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posted by janrinok on Friday June 17, @09:35AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

[...] As broadband connectivity becomes more and more integral to daily work and schooling habits, few ISPs are meeting our expectations. If we start to see increased competition, that might change.

Your industry may have a perception problem when it gets lower customer satisfaction ratings than the US Postal Service or even gas stations. But that's where internet service providers are now, with the recent release of the American Customer Satisfaction Index's Telecommunications Study for 2021-2022. 

Among more than 45 different industries surveyed (including such wide-ranging trades as food manufacturing, life insurance, airlines, hotels, hospitals and social media), ISPs came in dead last for customer satisfaction, with a 64 rating on a zero to 100 scale. That's two points behind the next lowest industry (subscription TV services at 66) and a 1.5% loss over the previous year's performance.

Internet service providers bring up the rear in the latest ACSI list of customer satisfaction by industry.

[...] One other standout from the report is newcomer T-Mobile Home Internet, which hit the market in 2021 and debuted at second on the list with a score of 71. That bodes well for the fixed wireless option, which uses its 5G and 4G LTE networks to connect homes to the internet and aims to be a disruptor to traditional broadband providers (the tagline on its site is "Free yourself from internet BS"). If these scores are any indication, it and other newcomers might have a shot at success.


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Friday June 17, @09:55AM (8 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 17, @09:55AM (#1253955) Homepage Journal

    The lying SOBs have been selling packages that they can't deliver since day one. "Up to 10 MBPS" they advertise, but deliver as little as 2 meg. Meaning, on a very good day, when nobody in the county is online, you might actually see 10 meg downloads - except, with assymetrical connections, you'll have to limit your upload speeds to see the max download speeds. Yes, we actually overload our uploads during downloading around here!

    I'm anxious to get fiber-to-the-home hooked up here. I'm looking at the 100 meg symmetrical package, that will cost roughly half of our DSL line. Any day now . . .

    --
    Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @10:12AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @10:12AM (#1253958)

      "Up to 10 MBPS" they advertise, but deliver as little as 2 meg.

      Not sure if this is the case in the US, but here in Europe they advertise(d) in megabit per second, not megabyte (= meg?). So, we always have to divide by 8 to know what they are talking about. Lots of people made that same mistake here when the internet became more popular.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Friday June 17, @10:40AM (2 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 17, @10:40AM (#1253960) Homepage Journal

        Sorry, I typed that wrong, it's Mbps, not MBPS.

        From https://fast.com/ [fast.com]

        Your Internet speed is 11 Mbps

        From the ISP

        Up To 15Mbps

        So, the ISP and the speedtest are using the same unit of measure, but I'm getting substantially less than the ISP is charging me for. Note that I just ran that speedtest at about 5:30 in the morning, when I should be seeing the best speeds possible.

        There was also some chicanery involved when we upgraded our old 2 Mbps contract. I opted for 10 Mbps, because it was the fastest they would sell me. The claim was the phone lines are too old in this area to get 15 Mbps or higher. Anyway, I complained a few times that my 10 Mbps was only ~5 Mbps, and apparently, they switched the connection to 15 Mbps, without a new contract or increased charges. So, I'm paying for a 10 meg connection, getting a 15 meg connection, which on rare occasion exceeds what I'm paying for, but never equals what the line claims to be.

        You can imagine how I anticipate the fiber being hooked up!

        --
        Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
        • (Score: 1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @12:41PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @12:41PM (#1253986)

          > You can imagine how I anticipate the fiber being hooked up!

          Oh noes, will a higher speed connection mean even more posts by the Runaway?
          I for one dread the day you get fiber.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @05:02PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 18, @05:02PM (#1254231)

            Spam mod abuse is back! Looks like runaway is working his sock puppets back into rotation, just had to lay low for a while.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by Booga1 on Friday June 17, @10:48AM

        by Booga1 (6333) on Friday June 17, @10:48AM (#1253962)

        The nomenclature and advertising is the same for the US. It's been as describe for practically every ISP for the entire country. Everything Runaway has said is true and not exaggerated at all. I have personally experienced the upload problem where a large upload will choke every other connection to a crawl. You wanna see some other complaints about ISPs? https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=21/01/12/0321218 [soylentnews.org]

        Some typical complaints about US ISPs:

        • Rising prices for the same service levels.
        • Lowering data caps.
        • New data caps instituted because people started actually using the service more during the pandemic.
        • False accusations of copyright violations.
        • Billing people after service was canceled.
        • Charging people for "modem rental" when the people aren't even renting the modem.
        • Charging people for not returning the "rented modem" that never existed.
        • Charging people for an extra month of service when they cancel if they don't cancel before the next billing cycle.
        • Charging for a whole month of service even when they do cancel before the next cycle but the service cut off date goes a few days into the next cycle.
        • Charging various "regulatory service recovery fees" for 911 and other things they don't provide.
        • Injecting advertising into pages that aren't SSL/TLS secured.
        • Delivering advertising pages instead of NXDOMAIN for typos in URLs.

