Broadband Information

Here is information I sent to the council.

Please contact elected officials and make sure they know this is important to you.  Also sent a letter under 225 words to

You can contact elected officials here.

Broadband: There seems to be some confusion about what Broadband is, here is the answer Broadband is 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. In Rochester there are only 2 companies that do this widely, Charter and to a much lesser extent CentruyLink. Select businesses have additional options.

Competition: It was expressed that we have a competitive marketplace, we do not. That is why prices are high and service is poor. Competition is measured by the Herfindahl Index. Here is how that works.

  • A highly competitive marketplace would have 100 or more companies competing. Restaurants in Rochester are highly competitive for example.
  • An unconcentrated marketplace would have 7 or more companies competing. Lawn services in Rochester are unconcentrated for example.
  • A moderately concentrated marketplace would have about 4-7 companies competing. 4 star hotels might be an example of this in Rochester.
  • A highly concentrated (uncompetitive) market place would have 4 or less companies competing. This is broadband in Rochester. This is why the cost for stand alone broadband is $60 with poor customer service.

Also keep in mind that you can have multiple companies, but if they are not competing prices will remain high.

Nationwide, 100s of communities are providing broadband to citizens. So the issue of whether governments can do this is already settled. Cities often also provide Electricity, Water, and Waste services even though private companies also can do this, so this issue is also settled. Pretending that government can’t or shouldn’t do this may stem from ideology but is not based in actual facts. Just the same there is no requirement that government provide these services, an insistence on this would also be based in ideology. I have the moderate view that these types of decisions should be made on the basis of the cost / benefit to our community.

FYI, here is what is available for broadband at your homes. Keep in mind the wireless services constrain data quantities and still require a strong backbone to function. Interestingly leasing a fiber backbone to wireless carriers is one of several funding mechanisms for infrastructure.

Ed Hruska – CenturyLink, Charter – not a competitive marketplace
Nick Campion – CenturyLink, Charter – not a competitive marketplace
Ardell Brede – Charter – not a competitive marketplace
Michael Wojcik – Charter – not a competitive marketplace
Randy Staver – Charter – not a competitive marketplace
Mark Bilderback – Charter – not a competitive marketplace
Sandra Means – Charter – not a competitive marketplace
Mark Hickey – Charter – not a competitive marketplace

Interestingly I measured my internet speed 2 nights ago and found that I was not even getting 25 Mbps with Charter’s lowest priced ($60) connection.

One comment

  1. While I am lucky to get more than the advertised speed with Charter (65.8Mbps down, 4.3 up Mbps), being successful in my business is dependent on good broadband.
    I was with CenturyLink before because Charter used to “throttle” me when I was downloading e.g. multiple computer operating system ISO images and speeds would be a crawl of less than 64Kbps even for some hours of being ‘punished’. That was about 5-6 years ago though. CenturyLink did not have that problem but their service quality and pricing is even worse than Charters meanwhile.
    The current Charter offering is not terrible but I agree – it is not competitive.
    I lived in Europe and had 50Mbps down 10Mbps up about 9 years ago already.
    IMHO the goal should be symmetric ‘Google Fiber’ type 1GBps like countries like South Korea roll out.
    A city like Rochester is densely enough populated to support this type of speed.

    There should be enough creative ways to make it work if the right people would want to make it work. Heck – I could even imagine to push fiber cables threw the sewage pipes.

    As for competition – there are also several ways to achieve that.

    Hope it will work. Hope that I will still live here to see it work.

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