In U.S. broadband, cable is eating the Bells' lunch

12 thoughts on “In U.S. broadband, cable is eating the Bells' lunch”

  1. Part of the problem is the two major telcos are delusional enough to believe that LTE is a viable replacement for broadband. Even if it were true, that residential users could get sustained 10 Mbps bandwidth over LTE, it would still put the US at the bottom of the developed world.

    Their fantasy is to force subscribers to use LTE, and charge by the bit. Even the cable companies can do better than that, but the telcos cannot comprehend the threat.

  2. I have a couple of questions;

    1. Isn’t it true that with very little investment telcos could still realize tremendous gains in DSL delivery speeds; if this is true and I believe it to be true, then the question is why they aren’t making the investment.

    2. Is it because of the now ‘cozy’ relationship between the major telcos and the major cablecos– a result of SpectrumCo/Verizon cross-marketing deal.

    1. I think the answer to your question is #2 question itself. In forcing people into opting for LTE, they can bypass the net-neutrality issues and charge whatever the hell they want from consumers who don’t have much choice. I think that is a travesty.

    2. To question 1, yes they can (relatively) cheaply scale DSL speeds upwards. A lot of telcos in Europe have deployed VDSL (up to 50 Mbit + IPTV) as a cheap interim solution while they wait to deploy FTTH.

  3. Yes, it’s true. Probably for about the cost of one month of service, Verizon could upgrade my 5 Mbps DSL line to 20 Mbps. My office is less than 4000 feet from the CO, so there is no reason they couldn’t swap out the ADSL modem/line card for a VDSL modem, and not have to do anything to the wiring. But they choose not to, and it’s not because they are offering FiOS in the area. They simply choose not to. This is in a compact small city, laid out in a grid, not a suburb or rural area. And they charge more for 5 Mbps than Google is charging for 1 Gbps.

    1. It’s not quite as easy as that. On a 4,000 foot loop length, VDSL’s advantage over ADSL is marginal. That’s why in almost 100% of deployments, VDSL is run from a node in the neighborhood (FTTN) rather than from the CO. This is what makes VDSL expensive – obtaining right-of-ways, trenching fiber, running electricity to the remote, hardened & air conditioned cabinets, ongoing energy costs, increased maintenance, etc.

      It’s still cheaper than FTTH, but it’s not as easy as swapping out the line card at the CO.

  4. This is BS; the author does not understand how the landline or even the broadband market works in the US. here’s a hint: I can get Comcast, RCN, or Verizon to my home. Guess who actually operates the wries that power all three? And that’s one region in the North American market.

    All of these numbers are disingenuous, publicly reported figures, not accurate depictions of the market. It’s foolish to push them out as if they were accurate representations of who actually consumes what infrastructure.

    Lets not bother with the hot air around capacity to the home user and all that marketing jazz. It’s all oversubscribed, and these networks are not finite, and the big owners know it, and are playing a PR game for the hoi polloi in order to stave of investing in actual infrastructure.

  5. DSL will always suck over an unsheilded copper wire. It’s just physics and economics colliding. The phone companies should have started rewiring fifty years ago when cable providers made it perfectly obvious that coax was vastly superior. Unfortunately, due to a mixture of monopoly thinking and monopoly regulations, that was unthinkable. Fiber will never be profitable with long underutilzed runs in the country. It only makes sense in dense urban environments and suburban green fields. LTE will soon be the only alternative to cable as that rotting copper loop decays into oblivion.

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