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Pioneer Internet Has a Monopoly & is Rationing Internet Access

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posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 09:47 AM
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For those who live in the western rural areas of Oklahoma you know that the only game in town for a large number of very small towns is Pioneer Internet located in Kingerfisher, Oklahoma. They have a monopoly in most of the small towns of the western half of Oklahoma.

Starting about mid-year 2007 they started a big push to convert people over to digital TV from their cable TV and then latter part of 2007 they did basically a forced conversion from cable to digital.

As this conversion took place the internet users started seeing a consistent increase in latency beginning at prime time. In fact, at least one Pioneer customer has decribed it as "I can watch Leno say good night and my latency drops." Pioneer swears they are not giving digital TV priority over DSL and want to blame things on their "upstream provider"....which they are not at liberty to disclose.

Of course, a tracert shows AT&T and that the "choke point" is apparently a data center in Dallas - either a switch or a router. Pioneer claims they have been attempting to 'work with their provider' on the speed issues - but if they are, in fact, even talking to AT&T they apparently are either not being aggressive, or have poor communication skills...because things have gone on way too long and are now at their worst.

High-speed internet activities such as gaming, videos, etc. can just be forgotten during prime-time...they aren't going to happen.

I just phoned AT&T to discuss this issue and make them aware that right now they are affecting about half the rural population in Oklahoma. They refused to discuss the matter with me because "I'm not their customer." I pointed out that I was, in fact, their customer albeit second level. They at least agreed with that point but then fell back on that they couldn't discuss the situation with me because I wasn't their DIRECT customer.

I have researched the "congestion avoidance" methods and understand that basically an algorithm is running that drops/holds and then releases packets while prioritizing what will come across...that's the exact sporadic behavior I have been suffering with during prime time for months. It is now unacceptable.

This is a monopoly and I have to say A VERY CLEAR EXAMPLE OF INTERNET RATIONING...get ready. All it takes is a little bit too much demand in your area and you'll get a taste of not having any control over your IT flow...some one else will decide what is most important and (when you're in a situation like I'm in where there isn't another game in town) you'll have to live with their decision.

So much for a freedom of information flow on the internet. Pioneer and apparently AT&T have a monopoly and they are abusing it at this point. They have created a demand they cannot supply and are rationing services in order to appease the boob tube group.


[edit on 4-28-2008 by Valhall]




posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 10:15 AM
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reply to post by Valhall
 




QoS Concepts
Fundamentally, QoS enables you to provide better service to certain flows. This is done by either raising the priority of a flow or limiting the priority of another flow. When using congestion-management tools, you try to raise the priority of a flow by queuing and servicing queues in different ways. The queue management tool used for congestion avoidance raises priority by dropping lower-priority flows before higher-priority flows. Policing and shaping provide priority to a flow by limiting the throughput of other flows. Link efficiency tools limit large flows to show a preference for small flows.
Source


Or maybe, Pioneer Internet is just bad at QOS management? It's not necessarily a case of "congestion avoidance", but deliberate attempts to grant specific types of traffic more bandwidth. Heck, the networks that provide the ISPs with programming may be demanding a particular level of QOS that rural carriers may have trouble configuring.

In a way, all Internet traffic is rationed....via load balancing, packet routing, etc....A fact that always irks me is my 1.5MB DSL line can be "upgraded" to 3.0MB with no change to the physical infrastructure. Huh, just some configuration changes into the network structure.



[edit on 28-4-2008 by MrPenny]



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 10:19 AM
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Exactly. As I stated in my original post there is prioritization taking place and the boob tube group is getting priority while the internet group is being placed in a subordinate position. I hope you're not trying to say that because Pioneer may not know how to do their job there is some defense for them. The point is that either AT&T or Pioneer or both currently have placed a system in operation that places priority on watching TV, and pushes internet service to a position in which it suffers.

As I summed up - they have created demand they cannot provide supply for.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 10:45 AM
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Originally posted by Valhall
As I summed up - they have created demand they cannot provide supply for.


So what would you have them do? Walk over to the spigot labeled "Valhall's house" and give it a couple more turns? Really, do you have any suggestions?

There is an upper limit on how much "stuff" you can transmit through copper......and I have no idea how much fiber Pioneer may have run in Western Oklahoma. Someone has decided that primetime programming has precedence over browsing x-rated videos, MySpace, or posting on alternative forums. At least they got smart enough to trim their transmission method down to one technology....from a management standpoint, the idea of supporting both a cable and DSL delivery system is nightmarish.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 10:53 AM
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MrPenny,

Your obstinate tone does nothing to make me want to converse with you.

