14 Comments

Summary:

When it comes to technology, California leads the way, but when it comes to pro-consumer efforts related to broadband access, New York appears to have taken up the cause. On Friday, the state’s chief information officer filed comments with the FCC related to the federal agency’s […]

iloveny-stack1When it comes to technology, California leads the way, but when it comes to pro-consumer efforts related to broadband access, New York appears to have taken up the cause. On Friday, the state’s chief information officer filed comments with the FCC related to the federal agency’s mandate to collect broadband penetration data, asking for several items that we’ve called for in our own broadband bill of rights. And earlier this month, members of the state’s congressional delegation helped put an end to Time Warner Cable’s controversial tiered pricing efforts.

In the filing with the FCC, NY State CIO Melodie Mayberry-Stewart calls for the agency to track several items tied to consumer satisfaction with a provider rather than just a geographic area’s access to broadband, including:

  • The ability of consumers to know the actual data transmission speeds;
  • Consumer sentiment with respect to providers implementing data caps or higher fees for high bandwidth users (high downloads);
  • Consumer sentiment with respect to network management practices regarding monitoring amount of downloaded content;
  • The ability of consumers to assess the impact of shared facilities on broadband speed, and, if so, the affect on their satisfaction with their service provider;
  • The desire of consumers to pay higher rates for increased bandwidth; and
  • Consumers [sic]  preferred source of accessing the Internet (fixed or mobile).

The idea of measuring consumer satisfaction as well as broadband penetration may be above and beyond what Congress had in mind when it passed the Broadband Data Improvement Act, but some of these items, such as noting the actual speeds a user could expect, better reflect the many shades of gray involved in measuring the quality of a broadband connection.

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. Thanks for tweet :)

    I was just responding to a post on a different blog regarding Microsoft’s new product (something to do with HD streaming) tied in with IIS. My point there was that it ain’t gonna happen if the bandwidth caps get implemented. Enabling caps benefits (in the short run) only the ISPs. In the long run everybody loose. Forgetting about download caps and breaking the service into SPEED tiers (rather than download limit tiers) benefits EVERYONE. I will keep paying for the fastest service available (I have plenty of stuff going on, including backups from multiple servers dumped on my home FTP). People who just watch YouTube or Hulu wouldn’t have to do that but they wouldn’t take up as much bandwidth as I do. Why does this business model isn’t found profitable enough and better suited for long-term development – beats me.

  2. I don’t understand how the biz model of data caps corresponds to network costs. Specifically do ISPs pay by the number of bits exchanged at an Internet exchange? Or is it by the speed?

    If it is by the speed (eg. dedicated 10GbE link) then it seems to me that Vlad is correct. Otherwise if ISPs are paying for each bit that is routed than I can understand why the ISPs wish to have caps on user data.

    @Vlad: As an aside, you should use “data caps” to denote the maximum amount of data you can download over a given period (eg. 100GB/month). You should use “bandwidth caps” to denote the connection speed being limited.

    –primate

  3. CivSource » Page Archive Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    [...] several items tied to consumer satisfaction other than geographic adoption, tech industry blog GigaOM reports. Some of the items Ms. Melodie Mayberry-Stewart suggested be tracked includes actual data [...]

  4. New York State is only interested in taxing the services – yes they act like they are fighting for the good of humankind but they want the tax money.

  5. No, New York State is actually GOVERNING… you know, old school style, doing what’s in the best interest for its citizens instead of just for corporate interests. New York (and often Iowa!) consistently take this type of pro-consumer stance, and for that I think at least 80% of the country thanks them! I’m especially grateful on this issue of Internet neutrality and fairness, as it impacts the very innovation and competitiveness of this country, which is especially important now that we’re competing on a world stage.

    WE LOVE YOU NEW YORK!! Please keep fighting the good fight!

  6. Webverzeichnis Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    I don’t understand how the biz model of data caps corresponds to network costs. Specifically do ISPs pay by the number of bits exchanged at an Internet exchange? Or is it by the speed?

