The Issues

 The Issues:

Combating Closed, Slow, Expensive,  Networks Everywhere

According to a recent survey, America’s Internet, broadband, cable, and phone companies – sometimes called “ISPs” are the most hated companies in America.

We’ve retooled New Networks to be able to not only give you, your family and your company the skinny about what’s going on but we’ve got a plan to stop or reverse the phone and cable companies’ abuses as it’s out of hand.

The networks are not open: You can’t choose you own Internet or broadband or cable service over the wires in your home. In most of America, you either buy everything from your cable company or you have few, if any choices.

Fast? While Google has started to roll out 1 gigabit speeds in Kansas City, and some municipalities decided to circumvent the incumbent phone and cable companies, like Chattanooga,  AT&T, in 22 states, is still based on the old copper wiring –with a current top speed of 24 Mbps in 1 direction. The cable companies keep telling everyone that they have 100 Mbps capability – but they aren’t selling it and it’s only fast in 1 direction.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong you can get 1 gigabit for $25, in France you can get 300 Mbps in both directions, as well as TV and phone for about 45 bucks. – In your town…?

Expensive or Simply Overcharged: Everyone reading with a wire in your home paid about $4000.00-$5000.00  for a fiber optic service,  open to all competition.  By 2013, the phone companies collected over $380 billion dollars—for upgrades that you will never get. And the cable companies collected about $45 billion extra since 2000 in something called the Social Contract – extra fees added to your bills – about $700.00 and counting.

The Communications Trust – Starting in the 1990’s the phone companies, companies like Bell Atlantic of Pacific Bell,  all started to merge with the other companies and today there are only 3 very large local phone companies;  AT&T and Verizon also own the majority of the wireless market and they are now in bed instead of seriously competing with the  cable companies.

Phone and Cable and ALEC Cabal –  it’s Gotten Worse.  All of the companies are now working with the American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC, to close down all regulations, obligations and oversight. ALEC gets ALEC-member politicians – who are funded by the Cabal through campaign financing donations – to push through the exact same ‘model’ legislation.

  • 25 states have passed legislation to get rid of basic obligations – even “carrier of last resort” – meaning if your line breaks too bad.
  • 19 states passed a law to block the municipality to sell broadband, etc where the phone and cable companies failed to properly serve.

New Digital Dead Zones – Forget about the Digital Divide — The plan now is to simply shut off your service or replace it with a crap wireless product, like Verizon’s Voice Link. Throughout the US, AT&T and Verizon are planning on ‘abandoning’ the copper—which in AT&T’s case, is where they don’t want to fix it.

Wireless?  Did you know that your wireless phone is really a wired phone as the call goes to a cell tower owned by the same wired companies – and this wire is a monopoly with obscene profits?  Why do you think there are outrageous bandwidth-caps to block your video use?

Cable Companies? They’ve let the phone companies take all the heat but their networks are closed to competitors as well. And you are forced to pay for shows you don’t watch. And they get to charge you outrageous fees for the set-top box; you even pay their franchise fees.

And Your Communications Bills? I can hear you screaming from here. All those made up taxes, fees and surcharges shouldn’t be on your bill. The bills are unreadable on purpose, so that they can hide extra fees for services you didn’t even order – very common with small businesses.  You know those deals where the actual price is 50% more than the advertised price and everything goes up 50% in a year.

Stripping Away Your Rights. Without competition, they’ve also created:

  • Net Neutrality Issues, where the companies can block degrade you harm your service? If there was competition you could just choose another company and leave.
  • NSA and privacy? If there were lots of companies and competitors, it would be much harder and probably less of a secret to do these questionable acts.

Regulators?  Stop Laughing.

In the states, the ALEC bill has been able to strip mine the state commissions’ ability to do any oversight. So if your line breaks, the company won’t be held accountable.

The FCC – The current FCC General Counsel who is heading up the Task Force to close down the networks was a partner at: “Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, PLLC,  which is “well known for representing Verizon and AT&T on a wide variety of regulatory, appellate, antitrust, litigation, and intellectual property matters.”

The head of the group that started the process to close down the networks, Tom Wheeler was the president of the CTIA wireless association  and is now up for the head of the FCC, even though he currently has about a million  dollars in AT&T and Verizon stock.

Harms to the Economic Growth, Harms to the Tech Community.  Closing down whole areas of the country is ugly and every community is faced with economic harms — in every segment  Slow, expensive broadband helps to slow the growth of new services, like using” the cloud” –If you can’t upload stuff you can’t be ‘on the cloud’.  Kids can’t get that ‘education’ we keep hearing about and other countries develop the services we should be developing.

And you pay the companies extra so you can’t use your extra money to say, go out to dinner or buy groceries or clothes or…

Shills, Sycophants and Whores.  From AT&T et al ‘stink tanks’ who spout the corporate-line,  politicians and members of ALEC who have been groomed by AT&T and Verizon, the non-profit minority groups that tout the telcos  line over their own constituents or just out and out astroturf groups set up to deceive the public, there are thousands of individuals and groups   who believe money talks – even when they harm the people they purport to be ‘protecting’ or working for.

It is out of control and it is heading in the wrong direction. – And it’s time to do something about it.

So, if you’re happy with you phone and cable service – keep smiling – until they shut you off or raise your rates – because they can. They are the Phone and cable companies.

 

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