THEY decided to convert all cable users to digital without the infrastructure to support that conversion and the internet users who ALREADY existed. They basically stole the ability to service their internet users over to servicing their TV watchers because they didn't build the infrastructure prior to converting from cable to digital TV. In other words, whatever amount of copper they laid - wasn't enough.

Are you saying that my internet needs are less important than some pot-bellied beer-guzzling wife beater who wants to watch a re-run of All in the Family on Nick-at-Night?

[edit on 4-28-2008 by Valhall]



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 11:15 AM
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Originally posted by Valhall
Are you saying that my internet needs are less important than some pot-bellied beer-guzzling wife beater who wants to watch a re-run of All in the Family on Nick-at-Night?


Yes, that's what I'm saying. There's nothing obstinate about it, I prefer to think of it as "obstreperous". Who do you suppose may carry more weight with AT&T, and downstream, to Pioneer Internet? The owners of a slew of individual websites? Or the networks and programmers of television programming and its associated advertisers?

You're making a mountain out of a molehill. Consider the debate to carry cable or DSL as your primary transmission media. Hmmm...cable?....is cable run to nearly every household now?....probably not, but....telephone lines are run to nearly every building in our market areas!!! Guess what? DSL is delivered over phone lines!! The copper is already in place.

If you're not happy about it....get satellite. You do have a choice.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 11:32 AM
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What kind of upload/download rates can you get with satellite? It was my understanding that it was a bit slow, but I don't know much about that.

You are still missing the point here. You continue to talk at this as if there were a bunch of digital TV watchers and a bunch of internet users on the same system and then lo and behold that system got adjusted because the TV watchers outnumbered the internet users and some one had to make the tough decision.

That's not what happened.

There were internet users and there were cable TV watchers and the company that provides both decided - hey! we can make more money by doing away with this bulky cable system and just throwing all the TV onto our digital lines! Only they didn't build the infrastructure needed.

Those two scenarios are completely different. One is market driven, the other is provider driven...in a monopoly.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 11:46 AM
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to state the obvious - internet has ALWAYS been rationed - so what is the conspiracy ?

to be fair - i do see a conspiracy in the forced service change - but thats another issue

in the 5 years i have had ` broadband ` - my actuall bill has fallen and i have had sucessive free " upgrades " which have taken by access from 512 kps to a claimed 8MB - though as i still have copper wires to my house my actual measured preformance is 6MB .

nothing has ever been upgraded @ my end - but i know that our local exchange had a 2 million quid upgrade in 2006

but to address the issue of why they allocate rescources the way they do :


the internet by and large works with latency - yes i know that playing x-box live and other real time hi-demand stuff sucks

BUT

TV does not - imagine watching tv with ` only ` 10 frames / sec ?

so guess which service gets the ` priority ` ?



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 11:49 AM
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reply to post by Valhall
 




Don't listen to him. Satellite is not a choice. It's really only for businesses that have no other options. It's barely faster than dial up, and they have download limits. If you pass the limits, the connection is slowed to about 2-4kb/s for a few hours.

The equipment is around $400-500, and the service is around $60. Not worth it at all.


His argument is dumb anyway. You're paying for service that you are not receiving, and it is to no fault of your own.

*Edited to add:

He talks about the internet in such as way as he posts on a forum using an online connection. He'd probably freak out if every night his connection was crawling while he was forking out $45 per month for crappy DSL.

[edit on 28-4-2008 by Sublime620]



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 11:55 AM
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Sublime,

I pay $80 a month for prime-time crawling DSL. $50 for the digital TV that is no better than the cable was. I have a $140/month bill to these people and I think if anything buys me the right to name my spigot, $140 ought to. I paid that amount before the TV switch over and I had just what I needed - in fact, I had more. To let you know how bad the service has degraded, a year ago there were 4 computers on this internet connection. All 4 of those computers would game at the same time - no lag.

Now, there are two computers in the house and only one attempting to game - and can't. Forget watching youtubes or any videos linked here during prime time. You have to start them uploading and pause them and go do something else - like watch the bodacious digital TV I didn't ask for.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by ignorant_ape


BUT

TV does not - imagine watching tv with ` only ` 10 frames / sec ?

so guess which service gets the ` priority ` ?



Hi ape,

I understand why the TV has to take priority. This isn't about me not understanding WHY the TV has to get priority. This has to do with the fact that the company that holds a monopoly decided to make more money be providing less. Let me repeat that - they made the decision to short-change their customers (the DSL users) and make MORE money for providing less. Because with the cable TV and the DSL internet they were servicing everyone, now they are not - and making more money at not.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 12:27 PM
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We're having the same thing happen here in Canada since the start of this year pretty much. Bell Canada essentially has a monopoly on all of the telephone and internet services in Canada. Even AOL has to use Bell's bandwidth.

