99 a month for three months. After that the rates go back up to something around $45.99 (IIRC). The rate is not being offered right now but will be back in a few months.
  • I'll be happy if... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sootman ( 158191 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @10:14PM (#7644770) Homepage Journal current DSL ISP keeps its prices where they are and can therefore stay in business.
  • by Ricin ( 236107 )
    Let em dot-com each other out of business. Used to be their usual game after they caught up with this Internet thing wasn't it?

  • Here in Chicago, Comcast is a whopping $59 dollars per month. That's right, sixty dollars for no-server allowed broadband. They currently have a 4 month promotion for 29 dollars, but it goes back to 60 soon enough. Broadband cable used to be 39.99 until Comcast raised the prices and decided to punish everyone who didn't buy their video service. No thanks, I've got a directivo.

    The meat of the article is the SBC and BellSouth are going sub-30 for broadband, which is pretty damn good. I thought broadband
    • Here in Salem, OR, Comcast was $45/month. A few months ago, they jacked it up $10, but gave you a $10 discount on any cable TV package. I didn't have any cable TV because I don't watch TV enough to justify paying for it, but basic cable is $10/month, so I was effectively forced to get it. I'm not particularly happy about it, but it's nice to be able to watch Jeopardy!, the only good thing on TV...
  • by jollis ( 691129 )
    Sweden, for some very strage reason, has three providers offering symmetrical, 10 Mbps or bigger connections for less than 65 USD a month. I'm not a swede, and don't have information in English, but you should be able to decipher what matters here []. The yellow box below the headline has the speeds and prices. One Swedish krona is roughly 13.5 US cents, prices are per month and anslutningsavgift is the one-time hookup fee.

    As you can see in the Aftonbladet article, Telia has just entered the fray. They were
  • Optimium online/cablevision comes to mind here too. They like to monitor your upstream and if you pass a threshold they smack you down from 1mbit up to 150kbit up. The only way to get it off is to call their tech support and they fill out a "you were naughty" form and have someone from their non-sucky and super expensive service, Lightpath, call you back and talk about getting you to sign up for hosting.

    The bad part is they don't tell you what the limit is . So, even if you get the throttle removed, ther

  • Verizon ain't cheap (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wizman ( 116087 )
    We are a DSL provider. I know what Verizon charges us for a 768/128 DSL. If we charged $30/month for a 768k DSL circuit, we would be loosing about $8/month. This does not even take into account support costs, our link to Verizon, or our bandwidth from our upstream providers.

    For a broadband ISP to make money by selling DSL, they need to either own the network themselves (ie Verizon, SBC, CLEC's, etc) or have major quantities of customers to get any type of discount from the ILEC/CLEC.

    Luckily our broadba
  • by MImeKillEr ( 445828 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @10:40PM (#7644915) Homepage Journal
    ...for DSL at $27/mo. If only SBC's pre-sales would actually answer my questions via email.

    My wife spoke to a salesrep who claimed a bunch of shit that was against what is/was in the TOS/AUP. When I emailed to get someone from presales to answer some questions to clear this up, the twits it got routed to kept wanting me to call some 800#.

    Uhm, hello? Its one thing to promise WTF you want to me over the phone. Give me 30 days to test the service vs. RR, a way to drop your service without having to pay through the nose if I think its shit, and put all of it in writing.

    At least with RR I can drop them at any time without a penalty. Until the DSL providers start offering this ability, people like me will stay with RR. I just hope that if the prices continue to drop for DSL (or stay way down) RR will have to come down too.
  • central kentucky... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ecalkin ( 468811 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @10:41PM (#7644922)
    i have dsl through a local company that does dsl and dialup. $60/month. this included 4 static addresses.

    bell was $50 for 1 dynamic address and (i think) $129 for 1 static. and way out of control for more than one static ip.

    adelphia (cabletv) was $50 for 1 dynamic, $150 for 1 static address and *another* $150 if you needed another (one address per cable!)

    bell jumped out with teeth and claws a short time ago. i had a (bell) customer with 5 regular lines and they were paying 225/month. bell offered them 5 lines and dsl for 195/month. something smells here, but i asked all the questions. it will be interesting to see if they can maintain a reasonable data rate...

    *i* think they (bell) were afraid of adelphia and not the 'other' dsl providers. i think also it's a hook to keep customers on land lines. ya gotta have copper (or fiber) to have dsl. this may also be to keep people from moving that number to cell phone.


    this ought to be interesting.
  • But I'd like just to have broadband.
  • Anyone noticed it is a little difficult to buy anything by a USB DSL modem nowadays? Plenty of 10baseT/USB Cable modems though. Have I missed something obvious here?
  • But unfortunatly, the majority of the telecomunications infasrtucture (including the copper to everyones homes) is owned bt Telstra.
    And Telstra charge $$$.
    So, everyone has to charge $$$.
  • by Control-Z ( 321144 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @11:49PM (#7645316)

    They're up to $52 a month. It's a great connection but how high will the price go?

    • In my area (NE OHIO) we have Adelphia and Time Warner as the main carriers. Time Warner offers cable modem access for $45 month.... you know who provides that access?


      If you call Earthlink directly, you can get the same thing for $40 a month... installed by Time Warner. Isn't that a riot?

      p.s. I had Adelphia Cable TV for a year... worst service I have ever had... kept me from trying their overpriced internet access. My Earthlink access, however, is consistent and a whopping 2000 kbps!

  • Having just moved from the SF Bay Area to Wellington New Zealand, I'm now quite aware of just how good the situation is in the upper 48. In SF I was paying ~80/mo for around 1.5/256 ADSL with 5 statics, and there were slightly better deals available. Down here I've found that Telecom NZ has the monopoly thing going on, and it's reflected in their pricing. Their starter option is ADSL capped at 256k each direction, for $49/mo. Besides capping the line, they only give you 500m/mo usage, and charge $.20nzd per
  • I live in MA am changing providers to DSL.

    Comcast is actually raising the rate yet again, so I've decided "what the hell" and decided to drop them.

    I can get DSL for much less than cable now, and to be honest I hope to see a reliability improve dramatically. Only time will tell. In addition, performance with Comcast has been spotty, and the fact that I had to change my email address numerous times over the past 3 years means that I don't really care about having to change it again, especially since chang

The absent ones are always at fault.