“The $200 Billion Broadband Scandal.” — AKA Where’s the 45MB/s I Already Paid for!

I was lucky enough to be able to look over an advance copy of Bruce Kushnick’s new book, “The $200 Billion Broadband Scandal” — it’s a powerful critique documenting the trail of broken promises and misinformation perpetrated by many broadband service providers in order to get favorable treatment, special dispensation, and competition-free access to residents across the United States. One I was lucky enough to be able to look over an advance copy of Bruce Kushnick’s new book, “The $200 Billion Broadband Scandal” — it’s a powerful critique documenting the trail of broken promises and misinformation perpetrated by many broadband service providers in order to get favorable treatment, special dispensation, and competition-free access to residents across the United States. One of the most damning indictments, that United States residents have already paid for upgrades to our existing broadband infrastructure — being charged for services never delivered — and not a small amount either, but actually to the tune of $200,000,000,000. When you break it down, that’s roughly a $2,000 refund for every household that’s due for contractual obligations never fulfilled.

Here’s more from today’s official release:

New investigative ebook offers micro-history of Verizon, SBC, Qwest, and BellSouth’s (the Bell companies) fiber optic broadband promises and the consequence harms to America’s economic growth because they never delivered and kept most of the money, about $200 billion.

New York: This is one of the largest scandals in American history. America is 16th in the world in broadband and the US DSL current offerings are 100 times slower than other countries such has Japan and Korea. How did we go from Number 1 in the web to 16th in broadband and falling?

But more importantly, are customers owed $2000 for a fiber optic service they paid for but never received? Did towns and cities, libraries and schools, government agencies, and every residential and business customer subsidize new networks that never showed up?

And did America lose $5 trillion in economic growth, $500 billion annually, because of these missing networks?

Broadband Scandals is a well-documented expose, 406 pages and 528 footnotes. Using the phone companies’ own words (and well as other sources), the book outlines a massive nationwide scandal that affects every aspect of state of the Internet. Not only the web but broadband, municipalities laying fiber or building wifi networks, not to mention related issues such as such as VOIP, cable services, the cost of local phone service, net neutrality, the new digital divide, and even America’s economic growth.

The fiber optic infrastructure you paid for was never delivered.

Starting in the early 1990’s, with a push from the Clinton-Gore Administration’s “Information Superhighway”, every Bell company ‚Äö?Ñ?Æ SBC, Verizon, BellSouth and Qwest ‚Äö?Ñ?Æ made commitments to rewire America, state by state. Fiber optic wires would replace the 100-year old copper wiring. The push caused techno-frenzy of major proportions. By 2006, 86 million households should have had a service capable of 45 Mbps in both directions, (to and from the customer) could handle over 500 channels of high quality video and be deployed in rural, urban and suburban areas equally. And these networks were open to ALL competition.

In order to pay for these upgrades, in state after state, the public service commissions and state legislatures acquiesced to the Bells’ promises by removing the constraints on the Bells’ profits as well as gave other financial perks. They were able to print money ‚Äö?Ñ?Æ billions of dollars per state ‚Äö?Ñ?Æ all collected in the form of higher phone rates and tax perks. (Note: each state is different.)

  • ADSL is not what was promised and paid for. It goes over the old copper wiring, can’t achieve the speed, has problems in rural areas and is mostly one-way.
  • 0% of the Bell companies’ customers have 45 Mbps residential services.

Harms and Outcomes

This investigative book isn’t just a history, but a warning ‚Äö?Ñ?Æ the Bell companies can not be trusted with our digital future. Worse, what they have done has resulted in serious repercussions to local, state and national economy.

  • The public subsidies for infrastructure were pocketed. The phone companies collected over $200 billion in higher phone rates and tax perks, about $2000 per household.
  • The World is Laughing at US. Korea and Japan have 100 Mbps services as standard, and America could have been Number One had the phone companies actually delivered. Instead, we are 16th in broadband and falling in technology dominance.
  • Harm to the economy. Five trillion dollars was lost because new technologies and services that America would have developed, happened in Korea.
  • Municipalities around America are waking up to the fact that the phone companies failed to deliver and are now doing Wifi and fiber-based work-arounds.

Broadband Scandals delivers serious revelations. In fact, the book has been designed as the data source for Teletruth’s complaint to the FTC against SBC and Verizon.

  • The promised networks couldn’t be built in 1993 and state laws were changed based on “deceptive speech”. The technology today still has problems delivering 500 channels.
  • The phone companies pulled a bait and switch. In order to offer DSL over copper, it was not necessary to have state regulation changed. Their plan was to get rid of regulations and enter long distance.
  • The Bell mergers resulted in the death of the state plans for fiber optic broadband. Over 26 states had fiber optic projects closed when the mergers of SBC and Verizon were completed. That affected almost 80% of all phone customers in the US.

Broadband Scandal contains some additional special chapters.

  • 20th Anniversary Summary of the Bells’ Financials. The core of the book is a 20-year analysis of revenues, profits, construction, etc.. Starting in1984, their own data shows revenues up 128%, and concludes profits shot through the roof on the promise of broadband. Meanwhile, compared to revenues, employees are down 65%, construction down 60%. Why did prices increase?
  • Case Studies: New Jersey, California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. ‚Äö?Ñ?Æ State-by-state the book outlines the same pattern of deception. By 2010, 100% of New Jersey is supposed to have 45 Mbps service; by 2000, California should have had 5.5 million homes completed, and each state paid billions for services they never received.
  • Verizon’s “FIASCO” and SBC’s’ “Dim-Speed” ‚Äö?Ñ?Æ Verizon and SBC are rolling out new fiber optic services but want the laws changed again. These services are crippled, closed networks that do not fulfill the state obligations, like New Jersey and can’t compete globally. FIOS’s top speed is only 35% of the Asian standard, and yet it cost $199 vs Korea, $40 for 100 Mbps.
  • Fake and co-opted consumer groups, biased non-profit think tanks are now the major force in broadband regulation and policy. The book goes into groups like Consumers for Cable Choice, TRAC, APT, Issue Dynamics and New Millennium Council and how these groups are attempting to block municipalities from offering new services to harming new services, like VOIP. These groups are sending out deceptive messages that make the formulation of the policy that is in the public interest impossible.

