questionswhat will the long term implications be for…

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Like anything else, competition allows us to have more options. Hopefully it won't be long before it happens.

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Unfortunately, cable companies do not compete for service in MOST of the country. In my area, there was only Charter and Comcast (until recently). They each have their service areas and they DO NOT overlap, allowing them to charge whatever they want for service as there is no real competitor for internet service (I don't consider DSL to be a competitor since it's slow and unreliable). Recently though, the power companies began offering Fiber Optic TV and Internet service, forcing the cable companies to compete, and Charter and Comcast are crying about it. I don't understand why they've been allowed to have a monopoly on the market as long as they have. Hopefully, some real competition will force them to change their pricing and business strategies because $70-120/month is too much to charge someone for internet access.

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I'm reasonably satisfied with the price I pay for fiber-to-the-premises.
$60 for 25mbit up & 25 mbit down is worth it to me. I've done most of my tv watching via a computer for at least 3-4 years now, and gave up a landline for phone service about 10 years ago when I went completely over to celphone service.

I think the ultimate outcome will eventually be more competition. You'll have multiple choices (real choices, not 1 or 2 companies charging whatever they want) over who provides your service over the same connection to your home.

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We went from having voice + internet + television (limited basic cable) to internet + television, and it cuts the price roughly in half. Now if we had gone to just internet, the price would have actually been HIGHER than internet + very limited television.

Also, dump any hardware rentals you can if you plan on sticking around long-term with this provider in this location. Router can be as much as $5.00 a month. Same for cable modem (if you have cable), which you can likely find for as little as $30 on eBay. In six month's time, buying that modem starts to pay off, and it only takes a few minutes on the phone to get it configured. (Check compatibility lists and the like to be sure you get one that works.)

You could also complain about your rate! Doing that can get you the latest 6-month promotional price, and don't listen when you are told that you can't get that promotion again since it is just being given to make you happy. Call back after 6 months!

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The big short-term consequence (which is already happening) is an increase in the price of high-speed internet, especially when not coupled with cable service.

A huge part of the "cord-cutting" phenomenon has been a result of the increasing availability of streaming options. Unfortunately for us, the same companies that control the cable also tend to control the internet (though monopolies there are more difficult), and therefore a logical avenue to make up for the lost profit is increasing internet costs.

I think eventually (within the next 2 to 10 years) cable channels will independently start offering streaming channels available for a small fee to interested consumers. Premium channels especially, like HBO, could be the first. Once these channels start abandoning their exclusive relationship with cable providers, the cable companies will re-evaluate their business model and offer a la carte options... the downside of this is it will lead to the demise of many "niche" channels.

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Unfortunately, I don't see much changing in terms of charges. In fact, I expect the charges to get worse.

From what I've seen, we will start seeing consumption based billing for Internet. For example, if you use between 0-50GB you will pay $50, 51-150GB you will pay $80, 150GB-250GB $120, and so on. I don't see consumption billing to be good for the consumer.

As for TV, I don't see it disappearing anytime soon. I do think some of the channels will start to offer online streaming capabilities.

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@loubriccant - Your paying 3 figures a month for internet ? Are you kidding me who are you paying that too and what are you getting ? That is a total rip-off unless you are getting some buissness clas shiz-nit

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I see no long term effect of people "cable cutting" because enough people aren't doing it. Most people don't even have cable, realistically this is the first year that over 50% of the US population even has it available to them.

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I went to Direct TV. The dish did not go out with water dumping out of the sky and 70MPH gust.

I LOL at cable TV in my area....
"I am not getting HD channel 2xx"
"uh sir the reason your cable is out is because it is humid."

Last year they were "working with the bandwith to make it right" I excepted that and waited.

Cable's internet is a rock star but they charge too much!

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@djbowman: Depending on what that person has, I wouldn't doubt it. The non-promotional price for just Internet here is about $80 (for the 7 mbps service). If I wanted the 15 meg service, it would jump in to triple digits.

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@caffeine_dude: That's pretty impressive. The biggest issue I can remember about the DirectTV system my parents have is that it would go out in bad storms. That has had me avoiding them for television ever since.

