Home » AT&T »Broadband Speed »Editorial & Site News »Public Policy & Gov't » Currently Reading:

AT&T: Online Videogaming is An ‘Aspirational Service’ – Shouldn’t Be Considered When Defining Broadband

Phillip Dampier September 15, 2009 AT&T, Broadband Speed, Editorial & Site News, Public Policy & Gov't 26 Comments
AT&T's Definition of Broadband Suitable for Online Gaming

AT&T's Definition of Broadband Suitable for Online Gaming

AT&T’s advocacy of a federal standard for lowest common denominator broadband has struck a nerve in the onling gaming industry.  Stop the Cap! reader Lance noted in a news tip that the gaming industry is unimpressed.

Upset with AT&T’s suggestion that the Federal Communications Commission should accept a definition of broadband service that is merely suitable for basic web browsing and e-mail service, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), a trade group for the gaming industry, fired off a letter last week opposing AT&T’s bare bones approach to broadband speed and service:

AT&T argued that the baseline definition of broadband should not include what it characterized as “aspirational broadband services” and “myriad sophisticated applications:’ including streaming video, real-time voice, and “real-time, two-way gaming.” It urged the Agency to focus on more “meaningful” services, such as email, web surfing, interacting with Internet-based government services, and online education and training. According to AT&T, these are more pressing concerns for those who do not have terrestrial broadband access currently.

ESA agrees that such services are important. We disagree that the definition should stop there. Americans deserve a higher benchmark. Online video games are a meaningful part of our participative culture. They remove geographic barriers, connecting people from across the country and around the world. They teach cooperation, cultivate leadership skills, and empower users to express their creatiVity. Increasingly, games are used for training purposes and to educate students about complex social issues. Entertaining does not mean trivial.

What AT&T describes as aspirational services are no less important to the future of the Internet than email and web browsing were to the past and are today. Whatever definition of broadband the FCC adopts, it should use a benchmark that opens the potential of the Internet to all Americans. Ultimately, consumers should determine what applications and services they find to be of value.

The ESA has a lot to learn when it comes to the broadband industry allowing consumers to determine what they want from their broadband service.  This is an industry that has several players that do not listen to their customers.  Instead, it engages in PR and astroturf lobbying campaigns to try and convince customers to accept the industry’s own agenda — higher pricing, less “abuse” of their networks, no government oversight or regulation, limited competition, and control of as much content (and the wires that content travels across) as feasible.

The type of gaming consumers expect from their broadband connection.

The type of gaming consumers expect from their broadband connection.

The ESA should not be surprised by AT&T’s desire to define broadband at the barest of minimum speeds.  AT&T still owns an enormous network of copper telephone wiring.  In rural areas, broadband service definitions based on the lowest speeds are tailor-made for the older phone system capable of delivering only slow speed DSL to consumers.  To define broadband at higher speeds would force AT&T to invest in upgrading its current infrastructure, particularly in rural communities.

Ars Technica ponders the question of whether online gaming is in fact “necessary” to consider when defining a broadband standard, and delves into a discussion about gaming and its value to society.  That misses more important points to consider:

  1. With a broadband industry trying to design a broadband standard that is only capable of reasonably serving web pages, e-mail, and other low bandwidth applications commonplace a decade ago, will embracing mediocre broadband speeds help or hurt the United States and the increasingly important digital economy?  How many jobs have been created in new business start-ups that depend on leveraging a robust broadband platform in the United States?  What impact does a “go slow” approach have on American competitiveness and standing in an increasingly wired world?
  2. What impact will this industry’s increased noise about Internet Overcharging schemes have on the online gaming landscape?  While many current games don’t use much data transmitting game moves back and forth during play, the software and its add-ons and updates can easily contribute to a bigger broadband bill when users update.  Even more relevant are the trials for the next generation online gaming services like OnLive, which consume considerable amounts of bandwidth from the moment game play begins.  The ESA would do well not to only consider the implications of slow, mediocre broadband service.  It should also consider the very real threat a heavily usage capped or overpriced consumption billing scheme would have on their future.  Will consumers play games that bring them ever closer to a monthly usage cap, or start a billing meter running the moment play begins?

