Reply To: 17 Sept 16 – Netflix asks FCC to declare data caps “unreasonable”
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For a bit of perspective, I would suggest starting with researching The Kinsgbury Commitment, including the reasons for it. Briefly, the US government was about to drop the hammer on AT&T for SHerman (antitrust) Act violations until AT&T’s upper management bargained with the US. I think with this, the government was hornswoggled into propping up companies and forming a so-called “natural” monopoly. (I have read that some economists will claim ain’t no such thang.) Point is, the public utility-like comms companies have been in a government propped up oligopoly for quite a long time. The Bell System breakup of the 1980s helped a LITTLE, as did the Telecomm Act of 1996, but they weren’t enough to provide late 19th Century style competition.
As for how much it costs to transit IP traffic, you might try searching DSLReports.com.
The reasons Netflix has streaming problems are somewhat varied. Some of it is due to peers unwilling to add capacity at peering points. Some of them have vested interests in not improving peering because they’re protecting their video services revenues. Some of it is due to bufferbloat. Some of it may even be due to individuals’ LANs, such as relying on Wi-Fi for streaming (rarely a good idea).
Connectivity is somewhat cheaper in Europe and southeast Asia due to sheer population density. The US is comparatively vast and in many places really sparsely populated, making it LESS economical to lay cable (lots of land passed with no customers to service). In fact, in some places, their “brand” of broadband is for the state to own the infrastructure, who then leases it out to ISPs to provide all the address management, email, NNTP, billing, customer support, etc. services. Some of the posters to DSLReports who live there seem to think this is a great way to keep competition up and therefore service up and prices low in the face of the limited space for that last kilometer cabling.