Broadband Scandal’s conclusion: Publicly paid for infrastructure is being held hostage and needs to be freed. Customers funded the fiber optic networks and the Public Switched Telephone Networks (PSTN) should be opened to ALL competition with strict rules of Net Neutrality. The Bells have harmed America’s economic growth and our global competitiveness. Investigations into all of the monies collected in the name of fiber optic broadband in America should start immediately. These investigations should include how the Bells improperly funded their DSL and long distance rollouts. The Bells should be forced into refunds or giving the money to municipalities. This would be a better solution than allowing the companies who have harmed our digital future to control America’s digital destiny.

Author. According to Broadband Reports: “Bruce Kushnick has been dubbed everything from the ‘Leading Visionary in the Telecom Industry’ to a ‘Phone Bill Fanatic'; but what’s certain is that nobody in the industry is ignoring him.” Kushnick has been a telecom analyst for 24 years, and is one of the founders of Teletruth, an independent customer advocacy group focusing on broadband and telecom issues, as well as executive director of New Networks Institute, a market research firm.

Teletruth was a member of the FCC Consumer Advisory Committee in 2003-2004 and has active cases with the IRS, FCC and FTC pertaining to broadband and the cost of the networks. Research through Teletruth’s phone bill auditing services has led to class action suits and major refunds for phone bill overcharging,
Reporters and reviewers, email us for a complimentary copy.
For a Table of Contents, roadmap, a chapter, the introduction, and more…
http://www.newnetworks.com/broadbandscandals.htm

Read what the pundits and experts are saying, “talented, persistent, honest”… “brilliantly documented this fraud” … “stunning in its implications.” “Anyone who wants the U.S. to thrive in this connected future should read Kushnick’s book.”

Ebook only: $20
406 pages, 528 Footnotes, 72 Exhibits.

Contact:

Kelly Deegan,Bruce Kushnick,, 718-238-7191

Comments

  1. I actually can get Verizon FIOS upwards to 45mbit /second with some packages.

    It was rolled out, in front of my eyes. Two weeks later I got a note saying I can upgrade to it.

    Paying for upgrades that aren’t coming? Seems they came to me.

  2. I pay $75 for 5 static IP addresses with SBC. I wished they would give me more bandwidth for what I’m paying. Talking to the customer DISservice doesn’t get you anywhere as far as basic information on my account.

    Basically, they expect us to bend over, grab our ankles. As the quote from Animal House: “thank you sir. May I have another?”

    Who do we fight back? Class action lawsuit?

  3. You should consider publising a portion of your eBook and throw in some Google Adsense.

  4. Damn isps have been ripping us off for years. Let’s do something about it!

  5. It may hve been rolled out for you Tyler but for the rest of us, who are in states such as New Hampshire or not in/near a major city, we do no have access. Well we do, but for 45Mbps Up/Down it costs apprx. $12,000+/month. So tell me how Verizon/The Bell Companies aren’t screwing us over.

  6. Noah Melamed says:

    Verizon FiOs is only providing you with 45mbit/s down. You are limited to proabbly 10mbits up. so your actually getting 55mbits bandwidth both ways when you should be getting 90(45 up and down).

    Its more trick advertising, just like all of a sudden phone companies switching the megabit standard for bandwidth instead of the megabyte, which is an 1/8 the speed.

  7. The article only says Bellsouth has not run any fiber to homes. Sure, Verizon has, in areas where it operates. In NM, we have Qwest, and lots of rural areas. In most areas, even DSL isn’t available. It’s a shame that cable modem has become the most viable link, and since it’s never open to ISP sharing, you have to bend over anyway.

  8. You all think you are getting ripped off? I’ll show you ripped off. The maximum I can get is 1 meg at $170 a month.

  9. What are we going to do? What do we have lawmakers and law enforcement for if we have to do something about it?

    You know contacting their Customer Service department and complaining is just going to be a waste of time unless we get EVERYONE (literally) to keep complaining untill they do something, that won’t happen.

    We’ve got people making laws and agreements for us, THEY are dropping the ball with enforcement. The bells are a company, if they can they will screw us. We have to have regulation that actually enforces what they say they will.

  10. OntarioFrost says:

    Yeah it’s funny like that here in Canada too.
    I only pay for what I can get. It’s painfully slow at the moment, but it guarentees me 256kb/s unlike the next level with their wording of “up to 3mb/s” up to…sheesh..
    both bell and rogers suck, but even more because of their disservice.
    Virgin needs to become an internet giant to topple these monopolies up here. They introduced their phones here in Feb, but want to know the inside track? Their in partnership with Bell. some service.. sheesh

  11. “You are limited to proabbly 10mbits up.” For a home connection how can you argue that they are screwing people. This isn’t a business connection and 10Mbps is plenty. Why do you need more ? Need to run a server, p2p ? 10Mbps is still more than enough.

  12. I hate to envoke the Enron name here, but this was a big part of their “planned” market. Too many promises, not enough truth. Look at “broadband” in recent RSS feeds, people don’t get it: http://www.lippeatt.com/NewsRSS/NewsFinder.asp?ss=broadband

  13. this is the American way and I am not happy with it. We really need to start a class action to go after these companies and make the Gov responsible for being a watch dog.

    Another thing I can’t believe is this story gets a super hig digg rating and there are only 6 comments here??? WTH pepole get involved a little!?!?

  14. Jeff?

    “…all of a sudden phone companies switching to the megabit standard for bandwidth instead of the megabyte…”

    WTF? bits per second was always traditionally used as a measure of speed, whereas bytes are used as a measure of storage spaces. I’ll grant you that this is convention, but it has been a long standing one.

    Your old analog model was rated in kbps (kilobits per second). Your ISDN was rated in kbps. Your DSL first came out in kilobits per second, and then was moved up to mbps (megabits per second). How are customers supposed to be able to evaluate the speed of something if everyone isn’t using the same convention.

    Would you role out a faster DSL and say, “yeah, it’s faster, it does 800 kb/s when our competitors do 5 Mbps!”?

  15. Sorry – Jeff. That was meant for Noah. I didn’t realize that the “posted by” was at the bottom.

  16. Like Noah said, you’re still getting screwed.

    Consider this: before you were able to (supposedly) get 45mb/s, how much were you paying for your previous connection? How much are you paying now?

    Remember, the price you were paying for your old connection wasn’t what it was actually worth. You were paying more for less month after month in exchange for the promise that the companies would use that money to update the lines.

    Here’s an analogy: Coca Cola promises the best drink ever to every American in the nation. 100 GOOD calories, all your vitamins and minerals, lowers your cholesterol, 25% bigger size, tastes AMAZING to EVERYONE and satisfies any thirst.