Currently there are 26 comments on this Article:

  1. jr says:

    “0.1 kbit/s is broadband”-AT&T

  2. Jeff says:

    The most important factor for online gaming is upload speed, moreso then broadband caps, outside of direct downloads.

    The best companies to get on this are Stardock and Valve, as those two have the most to lose from this.

  3. Andrew Madigan says:

    For those that don’t recognize it, the second image is from World of Warcraft.

    I’ve played WoW on a sprint data card (before they started capping about a year ago). It ran fine. Latency can be an issue, but 200ms or less will work.

    If AT&T doesn’t think they can deliver that kind of speed, that’s ridiculous. Broadband should be *much* better than that.

    • And you proved another of my points, Andrew. You played WoW on your Sprint service right up until the moment they usage capped it. Then you quit playing. For companies like OnLive, who literally will transmit the underpinnings of the game to a set top terminal when you choose to begin play, that means a lot of data gets moved each time you choose a different game.

      How many people are going to subscribe to a service that will consume a significant amount of a usage capped or consumption-billed broadband account, especially under the terms we saw proposed by companies like Frontier Communications and Time Warner Cable?

      That’s a business model that is tailor-made to fail in an Internet Overcharging world. That also means America’s gaming industry, a global leader, loses an opportunity to keep that world leader position. South Korea and Japan have no such challenges, of course.

      A new service and high technology economy requires the same kind of infrastructure our former manufacturing economy used to rely on. Back then, it was roads and bridges to assure manufactured products could reach their destinations on a timely basis. Today, it’s electronic highways of broadband service. This is too important an issue to leave to a handful of providers who dream of turning the whole thing into one nice cartel they own and control.

  4. TK says:

    Hopefully – we all know that AT&T just stinks.

    They market their internet service as broadband and go on and on about how it’s faster thas road runner, and whatever else. Most people do not realize that their services are delivered through the old copper phone lines and what this means for them.

    So what does it mean? It means that it doesn’t matter what kind of fiber optic bull crap lines they have miles from your house or where ever they claim to have them – basic physics states that anything you get during the last x number of miles through the copper is going to be slower. The copper wire delivery set up is still going to cause a bottleneck for people using a moderate amount of bandwith. And when I go into an AT&T store and bring this up with the sales representatives (I have brought with me textbook equations detailing the phenomenon [conductance = 1/resistance * area * (r*r)] this is bulk conduction) and they still insist that their method is better than full fiber optic or cable.

    Not to mention that they want to charge a 200$ installation fee. So for all the really old people and the non internet savy people who have no idea how to set up the stuff – bend over and AT&T will install sub par internet into you house for the small anal rap3 of $200.

    Also if you read the fine print – it says that the speeds are not guaranteed – so if your connection is consistently slower than the connection tier you are paying for – you have no legal recourse.

    Not that I think AT&T is any better than time warner, comcast, ect.

    Yes gaming uses LOTS of bandwith, so does video and movie streaming. If AT&T wants to exclude gaming, they also need to exclude streaming music and video. If they want to be jerks and charge for bandwith usage – then the industry as a whole needs to come up with a method for people to monitor their own usage.

    Also, if you read the TOS – if you are using AT&T internet and you use the internet to post inflammatory statements about the company (complaints about service, ect) AT&T reserves the right to cancel your service without notification . . . (which is actually illegal in many municipalities).

    • Tim says:

      “Not to mention that they want to charge a 200$ installation fee…bend over and AT&T will install sub par internet into you house for the small anal rap3 of $200.”

      I don’t know where you are getting these numbers but I never got charged anything. Matter of fact, I got a $200 rebate! So the 1st couple of months we had everything for free.

      Sub par? Again, where are you getting this? Ever since I subscribed to Uverse months ago, I had the service go out 1 time. My internet speed is 12Mb/sec. Sometimes I download at 12.2Mb/sec or faster. Works great for me and it is faster than what Time Warner offers.

