[SATLUG] Old thread but is Google still your frin?

Don Davis dondavis at reglue.org
Tue Aug 10 08:14:10 CDT 2010

One of the best examples I've heard of the benefit of capitalism in
action is toilet paper. A citizen of the former GDR pointed out toilet
paper. East German toilet paper was a bit infamous for being rough (like
our brown paper towels). It turns out that the manufacturing process
wasn't very efficient either. However, in our system, the plethora of
toilet paper makers strove to make better toilet paper to gain customers
and to make it cheaper for higher profit margins.

However, in industries where there is little or no competition set in
place through various forces such as the government then companies begin
to exhibit monopoly behavior. The prohibitive cost of establishing
infrastructure has created this situation among the telecoms. There are
better arrangements and fee scheduling for allowing many ISPs to offer
service over existing infrastructure. I don't know, however, if and what
mechanisms are in place to allow this at a reasonable price. As I
understand it now, the profits are thin and telecoms can offer the
service at substantially lower prices. I communicated once with someone
from SDF about this. While they could offer the service, it was difficult.

TW seems to offer decent bandwidth at a decent price. (Though it seems
that braided coax should offer speeds a bit better than DSL.) However,
recently their proposed intent to substantially raise prices indicates
their true intent - maximum profit from minimum services. Their leverage
is greater the fewer competitors there are.

We need more competitors or internet access should be municipally run to
provide equitable service to all for a fair price.

>> The real solution to this is competition. If it's really a big deal then
>> other companies will show up giving the people what they want.

> TW is fairly expensive, but I don't think their service sucks.  For me
> they seem to be pretty reliable, but then I only use them for routing my
> bits and they do that fairly fast.  I've never used any of their other
> ISP services.
>   -- Bruce

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