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@apfrehm: DirecTV is high quality and I enjoyed it while I had it. It was very rare when we lost signal due to weather, maybe 6 times a year, but it depends on where you live obviously. I went from a DirecTV HD DVR and HBO package totaling $79 a month to a Tivo Premier HD DVR, OTA antenna and $13 per month subscription. I don't miss HBO or many of the other channels I can't get with OTA. Now I'm focused on cutting my monthly bill for internet and voice.

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I cut cable out over 3 years ago. I just pay $60 for cable internet a month and stream/download everything now.
If you do cable internet and they don't put the filter on you can usually get free basic cable from the same line if you hook it to your t.v.
I was doing it for a year or so till I forgot to unhook it when they came to fix my internet.

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@djbowman: 20Mbps downstream/4Mbps downstream with Comcast. One of the things that pushed me to make a move is that they raised our prices in my county, 3 times in the past year alone. They have NO competition. Verizon FIOS is in some of the surrounding communities, but not in mine.

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Subscription TV in my area is VERY competitive. However, internet prices (low to high): Clear, DSL, cable. In order of speed (slow to fast): DSL, Clear, cable. QoS or uptime from worst to best: Clear, DSL, cable. I will be killing off subscription TV in favor of HD antenna and going all internet streaming. not sure what to do about land-line. It is internet bandwidth based (cable) but need it for certain business dealings. But, the total for all my services is still under $100/month

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We just switched from COX 3x cable bundle to Verizon FiOS 3x bundle (25/25 internet speed). About $50/month less (down to $119/month for 2 years). If it was just me in the house, the TV (and probably phone) portion would be gone. But PC based TV is not spouse friendly. Yes, we've tried.
After this intro rate is done, we'll probably drop the phone portion and go to an Ooma or similar device.

ptr ptr
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saw a nice interview with the founder of netflix on Charlie Rose a few months back. His big point was that television broadcasts as we know will eventually die out. Why? because rolling out new technology takes decades, while with streaming, new tech can be rolled out immediately.
example: the big leaps in television have been:
1. moving from black & white to color. it took over 20 years for color tv's to become almost universal. I remember in the 80's and 90's you could still buy b&w tv's!
2. moving from analog to digital
3. HDTV. In 1981, president Ronald Reagan said it was "a matter of national interest" to introduce HDTV to the USA. In the mid and late 1990's, the first HD broadcasts began in the US. Now, 15 years after that broadcast and 30 years after Reagan's quote, HDTV's are pretty much the standard.

with tv broadcasts, new technologies take years or decades to become the norm, since people are not willing to go out & buy a new set if their old one works fine.

(cont)

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(cont)
It's the opposite with streaming...
No new equipment needs to be bought by the consumer/viewer.
With a streaming service going through a computer, viewers can begin watching in the new format almost immediately.

when youtube began hosting HD videos, I didn't need to buy or install any new equipment, I just selected the high-def version of the video over the standard version.

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@loubriccant: That's horrible! Much better here.

Made the switch last year from $160 for all these to only internet. So far paying $30/month promotion for 40Mb DSL, "real" price is $50-70, they keep changing their mind. (and $3 for Ooma phone) I also have Comcast as an option, may switch back and forth for pricing wars in the future. At this speed, we can watch 2 TV shows at the same time on different computers in the house via streaming. Although, during the fall TV season, most of our viewing is still from local broadcasts via DVR.

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As to the future, I've seen prices dropping on internet. Opposite of TV prices. 10 years ago, I signed up for the 256kb DSL for $27 guaranteed lifetime price. 5 years ago, they offered 1.5Mb for $27 guaranteed lifetime price. 2 years ago they offered 7Mb for $27...you get it.

While I haven't seen this particular deal recently, and cable has had a slightly different progression, I've generally seen speed increase while price did not. This is in Minneapolis area, a fairly large city.

If you look at Europe and Japan, you will find far cheaper AND faster internet available. The USA needs to catch up. I don't know that it ever will actually CATCH them, but (I think) it will continue to get cheaper and/or faster for awhile.

There are limits, though. Comcast here is 250GB per month. I approached 200GB once, so that doesn't bother me at this point.