      “Also if you read the fine print – it says that the speeds are not guaranteed”

      Every ISP I can think of says this but you act like only AT&T is doing it.

      For real, you need to get your facts straight.

      • I think a lot of our readers don’t live in U-verse cities and may be referring to traditional AT&T DSL. U-verse does come with installation promotions, including free installation and rebates, which are of course good only if the check from the fulfillment house actually turns up (and they have the use of your money for weeks and weeks between the time you pay the bill and the check arrives.)

        IMHO, rebates of this kind need to be abolished. Just do the free installation and any free service promotions with no rebates.

        I think 12Mbps is much nicer than what traditional DSL can offer, but Road Runner can usually beat AT&T speeds in a competitive market. Their Turbo product in Rochester puts them at 15/1, just to beat Frontier’s DSL. In other upstate New York cities, service can be faster because the competitor will be FiOS,

        I think some cities offer AT&T U-verse up to 18Mbps.

        I think AT&T is at least trying to stay relevant, unlike some other phone companies that are going to milk all they can from copper phone lines and old school ADSL.

        Speeds are always dependent on the pipeline to the websites you want to visit, the congestion, if any, on the provider’s own network, and the line quality you have from your provider.

        • Tim says:

          AT&T DSL sucks but he said Fiber to the node which only means Uverse.

          They always have free installation promotions and they always have rebates or cash back. We didn’t have an issue getting our $200 rebate. It only took a month.

          The Time Warner service in my area only offers speeds up to 10Mb/sec not 15Mb/sec. If they had that, I might of stuck with Time Warner or made me think twice about switching to Uverse. The real kicker for me was the upload speed. Time Warner, even on the elite plan, offers 512Kb/s max while Uverse is 1.5Mb/sec. I went with 12/1.5 because that was the minimum for the 1.5Mb/sec. They do offer a 18/1.5 but I really don’t need 18Mb.

          They are trying to stay relevant. However, they are only putting off the inevitable. Eventually, they will have to do what Verizon is doing and run fiber to the home to compete because cable companies aren’t going to sit idly by.

  5. Smith6612 says:

    This is the kind of stuff that would tempt me to cut off my Internet connections in favor to another ISP. I already pay enough as it is to get games to run on my gaming PC, as well as enough as it is for hardware upgrades when I do them. Sure, I’m paying for two DSL connections as well. The Frontier line is as high as Frontier says I can go in terms of the packages I can get. Verizon will give me 3Mbps but that’s about it. Now, for Verizon, I’m awaiting FiOS mainly due to the latency that comes with a fiber cable, not just for the download and upload speed. Gaming is also the reason I’m with DSL, since the latency as always been more consistent with Fast Packet mode for me. Lastly, I do play a LOT of shooters. Not to mention, Counter-Strike, Team Fortress 2, Halo (is very sensitive to latency and jitter, no interpolation), etc?.

    At least I know why my routing is garbage to local servers now. ISPs do not care about gamers that much from this article’s point of view. I miss playing at a local LAN Gaming center that had shut down during the Winter months in my area. That place had the entire building wired for Gigabit, a bunch of their own game servers, as well as fully fiber optic Internet. That place’s connection was killer, it would ping 2ms and below to all local servers (where as my DSL connections, and even FiOS (!) in my area can only manage 30ms at a minimum. More likely to get 50-70ms ping to them) and it felt great. I would go there, bringing my gaming PC along with me, hook it into their network and electric system and enjoy fast download speeds as well as low latency, for only a few dollars for an entire day when it came down to it.

