back to article Of course a mystery website attacking city-run broadband was run by an ISP. Of course

Cable biz Fidelity Communications has been forced to admit it was behind an astroturfing campaign against a city-run fiber network in America's Midwest. The campaign, titled Stop City-Funded Internet, started last month with a website and accompanying social media handles, and has been a persistent critic of efforts by West …

  1. kain preacher

    I'm shocked

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      ...that gambling is happening on these premises!

      "Here are your winnings sir!"

      1. Aladdin Sane

        What's the first rule?

  2. emess

    I'm bored

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      "bored"

      Funny way to spell banned.

      C.

  3. Winkypop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Very Trump-ish

    Stupidity mixed with immorality, coated with a false sense of ability...

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Very Trump-ish

      Trump is just a symptom. Or the logical end result. However you want to look it.

      The only thing I'd give him credit for was pioneering modern day to-big-to-fail. Trump casino failures in the last century.

      Yes, it's that bad.

  4. Getmo
    Thumb Down

    On behalf of Arizonans

    Those assholes don't represent us.

  5. Florida1920

    Competition hasn't helped cable consumers

    Amazing, they complain that city-built Internet access prevents them from competing. But when has cable-service competition ever served users? There rarely is any competition. The cable companies have no competition, so rates keep going up and up and "customer service" is pathetic.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Competition is GREAT!

    Especially when you destroy the competition...

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Competition is GREAT!

      I though making America Great Again was all about being competitive? Seems like competition and driving prices down is only a good thing when it's aspirational, and when it doesn't involve a community taking things into its own hands. It's nice that the cable company is concerned about the cost to taxpayers, but curiously enough, the taxpayers seem to think it's a good use of their taxes.

      Well done, Great Plains. Let them build their infrastructure and offer their services and Fidelity can compete. May the best provider win.

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Great Plains is starting to sound like a city you might like to move to....

    The city council seem quite clued up about technical matters and the citizens (amazingly) seem to grasp that this stuff costs money, but the benefits are quite substantial.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Great Plains is starting to sound like a city you might like to move to....

      Chattanooga, Tenn. has done the same thing and it has been a boon.

      1. 404

        Re: Great Plains is starting to sound like a city you might like to move to....

        oh yeah! Love it when I'm down there at various client sites - EPB's only bottleneck is the rest of the internet lol.

    2. Not also known as SC

      Re: Great Plains is starting to sound like a city you might like to move to....

      Unfortunately my employer doesn't allow remote access and it is just to far to commute to the UK on a daily basis.

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    "Marketing consultancy"

    The classic euphemism for "Corporate dirty tricks" department.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: "Marketing consultancy"

      For a second I thought that said "dirty *icks."

  9. joemostowey

    Virtual Monopoly?

    They are in reality true Monopolies.

    The American corporate model, weather in Communications, Manufacturing or Medicine is run by scum, for the benefit of scum under the motto maximized profits at what the market will bear.

    They then make sure that choice is limited only to them, so that if you need a service, or product you will pay what the market will bear, which is whatever they decide it is.

    Every corporation world wide should be busted, and broken down as Ma Bell was years ago, thus limiting their power to stifle innovation, stifle product and service availability, stifle competition and dominate the political world.

    As America's founders wanted, no corporation should be allowed to exist more than 5 years.

    There would then be no Koch Brothers, No Warren Buffets, No George Soros.

    World Wars generall take most corporations down, and one is long overdue

    1. Paul 195

      Re: Virtual Monopoly?

      A World War seems like an unnecessarily destructive way to deal with something that could be better handled through regulation and taxes.

    2. Alistair
      Windows

      Re: Virtual Monopoly?

      @JoeM.

      They are in reality true Monopolies

      On this point, there are quite a few areas in the US where there is a true monopoly, most are duopolies, with what appears to be no less than outright collusion.

      The American corporate model, weather in Communications, Manufacturing or Medicine is run by scum, for the benefit of scum under the motto maximized profits at what the market will bear.

      I'll admit that there are corporate mentalities prevalent that are solely in business for profit above all else, but there are quite a few companies out there that are reasonable in their approach, I doubt painting them all with the same brush is wise. I rather suspect that the mentality that engenders what you seem to find most vile actually stems from a subtle flaw in corporate law. And that flaw is not limited to the American version. This has to do with what folks in the C suite are legally mandated to do in light of their position.

      Every corporation world wide should be busted, and broken down as Ma Bell was years ago, thus limiting their power to stifle innovation, stifle product and service availability, stifle competition and dominate the political world.

      Again, the brush here is far too wide. There are corporate entities where the primary legal mandate is not profit, but phrased differently - this change in legal mandate does lead to a different approach to their operations. Certainly outright monopolies must be avoided at all costs, and where they do exist must be legally regulated to meet specific criteria.

      As America's founders wanted, no corporation should be allowed to exist more than 5 years.

      I seem to recall that number as 25 years, and it was not a universal number throughout the states. There was also far more to those laws at that time. I rather suspect that the key point on which you and I would agree here is that Citizens United needs to be burned off the law books, and regulation of corporate donations to political entities needs to be brought back in full force. Corporations have their place in making this world a wee bit better, and keeping many of the human beans employed usefully.

      There would then be no Koch Brothers, No Warren Buffets, No George Soros.

      I'll happily embed the Koch Brothers in their primary industrial product and provide a match. I'd suspect that if you spent some time researching Warren Buffett you might find that his approach is vastly different from the Koch's or Mr. Soro's. Again, brush too wide. As much as I despise what Bill Gates did to the computing world with MS, I have to respect his approach to retirement and the way he and Melinda have chosen to try to give back, or at the very least, try to give folks a way to lift themselves up.