    If it is by the speed (eg. dedicated 10GbE link) then it seems to me that Vlad is correct. Otherwise if ISPs are paying for each bit that is routed than I can understand why the ISPs wish to have caps on user data.

    @Vlad: As an aside, you should use “data caps” to denote the maximum amount of data you can download over a given period (eg. 100GB/month). You should use “bandwidth caps” to denote the connection speed being limited.

  7. Stacy, I suppose it’s fitting that you name the two states vying for the “Worst State Government” award in your lead. With the fiscal problems both of these states face it defies logic that they can find the time to delve into an issue like this.

    In any event, bullet point number one clearly indicates complete ignorance as to how these networks operate. Broadband services are sold in terms of the maximum capacity the connection will support, e.g., 5 Mbps. That’s not a speed statement and it’s not a guaranteed minimum (or even an average), it’s a capacity statement and it’s a ceiling. Stating that an objective is to inform consumers what the “actual data transmission speeds” are is similar to informing them how fast they can drive on the freeway. The only thing that can be stated with any certainty is the maximum speed; actual speed will depend on a lot of things not the least of which is congestion.

    My natural distrust of big government offering to help me by using my money leads me to believe that New York has another goal in mind: to claim a slice of the broadband stimulus spending for themselves. As I’ve written before http://zeugmablog.typepad.com/zeublog/2009/02/who-gets-the-broadband-stimulus.html , the ARRA explicitly lists state and local governments as potential recipients of this money. In fact they’re listed first.

  8. Robert A. Rosenberg Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    Bullet point 1 wants to get a measure of the actual capacity of the pipe (ie: Congestion). Just because I am offered 5Mbs (speed limit) does not mean that they can/will DELIVER that 5Mbs to me. It is asking for a measure of what is being delivered as opposed to promised. A 55MPH Speed limit does not mean that you are able to go 55MPH during “rush hour”. This is an issue of carrying capacity. A 5 lane highway can carry more cars than a 2 or 3 lane one so saying that both have the speed limit does not mean that they will handle the same number of cars.

    1. So…we’re in agreement then? The 5 Mbps is not promised to you, it is the limit of what you can get. What you actually get depends on congestion. Just as, in your example, 55 MPH is the fastest you can (legally in most places) drive. It does not mean that you can always drive at that speed; actual speed depends on congestion.

      If, on the other hand, what they’re really after is *average* capacity actually delivered, that’s a whole different can of mathematical worms. With about a dozen different ways to calculate average capacity, I wouldn’t no where to start. But “actual data transmission speeds” is not one of them.

  9. Free Press Asks Congress for Metered Broadband Inquiry Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    [...] be forcing them to take short-term gains against their long-term interests. He also said that since two New York Congressmen are paying attention to metered broadband and there’s a new administration to educate, [...]

  10. Stacey … your relentless push for unlimited flat rate service at a loss for an ISP, is just as clueless as demanding flat rate unlimited electricity rates from your local power company.

    Both the ISP and the Power company have identically the same cost recovery problems …. both power and data can be free, but it costs money to transport it … and it costs a LOT more money to transport a LOT more of it … including completely rebuilding the entire distribution system from the ground up with much more expensive components.

    That COSTS money, a LOT of money, to tear up an infrastructure that isn’t fully amortized yet, and just go replace it without any hope of additional income for doing so.

    In fact, the policy is so stupidly crazy, that it’s absurd. What is going to stop the public and politicians from demanding that you do it again, a year later, with and even bigger system, for no money again?

    If the people and our government want to rebuild our entire nationwide data infrastructure over to handle 200GB caps and 10gb/sec to every home … fine … let the government do it … you should be asking the government to do it.

    Stop being stupid, and fanning the flames against the ISP that still hasn’t paid for the existing systems yet. They have a right no to be bullied into bankruptcy by you..

    1. Javier Gomaz John Friday, May 1, 2009

      You shouldn’t call people stupid because you disagree with them. Dumb ass. The truth: ISPs are a business looking to maximize profits, anyway they can legally. This is just another way to TRY to increase revenue. The questions are: Will we let them and are you just another troll?

Comments have been disabled for this post