    Also companies need to stop hiding behind their wall of text. It’s getting very old 😐

    EDIT: I’m not sure if you got my message Phil, but the OnLive Beta is in the process. It’s VERY latency sensitive, as well as bandwidth heavy. Don’t think I’ll be pulling 30ms (their suggested latency while the service is running) to their closest servers anytime soon…

    EDIT2: Here’s a video I have up on YouTube of a round of Team Fortress 2 which took place on a 32 slot 100 tick server in Germany. Sure, it looks smooth for the most part, but there was some jitter, and of course I had 110-130ms latency to the server. That’s what it feels like gaming on local servers in my area, as if I was gaming to Europe or the US West Coast. It’s not pleasant at all for shooters (something Interpolation cannot fix). Keep a good eye on the players’ models. You’ll see they jump and stutter at times, and the fact that I can’t see every shot coming at me or there’s that nice half second delay that will come out randomly. Also pay attention to how the players attempt to shoot me (they see my latency). Painful when sniping and very painful when I get kicked for high ping :/


    • lucy says:

      That link also calls net neutrality bills “misguided.” I don’t think many people here will pay too much attention to the rest of what they have to say.

      • George Ou says:

        “That link also calls net neutrality bills “misguided.” I don’t think many people here will pay too much attention to the rest of what they have to say.”

        Any bill that bans intelligent network management technology from improving latency for ping-sensitive applications like online gaming is fundamentally misguided.

        • lucy says:

          It is one thing to manage the network. It is quite another to ban certain protocols or applications altogether, or to put another at the head of the line because they got cash to do so. And please don’t call me an alarmist or anything, because it’s not like it hasn’t already happened. You claim that ISPs should be able to manage the networks to protect latency-sensitive protocols like VOIP, but ISPs have blocked or charged extra for a customer to use a VOIP service in order to protect their own telephonic service, or maybe just to ding the customer for extra money, just because they can.

          I mean, it’s voice over IP. Outside of plain text, voice is probably one of the least bandwidth intensive things you can send over the internet. There is no excuse for an ISP to block voice, other than it will make them more money to do so, either by getting people to use their own service, or by getting the people to pay extra for the privilege and ability to use a service that they are already paying someone else for.

          And of course, as an example of the other issue, why should Google get to use AT&T’s pipes for free? I don’t think I can say much more than this. I don’t think that even you could claim that this is “reasonable network management.”

          • George Ou says:

            “You claim that ISPs should be able to manage the networks to protect latency-sensitive protocols like VOIP, but ISPs have blocked or charged extra for a customer to use a VOIP service in order to protect their own telephonic service, or maybe just to ding the customer for extra money, just because they can.”

            Sorry, but you have all your facts wrong. Only one wired ISP attempted to block VoIP and the FCC fined them and put a stop to it immediately. Some ISPs are already protecting low average bandwidth applications like VoIP and web surfing and that does not affect high average bandwidth applications like file transfer or P2P one bit, but the third Markey bill on Net Neutrality would in fact stop this good practice. That is why I say that bill is very misguided and it will do a lot of harm to Internet users.

            “And of course, as an example of the other issue, why should Google get to use AT&T’s pipes for free?”

            First of all, Ed Whitacre’s comments were widely misunderstood though it is largely his fault for the way he said it. I’ll make it very clear that what Whitacre seemed to have implied should never be allowed on the Internet since it is a contractual violation of broadband costomer’s rights. No ISP should ever double charge on the consumer end and the application/content end since this would be a violation of their contractual obligation to the broadband customer to deliver access to the whole Internet. But there’s nothing wrong with charging the application/content end if the user hasn’t paid for the bandwidth.

            For example, Amazon pays Sprint to deliver content to the Kindle so that Kindle customers don’t have to pay $40/month to get wireless mobile Internet access. This is effectively where Amazon pays shipping for the customer so that they can negotiate better rates and pass on the savings to the consumer in the cost of the eBooks. But Markey’s Net Neutrality bill tries to ban all charges on content and application providers even when the ISP isn’t illegally double charging. That means innovative business models and products like the Amazon Kindle would be outlawed. That is another reason Markey III Net Neutrality is severely misguided. The intention might be good, but the bill completely botches the implementation and it harms Internet innovation and consumers.

