FCC Orders Comcast to Market Standalone Broadband Service at "Reasonable Prices"

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Penterax

What we really need is for all markets to open up properly so we can have a true competitive environment. No more telling Comcast what they need to do on one hand to supply their customers with decent service, and protecting their business artificially by preventing Verizon from bringing FiOS in (for example).

Back in the day it might have made sense to give certain companies area-wide contracts for exclusive rights to sell their service (gas, electric, land-line telephone), but if that ever was a good model, it isn't now. In a real competitive environment Comcast wouldn't have to be ordered to do anything, they would provide the goods for their customers or die, which is the way it should be.

;)

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dgrmouse

How do you explain ridiculously expensive cellular phone service? There is certainly VERY aggressive competition, and yet rates are ridiculously high in every part of the country. And your argument that Comcast might no longer be ordered to perform is just silly - any company providing goods are services is subject to government oversight.

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TerribleToaster

Unfortunately, that is not economically feasible.

Utilities such as water, gas, or in this case "data" operate just like roads do. That is, they are vastly expensive ventures that offer little in direct profit. Having multiple data providers offered at your house would be akin to having multiple roads directly connected to your driveway. To you, the customer, this seems great because you have options and the two "roads" are forced to a market equilibrium (assuming no cartels form) but, there is a major issue overall in that you are essentially paying huge upfront costs for a marginal benefit to the customer. This puts more of a strain on the economy as a whole than if you tried a regulated monopoly.

Short version: It's way too expensive to lay down that much cable (laying down cable for 2 or 3 companies is basically reserved for high population density areas with deep pockets) and there is a lot of indirect costs that lead to massive overhead (ever try digging in an area with 3 different cable conduits, excluding all other utilities including phone? It's a nightmare). It won't work.

The unfortunate part about a free market is that it doesn't work in situations like this.

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Ulrich

If that is the monthly price... I already pay that with Time Warner... How in the hell does this = a win for the general public... I'm sure Comcasts service was priced very close to this already... and they already offer internet service by itself... you just have to nut up and say you only want internet... unfortunately apple is training the general public that what you see is what you get there is no option, so said general public buys packages from everywhere, and doesn't ask questions.

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barbara009

my classmate's aunt makes $78 an hour on the laptop. She has been without work for 10 months but last month her income was $15994 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this web site NuttyRich.com

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Ninjawithagun

The FCC ordered Comcast to "offer download speed of at least 6Mbps for no more than $49.95 for three years". That means a cost of $1.39 per month over three years and not $49.95 per month. By the letter of the law, that's how it reads. It states nothing about the $49.95 applying to a monthly cost, only to a cost over three years! Now, that's a bargain :)

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n00balici0us

I currently have DSL 7 mbps for $49.99/mo. with no bandwidth cap. and 95% of the time, I am no where near that 7 mbps. Usually cruising around 3-4 mpbs. Only reason I have to stick to DSL was that Comcast banned me for a year due to bandwidth cap overage. If this new service have no caps, I'll take it over my current DSL. Yes it's a bit more expensive but I think you usually get more than you bargain for with Comcast. Before I got banned, I have the 12mbps for the same price and I usually get around 16-20 mbps. I wouldn't be surprised that even at 6 mbps advertised, you probably end up getting somewhere around 8-12 mbps instead. Just my guess...

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livebriand

6mbps for $50? WTF? I'm getting 15mbps for $20 for the first 6 months, $40 for the next 1.5 years, and $60 after that from comcast.

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B.A.Frayd

There goes the Obama administration, lookin' out for the little guy again! NOT.

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Scatter

6mps for $49.99? Comcast probably laughed their asses off when accepting that ruling.

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dandoz

We have DSL without phone service which is 14.99 a month and something like 2mb download, &etc. It's still fast enough to stream Netflix.

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cigar3tte

I don't understand this. I'm currently paying $60/month for 12Mbps/2Mbps. $50/month for 6Mbps seems like the current price.

I only have Internet service; no TV, no phone.

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Strayz

The fine should have had an extra zero or two behind it. Comcast has been raping the public for so long they actually bought one of the three major networks a few years back.. That should have been one of the signs that they have been fleecing the public.

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NavarWynn

That rocks. Of course even @$50 for standalone it still is kind of a rip. It's interesting that there is no mention of data caps. To me that is a critical issue.

Of course I have DSL, so I get 25mb/s down and 8 up, and pay less than $70 a mo for it (w/o any data caps). Since most of my TV content comes through that, I don't even need to deal with the massive RO that comcast is. I kind of feel sorry for people stuck w/ comcast.