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As for the bandwidth limits, that's something that is starting to trouble me. It used to be that I would max out at 20GB, or so. Then I started watching some streaming stuff of the computer and bought a Roku, and I would usually use 40-70GB and frome time to time I would hit 120GB. Now I have 4 Roku boxes. One used very frequently, one used for a couple of hours each night and two only used sporadically. If I have a choice between watch something in HD, I take that option and I know that uses more bandwidth. It will be interesting to see how many GB's I use next month. I can see it approaching and maybe going over 200GB's and I'm not even doing any P2P stuff.

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I currently have internet and DirectTV through AT&T. i only pay $14 a month for internet, but its a 1.5mb DSL connection, so its nothing to write home about. unfortunately, it was the only option available to me besides satellite internet, which is stupid expensive. I'd love to get away from DirectTV though. i live out in the country, so fiber and cable are not an option. I rarely have issues with signal during storms, and the few times i do i usually have a DVR full of stuff to keep me entertained. my problem is their customer service and the fact they nickle and dime you to death. and good luck upgrading existing equipment without paying an arm and a leg. plus, the second year is really pricey. wish we had a good alternative to all service providers...

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@apfrehm: I talked to an ex Direct TV user (left because they would not send him the $200 dvr because he was an existing customer.) He blamed the new improved dish for not going out during the storm.

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@caffeine_dude: thats actually why i may be trying dish network after my contract is up. i wanted to swap out an existing standard def receiver for a hd one but they wanted to charge me $100 even though i was sending back the old equipment. it went like this

"so that $100 is a deposit right, i get it back later?"
"no sir"
"so then i get to keep the receiver when my contract is up?"
"no sir, its just a lease"
"ok, then why am i paying monthly leasing fees"
"because you lease our equipment"
"so then why are you trying to make me pay for the receiver?"
"you aren't paying for it, you're just leasing it"
"so then why are you asking me to pay for it?"
".... thats just our policy sir"

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and if thats not bad enough, God forbid you buy their equipment from a third party. my buddy didn't want to pay the leasing fee and found a cheap HD DVR on ebay. he bought it, then called DTV and activated it. no problem. a few months ago his contract ran out and they charged him over $500 for not returning the receiver. he called and explained that he didn't get it from them, he got it on ebay. they said they understand, but that he registered it with them and he must not have read the fine print. here's how it works. once it is registered with them, it becomes theirs. so as soon as my buddy put it on his account, it was on their radar, and when he cancelled with them they wanted it. my buddy could either give it to them and lose the $150 he paid for it, or he could stand his ground, and DTV would have charged his credit card the $500+ dollars it costs if you buy it form DTV. They are a terrible money grubbing (mod edit: profanity) hole of a company

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Everyone is talking about providers, but I want to take another approach...
While I agree that more and more streaming and a-la-carte services will be offered as we move forward, I think one of the biggest hurdles to an Internet-only media delivery solution is a matter of hardware & software.
Internet enabled TV's are coming to market (TVs with apps), But honestly, they suck. The UI/UX on an xbox or Roku is far better. GooleTV and AppleTV try to solve this problem, but frankly, the last thing a consumer wants is another standalone box with another remote that eats up another HDMI port, takes another AC outlet and needs its own power cord and internet connection. (continued later...)

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I think we'll get to the point where people can do all their media, TV, and computing in the living room, but before that happens, 2 things.

#1. There needs to be a standardized software environment where users can browse streaming content from a variety of sources (YouTube, online channels ie ESPN3, Hulu, and embedded web media). ONE platform to rule them all. NOT separate Apps for each source.
Bottom line: Until browsing for streaming media becomes as easy as flipping channels and pressing the TV Guide button on my remote, most wont cut the cable.

and #2.
Electronics giants like Samsung, LG, Panasonic (even f*ing Vizio) need to solve the problem of integrating the biggest, baddest, HD screen in your house with a productive and usable computing environment. Their objectives need to be:
-Make streaming live TV as easy as Netflix on the xbox.
-Quit with the 3D hype and Apps on TV
-Bring the OS into the living room/embrace PC technology
-Put it all together in 1 *upgradable? device