            • lucy says:

              You seem to forget that the bill does not prohibit network management. Or maybe you just choose to ignore the fact and hope to convince me and others that the bill was written without the realities of the internet in mind:

              “‘(d) Reasonable Network Management- Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit an Internet access provider from engaging in reasonable network management consistent with the policies and duties of nondiscrimination and openness set forth in this Act. For purposes of subsections (b)(1) and (b)(5), a network management practice is a reasonable practice only if it furthers a critically important interest, is narrowly tailored to further that interest, and is the means of furthering that interest that is the least restrictive, least discriminatory, and least constricting of consumer choice available. In determining whether a network management practice is reasonable, the Commission shall consider, among other factors, the particular network architecture or technology limitations of the provider.”

              Left to their own devices, Comcast defines “reasonable network management” as blocking an entire protocol, and then lying about it until somebody offered up proof.

              “Ed Whitacre’s comments were widely misunderstood though it is largely his fault for the way he said it.”

              I think that Ed knew perfectly well what he was saying. Just because you, as a somewhat reasonable person disagree with him, doesn’t mean that he didn’t mean what he said.

              “each Internet access service provider shall have the duty to–…(2) not impose a charge on any Internet content, service, or application provider to enable any lawful Internet content, application, or service to be offered, provided, or used through the provider’s service, beyond the end user charges associated with providing the service to such provider;”

              In the case of Kindle, as in the case of any other embedded wireless devices where the seller of the device pays for the internet, the end user isn’t the Kindle owner, but is Amazon. Sprint is providing a service to Amazon at a “discounted rate” because they are such a large customer (or maybe the rest of us are just being overcharged). If Amazon then happens to resell the device to someone else, that’s fine. Last I checked, there is no agreement between the Kindle user and Sprint, so Sprint can’t charge the Kindle user for access.

              • George Ou says:

                Lucy, do NOT tell my friend that he doesn’t own his Kindle. He paid dearly for it.

                Also, those section you quoted does not negate the following sections.

                “(2) not impose a charge on any Internet content, service, or application provider to enable any lawful Internet content, application, or service to be offered, provided, or used through the provider’s service, beyond the end user charges associated with providing the service to such provider;”

                Even under Title II regulation, it was never illegal to offer tiered Internet access. This provision would outlaw all CDN services which would effectively break all video services like YouTube and reverse more than a decade of innovation on the Internet. This provision would outlaw Amazon’s arrangement with Sprint where Amazon pays Sprint to deliver eBooks, blogs, and news to Amazon Kindle customers wirelessly. If this proposed network neutrality bill becomes law, Kindle customers will need to buy their own 3G wireless broadband services at $40 or $60 per month to be able to purchase content on their Kindle when they currently pay nothing.

                “(6) to guard against discriminatory favoritism for, or degradation of, lawful content, applications, or services by network operators based upon their source, ownership, or destination on the Internet;”

                This provision is especially alarming because it makes no provision between due/reasonable discrimination and undue/unreasonable discrimination. If passed, it would outlaws existing legal contracts between ISPs and their business customers which specify higher Quality of Service (QoS) levels.

                ISPs also offer edge caching services to Content Delivery Network (CDN) companies and big content companies like Google. This allows the Internet to deliver on-demand video streaming which is not possible using any other file distribution model. Peer-to-peer cannot do live streaming because it operates on a download-before-you-play mode rather than the play-as-you-download mode afforded by CDN. This is precisely why CDN streaming content is picking up market share over P2P file distribution and even companies like Joost have given up on P2P video distribution. The CDN model of content distribution is the only thing that can deliver on-demand video and this proposed network neutrality bill would kill on-demand video and innovation on the Internet.

                Furthermore, the FCC has already ruled that it is reasonable and even necessary to discriminate in favor of real-time applications like VoIP (which implies deprioritization of everything else) and that would directly conflict with this provision. The FCC also reviewed and accepted Comcast’s reformed network management system (post-Vuze ruling) and that is also in direct violation of this provision because Comcast’s current network management discriminates against customers who have been using the most bandwidth. But that discrimination is reasonable because it fairly allocates bandwidth between all customers by deprioritizing customers using the most bandwidth over the previous 15 minutes and prioritizing customers who were not using the most bandwidth. This provision in this network neutrality bill would mean the end of fair network sharing.

