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internet rip off

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by duff beer, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. duff beer

    duff beer

    Dec 2, 2007
  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    As I understand it, we also lag behind on Cable TV and cell phone service. It's because other countries do a better job of encouraging competition.
  3. When it comes to TV services, I know we can get quite a lot over freeview (terrestrial tv) or freesat (satellite tv). Though subscription services for cable or satellite can start to get pretty pricey.

    Though you always need to keep ontop of subscriptions, to make sure you get a decent deal. Today I cut my combined TV/Internet/Landline bill by 'downgrading' my internet connection from 20Mb to 30Mb . . .
  4. colcifer

    colcifer Esteemed Nitpicker Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    A Galaxy Far, Far Away
    Re: Quality and value

    Also, America is a very large country with fairly low population density. Upgrading our infrastructure is a PITA and an expensive one at that.
  5. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    I think a contributing factor is that the United States had such superior phone service for so long on the exisiting land lines. Most of Europe was quick to jump on the new cable services and cell phone technology as soon as it became available because it was so much better than what they had. In the U.S. we clung to our phone lines for dial up internet and telephone calls and lagged far behind in updating to the new technologies.
  6. fmoore200


    Mar 22, 2011
    In science and math :banghead:
  7. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    I have cell service that would have cost THOUSANDS pre breakup. I pay 59 bucks plus tax for a service that is better than I would have gotten paying thousands pre break up.

    And how am I being short changed?

    My internet is 49 bucks a month. This includes email. I use my brain and keep my cable and HBO to zero. Simply but not having any.

    What's remarkable is that one anecdotal story not only get's press but it riles up the riff raff.

    Here's lesson 1 in economics. If the price is too high don't pay it. In a free market it will drop until it is fair.

    I can remember 100 buck phone bills back in the day. That was 100 bucks in real money not the phoney stuff floating around today. Now it 59 bucks plus tax for a service that would have been thousands PLUS 2 bucks a minute with coverage the size of Manhatten.

    You are living in blessed times. Sit back and enjoy. I suggest you take a trip to the not so local Albert Heijn with 50 E and see how much you get. Compare to the Local SlopRite. 50 bucks buys a lot of food by me.

    It might be different but I'll be checking it out later this month.
  8. bolophonic

    bolophonic SUSPENDED

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Phone options might be better now than they ever were, but in many places internet is not. Cable internet? Hello monopoly.
  9. fmoore200


    Mar 22, 2011
    Lucky you, 50 bucks doesn't get me squat at the supermarket :(
  10. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    I am not convinced that this is a valid excuse.

    The long lines between the cities are the cheap stuff. It gets expensive when you have to put them into populated zone. And I don't see that the European metropolis are any easier than ours. On the contrary. 1000 years of bricks piled up. Not easy.

    I am more a friend of the ripoff theory, sad to say.

    (now for cellphone coverage matters are trickier because now the bigger surface plays a role)
  11. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Hadn't thought of that. Great observation.
  12. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    The US had what? In what way the phone service was supposed to be superior up to a point where cellphones and Internet came into play?

    That simply wasn't the case. They had the same analog phone lines to every household.
  13. Simo98


    Jun 18, 2009
    QLD, Australia
    I haven't looked at US pricing, but I'd assume Australia has it worse again, in the most part due to this reason exactly.

    Do you pay for data downloaded in the US, with a cap on how much you can download per month, or is it like a lot of Europe where you pay for bandwidth and just go for it?

    Here in Australia you pay for connection speed, and you pay for a plan with a monthly cap on how much data you can download, for the average person this is somewhere between 12-50gb per month. You pay extra for a faster connection speed, but you never actually get what you pay for.

    I might just give some numbers as an example, I'd be interested to get a comparison from some of you other guys around the world. I pay for 200gb of downloads per month, and my connection speed is the fastest available in the country outside of a few select new housing developments (where they have fiber optic cables installed), the plan is for 24 Mbps. At the phone line I only actually get 8-11Mbps, and that's good compared to a lot of people on the same plan who would only get 3-6.

