Inevitable death, was Re: Verizon Public Policy on Netflix

Scott Helms khelms at
Mon Jul 14 17:15:08 UTC 2014


The difference, and its a large one, is that the large operators have no
interest in building in the less dense rural (and sometimes suburban)
areas.  The smaller operators are often the only provider in the area and
unlike a bookstore if someone wants broadband in an area they can't drive
to a larger town and bring a bagful home the way we can with books.

There are a few potential paths forward that I can see and I'm sure there
are more that others can identify:

1)  Various governmental funding sources like CAF subsidize the market
"enough" for smaller operators to continue to get by.

2)  CAF and other funding make rural territories profitable enough that the
large operators buy many/most/all of the smaller providers.

3)  Prices for rural customers increase to cover the increased costs.

4)  Content providers contribute $some_amount to help cover the costs of

5)  Operators in rural markets fall further behind making rural markets
even less attractive and that contributes the trend of rural to urban
migration here in the US.

Of course a combination of these is also possible or local governments
could get more involved, but these look to be the most likely in no real

Scott Helms
Vice President of Technology
(678) 507-5000

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 12:08 PM, Benson Schliesser <bensons at>

> Thanks for adding this perspective, Barry. I think it's realistic. But I
> also think it might miss an orthogonally connected issue - this isn't just
> about bandwidth, but about commoditization, consolidation, size etc. It may
> be that small ISPs just can't compete (at least in the broader market) as
> the market evolves. Similar to how I was disappointed by the loss of my
> local bookstore, but still buy all my stuff from Amazon. ... I hear Brett
> essentially asking for Netflix to do more for him than it does for big
> ISPs, because his small rural business model can't compete with the big
> guys.
> Thoughts?
> Cheers,
> -Benson
>  On Jul 13, 2014 3:59 PM, "Barry Shein" <bzs at> wrote:
> >
> > Just an observation:
> >
> > I've been on the internet since dirt was rocks.
> >
> > It seems to me that one theme which has come up over and over and over
> > is that some new-ish technology demands more bandwidth than whatever
> > it was people were doing previously and as it popularizes people begin
> > fighting.
> >
> > In the early 80s it was downloading the host table, "could people
> > please try NOT to all download via a script at exactly midnight!!!"
> >
> > Then it was free software in the eighties, did WSMR et al really have
> > a RIGHT to become a magnet for such popular program downloads?!
> >
> > And graphic connection to remote super-computer centers. Could the
> > images please be generated locally and downloaded "off hours"
> > (whatever "off hours" meant on the internet) or even shipped via tape
> > etc rather than all these real-time graphical displays running???!!!
> >
> > Hey, the BACKBONE was 56kb.
> >
> > Then Usenet, and images, particularly, oh, explicit images because OMG
> > imagine if our administration found out our link was slow because
> > students (pick a powerless political class to pick on and declare
> > THEIR use wasteful) were know.
> >
> > And games OMG games.
> >
> > I remember sitting in an asst provost's office in the 80s being
> > lectured about how email was a complete and total waste of the
> > university's resources! Computers were for COMPUTING (he had a phd in
> > physics which is where that was coming from.)
> >
> > And the public getting on the internet (ahem.)
> >
> > On and on.
> >
> > Now it's video streaming.
> >
> > And then the bandwidth catches up and it's no big deal anymore.
> >
> > And then everyone stops arguing about it and goes on to the next thing
> > to argue about. Probably will be something in the realm of this
> > "Internet of Things" idea, too many people conversing with their
> > toaster-ovens.
> >
> > My comment has always been the same:
> >
> >    There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who try to
> >    figure out how bake more bread, and those who herd people into
> >    bread lines.
> >
> > I've always tried to be the sort of person who tries to figure out how
> > to bake more bread. This too shall pass.
> >
> > --
> >         -Barry Shein
> >
> > The World              | bzs at           |
> >
> > Purveyors to the Trade | Voice: 800-THE-WRLD        | Dial-Up: US, PR,
> > Canada
> > Software Tool & Die    | Public Access Internet     | SINCE 1989     *oo*
> >

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