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It's not that bad, here, compared to what you describe.
They 'sort of' compete with good introductory pricing - poaching one anothers customers. One of the two (and only two) local suppliers, Altice (a Euro company) is trying to get cell phone customers on its network (fighting back?).
Speed's usually not a problem for most people - living in sensible places. They keep pushing me up from 15->25->100->200Mbs. Everything was fine at 15Mbs, including live streaming via a Roku device. Less expensive plans keep disappearing.
So what's the problem? Both Altice and Verizon know one another's prices and won't really give you any sort of deal. One has contracts, one does not. Here's the real sleazy part:
They may give you a great-sounding deal and lock the price in for one or two years, the deal including some combination of internet, cable TV and a phone line. What they omit is that although the price is fixed for the services, they're free to increase the surcharges all they want. So they charge rental for the internet Modem, Cable TV box if you have one, you must pay a "Sports Surcharge" - now $5/$6 month, even if you don't watch sports. Party, because the big sports networks insist they include their stations in all packages (everyone pays, like it or not). Don't like it? Too bad. That's why I started streaming: them. And their children. Also, there's an accessibility charge - I have to pay extra into a fund so some rural a**hole get his internet cheaper. Phone systems do that, too.
This now borders on soapbox, but those rural sponges have been on federally supplied welfare forever. There are a number of states, all so anti-government anti-taxes that get back more money from the federal government than their citizens pay in taxes.
my parents can't even get a landline and a 56k connections because telephone box is at full capacity
This reminds me of an age-old story, i.e. from the 1970s when phone lines were analog and multiplexing was expensive:
Bodø is a north Norway town with an airport that is essential to the entire region. When a runway was built, many years earlier, a single phone line was laid down below its surface, for communication between the tower and the main building. As traffic grew, the need for a second phone line grew. So they had two alternatives: Either dig a new ditch across the runway for a new physical cable, or use the old line and install multiplexers at each side. The cost of the alternatives were comparable(!), so they ran a project to evaluate the consequences of either. The multiplexer alternative won: They expanded from 1 to 30 phone connections (i.e. a 2 Mbps E1 digital mux, with A/D and D/A converters to adapt to the pre-WW2 standard analog phones) without digging up the runway.
Around here, any old analog copper "sewing thread" wire was capable of carrying an ADSL stream of at least 4-5 Mbps (in the best case 10 Mbps) on top of the analog phone channel. The achieveable bit rate depends a lot on the distance to the local switch, but 2 Mbps E1 will work fine even at quite long distances. Today, 2 Mbps multiplexers are commodity items, the cost is magnitudes below the cost of digging up an airport runway . If the phone company really wanted to offer 30 times as high capacity, they could have done so - either by putting a mux on one line, like they did on the Bodø airstrip. Or they could install ADSL modems for those subscribers who wanted that, like we did here in Norway for something between half a million and one million customers.
Nowadays, about 80% of Norwegian households have fiberoptic connections, so I guess that at least half a million ADSL modems were made available on the secondhand market. In any case: The years I had an ADSL connection, I didn't pay anything extra for the modem itself, so it couldn't be that expensive!
Btw: In Europe, digital lines were never 56 kbps but 64 kbps. 56 kbps is a US artifact due to the "bit stealing" of the LSB every 6 byte to be used for signaling between switches. In Europe, signaling always were on a separate channel, leaving all 8 bits per byte untouched on the user channel. For use on analog and non-multiplexed phone lines, you could buy US style 56 kbps modems, but as soon as that analog modulation hit an A/D converter for a digital 64 kbps channel, it would be completly wrecked (unless the interconect provided an analog US standard modem - which you couldn't expect in Europe - feeding the decoded digital 56 kbps bitstream into a European 64 kbps digital pipe).
If your typical analog "sewing thread" copper lines are ten or twenty kilometers long, then I guess that neither ADSL nor E1 multipelexers are viable alternatives. That's a pity. Make sure that when they upgrade the lines, they do it properly! As early as in the 1980s, I read a news story about an optical fiber cable being pulled between the two cities Oslo and Drammen, of 96 optical fibers. That's the way to do it! Ever since the early 1990s, the major telco around here, Telenor, has been using "hybrid" cables for all new installations: Even though the copper pair was used for quite a few years, when the demand for optical capcities grew, the fiber was already in the ground.