    Here’s the problem: they need a large amount of capital to make it happen…so if every American is willing to pay just 50% more for their current Coke products, they can make it happen.

    The government is lobbied, the consumers are advertised to. Everyone says, “OK, let’s bite the bullet and do it…after all, Japan and S. Korea have been drinking the new product for years! Anyway, there’s not much we can do, since Congress has outlawed all competition and declared that this new super cola is not a food item, but a snack item; therefore they can’t mandate that it be provided at a fixed, affordable price. We HAVE to pay the higher rates if we want super cola satisfaction.”

    Thing is, they never delivered. You’re now paying 75% more for the same old Coke than you did 5 years ago. Coke has made $200,000,000,000 in extra profits. They just announced a new product with 200 calories, 10% of your vitamins, 10% bigger size, that tastes a little better than normal Coke. It will only be available in NYC and LA. It will also cost 20% extra than the Coke you’re buying now. The price charged for the old Coke will not be lowered. In fact, it will be going up for everyone, even those who don’t have access to the new Coke.

    Also, Coke is now lobbying for control of interstate shipping. If someone wants to consume Pepsi products, Coke will tell all of the delivery drivers under its control to drive no faster than 30 m.p.h. during the delivery. You will also have to pay Coke an extra fee for deliverying the Pepsi to you, since it’s not a Coke product. But that’s a story for another day…

  17. I’m from a town of less than 2000 people in eastern Washington state, and the county laid out fiber about 5 years ago. Only recently have they limited bandwidth to the house to 6Mbps up and down. Prior to that it was a full 100Mbps, and I had tested with speakeasy backbones in Seattle at download rates around 35Mbps consistently, and upload around 25Mbps. There are several isp’s reselling, and the average residential rate is ~$40/mo.

    I wish it were available everywhere! Where’s Teledesic anyway?

  18. Former Baby Beller says:

    I worked at a Baby Bell for a while and the waste of money / time / resources was incredible.

    Monopolies breed this kind of incompetence.

  19. maybe..Alot to swallow… I do remember talk of the information highway.. what did it get me? a 10/1 connections costing me $100/month.. pffftt

  20. There was a huge over investment in telco infrastructure during this period; a huge investment that the industry couldn’t support. Even today there are large amounts of “dark” fiber crisscrossing the country.

  21. Fazookus says:

    I live in a big city (8,000,000 or so people) and there’s no FIOS service from Verizon anywhere in our future. The tiny tiny number of people who get FIOS is as close to none as you can get.

  22. Tim in CA says:

    I don’t want the money, I want 100 Mbps. Let the Bells pay for it and let it get outsourced to a hundred private companies with deliverables against time. I hope the book succeeds in spurring a call to quick and decisive action, and not a prolonged court case. Any litigation rather than immediate results would continue to hold us back.

  23. i’ve never heard anything like this before. dumb telco companies! i feel that my tax dollars are being used and abused. we should get the word out about this

  24. Naeem Lakhani says:

    There are a couple of factors here that havent been mentioned. The US and Korea are not comparable in size. Its much easier to run ultrafast networks on a country the size of Korea and Japan. That being said, we are still being swindled by all the telco’s. The American consumer needs to be more educated about what they are paying for and what the comparisons are world wide, but that would mean reading international news…

  25. You can fight back by buying Internet access from independent ISPs! Open your yellow pages, and find a local ISP.

    -Dane

  26. Hi Tyler,

    Could you provide more information about the 45MB/s service you’re talking about? I’d like to have primary sourcing about it’s availability and pricing. In the interim, I’d point everyone to:

    http://www.saschameinrath.com/node/276

    “Japan vs. US — A Broadband Services & Pricing Reality Check” is a great source on pricing and service levels available right now in Japan. The bottom line, an average of $41/month for a 85Mbps/100Mbps line.

  27. Ive noticed that they have been ripping us off. Lets do something about it,its not right.

  28. offtopic, but bps (bits per second) has always been the standard measure for bandwidth. Historically it was because the size of a Byte varied based on the computer (many of the first few gen mainframes used a 7bit byte rather than the current 8bit standard).

    Hence 2400/4800/9600 modems (all bps), followed by a notation change to 14.4/33.6/57.6 kbps.

    There isn’t any trick advertising involved. The only real problem is most browsers report download speeds in bytes/sec which leads to some confusion. It makes sense as file sizes are always given in Bytes.

    If you want something legit to complain about look into the advertised capacities for hard disk drives. You would think 1 GB of hard drive and 1 GB of RAM would have the same capacity, but they don’t.

  29. We just finished building our new offices/studios. Have fiber to all offices and out to the street… I’m now seeing what’s out there for us to hook up to.. Getting crazy quotes of $10,000 a month for DS3… If you talk to anybody and ask for anything greater than a T1, it nows skyrockets out of this world. I agree, we have all been ripped off for years!!!

  30. Zach Fewtrell says:

    Paying for upgrades that aren’t coming? Seems they came to me.
    Posted by Tyler Pendry at 11:30 am on February 1st

    That comment is just plain smug & thoughtless. Makes me wonder if Tyler has any personal stake in the matter.

    The article is about the entire country: rural and urban, rich and not-so-rich. Not about a few priviledged people.

    The US taxpayer did not pay $200 billion just so Tyler can spew his narcissistic flaimbait upon us at a faster rate.

    Society generally doesn’t have trouble taking care of the few prividged. It also generally doesn’t have trouble taking money from the masses & distributing it among the few. Thinking only about onesself & not about the population in general is the general cause behind most of society’s problems.

  31. “Verizon FiOs is only providing you with 45mbit/s down. You are limited to proabbly 10mbits up. so your actually getting 55mbits bandwidth both ways when you should be getting 90(45 up and down).”

    Incorrect. Internet speeds are only measured in download speed when it comes to advertising. When Comcast advertises ‘5 megabit speeds’ you’re getting 5Mb down. Upload is usually half your download at best, and they never give you a combined speed. That’s like Ford telling you a car’s power by combining horsepower and torque.

    “Its more trick advertising, just like all of a sudden phone companies switching the megabit standard for bandwidth instead of the megabyte, which is an 1/8 the speed.”

    ‘Megabit’ and ‘megabyte’ are not standards, they’re ways of measuring data. Internet speed is always measured in bits. That’s just the way it is. Incase you’re not aware, 1 bit is a “1” or a “0” while a byte is simply 8 bits. It’s not “1/8 the speed,” it’s just how it’s measured. To continue with the car analogy, it’s just like measuring speed in miles/hour or kilometers/hour. It’s just as fast, only a different number.