Recently they have began "traffic shaping/throttling" people who download large amounts, particularly large files over P2P.

Bell's internet traffic shaping "defies all logic", ISPs say

Bell Canada throttling could block free speech

Then again, power companies do the same thing with electricity in the summer when everyone is running their air conditioners using "rolling brownouts", STRONGLY encouraging people not to do their laundry, etc during the day.

I don't know if it would make a difference or if enough people would have the discipline to do it, but if it gets bad enough everyone could just cancel their service until the issue is resolved. Especially if you got an organized group together of 100+ people to all cancel in one day, that should send a message to the company. That's what I did with my cable provider when they started screwing me around anyway... still don't have more than basic cable now.

Alternatively you could choose abate payment for the difference in price between their 56k bandwidth speed (which you are getting) and your DSL speed you should have recieved. But likely they'd just laugh in your face and cut your service and start charging you interest until somebody finally takes them to court over it. I know an elderly man who keeps track of when his cable goes out, and he calls the cable company and says "You failed to provide services from _____ am to ______ pm" and they do actually give him a discount.

Not sure how the US equivalent of the Consumer Protection Act is, if you've even got one.

[edit on 4/28/2008 by Yarcofin]



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 12:30 PM
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Maybe a clear example of what the issue is will help.

Imagine you bought a car, from the ONLY car dealer you can buy from, that got 75 miles to the gallon, great car, you love it, it saves you money and does what a car should do, get you where you want to go.

Now 1 year after you bought the car you take it to the dealership for the annual service and they remove the efficient fuel injection system and replace it with a carburetor and now you get 15 miles to the gallon.

You didn't ask them to do this, they just did it and they charged you for the service.

When you go to them and ask them why the heck they did this they say the carburetor should be getting 75 miles to the gallon and if it's not it's the carburetor manufacturers fault, and by the way, we are not allowed to divulge who that company is.

You ask them why they would remove a perfectly good injection system and they say because it was a better deal for their company in the long run, less costs repairing carburetors than injection systems.

You go round and round with them and at the end of the day you still have a car you paid extra for because it was advertised to get 75 MPG that only gets 15MPG and the dealer, again, the ONLY ONE you can buy from, doesn't have the decency to do anything about it after they snuck it up on you in the first place.

Springer...



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 12:45 PM
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Originally posted by Sublime620
reply to post by Valhall
 

Don't listen to him. Satellite is not a choice.


Well genius...it is a choice. I didn't say it was a good choice, nor comparable to copper delivery. The fact is, it's a choice.

So this thread is under "General Conspiracies".....but I don't see any conspiracy here. This thread probably should be in the BTS "Rant" forum...'cause that's what it is; a rant about a service providers business decisions. Clearly, Pioneer Internet made the decision to go with one transmission media....the POTS....since obviously, most of that infrastruture is already in place. Sure, management could have been complete ding-dongs and decided to switch over to a totally cable delivered system.....of course, then you would have municipalities and customers up in arms over the rate increases asked for.....just to pay for the cable trunk installations. But no, they made what is probably a good business decision and decided to take advantage of transmission media that is already in place to a huge majority of the customers. Phone lines. Simple as that.

So, how far from the CO (Central Office) are you? Are you maybe at what is considered the maximum distance for DSL transmission? Has your phone line itself been tested for performance? How 'bout the wiring in the ol' farm house? Is it in the best of shape?

Response to Springer;
The analogy is close, except....you, nor I, own any of the transmission media. They own the copper, fiber, switches, routers, servers, etc...

The car analogy would be much closer if all you paid to use the car was determined by where it went. No gas, no oil, tires, etc....and someone else was responsible for those expenditures.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 12:56 PM
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I'm 2 blocks from the office and since "the ol' farm house" didn't have internet when I moved in, I assure you all wiring is brand new. And I mean the phone lines as well.

I'm directly connected to the router. The router has been replaced. We went static to bump the upload. The modem has been replaced. The transmission to the office has been checked. The problem is past the office.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 01:01 PM
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Conspiracy

con·spir·a·cy
–noun, plural -cies. 1. the act of conspiring.
2. an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.
3. a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: He joined the conspiracy to overthrow the government.
4. Law. an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.
5. any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.

