Pepper and Salt! (Condiments of the season) :-)



Do many people still pay long-distance charges? For many years we've had plans with "free" nationwide calling. For a while when kids were in school out of state we had a WATS line so they could fall us free. I cancelled it later because I was getting too many calls from Puerto Rico where the callers couldn' speak English.
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On 23/12/2017 14:47, Peter Flass wrote:

In the UK there are various deals which include calls on landlines and mobiles but there are local and long distance changes if you don't make use of them, at least on landlines. The deals don't (generally) cover international calls. 'Roaming' is now included on mobiles, at least in the EU, although many companies off packages which include other countries. The exact rules etc vary from company to company.
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Gene Wirchenko wrote on 12/23/2017 8:08 AM:

The phone company has no incentive to make this work better for users. Their profits are regulated and they have no competition. I have a place in a very rural area and when I first bought it computers used dial up. I got very lucky and there was a local exchange that was not quite as local as the others so I could reach a provider. Otherwise it would have been a non-long distance toll call. For many others on the other side of the lake it was a toll call. It's still that way some 30 years later. TPC has no incentive to increase the non-toll region even though it costs them nothing in equipment which was upgraded decades ago. They just have to change their billing.
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Rick C

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The phone company better get some incentive. They are probably loosing lots due to the cell phones and now to the internet phones. Neither of them seem to charge extra for what is usually a long distance call. The phone bill was about $ 20 but taxes and LD connect and other fees made it around $ 40 per month. If you add caller ID and a few other things , it will cost even more. Most of that is 'free' with the $ 30 internet phone I am now using.
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Ralph Mowery wrote on 12/23/2017 3:06 PM:

You seem to fail to understand how "the phone company" operates. They have capital investment. A regulatory board allows them a certain profit based on that capital investment. If they make too little profit they can request rate changes of the regulatory board. TPC doesn't lose money.
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I think I understand how they work. It is they better change the way they work while there are still some that will use the land lines. If people can get good service via the internet phone or just the cell phones, why would they even want a land line at a price much higher than the internet phone ?
The phone companies have been around for many years and have a mind set. If they do not change it, they will be out of business. Some are trying to get into the internet business. In a town near me the town put in fiber optic cable trying to make money. The local cable company boosted the rates of down load speed to keep the people on them. Not too long ago the lowest speed was 25, then went to 100, and is now at 200. I am getting about 230 on most speed tests now. Not that that much speed is needed in many cases, but it sure beats the DSL from the phone companies also.
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On 12/23/2017 10:41 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

That has happened to so many companies - Tweeter, Circuit City, Radio Shack... it almost happened to Best Buy and could still happen to old chains like J.C. Pennys, Sears and K-Mart.
Companies which don't keep up with the rest of the world fail eventually.
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Jerry Stuckle wrote on 12/23/2017 10:51 PM:

Unless they are public utilities with a profit guaranteed by the public service commission.
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Even a public utility is no guarentee.
California Power and LIght (think that is the name, or close) went under. I don't know all the details about it but I do know I lost about $ 2000 worth of stock that I had invested in them. The company continued to produce poewr,but the owners (stock holders) lost everything.
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Ralph Mowery wrote on 12/23/2017 10:41 PM:

They don't care if you have service or not. There will always be companies with many hard lines to pay their bills.

Ain't gonna happen.

230 what? 230 Mbps would be insanely fast and 230 kbps is insanely slow. I have around 7 Mbps peak and I'm happy with that. I can watch movies all day long and do anything I need. It's been a while since I've tried to download the GB of so it takes for the latest copy of FPGA development tools.
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I have 300 MB/sec down and 50 up. Some folks have gigabit. This is not your father's Internet.
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J. Clarke wrote on 12/23/2017 11:46 PM:

Where are you?
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Connecticut, near the MA border, north of Hartford.
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J. Clarke wrote on 12/24/2017 1:39 AM:

I guess you don't have to wait long for web pages to load. Some pages with a lot of "fluff" content (video, images, overlays) take a bit to load here. It never occurred to me it was download time vs. just browser time. Do you see the same things?
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The big bottleneck right now seems to be DNS lookup time.
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On Sat, 23 Dec 2017 23:17:53 -0500

    Wow! Even on the rural west coast of Ireland I get 70Mbps fixed wireless, in the nearest town gigabit is on offer but the fibres don't get out here.
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Ahem A Rivet's Shot wrote on 12/24/2017 1:45 AM:

I'm in the middle of no and where. There's no cable. I was lucky enough to get a wireless provider who doesn't sell a cell phone like plan with data caps, etc. The PC software says I use around 60 GB a month which would be a major extra charge with most wireless providers.
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I just checked at http://www.speedtest.net/ and it is 236 Mbps down and 11.9 Mbps up.
That is just the starting speed here. It is in and around a small town in North Carolina. About a year ago it was 25 Mbps downlink for the basic rate. Now they are advertising 100 Mbps as the starting speed on the web site,but a television commercial was stating 200 Mbps as the basic speed for a larger town about 20 miles away.
I think much of the speed hold up now is not on this end, but how fast the sites on the internet can get their data uploaded to the internet.
I don't download that many large files, but downloaded a copy of Microsoft Office 16 or 2016 or something like that to a laptop that was connected wireless at my house at 65 Mbps. Took almost no time. I remember trying to use the phone modems at 14.4K baud or whatever and downloading just a 1 or 2 megabit file and it taking around an hour.
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That was called rate of return regulation. In the US, only little rural telcos still do that. Big phone companies have negotiated price caps instead, which give them a new incentive to invest as little as possible in the regulated network.
For the most part, mobile phone rates aren't regulated at all.
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John Levine wrote on 12/23/2017 11:15 PM:

You are confused. The cell phone companies are in a different business. Verizon may own a public telephone company, but most of the US has public phone companies owned by someone else. The phone companies providing landline phone service are still regulated entities regardless of who owns what.
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