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SkyFILES

by Michael Hopkins, Mediabiz.com

If you're waiting for what the fat pipes of fiber can deliver to the television or computer, and you live in a newly developed wealthy area, you may be in luck.

If you live in a rural region or a neighborhood that could be deemed borderline by a telco or another communications service, you may wait years before that fiber connection makes it to your home or nearby node … if that wire makes it to your home at all.

The Federal Communications Commission this week approved reforms for how video franchises are awarded at the local level. Some of the mandates make sense, such as a shot clock for local entities to act on a proposal from a company that wants to offer video service in a municipality.

Others are unfriendly to consumers.

Among the more controversial moves tied to the FCC effort was the agency's finding that it would be unreasonable for a local franchise authority to demand a new video entrant deploy its service throughout the entire community. That's troubling because it may allow a new video entrant - such as a telco - to roll out fiber infrastructure to new developments and leave older neighborhoods behind.

It may mean that more affluent areas, such as subdivisions chock full of McMansions or neighborhoods known for their high home values, will get fiber connections. Rural areas, low-income neighborhoods and areas deemed less valuable to a communications provider may be left out in the cold.

The FCC decision has the possibility of creating a bigger digital divide between the haves and haves not.

And another note on the FCC's various efforts Wednesday … The commission determined that satellite TV isn't helping keep cable prices in check. Small dish services have forced the cable incumbent to improve service and deliver value to consumers through its triple-play of communications offerings. No need to make DBS a punching bag in the debate over how to make it easier for new entrants (telcos) to get into the video marketplace.

www.SkyReport.com - used with permission
 

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Jeez, I can feel the class envy DRIPPING in this article..

Wiring new services to the people that more likely have the money to pay for them. Gosh how UNAMERICAN!

You know, I was out on the fringe of DSL availability - took me years to get it - and I owned my own home, decent credit, etc. Yet somehow it was more profitable for Verizon to wire up an entire apartment building. Did you hear me screaming about "the digital divide"? No.

Understanding a little about the technology DOES help. I knew I was at the limits so when I *did* get DSL I 'only' got the 768K service - which was still quite an improvement over dialup.

Now they're giving DSL out for $14/mo. Here, fiber is $35 or $45, depending on the speed you want.

With technology, it's usually the people who can afford it who are the 'early adopters' and subsidize the development of the technology and the eventual lowering of prices to the rest of the economic base.
 

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Well said! :up: You're (not your) on a roll, dj. :p
 

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We have a community near here called "John's Island" (http://www.johnsislandrealestate.com/listings?page=1 http://www.muninetguide.com/states/florida/municipality/Indian_River_Shores.php) and another little town by the name of Gifford (http://muninetguide.com/states/florida/municipality/Gifford.php). I am starting a new business and did a recent mailing to prospective customers. My first mailing, for some unknown reason, was to John's Island. I sent out just over 1,000 pieces (to John's Island only). A STARTER house in John's Island is over $1,000,000. A home in Gifford can be had for under $100,000. Do I need a government program to force me to send mailings to Gifford?
 

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"Do I need a government program to force me to send mailings to Gifford?"

Your business is probably not a Government-regulated utility (i.e.: a virtual monopoly). That's the whole problem.
 

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There's a little bit of misdirection going on here. Local authorities historically francished cable systems with the proviso that the entire community was to get service, usually by some specific date. Universal service is the goal.

The FCC's decision undermines local elected authority and makes it possible for service providers to cherry pick who they will and will not serve. Unfortunately, once that happens, there is zero chance that the 'undersirable' (read costs more to install ) part of the community will get service.

This is going to the Supreme Court.
 

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kenglish said:
Your business is probably not a Government-regulated utility (i.e.: a virtual monopoly). That's the whole problem.
Yes, but the phone company already has a franchise to run fiber and copper on the poles down the public right of way. Do they really need permission from the government to change the type of signals that they run on those connections? The Cable companies say yes because they want to delay the competition as long as possible. That doesn't make it right.
 
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