Maye we have been above-average forward looking. Maybe the situation is not as bright in other countries. That's a pity.
Or, better yet, try not to form a viewpoint before evaluating all the evidence. Reminds me of an old saying (paraphrasing): "Sometimes a person's view of the world narrows and narrows until it becomes a point. And than he says 'this is my viewpoint'"
But there is evidence that radio broadcasting is devastating to your dental health! Listen:
In the 1800s and early 1900s, most people had fairly strong teeth, few cavities. Around 1920, radio broadcasters started popping up everywhere, and the average dental health dropped significantly, getting increasingly worse up until WW2.
During WW2, the German occupants confiscated all radio receives and closed down the transmitters. During the war years, we had almost no new dental cavities.
After the war, we got our receivers back, and radio listening rapidly rose, to an all-time-high sometime in the middle or late sixties. Dental health went the other way: In the 50s and 60s, it was so bad that some youth needed dentures before they were twenty years old.
In the late 1960s, TV gradually took over for radio; radio listening dropped significantly. And cavities dropped. Today, people essentially watch TV; radio listening is just for background music, and for car listening. Nowadays, people have stronger teeth than they had in the 1920s, thanks to the reduction in radio listening.
These observations can be fully supported by official statitics. Ther evidence is clear: Dental cavities are stongly correlated with amount of radio listening. So it is used a standard example used in statistics classes as an introduction to correlation.
Of course you also have have correlation with the availability of sugar, candy, sugared drinks, ..., and in the 1970s, fluoride toothpaste started making inroads. But let's keep it simple for now, we can look at those aspects later
Around here, they are deploying 5G in frequency bands used for plain GSM for twenty years, but are now released to 5G.
The tinfoil hatters were complaining when GSM came onto the scene that it was neither the band nor the signal strength that made it dangerous, but the digital signal being carried. That resulted in a different shape of the modulated beam. This shape was something new and probably causing cancer and headache and dental cavities. The effects never materialized, but maybe these new signal shapes resulting from 5G modulation are the ones causing a new pandemic that makes Corona look like a small cold.
Actually, we have seen a significant reduction of radiation levels the last few years. When I bough my first GSM, our city of approx 200,000 inhabitants had two base stations, up on mountaintops overlooking then entire town. I don't know the emitted power, but the signals covered a radius of at least 15 km. Today, the city is broken up into three or four hundred tiny cells: The downtown area, about 2 by 3 km, has more than 200 base stations alone, each covering maybe 100-200 m distance. So the emitted power is a small fraction of the early bases: They can't increase power, as it would interfer with the next cell reusing the same frequency.
The old base stations were omidirectional, spreading their radiation all over the landscape. Modern bases track the direction to the phone using the current time slot, and directs the energy that way. Ideally, no energy is wasted in other directions, no radiation. (Again, this is to reduce interference with other nearby cells on the same frequency.) This significantly reduces average radiation levels.
We will soon be using higher frequencies. The highest 4G frequcy used here is in the 2.1 GHz band; for 5G, the 3.5 GHz will also be used. As you go into those frequencies, there is very little use raising the transmission power - you are approaching "line of sight" frequencies. Signals are stopped by the first hill or concrete wall anyway. You might as well plan for tiny cells, which are coverered with very little power.
The greatest reduction in human-made radiation was FM turnoff, replacing it with DAB. The main broadcasting tower around here had three 60 kW transmitters for the main radio channels, two 20 kW for supplementary channels - 220 kW transmitted power for five channels. DAB reduced that to a single 20 kW transmitter for 14 channels. Furthermore, in areas where the signal level is too low, as supplementary transmitter is set up adding to the weak signal what is needed - it doesn't have to provide a full strenght signal by itself. In principle, DAB allows the entire country to be covered with a blanket of just slightly avove the minimum signal level, magnitudes below the level emitted by that 220 kW FM tower.
Certainly we are moving into a time when we will see a lot of radiation burns. Those are caused by radiation in the 400 to 700 nanometers range, not in the 10 centimeter range.
Of course it will. Software is not in everything right now, but it will be someday.
I was talking about "development" not just "software", obviously software will keep taking over. Which is kind of the point, there will be more demand (chance to save money) in making it easier to create.
A lofty but impossible goal.
I agree that specific example is likely impossible, but it won't stop us trying to get as close to that goal as we can though.