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Thursday, April 28, 2016

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Chanson de Roland

I've been contemplating getting rid of my televisions altogether and just relying on a computer with a large screen as my television. Once the FCC approves its rule opening up set-top boxes to third-party manufacturers. I will probably go with just a Mac or Macs with a large screen and either an internal or external set-top box. That will allow me to get most of my video, which comes from my library's DVDs, iTunes and new Apple TV, and I will have Amazon and Netflix available, if I want them. As Apple TV continues to add more content providers and as a third-party set-top box will make cable programming available, if I want it, I don't see the need for a traditional television, but just a big screen that's connected to an Internet-connected computer.

So I think that the traditional TVs will head for the attic once the third-party set-top boxes become available.

George

I was so disgusted with cable-TV service from Comcast, I switched to digital antennas a couple years ago. (Neither fiber broadband nor fixed wireless are available yet in this section of Boston. That's a good example of the lack of broadband competition. Not so "Boston Strong" re broadband.) I plan to switch Internet service providers during the coming months. After that, I will reevaluate how I get streaming media content.

The June 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine has several excellent articles that describe, compare, and rate various streaming media options:
- Media players
- Subscription services
- Pay-per-view options
- Niche services

The issue is available on news stands, or visit (subscription required):
http://www.consumerreports.org/

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

Chanson de Roland

It amazed me to learn from the Editor's postings here that, of all our cities, his city of Boston does not have broadband. For Boston, which is our leading city for elite academic institutions and which is also a leading center of research in everything, to not have broadband for its citizens defies belief, and I wouldn't haven believed it but for learning about it here.

But I've also learned here that Boston just concluded a deal with Verizon to bring fiber-based broadband to Boston in progressive stages. So I hope that the Editor, all other Bostonians, and, in the not too distant future, all Americans have access to broadband by some means or other and third-party set-top boxes. And once they do, they can enjoy all of the benefits of broadband and third-party set-top boxes, including the benefit of having all the options for viewing media, with all of those options competing against each other so that Bostonians and all Americans will have greater choices and vigorous innovation at the lowest price that full and vigorous competition can provide.

And to further competition in and availability of broadband, I once again advocate that Congress should authorize the United States Postal Service to become a nationwide, broadband ISP and maker of set-top boxes. The current broadband providers of the cable companies and big telecom firms are enjoying the monopoly and oligopoly rents from anti-competitive markets for broadband service. Our Post Office is ideally situated to breakup those monopolies and oligopolies by offering competition at commercial subscription rates. Verizon and its ilk need competition to keep them innovative, fair, and to limit their power, while citizens need competition to keep innovation vigorous, all options available, and prices as low as possible. So Congress, make the U.S. Post Office a national ISP with the charter to provide broadband everywhere, but subsidizing rates only where commercial broadband service isn’t economically viable.

George

I agree. The U.S. Postal Service would make a great Internet Service Provider, AND post offices would also make great WiFi hotspots.

For clarity, Boston has broadband via the older technology via cable providers. Many areas have only one provider = no competition. Most of the city does not have FIBER broadband. Tiny pockets of the city have fiber broadband. Related blog posts:

Boston Mayor Announced Verizon Partnership And Fiber High-Speed Internet Expansion Across City
April 15, 2016
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com/my_weblog/2016/04/boston-verizon-fios.html

FCC Proposes To Unlock Cable TV Set-Top Boxes To Encourage Competition And Better Services For Consumers
January 28, 2016
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com/my_weblog/2016/01/settop-boxes.html

13,000 Complaints Submitted By Consumers About Comcast's Usage Based Internet Pricing
December 18, 2015
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com/my_weblog/2015/12/comcast-internet-ftc.html

Comcast Expands Regional Tests With Usage Based Pricing For Internet Access
November 2, 2015
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com/my_weblog/2015/11/comcast-internet-pricing.html

Why Boston Lacks Both Fiber And Broadband Internet Competition*
October 16, 2015
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com/my_weblog/2015/10/boston-fiber-broadband.html
(Verizon reps testify before the Boston City Council about why they aren't interested in expanding fiber broadband in Boston.)

Comcast Pay $33 Million To Settle Privacy Violations of Its Phone Customers
September 23, 2015
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com/my_weblog/2015/09/comcast-voip-fine.html

Report: Researchers Compare High-Speed Internet Services Worldwide. Consumers In The USA Pay More And Get Slower Speeds*
January 19, 2015
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com/my_weblog/2015/01/cost-connectivity-2014.html

If you have limited time, read the posts marked with an asterisk (*).

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com/

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