  32. Monkeyfarm says:

    Of course we are getting screwed. But what can we as consumers do about it? Seriously, what can we do? The Telcos have all the money, therefore all the politicians, therefore all the laws. Just look at what Ohio/Buckeye is doing to those poor idiots that uncapped their cable modems to get what they should or could be getting.

    Face it, in the USA we are sheep with sadomasochistic shepherds.

  33. In Dalton, Georgia (the carpet capital of the world) we have an independant (to my knowlege) Utility company. They have began implementing their “OptiLink” fiber broadband to various businesses.

    They are putting Alltel and Charter Cable to shame. They offer full duplex bandwidth (up to 6Mbps), premium cable tv (in HDTV as available) and complete phone service all for less than what it costs for a single service of either of the distributed services. What’s even better is the water, cable, phone, and internet is all on the same bill.

    Simplification makes their service outstanding. I have only had a chance to try out their service at a local internet cafe’ (and I worked there for awhile), but it appears to be a more stable service than all of them combined, tenfold. I can’t wait until it’s available in my little suburb of Tunnel Hill just outside of Dalton.

  34. Hi Naeem,

    I would agree that the US and Korea or Japan have different demographics. But certainly that doesn’t explain why places like Canada have higher broadband penetration rates than the US, or why major metropolitan areas within the US (which have both extremely high population densities and broadband customer user bases) are also lagging.

  35. I have never had ANYTHING available but slow dialup or expensive, poor satellite…..but still gotta pay that phone bill! :@

  36. Peter Sieburg says:

    “You are limited to proabbly 10mbits up.” For a home connection how can you argue that they are screwing people. This isn’t a business connection and 10Mbps is plenty. Why do you need more ? Need to run a server, p2p ? 10Mbps is still more than enough.
    Posted by James at 6:27 pm on February 1st

    The point isn’t that I need it to be that fast, the point is that it was promised and paid for at that speed. Where I come from that is called “stealing”. And here’s a thought, if we got those promised speeds we could role out awsome services like HD IPTV, or remote computer connections that are a viable alternative, or movie download services, or a number of thing that I can’t think of but were probably cancelled because it isn’t fesible to do them in the market the way it is. I for one have already contacted my congressmen, I suggest you do the same now!
    http://www.webslingerz.com/jhoffman/congress-email.html
    here is a link so that emailing them is all that much easier.
    Let the Telcomms pay!
    Boy am I pissed!

  37. Off topic, but I can’t help myself. Modems measured their communication in BAUDS. BAUDS, guys, not BITS. 53kbs (maximum allowed by FCC) is 53,000 BAUDS per second. A baud is an up and down tick. With compression you could send a bit on each tick and get a maximum of 106,000 BITS per second. BAUDs. Not Bits.

  38. Please give us a way to email these out directly to others….

  39. The telephone companies are lobbying for deregulation that will enable them to make cable companies obsolete so they can “rule the world.”

  40. In fact, they are saying that deregulation is what is needed to provide for progress, but according to your article, that is a lie, because all that we need for progress has already been paid for and they are still not providing it!

  41. This is crap!
    i dont want 2000 i want faster connection speed
    i want it now
    i want comcast and whoever else is responsible to issue an apology
    and im prepared to speak up about it
    thank god someone is pointing this out cause i felt i wast the only one who was perplexed by the fact that my connection goes 1mbps max if im lucky
    keep up the good fight
    Pese <3

  42. Indeed. I spend much too much time uploading and downloading – ftping files to my own sites, to my customer’s sites, etc.

    From a developer perspective: my websites would be WAY cooler if I could depend on folks having anywhere near 45mbps. If I could depend on folks having 5mbps, they would be cooler. Instead, I’m forced to assume that my users have ~1mbps, and I should stay on the low end of that.

  43. The question is what can we do about it? Corporation$ control all forms of local and federal goverments. Who can we complain to? Unless we all stop using their products or some sort of non violent protest, we pretty much are screwed. Lets get something going guys, lets fight back!

  44. Nice RANT ITGeek, but you’re 100% WRONG. First off, it’s the singular ‘baud’ not the plural ‘bauds’. Second, baud isn’t an up and down ‘tick’. It’s a SINGLE change in the signal. Baud is also refered to as the signaling rate. ALL modem speeds are measured in BITS per second, not baud. Modems 2400 baud and under send a single bit per transition (baud). Modems 4800 through 56K are technically 2400/4800 baud, but have a higher bps because more bits are encoded into each transition.

    Jason: Your explanation is almost correct except for 7/8 bits per byte. A byte is ALWAYS 8 bits, on every system, everywhere, regardless of architecture. You’re confusing word size with character set encoding. The original ASCII character set was 7 bits. Older computers (mainframes for example) used 8 bit bytes as a word size. When dealing with character data, the upper bit was ignored or in some systems used for parity (error checking). Newer machine demanded expanded character sets and ASCII was expanded to allow user definable characters in the upper 128 spots.

    As for being bent over for bandwidth, I don’t doubt that the telecoms pulled a fast one, but don’t forget that it is out government that allowed it to happen. It’s their job to watch out for our best interests and prevent companies from doing wrong. Government itself is partly to blame. In the early 90s I lived in L.A. Pacific Bell was spending billions on wiring the state with fiber. Their construction in residential neighborhoods was highly visible. Then I read an article in the L.A. Times saying that Pac Bell was pulling out of the project after spending over 3 billion dollars. Their reasoning was that it was FIVE times harder to get permits to do thir work in L.A. than elsewhere in the state. According to the article, both the cities of San Diego and S.F each required around 30 permits and streamlined the process for them, but L.A. had required 150 permits, and made the process difficult to boot.

    If you ask me, each state should threaten to seize the telecoms assets if they don’t make good and quick. This will likely never happen at the federal level, as it is far too ‘business friendly’ (read: corrupt) to allow that.

    You CAN make a difference. Do some research and know the history of the telecom and govt’s actions and the law behind it. Do write (fax and email, in that order) your state representatives (often) and politely tell them you’re disatisfied. Write your states PUC and demand action. Telecoms fear the PUC. Form PACs and spread the word! Vote with your wallet. The can’t rip you off if you don’t let them. Don’t give them your money and tell them why you’re leaving. If you have to buy it because they’re the only thing going, share it with your neighbors and take it out of thier bottom line. Its going to be a long up hill battle. Unless everyone is willing to stick with fighting these wrongs until they are resolved, they are likely to be swept under the rug and forgotten about, and we’ll have no one left to blame but ourselves.

