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[Discuss] Howdy

On 11/30/2011 01:38 PM, Matt Shields wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 12:14 PM, John Abreau <abreauj at 
> <mailto:abreauj at>> wrote:
>     On Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 12:07 PM, Jerry Feldman <gaf at
>     <mailto:gaf at>> wrote:
>     > I live in Newton where we have Vz (FIOS), Comcast, and RCN. In
>     general my
>     > Comcast service has been excellent with any outage not their fault.
>     The difference is that you live in a town where there is actually some
>     competition in the broadband market, so the companies *have* to
>     provide
>     good service in order to retain customers.
>     Most towns give a monopoly to one broadband provider, who then has
>     no incentive to give adequate service.
> I was talking with a friend who is the LAN/WAN manager for a town here 
> in MA and he was involved in the negotiations with Comcast and Verizon 
> for that town.  Previously Comcast had an exclusive multi-year(think 
> it was 10 or 20 years) agreement and the town received a payment for 
> each resident that had Comcast service.  When FIOS came out, the town 
> went back to Comcast and told them if they didn't want to allow 
> Verizon in then they would pull their rights and only allow Verizon. 
>  I guess Comcast agreed so they now have both.
> Unfortunately, not all the towns are doing this.  In Quincy where I 
> live, I've heard two different stories.  I've heard that they don't 
> have the balls to try a renegotiation, and I've heard that the payment 
> they get from Comcast is quite substantial and they're happy getting 
> the money from Comcast and if they renegotiated the amount per 
> subscriber could be significantly less.
> But as one person had mentioned, where there are no other alternatives 
> you can always sign up for  Since I need to be on 24x7 and 
> can't have Comcast being down when I need to be online, I've got a 
> wireless account for backup.  $55/month for unlimited 
> wireless service.  Not the fastest service (although Netflix and Hulu 
> do work fine), but it's great for when Comcast is down or when I'm on 
> the go and need WIFI service.
Historically, the telephone provider had always had an exclusive license 
with the town. (BTW: I live in a city :-). Again, it comes down to 
archaic laws, but it also comes down to the license to run cables on the 
poles. North Attleboro (AFAIK) has Comcast, Cox, and Vz.

Jerry Feldman<gaf at>
Boston Linux and Unix
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