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fry

Comcast got rid of data caps recently. We'll see how long that policy lasts.

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livebriand

No they didn't. It's 300GB now (used to be a fixed 250GB), and you can pay more to get a larger cap if you need it.

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cigar3tte

I wasn't aware that DSL can even go past 6Mbps, much less 25Mbps.

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Typo91

I have stand alone internet, I pay 60.00 per month, and I have DOCSIS 3.0, with a cool 80mbs down and 5mbs up. Never had a throttling issue. Games from steam come down at about 7MB/s avg.

Company = COX
Location = Wichita KS

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Bustout

I have astound and I'm paying $49.95/month for first 12 months, bundled of course. But I get 18 Mbps downstream / 2 Mbps upstream.

Otherwise it's regularly $65.00/month bundled or $74.95/month a la carte.

Speedest usually hits 19 down and 2.5 up when I run the tests.

So far I've been really happy with them.

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ahamling27

I also live in Wichita, KS and I believe I have the tier below you @ $50/month and I get about 5MB/s down and 1MB/s upload. That's MegaBytes not Megabits...I really hate Megabits...

Cox has great internet here and I wish you could get internet like this everywhere. :)

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Valor958

Well color me jealous lol.
I pay $50 for phone internet bundle with Cincinnati Bell... in Cincinnati OH and only get 10mb down/ ~1up. This is with a bundle discount, lifeline phone discount, AND corporate partnership discount from working at a bank who has deals with them. Decent price in the end, but I fell jipped still.

Seriously, when will we get honest and reasonable pricing for the actual amount of effort and stain on their networks. $20/mo for 10mb down standalone would be perfectly reasonable and still allow them to profit. $30/mo for 20mb, $50 for 30, $70 for 70, and $100 for 100... I'd pay that gladly.

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wintercoder

Next COMPANY on the agenda - CenturyLink.

We have had DSL (1.5m down, 256k up) for close to ten years in our rural area.. with CenturyLink being our only wired option. After all this time, the rate is still north of $70/month AND we HAVE TO have a landline phone account to get the DSL.

Sounds just like the Comcast deal.

So Feds, go after CenturyLink next!

I do, however, dislike the fact that on behalf of the consumer, the government is lining their pockets. The 800k should go back to the consumer in the form of a paper check. That would be more painful a punishment.

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B.A.Frayd

"The 800k should go back to the consumer in the form of a paper check. That would be more painful a punishment."

So we'd each get a check for, like, 5 cents?

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sundropdrinker3

You HAVE to have a phone line, as DSL runs over the phone lines. You can just get the lowest phone plan(which here with Windstream is $5/month). I have DSL(unfortunately, with 3Mb up/768Kb down. Better than yours, but still too slow).

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blacksand

Not sure about all areas, but in Houston I have AT&T UVerse DSL with no home phone. I have the Elite package which is 6Mbps down. They advertise 24Mbps with their MaxTurbo package. Not sure who the more evil company is, AT&T or Comcast...

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Zoandar

Years 3 and 4, "have your credit card ready". ;)

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Supall

So the pricing doesn't change at all? What BS. It is already 6Mb/1Mb down/up for $50. An extra $13 ($63) gets you 20Mb/4Mb. And another $10 ($73) gets you 30Mb/6Mb. This doesn't help the consumer at all.

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sundropdrinker3

The pricing is horrible. Time Warner in my area offers 30Mb down/5Mb(I think) up for $50/month.

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mls067

I don't have comcast, but I think what they are saying is that they have to offer just the internet and nothing else for that price. Maybe someone that knows, but do they not offer stand alone internet at this time?

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Supall

You can already get just the internet from Comcast. I've had just internet from them for a year now. Their current pricing doesn't change at all relative to this article.

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Blues22475

"Specifically, Comcast is ordered to offer standalone broadband services with a download speed of at least 6Mbps for no more than $49.95 for three years, according to the agreement. Comcast is prohibited from raising prices for two years..."

Anyone else see the loophole in there?

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germanogre

'bout frickin' time!

Competition only works if it exists. It only exists in it's weakest form in my area.

Next item on the agenda: BANDWIDTH CAPS!

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richeemxx

This doesn't appear to foster any kind of competition to me. I live in an area that is flat on service. We either pay the ridiculous cost for Comcast or suffer with slower than slow DSL speeds since AT&T won't upgrade their service in our area and nothing else is avialable. If they wanted to make an impact they should force Comcast to either lower their costs or open their lines for other companies to use them.

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