  45. Write your congressmen. I already have.
    If they get enough mail/phone calls they might notice. Or at least their secretarial staff will notice and hopefully bring it up to them.
    -noah

  46. -Clinton says:

    I just want better than dial-up! I’m exactly 8 Km from the closest town (“MUST be under 6″…), and have to deal with busy signals on weekends and evenings, downloads so slow… Maybe it’s the RIAA’s way of killing music downloads! (when it’s this slow – might as well go buy the CD)

  47. “Ridiculous. The author seems to think that all the extra revenue generated since deregualtion belongs to the tax payers instead of the shareholders.”

    So, if a company promises something for a price, doesn’t deliver and the pockets that money, it belongs to the shareholders ? No, it belongs to the people that got swindled out of their cash under the pretext of getting something for their money.

  48. Yah … of course it’s slower here than in Japan … otherwise the government computers can’t keep up.

  49. I find it funny that now, all of a sudden majority of the peopel who posted are up in arms. When yesterday, didn’t know/didn’t care. But now that someone rammed it into there face, it’s a big issue. too funny.

  50. Time Warner cable Roadrunner 4.5 down and 350k up. $50 per month. Can’t do a 300k video stream. Field tech says he doesn’t understand the technology and don’t bother reporting it to his boss, because he knows less.
    A rip off.

  51. GLEN is right about getting your FACTS straight. People have used terms incorrectly for years. Baud rate is different than bit per second rate and before anyone argues that that is minutsia my argument is – If you can’t get that right, don’t profess how much you know on the big stuff – because you probably don’t. There are too many overnight experts when it comes to telecom – and the fact is – it is very complex as some others pointed out.

    Infrastructure issues have been a problem and few have had the opportunity to point out the incompetence.

    Read this article http://www.eprairie.com/news/viewnews.asp?newsletterID=13316&page=1

    and see how there is Telewelfare to the Bell Companies that you probably never even knew of.

  52. I have a letter from SBC saying they will not bring broadband service to my area because other phone company’s would get some benefit from the broadband.

    I wrote my PUC and the did zip.

    SWB also screws the other telecoms by taking down a protion of their line for “REPAIRS” without telling the customer. Those with MCI or others will call MCI to report a problem. MCI will generate a repair ticket to get the customers service back up, yet SBC will charge MCI for the service call they don’t make, knowing full well there is nothing wrong.

  53. GorillaCom says:

    Partial workaround for Telco incompetence:

    1. Buy a high gain 2.4GHz directional microwave dish.

    2. Put it by a window or on a roof, aimed at a friends residence

    3. Have your friend do the same.

    4. Install some cheap wireless hardware

    5. Configure AES256 + SHA256 IPSec.

    6. Enjoy your new 802.11 ~10-50Mbps link!

    7. Repeat as needed.

    8. Congratulations, you have built a nice off-the-grid community darknet.

    Cheers,
    GorillaCom

  54. Thomas Maher says:

    And you think you have it bad? I live in Maine and pay $100.00 per month for 128K ISDN that the telco doesn’t even know how to support. I had to provide tech support to their tier 3. Our governmnet is promising to provide 100% broadband by 2010 at speeds of 1.5meg down 256K up.
    A T-1 in rural areas can cost $3200.00 per month.
    The government comission has politicians but no technicians.
    Wish us luck.

  55. naeem writes There are a couple of factors here that havent been mentioned. The US and Korea are not comparable in size.

    ah, that explains why:

    1) They pocketed the money and won’t even put in upgrades to copper so people can get DSL

    It took me about 3 years of fighting my local telco to get DSL, and I live less than a mile from my switch center in the middle of a city. I finally got another ISP to sell me service on my line (which it couldnt handle, and never worked) Then I was able to put a trouble ticket in as an “existing customer” to Qwest to get my line “fixed.” Surprise, surprise, it took all of 30 mins for a service guy to switch me over to a spare circuit, and I was fine.

    But they refuse to invest one penny in infrastructure upgrades. Amazing. Had they sent that guy out when I first requested service, they could have been making $40/mo off me for 3 years. But they are fat, lazy and incompetent.

    2)But I do agree with you on this point: Since the US is bigger, the telcos have more money to buy off congress, and our elected officials are more remote from us so they are less accountable to us.

  56. For the person who said that When we didn’t know it wasn’t A big issue… How is something that we don’t know going to bother us? That was just stupid..

  57. […] Here‚Äôs more from that website. Link Permalink […]

  58. In the mid-90s there was a big push in my area (midwest) for fiber-optic. Trucks were laying it everywhere.

    By 2001 those trucks were gone.

    One day in 2001 I saw an SBC truck on my street and talked to the supervisor. He told me that SBC was going ‘all copper’. In fact, they were stringing new copper on my street, not fiber optic, because the gov’t was mandating SBC and other infrastructure companies to allow secondary carriers access to their high-speed lines at below-cost.

    That is, SBC was being forced to open the fiber cables- that they paid to install – to other carriers at virtually no cost. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see the flaw in this model.

    I am no apologist for SBC. I hate them without reserve, they are an abomination. And the moment I can get high speed in my home without them, I’m gone

    But I also think that gov’t stupidity plays a large part in this, and it’s up to us to rattle the cages of the idiots in Washington

  59. Dialthisup says:

    I live in a rural area and my speed is 26.4 dialup not 1mbps not 56k that right 26.4 for $20 monthly. That is as fast as I can connect. The internet is not usable for me because the local telco will not upgrade till they are told they have to.

  60. “That is, SBC was being forced to open the fiber cables- that they paid to install – to other carriers at virtually no cost. You don‚Äôt have to be a rocket scientist to see the flaw in this model.”

    That was the whole point. It was supposed to be open for competition right from the start. Thats why they got the 200bil to begin with. Yeah SBC paid for the fiber with cash they got from you the taxpayer.

  61. […] John C. Dvorak has a good piece at pcmag.com about speculations that Google is going to be creating their own network (see the “Google is the Internet” scenario from the article linked in my previous post). I certainly hope they do, as telcos have been dragging their feet on broadband for a long time, and acting like the Mafia whenever someone encroaches on “their” territory. […]

  62. […] read more | digg story […]

  63. This is a long standing issue that makes me sick. The taxpayers paid the companies to build these networks – they didn’t come out of the companies pocket. This is something we should have had by now. We paid for it years ago.