    Legally, if you are getting 1.5Mbps at your phone line, that's all the telecommunications company have to do to fulfill their end of the bargain, which is pretty ridiculous.

    For that I pay $69.95 a month, although the price is normally $89.95, we get a discount due to a bundle package with landline and mobiles.

    Oh, that's Megabits per second, to save confusion. So if I was downloading a file I'd be downloading it at somewhere around 0.9-1.1 Megabytes per second.
  14. I'm with Virgin Media in the UK, for internet alone:

    up to 30 Mbps is £14.50 + £14.99 line rental (£29.49 /~$47.50 USD)
    up to 60 Mbps is £19.50 + £14.99 line rental (£34.49 /~$55.50 USD)
    up to 100 Mbps is £27 + £14.99 line rental (£41.99 /~$68 USD)

    There is no download limit, but there is a "fair usage" policy during peak hours, so your connection might get throttled down, but it isn't cut nor do you get charged extra.

    I get mine as part of a package deal, where I have the 30Mbps internet connection, cable TV and free weekend calls from my landline for £35 (~$56.50 USB) per month (line rental included).

    Even though the speeds are listed as "up to XX Mbps" these days, I seem to remember there being some sort of requirement to being close to that speed, would need to check it out (just remember hearing about it in the news last year). My actual speed tended to be around the 8Mbps to 15 Mbps range when it was "up to 20Mbps".
  15. duff beer

    duff beer

    Dec 2, 2007
    You ask how you are being short changed?? France pays $38 for phone, cable, and internet. You pay more than that for phone, and more than that again for internet. If you had TV, you pay even more.

    I'm not sure what your point is about $100 phone services "back in the day", since the story was about what people are paying today, not years ago. Just because you pay less now, that doesn't mean you're not getting ripped off.

    The article stated:

    •Americans pay four times as much as the French for an Internet triple-play package—phone, cable TV and Internet—at an average of $160 per month versus $38 per month.
    •The French get global free calling and worldwide live television. Their Internet is also 10 times faster at downloading information and 20 times faster uploading it.
    •America has gone from #1 in Internet speed (when we invented it) to 29th in the world and falling.
    •Bulgaria is among the countries with faster Internet service.
    •Americans pay 38 times as much as the Japanese for Internet data.

    Those are facts, not "anecdotal stories".
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Not really, it's because the bandwidth allocations are broader for cell phone service in other countries, so their service is better. Competition is not the primary factor.

    These are all very interesting points. I have a question about them, and it's one I don't know the answer to. That question is: how much of the difference you cite is supported by taxes that we don't pay in the US? France has a MUCH higher personal tax rate, and many of the taxes they pay go to support things which are not tax-supported in the US.

    SOMEONE is paying to reduce those rates you cite. If it's not the individual paying directly out of pocket, I suspect that in some cases it's tax-funded so citizens are paying indirectly. If anyone happens to know the answer, it would be interesting to hear it.

    As noted above, I can tell you that one reason the US is slower in wireless speed is different bandwidth than is available in other countries. If you have a problem with that, you should correspond with your elected representative and urge the FCC to take action.
  17. bolophonic

    bolophonic SUSPENDED

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC

    I am interested in all the points you made, but this last one got my attention due to recent events in my state. Our legislature passed a bill in 2011 -- written by the industry -- that prohibits any community based broadband Internet from competing with the corporate monopolies around here. Does anyone have deep enough pockets to grab the attention of their representatives anymore?
  18. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    I don't know about France, but I know that in Germany where price/performance is similar there isn't any tax money used for improved Internet connections except in some circumstances where individual towns or cities gave a kickstarter for early high-speed forms of Internet. But those were all time-limited things.

    TV in Germany is a more complex issue, and a very expensive experience in the US but I think it would be better to limit this discussion to Internet access.
  19. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    I was in Britain in the 80s. Trust me we had much better land line service than they did.