In the U.S., if you want a 50- to 100-Mbps connection, it is going to cost you plenty: about $105 with a triple play plan. On the other side of the planet, however, you can buy a 1 Gbps broadband connection for $20 a month, as long as you sign-up for a 24-month triple play contract with Hong Kong Broadband Network Limited, a division of local Internet service provider, City Telecom.
The same company had launched 100 Mbps to the home back in 2005. In February 2010, you could buy the 1 Gbps connection for $215 a month. According to the Akamai State of the Internet report, at the end of 2010, Hong Kong was the fastest place in the world when ranked by average peak connection speeds of 37.9 Mbps.
The reason it can offer at such low prices is the low cost of passing each home with fiber — it’s about $200 per home. Hong King is an extremely dense environment, and that lowers the cost of the network buildout. At present, HKBN has about a million homes passed for its fiber network and is on target to hit 2 million homes passed by end of 2011.
In the U.S., there are a few pockets that will or do have access to
low cost1 Gbps fiber connectivity — the cities of Chattanooga, Tenn. and Kansas City, Kan., for example. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in an interview with GigaOM said that fiber is the key to future Internet innovation.
Now I will grant, Hong Kong is a high density area, so that favors the providers as far as mile cost per household, but not at the rates being quoted. in the article above. New York, Chicago, Boston have some of the same urban densities in sections.
The point is, the consumer is not being fairly served by either the carriers or the FCC. We are being taken and we should not take it.
… So we can tax you more. That’s CA internet sales made to out of state retailers –
“I think it’s like Big Brother. It’s definitely very chilling,” said Bell. The Internet entrepreneur told CBS 13, “I think our customers are just going to stop buying from us. We’re going to see a dramatic drop in sales.”
Under state law, if you buy something online from an out-of-state company with no physical presence here – since you are not paying sales tax, you are supposed to pay a use tax to the State of California, but many people never do.
That could change however, under the BOE proposal, which would authorize California to spend up to $10 million to hire private vendors to track down what you purchase over the Internet.
“This is just a fishing expedition as far as I’m concerned,” said George Runner, an elected member of the Board of Equalization.
Under the proposal the State of CA would spend roughly $10m to collect $1.1Bn in supposedly uncollected use taxes.
Sounds to me that this would be a 4th Amendment issue. Acquiring that kind of data without a warrant would seem counter to privacy in your papers. The State needs to solve its spending problem. No amount of money can be found that can be spent faster than it can be collected. That is the core of CA’s problem.
… cable that is. The cable majors in total lost 500k subscribers last quarter. Comcast led the pack on that score –
There’s now even more evidence that subscribers are cutting the cord and opting out of paying for cable: By adding up subscriber losses from four of the top five cable companies, we found that more than half a million users have ditched their cable companies.
The carnage began last week when Comcast announced it had lost 275,000 basic cable subscribers, but it has continued as Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications and Cablevision have all reported major subscriber losses of their own.
No. 2 cable provider Time Warner Cable announced today that it shed 155,000 cable subscribers during the third quarter, which included 46,000 digital video subs. Yesterday, Charter Communications reported that it lost 63,800 basic cable subscribers during the previous quarter. And Cablevision said this morning that it shed 24,500 subscribers during the same period, including about 5,000 digital video subscribers.
GigaOm goes on to mention that in many cases the cable loss rate vs the Dish/Uverse/FIOS up take is shy about 200k. Simply put, many are just foregoing any sort of broadband connection. Then there are the rates –
That’s a trend we see continuing, particularly as cable subscribers continue to raise their bills at an incredible rate. Comcast reported on its earnings call that average revenue per user (ARPU) increased by 10 percent year-over-year, ending the third quarter at about $130 per month. Charter’s ARPU also rose about 9 percent, to $126. And while Cablevision’s reported average revenue per sub didn’t grow as fast as the others, it’s now a whopping $149.
All of which is why we think that the cord cutting phenomenon, which Comcast and Time Warner Cable deny is something that they’re seeing, is for real. From our point of view, expecting users to pay $125 to $150 a month, and continuing to raise those rates 5 to 10 percent every year, isn’t a sustainable business model. At some point, those users will find alternative, cheaper ways of getting the content they want, and now there are plenty of ways to do so.
We here at ThirdPipe have said all along that if the providers tout their services as an entertainment venue rather than an essential service they increase their risk in an economic downturn. It appears to be happening this cycle. I also wonder if cable and Telco offerings too has lost their glitz? Five years ago cable-payperview were the hot things to have in the home. Now not so much and with the bad economy a $150 expenditure that is not used often enough is just not justified.
The Boss had a piece on NC attempting to tax associate income in the State here. Well they passed the legislation and so Amazon is pulling out. They are ending their association with anyone who is a partner in NC. –
We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to notify you that your Associates account has been closed as of June 26, 2009. This is a direct result of the unconstitutional tax collection scheme expected to be passed any day now by the North Carolina state legislature (the General Assembly) and signed by the governor. As a result, we will no longer pay any referral fees for customers referred to Amazon.com or Endless.com after June 26. We were forced to take this unfortunate action in anticipation of actual enactment because of uncertainties surrounding the legislation’s effective date.