    They promised us a nation wide fiber network with 45mbps in return for us paying excessive pricing on their products, beyond what was previously allowed, and opening up all sorts of restrictions put in place to keep another monopoly from occuring.

    But now we’ve got the same monopoly going on that originally occured in the splitting of AT&T into all of these seperate companies. The only difference is that it’s multiple companies banding together to keep broadband prices high while failing to deliver what we were promised.

    You don’t have to support this book to support the call for this injustice to be righted. Post on your blogs about the situation, email your friends, write to your representatives and have everyone you speak with about it do the same. Contact the EFF and let it be known there is a large populace who wants to help fight this and take action.

    Whatever you do, don’t just sit here and complain about it the comment section of a blog. That won’t get it changed.

  64. You know, I hear a lot of complaints about people killing the company I work for. I can tell you that we are working VERY VERY VERY hard to roll this out. It costs a rediculous amount of money to roll fiber to a premise. Fiber actually goes to your house not to your town or your block but directly to your home. Think of the waiting list first of all for those who are waiting to get it turned up? Think of the money Verizon need to invest into our central offices. Think of the equipment that needs to be built. We are rolling the network as fast as we can and are currently doubling our FiOS footprint every year. Cut us some slack, we just started rolling this stuff out last year.

    Not to mention the liabilities that we incur deploying a technology that is so new, that is ready to be obsolete for seomthing better!!! Everytime we find a problem we need to go out and fix ALL of them… So honestly, tell me, are we not deploying fast enough? Verizon is the only company that is doing this with a VIDEO service to boot. We are working very hard.

  65. […] U.S. Telcos have ripped us off. They’ve promised the people of the U.S. fiber to the curb and because of that they’ve gotten all kinds of rate increases approved and breaks from the government. It’s time we demand our broadband!read more | digg story […]

  66. I’m sorry, are you saying that they are wiring this up as a DIRECT line to each individuals house? That sounds like a pretty bad engineering plan. How can you easily upgrade a whole neighborhood? Why would you not have centeralized routers and repeaters forming a hierarchy? Oh well, more incompetence.

    And to those that question what you would need that much bandwidth for? How about communication/education/library access/entertainment/global access of information/security/medical monitring/global control of all your assets all rolled into one convenient nipple. Add the government mandate that no one company should be able to stand between you and this god given american right of being able to annoy all of your relitives at the same time in HD. Or you could look to any number of the same sci-fi books that sparked many of the innovations (or at least marked their possibilty and uses) that we now use on a common basis. They have some pretty cool things to say about what could be done with that much bandwidth. Not to mention that with that much bandwidth at an affordable price would mean that much more crazy schemes of data obfuscation and encryption, making our on-line stay a little more pleasant. As a military man, I personaly would look forward to the day i could sit anywhere in the world and have a cheap conversation with my wife and kids without having to wait for the thousands of other service members waiting in the same line. With this much bandwidth, multiplexed conversations would be a joke to acheive in a cheap and timely manner. Oh well, sorry to rant. You’re probably right. We should probably just sit and take it. Mean-while keep an eye on that “taxes and fees” section of your bill as it fluctuates.

  67. Sorry, one more piece. If this whole thing does get worked out in a way that they are still allowed to lay down the hypothetical network, then upon completion, they should not retain ownership of the network. It should be treated as a contracted job of laying down the “nation’s” network, and we allow them to continue to maintain it as long as they beat out other contractors at renegotiating time. Just like the rest of the public utilities. We didn’t give them tax breaks so they could get rich and own more of our infastructure, they were supposed to get rich by building something for us. That’s they way I see it at least. I think a better solution would be to have our acedemics come up with some sort of standard for the network, a sort of bear minimum to connect, and contract the building of the network off to individual companies across america. Spreading the wealth to small buisness. And I also think that the telcos should now foot the bill. If they are in fact guilty of this. Innocent untill proven guilty and all that. Also, why isn’t wifi(or equivelant) talked about more when it comes to “laying down the network”? If you connected towns and cities using these mediums you could cut costs of digging permits and open up a whole world of highway and freeway communication/saftey warning/entertainment delivery while on the roads. Just a few more thoughts.

  68. For you Rural types : If you can’t get DSL or Cable or FIOS may I suggest Direcyway 7000 if you can afford to pay 400 for the equipment & 70.00 a month (which includes the ISP charge)
    Starband.com=not worth 2 cents.
    Wildblue.com= MAXXED out already in Midwest/NE/
    already waiting on those beams for a new satellite because demand is greater than supply.
    Fixed Wireless= coming to a cell tower near you via Intel WImax Verizon,SBC already have started deplying this but it is 60.00 a month in most places.

    Well thats the view from the sky.

  69. The biggest reason why Verizon has not rolled out FIOS is politics. Their fiber to the prem service is competing with cable companies, and currently cable franchises have local monopolies. Eventually WIMAX, the new wireless standard that should replace WI-FI, will allow 30 MBPS broadband for people like me who are too far from the metro areas. The incumbent carriers will probably drag their feet with this one. I just hope that there will be plenty of competion so we can get quality cost, service and innovation.

  70. Verizon is cherry-picking the market with FTTH have you noticed all the neighborhoods with million dollar houses get FTTH first, not a lick of copper in those neighborhoods. At least that is the case in the DC suburbs. My neighborhood outside DC but a close in suburb in Montgomery County has digital cable so when everybody jumped & got Satellite Dishes to get HDTV then Verizon got busy rolling FIOS (FTTH) service out. We needed the Sat Dishes for HDTV as an option for high priced cable ; think they were afraid that we would jump to digital phone service next & leave telco’s out of the loop.
    I know some of my neighbors have. Why pay for a telephone line when most people call me on my cell anyway? I am not home long enough to answer the phone I only get voice mail there! Too busy out trying to pay for house,family & private schools for the kids! When I am at home I want to rest & not even hear a telephone.Plus it is cool to see on screen who is calling you & YOU decide whether it is worth it to pickup the phone. Think I will cut the wired line off first chance I get. Even my alarm system works off a wireless cellphone now !(Alarmnet).
    Now that the phone company figured out that people were cutting off 2nd phone lines & even primary phone lines to save $$$ they started to deploy this triple play stuff. They have had it on the back burner for years but it wasn’t till people started eliminating phone lines that they started deploying it. Interesting how they work ! For the past 30 years they had DSL technology but refused to roll it out to the neighborhoods because they were making so much $ off ISDN,T1,T2,T3 lines. They charge a fortune for those last two a month. But as soon as fixed wireless gets here the prices for DSL rachet down to 14.95 a month. But only if you keep the phone line… Think I am going to go off the grid & eleiminate the phone line & telemarketers for a while. See if they appreciate my business that ‘used’ to be there..