                So again, this is a very misguided Net Neutrality bill.

                • Andrew Madigan says:

                  Internet service does not work in 15 minute blocks. If I downloaded something from a fast site (say, Microsoft) at 10MBps for 15 minutes, I should get ping times of greater than 3 seconds because I “used too much”. The network can easily control the speed of the 10MBps connection to whatever it can handle.

                  Games like WoW actually work a little like VOIP, they need low bandwidth and low latency. In fact, playing WoW on a sprint card would probably work so long as that’s all you did on it. 4 hours of game play generates less than 50MB of traffic.

                  Network applications are built around assumptions that the connection will stay relatively stable. If using a “too much” for 15 minutes will cause a penalty, a lot of software won’t be able to handle it. If I’m watching Netflix, it better work for more than 15 minutes.

                  And no, Google should not have to pay AT&T. I pay for access and a certain speed. Google pays for a certain speed and a certain amount of transfer. Charging someone because their packets are going over your wires (even though they’re someone else’s customer, not yours) is just a laughably bad idea.

                  Rather than trying to squeeze blood from a stone, AT&T should starting adding new tiers of higher speeds for consumers at premium rates. They’ll pay $100/month if you offer them 100 MBps.

                  The ultimate solution to these problems is technical, not financial. Rather than charging for latency, create protocols that allow the network to determine what priority a packet needs to be assigned. HTTP doesn’t need a 10ms round-trip time, games and voip(?) probably do. Video streaming falls somewhere in the middle, it needs to get to the target before the buffer runs out.

                  Finally, no, satellite isn’t broadband. Satellite internet belongs the same place as satellite phones – out in the wilderness where no other connection is available. Even for VOIP applications, a 1 second turn-around is noticeable.

      • Lucy, George works for a group that defends the broadband industry and its practices, so this is hardly surprising.

        George seems to think AT&T is somehow being the grand defender of satellite broadband, and their filing is somehow their effort to protect the continued availability of that kind of service.

        Concern trolling is more like it. AT&T does not spend time and money filing comments with the FCC to protect satellite providers. Indeed, consumers find the two primary satellite providers appallingly bad, in service, speed, pricing, and a nasty paltry usage cap. The moment any kind of wired or wireless locally deployed broadband service becomes available, satellite customers flee.

        In rural areas, that could be AT&T DSL service, which is precisely why AT&T has an interest in playing the game “lowered expectations” when it comes to broadband speed. Many rural DSL circuits can’t do better than 1Mbps in some areas, 3Mbps in others. What happens to AT&T if the national broadband plan defines anything over 6Mbps as true broadband?

        George also uses the words “rule out” with respect to satellite broadband. As if once a national broadband plan is adopted, the satellites will get switched off, dial up providers will be disconnected, and lousy slow alternative providers will get a cease and desist order from the government.

        All that changes is that those providers may have a hard time calling themselves broadband (and dial up never did) after some basic definition and speed goals are defined. No matter, few satellite customers would compare their service to “broadband” these days anyway.

        I suppose I can expect a “job well done” from George on his point about gaming and broadband. Although I am not a game player myself, I am well aware, and have informed my readers that traditional game play on many multiplayer online games actually does not consume much broadband usage. That is by design – game responsiveness depends on fast turnaround and short commands.

        But there is more to this story, as updates and new add-ons for popular games are released often and can consume plenty. Additionally, new technology start-ups like OnLive turn that traditional model on its head by literally sending players the entire game they wish to play over their broadband connection. OnLive, if successful, could change the business model of many online game companies. At the very least, George needs to recognize that services like OnLive are out there and that makes his absolutist rhetoric like “The common mistake online gaming is a bandwidth and usage heavy application and that couldn’t be further from the truth” incomplete at best, deceptive and wrong at worst.

        The Net Neutrality bashing is just another effort to try and convince consumers that providers only have the best intentions, which of course is false. No matter, informed consumers aren’t buying the anti Net Neutrality rhetoric.

        • lucy says:

          George, you know more about how the internet works than I ever could, and you like to use it against people like me.