Please be assured that all qualifying referral fees earned prior to June 26, 2009 will be processed and paid in full in accordance with our regular referral fee schedule. Based on your account closure date of June 26, 2009, any final payments will be paid by September 1, 2009.
In the event that North Carolina repeals this tax collection scheme, we would certainly be happy to re-open our Associates program to North Carolina residents.
The North Carolina General Assembly’s website is http://www.ncleg.net/, and additional information may be obtained from the Performance Marketing Alliance at http://www.performancemarketingalliance.com/.
We have enjoyed working with you and other North Carolina-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program, and wish you all the best in your future.
The Amazon Associates Team
I would not be surprised if Google follows suit. Were I a online merchant that was making serious money from the affiliates program I would move. Not me, my servers and my business address. Say Texas or South Dakota. Open up a bank account there and contract with a mail forwarding service. (Talk to any full time RV’er they will fill you in.) Be back in business in a week.
But it does not solve the core problem. The NC legislature does not understand the Internet. It is not like a physical business presence. Mobility is almost second nature on the internet. And of course even if NC tried to go after Amazon proper, Amazon could just say — “hold on a second.” Few taps of the keyboard and they could be servicing NC clients from Ireland where they have Cloudfront data centers. “Tax what?”, says the datacenter manager.
A launch malfunction has put Dish Network’s HD expansion in doubt. It may be pretty tough to recover from this setback if a quick fix or replacement can’t be done
Dish Network had hoped to use the satellite to expand its HDTV channel count from 75 to more than 100 networks. Rival DirecTV offers subscribers 92 national HDTV channels, and both Dish Network and DirecTV rely on HDTV programming in marketing pitches.
SES Americom said Monday morning that the satellite “anomaly” occurred during the second burn of the fourth stage of the Lockheed Martin rocket launch. SES and Lockheed engineers are working on “various options” for bringing the bird into its proper geostationary orbit, SES said. While the satellite had an expected service life of 15 years, EchoStar warned in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday morning that the fuel needed to move the bird into its correct orbit will shorten its life.
“If those efforts [to correct the orbit] are successful, station keeping fuel would be required to correct the orbit, so the service life of the satellite would be substantially reduced,” EchoStar said.
“The launch anomaly will result in a delay in our roll out of some high definition channels, including some local network channels,” the company added. (Contentinople)
If they take advantage, Cable and Directv could gain an insurmountable lead over Dish as a result. If they do not take advantage, this will further accelerate the inevitability of TVoIP displacing the entire industry.
Well the crusaders are out again trying to make it look like they are accomplishing something — anything to look good. This time its Round 2.0 of the ETF malaise. In a clear case of not understanding the economics of the nut, the Democrats march forward again like Don Quixote –
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) asked chief executives of AT&T Mobility, Sprint Nextel Corp. and T-Mobile USA Inc. to explain whether they will pro-rate early termination fees as previously promised. Her letter comes amid a new Government Accountability Office report that found shortcomings with how the Federal Communications Commission processes consumer complaints.
“Early termination fees have been a real sore spot for consumers,’’ Klobuchar said. “Too often, consumers find out only after committing to a multi-year contract that their wireless service doesn’t meet their needs. That realization comes after it’s too late to exit their contracts without paying excessive penalties.’’
Sens. Klobuchar and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) are co-sponsors of a sweeping wireless consumer protection bill that would mandate the pro-rating of ETFs, charges levied on customers who prematurely break 1- and 2-year contracts covering subsidized handsets and service.
“It is time for the wireless companies to adhere to the assurances they made to the American consumer and start pro-rating these fees,’’ stated Klobuchar in the letter directed to AT&T Mobility’s Ralph de la Vega, Sprint Nextel’s Dan Hesse and T-Mobile USA’s Robert Dotson.
We too don’t like ETF’s. They are a hold over from the days that wireless providers needed to be sure that the expenditures will be amortized over the life of the contract. Which happened to be with very expensive equipment. Those costs have come down 5x with time and WiMax is going to drop it at least another factor of 4. ETFs today serve as a customer retention tool not a engineering safety net.
Want to get rid of ETF’s the right way? Then you need to break up the ETF-phone rental-price gambit. Its a vicious game. The phone companies like the rental game as it keeps bringing the customer back for a reup on a contract, even though the CPE side is a losing proposition for them. The phone Mfrs love this because it artificially props up their unit pricing as the true costs are buried in the contract. The tool to bust this open? — open device policy as Verizon has indicated they will honor for any device that works in their network.
It will be painful at first. Sticker shock for one. That $79 Samsung will really be $299 like it should have been. But that too will pass. For true device cost competition will ensue and that phone will drop to less than a $100. The carriers will drop their network rates as they are no longer doing carry forwards on the unit price of the phone as part of the monthly service. With nothing but network to offer the carriers will want to lower the barrier to entry to use THEIR network of their competitors. At that point the ETF dies as a marketing retention tool.
Klobuchar, bust open the carrier-manafacturer cartel and ETF’s go away. The consumer gains more than just a loss of ETFs as a consequence.