  71. I read parts of “The $200 billion broadband scandal” — powerful stuff. Last week the LA Times wrote a story further documenting the bs that the Bells have tried to pull. After reading the article, I did a Google search about them to see what else I could find and found this website:

    http://phoneybaloney.net/

    It’s good to see the media and public catching on. Hopefully more people learn about it and we stop them.

  72. I think a few of you are missing the boat on speed – you DO need 45Mb, and probably a whole lot more. We have technology for these kinds of speeds TODAY we could all benefit from – but the technology hasn’t been widely deployed because it’s useless without the end user having speeds of that nature available to them. Think for a second what it would be like to have no Cable TV set top box or Satellite dish to fight with – you just plug your TV up to a rather generic converter box (A really cheap one at that because there’s nothing proprietary about it and nothing anyone is trying to hide or prevent you from messing with) plugged into your Internet service through which you happily receive thousands of channels from all over the world – yes, you’ll definitely have to subscribe to and pay for some of those channels, but when you stop to consider that the whole world is competing to serve you instead of the dish companies and your one lone cable provider in town…. Services like that will require a lot of bandwidth – and I doubt there’s any real question as to whether or not everyone wants them.

  73. […] http://muniwireless.com/community/1023 Bruce Kushnick‚Äôs new book, ‚ÄúThe $200 Billion Broadband Scandal‚Äù ‚Äî is a powerful critique documenting the trail of broken promises and misinformation perpetrated by many broadband service providers in order to get favorable treatment, special dispensation, and competition-free access to residents across the United States. One of the most damning indictments, that United States residents have already paid for upgrades to our existing broadband infrastructure ‚Äî being charged for services never delivered ‚Äî and not a small amount either, but actually to the tune of $200,000,000,000. When you break it down, that‚Äôs roughly a $2,000 refund for every household that‚Äôs due for contractual obligations never fulfilled. […]

  74. I would consider putting this article up on my website, but where are the links to documentation ? Maybe I overlooked….

    Take it easy.

  75. […] U.S. Telcos have ripped us off. They’ve promised the people of the U.S. fiber to the curb and because of that they’ve gotten all kinds of rate increases approved and breaks from the government. It’s time we demand our broadband!read more | digg story […]

  76. Alexander says:

    “Think for a second what it would be like to have no Cable TV set top box or Satellite dish to fight with – you just plug your TV up to a rather generic converter box (A really cheap one at that because there‚Äôs nothing proprietary about it and nothing anyone is trying to hide or prevent you from messing with) plugged into your Internet service through which you happily receive thousands of channels from all over the world – yes, you‚Äôll definitely have to subscribe to and pay for some of those channels, but when you stop to consider that the whole world is competing to serve you instead of the dish companies and your one lone cable provider in town‚Ķ. Services like that will require a lot of bandwidth – and I doubt there‚Äôs any real question as to whether or not everyone wants them.”

    Futhermore imagine that armed with such tremendous capabilties, we can actually choose and organize our own tv schedule instead of following a rigid schedule imposed by companies. TV experience would then become more like Web, channels and show episodes available after a certain time for whenever we want to see them, we can even set up our own schedule for content. We then would be able to select and exactly which content we want to receive instead of being forced to pay $100 a month for a cable package which contains dozens of channels we don’t even want. We won’t necessarily even be restricted to channels produced in the US, we’d also have access to the international market of channels. How many times have you seen a show or something while in another country and wished you could get it in the US too?

    Such an arrangement would allow us to give our money directly to independent producers and providers of our choosing without any regard for the stifling monopolies imposed by the telecommuniation companies. Think about the freedom, diversity, and ease of organization of information on the Web reincarnated in the TV format.

    This was what was forecasted and promised when we opened our wallets a decade ago, only to be ripped off and forced to deal with exorbinate fees for meager services. And now the same companies have the gall to claim that people are using their pipes for “free” and attempting to pass legislation to control our digital life. Talk about generating a web of misdireciton, deceit, and lies…all for greed and lazyiness.

  77. […] Apparently many of the telcos (Sprint, Vorizon, AT&T, etc) feel that they should be getting a share of the revenue created by these new ideas. In exchange for creating a faster Internet, their proposal is a toll booths, private express ways and the slow lane for those who don’t want to line the pockets of the telcos. The very same pockets that have already been lined with $200 Billion in tax breaks to create an infrastructure they’ve failed to deliver on already. […]

  78. […] In a perfect world (or at least more perfect capitalist economy), if a telco or ISP started doing this, its customers would just drop them and switch to a competitor. Sadly, in most of America, your options, if you are extremely lucky, are overpriced cable internet or overpriced (and slower performing) DSL. The near monopolies in most areas that these companies have is one of the biggest reasons why US broadband consistently lags behind broadband in other nations. (Fun fact about most ISPs: They have already recieved a pile of government money, promising 45 MB/s fiber optic connections to house holds (ungodly fast for the less technical out there) that no one is getting yet.) But enough about the failings of US broadband, there is enough to say about that for an entire extra article. […]

  79. […] You don’t ask telemarketers to pay for ‘prefered’ phone servers or share their proffits!¬† Where’s my return on my 200 Billion we congress lined your pockets with? […]

  80. […] U.S. Telcos have ripped us off. They’ve promised the people of the U.S. fiber to the curb and because of that they’ve gotten all kinds of rate increases approved and breaks from the government. It’s time we demand our broadband!read more | digg story […]

  81. […] Final Question: So what — where do we go from here? And that one I can’t answer. Maybe all-you-can-eat has to go away. Maybe the price of Internet access in the United States has to go even further up. Maybe we as a nation have to decide that our data infrastructure is critical to our development in coming years and make sure that the backbone companies are actually delivering the infrastructure improvements that we’ve already paid $200,000,000,000 for. Maybe this is why I avoid doing math…it pretty much always ends up upsetting me… […]

  82. […] Of course, this is completely backwards. It’s the ISPs that want the consumer to pay more for access to the “billion dollar silicon valley tech companies”. It’s just wonderful hearing the multi-billion dollar cable industry critiquing corporations like Google for being billion dollar companies. These are the same ISPs that drove out or bought up all of the independent ISPs when the 1996 Telcommunications Act was passed. Of course, service providers have always delievered what they promised, especially when it was paid for with public money. […]