      World Wars generall take most corporations down, and one is long overdue

      This is utter bullshit. World Wars -> Coca Cola, IBM, Bank of America, General Motors, Morton Thiokol, and dozens of others were BUILT by world wars one and two. As much as the rest of your points have some merit if one is anti monopoly or finds corporations unattractive, this one is absolutely and utterly incorrect.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Virtual Monopoly?

        As much as I despise what Bill Gates did to the computing world with MS, I have to respect his approach to retirement and the way he and Melinda have chosen to try to give back, or at the very least, try to give folks a way to lift themselves up.

        Yeah, pushing an anti-gun agenda wherever possible. Thanks for nothing Billy-boy.

        1. Uffish

          Re: Gates anti-gun agenda

          As an occasional visitor to the USA, thanks Bill (and all the others), much appreciated..

  10. Baldrickk
    Trollface

    Pai: "Of course we can trust the ISPs and Cable companies when we repeal net-nutrality."

    1. Alistair
      Windows

      @Baldrickk:

      I thought Ajit Pai *was* the net-nutrality.

  11. earl grey
    Flame

    customer service

    every time i hear that phrase i'm reminded of what my dad always said:

    service is what a bull gives a cow.

  12. sisk

    Every time I hear someone argue against city funded internet, particularly in the mid-west, I have just one thought: Get a major internet provider to run fiber to a town of 5000 people that's a hundred miles from the nearest Wal-Mart and then we'll talk. Until that happens most of the mid-west can't get broadband unless the local government brings it in.

    1. hellwig

      When the old FCC auctioned off America's greatest assets (spectrum), it did so while reserving a specific portion to handle future rollouts of rural broad-band wireless. The ISPs were supposed to work on using the new spectrum to supply that service as part of their agreement when they bid on new spectrum allotments.

      That service has not materialized, and I suppose the new FCC doesn't really care (the fact that they decided 10/1 wireless is NOT broadband after all blew my mind).

      So don't hold your breath, although I assume you weren't anyway.

      1. JohnFen

        " I suppose the new FCC doesn't really care"

        I beg to differ. Clearly, the FCC cares a lot -- about maximizing profit for the major telecoms above all other considerations.

  13. Pete4000uk

    When people in the UK moan

    About our internet, we should really be thankful for what we do have.

    Oh yeah, when net neutrality in the US ends, how much more are you going to have to pay to get Netflix or Amazon Prime?

    1. StudeJeff

      Re: When people in the UK moan

      Nothing.

      None of the kinds of things the scare stories about what will happen post net neutrally happened before the 0bama cadre inflicted it on us, so there is no reason to believe they will happen now.

      IF they do THEN it's time to look at some judicious regulations.

      1. Swarthy

        Re: Nothing

        I quite beg to differ. Those "scare stories" of post-net-neutrality were actually the reasons why NN was introduced. People didn't imagine that Verizon would throttle Netflix, that saw that Verizon (et al.) were throttling Streaming Video.

        "IF they do THEN it's time to look at some judicious regulations."
        They DID, and the regulations put in place are the ones that are being attacked now.

  14. JohnFen

    Of course

    At least in the US, ISPs tend to be scum.

  15. Petrea Mitchell
    Facepalm

    Oh, *that* kind of attack

    On first seeing that headline, I thought it was going to be about some kind of DDOS or other direct attack on a municipal network, trying to make it unusable. I guess we haven't quite gotten to the truly interesting part of the muni-broadband wars just yet...

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Oh, *that* kind of attack

      To be fair to Fidelity... Who am I kidding? The network isn't built yet, so it's not possible to DDoS it. Yet...

      When you find the picture on the website named Fidelity_campaign_stage_1.jpg - then you can try to work out what stage 2 is going to be.

      1. Wensleydale Cheese

        Re: Oh, *that* kind of attack

        "To be fair to Fidelity... Who am I kidding? The network isn't built yet, so it's not possible to DDoS it. Yet..."

        Where DoS stands for Denial of Service, stopping the whole thing from getting off the ground in the first place is well, a Denial of Service.

    2. Agamemnon

      Re: Oh, *that* kind of attack

      Oh good... I'm not the only one.

      I figured they split off a few Tbits and pointed it at the Muni's edge and slapped it silly.

      Then I thought, that's a ten second trace...IoJunk bot net? A service provider can just Summon/Owns one, and Deployed it?

      There's simply no way the universe loves us nerds so much that we could get seats to that shit show.

      Then I read the article to find: Jackass company hires jackass PR firm to run smear campaign. *Yawn* Yep, Thursday.

      My story would have been more fun.

  16. Toilet Duk

    A city running a vital service for the benefit of the people? Smells like SOCIALISM. Of course it was targeted.

  17. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    Only themselves to blame

    Now these local governments complain about the poor service provided by the cable-monopolies. Well, folks, who are the ones that originally *gave* monopoly power to these cable companies in the first place? That's right, those very same local governments. Should have *always* had multiple providers, even back when the cable companies were only TV and FM radio.

    The problem is, the solution to prior government screwups is to implement yet another government solution they will screw up.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are there not laws in the US.....

    ....covering agent provocateur style smeering of your competitors?

  19. Muscleguy Silver badge

    The most chilling aspect was the bit where the corporates have lobbied the state legislatures to ban local council initiatives. That elected representatives can be persuaded to pass such anti-democratic measures without being tarred and feathered for it says lots is wrong in those places.

    The problem is that in some parts of the US the state in any form doing anything which might, just about, be done by private enterprise is called 'socialism' which is a bogey word in the US which they use to mean communism.

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