Friday, March 13, 2015

Streaming An Aletnative To Cable and Satellite?

The Washington Post reports on the growing number of Americans switching from satellite and cable TV to streaming via the internet. I'd like to think this is a good thing, having written here before about wanting to make that change myself. I'm not so sure things will change all that much in the end, though, at least as far as saving money.

I stumbled on to a notice from AT&T yesterday announcing they're raising their monthly fee for high speed internet by $3.00 next month. You can bet as more and more people replace their cable and satellite with streaming the phone companies will raise their rates to take full advantage of it. It wouldn't surprise me if streaming, and internet in general, becomes as expensive as satellite and cable is now.


At 7:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems like the FCC rulings will begin to keep the companies in line just not yet...

At 7:53 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I just stumbled onto a U.S.A. Today article on Net Neutrality. According to proponents of Net Neutrality, they won't be regulating rates. We'll see about that. Anything is possible.

At 9:35 AM, Blogger Julie Timmons said...

I just got a letter from Suddenlink informing me that my bill was being raised but when I looked at the bill it was two dollars LESS than last month. You just cant trust thse guys.

At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cable, dish, streaming....they are all getting too expensive. I think I will go back to a dial up connection.

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I still have a dial up connection on this computer, but mostly just in case dsl is down. It still worked last time I tried it. The problem is all the web stuff is adapted to high speed now.

Web sites take forever to load with dial up since everybody crams as much as they can into their web sites. I think back fondly to the days of $15 a month dial up services, but I don't know that there's any going back.

At 12:33 PM, Anonymous liberal jon or LMOB said...

buy a basic land line from AT&T then go with ASIS for internet. I've been doing this for many years and they are very good and local.

Why pay the multinationals when we somehow still have a local guy&gal?

Also, cut the cord on cable. The sooner the better.

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The number one reason your phone/Internet costs so much is lack of competition. Today, everything is controlled by a handful of companies that curiously don't do much in the way of trying to compete with each other. Interesting, huh? Among developed nations, we're an embarassment.

As for the ASIS Internet suggestion... their DSL lines are leased like anyone else selling DSL in Humboldt County whose name isn't AT&T.

Net Neutrality is not, and never was, about regulating your rates.

Telecos wanted (and fought for this position in court) to create slow and normal lanes of Internet traffic.

So, for example, your Internet provider whom you've already paid for service, could double-dip to charge Youtube or Netflix or any other Internet service extra fees in order to have a normal connection to you. (They dub this 'fast lanes,' but Internet providers have been caught throttling traffic, intentionally slowing their customers' internet speeds. Netflix caved and began paying these extra fees to some Internet providers.

Net Neutrality calls BS on that practice. Neutrality means that all companies and individuals are treated the same when it comes to how fast a website loads or a stream travels. It's good news for everyone except the telecos who want to double-dip, extracting maximum profit from everyone. It's really quite obscene.

We won't see significant progress until the telecos are broken up again and regulation returns to the industry. I doubt that will happen though because they have politicians in their pocket. The FCC ruling was quite extraordinary. Apparently the tens of millions of consumer comments to the FCC actually worked for once.

At 2:47 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I have mixed feelings about Net Neutrality. The bottom line as I see it is we'll probably end up getting screwed by the companies and the regulators, most likely working together.

Hey, Google is already trying to regulate content. Note their recent hiding of "sexually explicit" blogs. A comment here said they changed their minds on that, but I've been told they went ahead and did it. You can bet there will be some in the government/ regulation field that will want content to be "regulated" even further.

BTW; there's an article just out by Reason magazine that makes the case that Net Neutrality paves the way for internet taxes. I've been thinking the same thing even before I read the article.

To make it simple, you're already paying any number of fees and taxes on telephone service. Those same fees and taxes- and likely more- will soon be added to your internet bill now that it's considered the same as telephone.

At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, you keep mentioning regulators in relation to Net Neutrality. There is no regulation in Net Neutrality except to tell the telecos they can't discriminate based on what website you (and I do mean you personally) are trying to connect to.

Google hiding adult content is self-regulation, but it has nothing to do with Net Neutrality.

NN is entirely about whether the telecos can artificially slow down Internet speeds and demand money from websites to restore normal service for the people trying to reach those websites (or streaming services or any other online service).

I don't know if taxes will be applied to an Internet bill, but that would still be 1,000 times better than having every Internet-based web service jack up its fees you pay so that it can remain a viable service.

Quadruple the taxes you pay on your land-line telephone and apply them to an Internet bill... and it'd still be cheaper than what you'd pay to use Netflix (etc.) in a world without Net Neutrality. We were awful close to going to Hell in a handbasket.


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