  83. […] I am certainly relieved to know that someone got rich by not providing broadband to the United States while South Korean and Chinese Farmers have better connectivity than I do. ; […]

  84. […] $200 Billion Broadband Scandal. # The promised networks couldnÔø?t be built in 1993 and state laws were changed based on Ôø?deceptive speechÔø?. The technology today still has problems delivering 500 channels. # The phone companies pulled a bait and switch. In order to offer DSL over copper, it was not necessary to have state regulation changed. Their plan was to get rid of regulations and enter long distance. […]

  85. […] “United States residents have already paid for upgrades to our existing broadband infrastructure ‚Äî being charged for services never delivered ‚Äî and not a small amount either, but actually to the tune of $200,000,000,000. When you break it down, that‚Äôs roughly a $2,000 refund for every household that‚Äôs due for contractual obligations never fulfilled.” Yet in spite of this “the FBI, 17 Buckeye cable users were served warrants, seven of whom had their possessions taken, face fifth-degree felony charges (punishable by up to one year in prison).” Yet they are not the ones who should be sent to prison but the very people that are providers of the internet for not having delivered that which they siad they would and for owing all these people including the ones who were paid a visit by the FBI as well. It’s crazy. It’s the same thing with the RIAA and the MPAA–injustice to the very customers.   […]

  86. […] Page Summary: How did we go from Number 1 in the web to 16th in broadband and falling?But more importantly, are customers owed $2000 for a fiber optic service they paid for but never received. Fiber optic wires would replace the 100-year old copper wiring. They were able to print money ? billions of dollars per state ? all collected in the form of higher phone rates and tax perks. Their plan was to get rid of regulations and enter long distance.read more | digg story […]

  87. […] Google is still naive when it comes to navigating Capitol Hill, and we’re not sure if they learned any lessons from last year’s debacles; Google’s stratospheric stock price, arrogance and new-age foofiness makes them easy to pick on; Google’s overwhelming monopoly in search makes it easy for telcos to compare Google’s gatekeeping ability to telcos’ network access infrastructure (even though one was built by monopoly fief and taxpayer subsidies, and the other through open competition); […]

  88. I definitely agree with the fact that we should not put our futures in the telco’s hands. They have proven over the last 10 years that they are not trustworthy. Perhaps the federal government should use some of the money it uses in Iraq to fund state Departments of Networking who would deploy fiber to the premises for their state, sort of like we do with the Interstate Highway. I present this possibility in this article on my site. http://www.natesuniverse.com/?p=8

  89. Dustin says:

    I think Nathan’s on the right track, and I’m not the only one.

    A coalition of several Utah communities is currently building a public fiber network. They are deploying fiber to the premises of every business and residence. There goal is create an open infrastructure for the benefit of the public. Service providers will be on an equal footing, and will have to compete for consumer dollars by providing better, innovative services. You can find out more about UTOPIA at http://www.utopianet.org/.

    If the $200 billion scandal isn’t disgusting enough, there’s also the prospect that telecoms will soon be handling data on their networks discriminately. They have proposed filtering traffic under the guise of fighting piracy. They have proposed offering tiered services, where data from content providers willing to pay a premium will get preferential treatment on their networks. As such, there is no incentive to increase bandwidth, but rather to keep it scarce. The implications of this are huge, and the public needs to know about it. Please educate yourself and others on the issues of Net Neutrality. A good place to start is wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_neutrality and http://www.savetheinternet.com/=faq..

  90. Most of these complaints are ridiculous. These companies did build fiber infrastructure across the country. It’s there. That part of the promises of telephone companies was fulfilled. But that’s not the problem. The problem has always been the last mile. Getting the bandwidth from the main lines down into individual homes. That’s where most of the expense is. State and local regulations (not to mention interference from local cable companies) made it even more expensive. Only now are we beginning to see some companies (like Verizon) emerge from the bureaucratic hell that’s been holding up fiber connections.

    Trust me, these telephone companies want to sell you bandwidth. And they’re doing what they can, but breaking in the new market has been difficult. In small countries like Korea or Japan, these sorts of problems don’t exist. But here in the US, these companies need to deal with federal regulations and local rgulations of 50 states, each with their own unique considerations. Add into that the defensive posture of local cable companies and it’s really no surprise that it’s taking a long time to roll this out.

    No one is making any money on this delay, even the telephone companies. They’ve spent years in bureaucratic limbo on this, will all the resultant costs of infrastructure they can’t actually sell to users. Calm down, everyone. No one is trying to scam you. It’s the result of a thousand companies in multiple markets all fighting over the details.

  91. My parents live in Iowa and the only way to get broadband is through a laggy satellite connection. They currently have dial-up but due to the crappy lines the fastest connection is 28.8kbps, far less than 56k. they can’t even get a decent cell signal without walking onto the hill behind their house.

  92. “telecoms will soon be handling data on their networks discriminately. They have proposed filtering traffic under the guise of fighting piracy.”

    Piracy is minor in the US compared to China or Russia where street vendors sell pirated Windows XP CDs for $5. You don’t see that kind of piracy in the US. Entertainment and Software companies are still making big profits. But let’s think about the consumer for a second.

    Media Corporations have citizens by the throat. Entertainment is everywhere and more in more so in the news. But try to find quality political analysis and discussion or good clear reporting on the Budget, Elections, Schools, Wages, and Economy. You can’t. Too many stock quotes and Dow Jones and Nasdaq points. Not a single report on wages.

    Face it. Information is now in the hands of totalitarian corporations. for instance. Have you heard about Stephen Colbert’s White House correspondence dinner speech? Well try to find it anywhere. CSPAN banned it. No tv channel will ever show it. It will never be released on tape. Media corporations have placed a virtual veto on his speech.

    Pirate copies on the Internet (youtube, emule, etc) are the only way for citizens of the USA to see such videos. So citizens are being forced to resort to piracy to educate themselves.

    “Of course we are getting screwed. But what can we as consumers do about it? Seriously, what can we do? ”

    You can come up with different solutions if you stop being passive and obedient. Civil disobidience on the Internet. File sharing software. Bandwith sharing with your neighbors. Public Wifi in your citi. Support and develop Local citi Cable channel. Publish your own community press.

  93. We will get our 50+ megabytes a sec in America eventually. Probably by 2020 or so. By then, Japan and Korea will be at 5000+mbps…