          I’m going to stop arguing with you. Please don’t count this as a victory, because the only reason I am not going to argue further is because you make too many points for me to research and rebut it the short time that I have before I must leave for work. This actually is your job, so you can talk all day about it and not get worries that you’ll get fired, but some of us are actual consumers, who have real life jobs.

          If I thought I had a shot at changing your mind, I might make the extreme effort, but I know that as long as your are getting paid to say what you say, I shouldn’t bother.

          In then end, all I know is that left to their own devices, the ISPs would take as much money as possible for the same or less service than they provide now. I really like speed, but I like uncapped internet more. If my ISP starts capping and there isn’t an alternative broadband provider by that time, I for one, am going back to dialup. Please don’t take this is a concession that dial up is in some way “competing” with TWC.

          I am one of those small business employees whose very company’s existence relies both on the existence of the internet, and on normal every day internet users ability to get to our website. I will survive just fine without internet at home, but if everyone drops, I’ll be just another unemployed schmuck with a mortgage I can’t afford.

        • lucy says:

          Sorry, I replied to the wrong comment, Philip. I don’t think that I could find argument with you. I’d delete and repost, but I’m no longer at the same computer.

        • Ron Dafoe says:

          I completely agree. George is clouding the topic here. IMO, the real topic is what should be considered broadband. IMO, anything under 3 down and 256 up should not be considered broadband at all and providers should not be calling themselves that. Comeup with some other crappy name for it, slowband or notenoughband or something. I am sure they can come up with something to confuse the general public, ala TV manufacturerers with all the the crap they pulled with HD TVs.

          We can’t have providers calling 128k or 256k broadband, it just isn’t in today’s age. That would be like calling a 22″ LCD a large screen TV, it just doesn’t make sense.

          • John says:

            I found it amusing that on the same day I read that AT&T considers streaming video to be an “aspirational broadband service” that the IRS features a handful of streaming videos regarding tax law and that over on flu.gov, you can review streaming “video briefs” regarding H1N1. Meanwhile, over the army’s recruitment web site, there are streaming videos available talking about the army as a career and information for parents with children considering the military.

            It takes zero effort to see how the government is embracing “aspirational broadband services” as a way to get news and information out to the public. It also takes zero effort to see how AT&T will fight as hard as they can to define broadband services as the slowest possible service they can provide.

Search This Site:


Recent Comments:

  • mike b: Still our best hope. Trump sure as hell isn't going to put someone in place who's willing to promote consumer-friendly practices....
  • John: Count me as one of those in Texas who dropped all services but Internet. I was an existing triple play customer under a current package price that st...
  • James R Curry: They're slowly expanding to cover most of those 7 cities, but they have sign-up windows. If you're not in your sign-up window then you can't get serv...
  • SAL-e: “Nearly everyone on the list is part of the Clinton campaign’s network of tech advisers, which helped draft the Democratic nominee’s tech policy platf...
  • Steve P.: Can someone explain Google Fiber to me? Don't they cover a small portion of 7 cities? About a fraction of 1% of the country, and not showing any signs...
  • Josh: Wow, that's nuts. If I lived in a Time-Warner area, that those copy restrictions *ALONE* would make me dump their service. I'm not trying to do any...
  • Dan: They need to bite the bullet, hire Amdocs to gut their ordering platform and copper facilities lookup tools, hire ATG to fix online ordering *after* A...
  • xnappo: Interesting view point SAL-e - one I have heard many times, but still thanks for the input....
  • SAL-e: "... I am paying their salary ..." No. You don't pay their salaries. The commissioners of the FCC are appointed bureaucrats by US president and appro...
  • Berfunkle: I wouldn't mind OTA 4K television. Where else are you going to get 4K content? The cable cos? LOL They don't even provide 1080P! It's a hassle and c...
  • xnappo: It is well within the FCC's charter, and since I am paying their salary I would like them to do their job :)...
  • SAL-e: I don't understand why the government needs to get involved here. The consumers are here in full power to enforce their wishes, if they chose to exerc...

Your Account: