back to article As the FCC finally starts tackling its dreadful broadband maps, Georgia reveals just how bad they are

Proposed changes to the way the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) measures broadband availability across the US can't come soon enough – as the state of Georgia has made plain. This Thursday, the FCC will review a second report on how to gather more accurate information about the speed and quality of internet access that …

  1. David 132 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    I am shocked.

    Shocked, I tell you. This is all news to me. Cable companies and telcos engaging in consumer-hostile behavior, gerrymandering the service maps and using regulatory capture to carve themselves a sweet little operation? Oh, the humanity!

    Never mind. I'm sure that now Ajit Pai is aware of this and has the correct information, he will leap, LEAP I say, into action on behalf of the end-users.

    And at this point I have to stop, I just can't keep a straight face any more.

    1. oiseau Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: I am shocked.

      Shocked, I tell you. This is all news to me. Cable companies and telcos engaging in consumer-hostile behavior, gerrymandering the service maps and using regulatory capture ...

      You don't know the half of it.

      This behaviour from cable companies and telcos is common all over the world.

      Most (if not all) of the time because they have politicians and regulators, when not amongst their shareholders, deep inside their pockets.

      The FCC/Ajit Pai combo is a perfect example.

      It is shocking.

      But not news.

      O.

    2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: I am shocked.

      I'm shocked, *shocked* that there is lying going on in the FCC...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjbPi00k_ME

    3. John_3_16
      Thumb Down

      Re: I am shocked.

      Old as satan taking Eve's virginity in the garden. Liars & crooks (politicians) always react the same way when a light is shined on their activities. Do not think for a minute that politicians, cable companies and telcos aren't all in the middle of messes like this that involve big $$$.

      I bet the applications to shovel coal on their heartless greedy a$$es in hell are already over flowing. This is not shocking or new. Stay safe all...

  2. Dwarf Silver badge

    Land of the free they say.

    Free to choose the single overpriced and under performing service (as compared to the broader planets expectation of Broadband / Internet access)

    I hope that they resolve this issue soon and that they fine the companies for gaming the metrics in their favour.

    It sounds like they need an overseeing regulating body to ensure that the rules are applied properly and in the customers favour ... oh wait, they've already got one, but it seems to need some new teeth...

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Unhappy

      You can't put teeth in a sock puppet

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Can't even cut its strings. Could sever the hand that's up its arse, though.

    2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: fine the companies for gaming the metrics in their favour

      Sounds like the metrics were designed deliberately to be gamed in this manner. I don't seem any fines coming from this. Cable co's will simply claim they were working to the letter of the law, and if law makers don't like that they should change the law. Which does finally seem to be starting to happen. Of course, it's a given Pai will do all he can to slow that.

      1. Drew Scriver Silver badge

        Re: fine the companies for gaming the metrics in their favour

        It's not just the FCC. The Census Bureau's question on internet access lumps DSL in with fiber and cable.

        Question 11

        Do you or any member of this household have access to the Internet using a -

        a) cellular data plan for a smartphone or other mobile device?

        b) broadband (high speed) Internet service such as cable, fiber optic, or DSL service installed in this household?

        c) satellite Internet service installed in this household?

        d) dial-up Internet service installed in this household?

        e) some other service?

        Notice the complete absence of any speed indications or specifics. Apparently, gigabit Fios = gigabit+ cable = 1 Mpbs DSL.

        Hughesnet's geostationary sat service, with its infamous data caps and 500-750 ms latency, would be considered the same as Starlink's LEO service.

        And how exactly does one "install" dial-up service?

        The FCC uses the Census data, and the next Census won't take place for another 10 years...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: fine the companies for gaming the metrics in their favour

        "Sounds like the metrics were designed deliberately to be gamed in this manner."

        While the article is largely correct, it slips a little of the history of why states have been carved up by telcos and cable companies and report back suspect numbers to the FCC.

        In many cases, local or state government awarded exclusivity to suppliers for telecoms and cable in the old days when telecoms meant voice and cable meant TV. The telcos and cable companies paid for the right to exclusivity so it wasn't a monopoly right? As the Internet and then multiplay services become standard we see the move away from local corruption to national level corruption and even more monopolistic behaviour.

        The FCC is just part of the problem. The whole thing has the foul putrid stench of deep rooted corruption.

        It's important to point out that some areas of the US are well served by competitive suppliers. But it's the exception rather than the rule.

    3. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Free

      This *IS* the Land of the Free. Free to worship money; free to be convinced by the largest holders of said monies that their policies of self-benefit will also affect you...somehow; and free to vote against your own self interests while you accept those beliefs.

      And I've become far freer to release my deep seated empathy over the past decade or so, in order to say that they get exactly what they deserve.

      See, freedom DOES soothe the soul!

      1. Glen 1 Silver badge

        Re: Free

        "free to be convinced by the largest holders of said monies that their policies of self-benefit will also affect you...somehow; and free to vote against your own self interests while you accept those beliefs."

        Something something Brexit, Trickle down economics etc

    4. Scene it all

      The "freedom" is all on the part of the ISPs. They get to choose where and how to offer service. We get to choose whether to have service at all, or not.

  3. ThatOne Silver badge
    Devil

    Believe it or not

    > Spoiler alert: Cable companies are ripping Americans off

    And pope is catholic

    1. Youngone

      Re: Believe it or not

      And pope is catholic

      That doesn't sound right, but I'm too lazy to check.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Believe it or not

      "And pope is catholic"

      It's worse than that...

      https://todaynewspost.com/news/politics-news/after-lobbying-catholic-church-won-1-4-billion-in-coronavirus-aid/

  4. brainbone

    Did the editor at the Register die?

    Seems there was next to zero proofreading of this article before publication. There are so many typos, grammar errors, etc., it makes it really difficult to read, much less take seriously.

    1. Roger Kynaston Bronze badge

      Re: Did the editor at the Register die?

      There is a handy email address at the bottom.

      corrections@theregister.co.uk

      1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: Did the editor at the Register die?

        Yes, please use this then I know to have a look.

    2. KarMann Bronze badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Did the editor at the Register die?

      Did you, perchance, mean to say 'grammatical errors'?

      (And yes, despite this being such a short comment, given that it's pointing out an error, there's a 97% chance it contains a typo or worse itself.)

  5. HildyJ Silver badge
    FAIL

    Ajit Pai

    Ajit Pai and his cronies aren't interested in regulating anything. They are only interested in deregulating and issuing press releases to show how well deregulation is working, whether or not it's working in practice. FCC reports have become the epitome of fake news.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oliver Douglas' Hooterville phone pole

    Google and Ookla could spit out such maps. Crowdsourced data beats crooked lawyers lies. Ajit Pai is a clown. Check YouTube.

  7. Marty McFly
    Facepalm

    A missing part of the story...

    ...is the government forcing the high cost of rural Broadband. The wires in-the-air terminate at a Telco box about 11k wire feet from my residence. That is the closest fiber. The wires are all underground from the Telco box to my demarc. The government is requiring like-for-like on any upgrades. So to bring newer technology (think fiber) to my residence would mean trenching and running 11k feet of fiber underground. The government will not permit the telco to drop some poles in the ground. Nor will they allow the telco to put the fiber on the existing power company poles.

    Telcos suck, they are profiteering monopolies. However, government regulation is forcing them in to this cost prohibitive situation.

    Once again, government is part of the problem, not the solution.

    1. Dave Rickmers

      They is us

      We get the exact government we deserve.

  8. Twilight

    I live in a close-in suburb of a major city but my options are highly limited. I'm sure I show up as fibre served because one provider offers fiber service at $300+/month. There are two reasonable fibre services about 1 mile and 2 miles from my residence but they are slow to expand outwards. Less than 5 miles away is an area served by 5-6 fibre services.

    I don't understand why providers are allowed to ALL roll out fibre service in the same relatively small areas and ignore everywhere else. I know they claim that, if they don't, they will lose out on customers but wouldn't they actually gain more customers by rolling fibre out to an un(der)-served area (not meaning rural but even suburbs or other parts of cities)?

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