—Synonyms 1. collusion, sedition. 2. Conspiracy, plot, intrigue, cabal all refer to surreptitious or covert schemes to accomplish some end, most often an evil one. A conspiracy usually involves a group entering into a secret agreement to achieve some illicit or harmful objective: a vicious conspiracy to control prices. A plot is a carefully planned secret scheme, usually by a small number of persons, to secure sinister ends: a plot to seize control of a company. An intrigue usually involves duplicity and deceit aimed at achieving either personal advantage or criminal or treasonous objectives: the petty intrigues of civil servants. Cabal refers either to a plan by a small group of highly-placed persons to overthrow or control a government, or to the group of persons themselves: a cabal of powerful lawmakers.

*

Rant

–verb (used without object)

1. to speak or declaim extravagantly or violently; talk in a wild or vehement way; rave: The demagogue ranted for hours.
–verb (used with object) 2. to utter or declaim in a ranting manner.
–noun 3. ranting, extravagant, or violent declamation.
4. a ranting utterance.

***********************

This thread is about a conspiracy. It is not a rant. If you choose to rant in it, I guess that's fine, but it is about a conspiracy. I have not ranted yet.

[edit on 4-28-2008 by Valhall]



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 01:37 PM
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Val-

Does that $80 include the phone service that I'm sure you are required to use DSL (since very few actual offer naked DSL)?


Originally posted by MrPenny
Well genius...it is a choice. I didn't say it was a good choice, nor comparable to copper delivery. The fact is, it's a choice.


I wouldn't go that far. I mean, I like to consider myself to be intelligent... but genius? Thanks anyway.

It's not really a choice. For it to be a choice there has to be some consideration, and there's no consideration for satellite. Not in her position. There's nothing to gain. It's slower, more expensive, and has download caps.

No consideration = no choice.


Originally posted by MrPenny
So, how far from the CO (Central Office) are you? Are you maybe at what is considered the maximum distance for DSL transmission? Has your phone line itself been tested for performance? How 'bout the wiring in the ol' farm house? Is it in the best of shape?


This is negated by the fact that she stated she got good service before. If she's within 3,000 ft, she should be able to get 3.0Mb, no problem - and 8,000 ft for 1.5Mb.

Also, being too far away generally causes loss of sync, not poor connection rates. Once you start getting out of range, the connection will slow, but it won't be during peak hours as DSL users do not share bandwidth - it's dedicated (unless, such as in Val's case, the company does not have enough bandwidth to dedicate).

And this is where the real problem comes into play. DSL cannot guarantee 1.5Mb/s, but that is mostly due to packet loss and distance from CO - not from the company not having enough bandwidth for the end user. That is simply unacceptable.

How can you excuse this? If the company cannot provide the bandwidth, then they need to add in new servers/circuits to handle the load. There's a large difference between not being able to provide full service due to distance and uncontrollable factors, and between being cheap and still price gouging.

If they are going to charge full price to everyone, then they need to have enough bandwidth available for everyone to use.

[edit on 28-4-2008 by Sublime620]

[edit on 28-4-2008 by Sublime620]



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 01:50 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall
This thread is about a conspiracy.


Okay....dandy. I'm already drafting the next conspiracy thread when the McRib disappears. Or when a network reschedules a show. Well, for that matter, any decision made by a business that I don't like or affects me in some personal way.

Fine.....define it however you want.


A dimension of resource development is included in resource management by which investment in resources can be retained by a smaller additional investment to develop a new capability that is demanded, at a lower investment than disposing of the current resource and replacing it with another that has the demanded capability.

Source


It still comes down to a complaint about how your ISP conducts business. It's capitalism, you're stuck with what you perceive to be shoddy service....and there isn't much you can do about it.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 01:53 PM
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reply to post by MrPenny
 


It's the opposite of capitalism.


It's monopolizing, price gouging, and poor service. Capitalism revolves around free markets and competition.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by MrPenny
So this thread is under "General Conspiracies".....but I don't see any conspiracy here.


Internet Neutrality and the issue of government involvement in supporting an overly complex communication system that favors a few corporations is indeed an important general conspiracy for a site like ATS.

So far, the corporations and government representatives are winning the battle of "Internet Neutrality" which is a dangerous battle for us to loose. In this case, a user is not receiving the high-speed Internet access for which they've contracted, and the provider is denying any bandwidth throttling. The problem of ISP bandwidth throttling is rampant, and getting worse... and some of it involves domain-specific throttling. If this continues, and ISP's are allowed to control network traffic, one day Comcast could decide not to deliver abovetopsecret.com because we have a thread critical of them.

This is but a small piece of a very large and very important issue.



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