        That doesn't even get into the collusion they have going on to fake competition, stifle municipal broadband in areas they don't even serve, and collecting subsidies for areas they promise they'll maybe someday think about serving.
        Throw on top of that the net neutrality shenanigans where they're trying to make Netflix, Google, and other companies pay the ISP for the pleasure of not throttling the connections to the customer. Exempting their own services from the data caps and throttling, etc...

        I could go on, but I don't feel like making an exhaustive list of the crap they pull.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Friday June 17, @11:32AM (1 child)

      by maxwell demon (1608) on Friday June 17, @11:32AM (#1253966) Journal

      "Up to 10 MBPS" they advertise

      Well, if they deliver "up to" a certain bandwidth, maybe they should also be paid "up to" the corresponding prize. :-)

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 3, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @12:22PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @12:22PM (#1253980)

        Funny?

        I'd be pissed off if I went to the gas pump, paid for 5 gallons of gas, and only got one!

        Yet we give ISP a free pass for doing this.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @06:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @06:50PM (#1254055)

      No, it's our own damn fault, for reelecting their puppet politicians over and over. It is up to us to demand common carrier and the dumb pipe

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Opportunist on Friday June 17, @10:11AM

    by Opportunist (5545) on Friday June 17, @10:11AM (#1253957)

    Alternatively, though, it may just be that your service is fucking shit.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by stretch611 on Friday June 17, @10:42AM (2 children)

    by stretch611 (6199) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 17, @10:42AM (#1253961)

    I do not seem to see any community broadband providers on their list.

    Also, from within the referenced story is a "Best ISPs" story that is linked.
    AT&T was rated "Best Fiber". Seriously? WTF, the only time *any* AT&T service is rated best is right before AT&T buys them out... and then that rating changes instantaneously. Anyone rated AT&T "Best" anything is either clueless or a shill.

    Of course, I feel the real answer has something to do with this note on the "Best ISPs" page:

    We handpick the products and services we write about. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

    --
    Vaccinated, boosted (twice), and still expecting to be asked to roll up my sleeve again in the fall
    • (Score: 4, Touché) by Thexalon on Friday June 17, @11:32AM

      by Thexalon (636) on Friday June 17, @11:32AM (#1253967)

      I mean, based on the summary alone, I think we can be confident this article was sponsored by T-Mobile. Just saying.

      --
      Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday June 17, @02:58PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday June 17, @02:58PM (#1254004)

      Around here, T Mobile 5G hotspot (50GB for $50/month) is the only viable alternative to Comcast/Xfinity - truly a sad state if you expect a competitive market to accomplish any kind of improvements in service quality, let alone price.

      --
      Україна не входить до складу Росії.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Thexalon on Friday June 17, @11:27AM (17 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Friday June 17, @11:27AM (#1253964)

    The ISPs have about as much competition as Bell Telephone back in the day (heck, some of them *are* basically Bell Telephone), and that's exactly how they like it. It means they can charge pretty much whatever they want, and provide whatever level of service they feel like, all without significant consequences to their bottom line.

    We've tried monopolies, and we've tried less regulated competition, and neither of them have really done a good job of providing good service at reasonable prices. We really should consider giving the government its turn to try being more involved in running things with either some sort of strict-regulation-public-utilities-commission approach, or with making telecom a government-owned service similar to municipal water systems. Or we should look at what the rest of the world is doing and just imitate that, because lots of other countries have vastly better Internet connectivity at a much better price.

    And at the very least, we need to stop this game where the government gives telecoms cash to build out rural broadband, and then they just keep the money and don't build anything, and then the next year we give them more cash. I mean, we know why this happens, it's basically a promised return-on-investment in "donations" to our members of Congress, but still you'd think they'd consider being less brazen about it.

    --
    Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Opportunist on Friday June 17, @12:11PM (15 children)

      by Opportunist (5545) on Friday June 17, @12:11PM (#1253975)

      I don't think that in this particular case the government would be very good at running things.

      There are a couple of fields where I think the government would be good at running them, because their interests overlap with the interests of the population. Healthcare for example. What does the government want? A health population that can work and pay taxes and doesn't need disability services. That intersects pretty well with my interest (ok, not the paying tax part, but sure the being healthy part). Public transport works too, because what the government wants is a population that gets around town with little congestation, so pushing as many people into public transport as possible is a goal, which in turn means that it needs to be attractive, i.e. reliable, fast and cheap. Again, something that intersects well with the interests of the population, whether they want to use public transport or just want to have fewer traffic jams.

      Where's the government's interest in faster internet connection?

      What I could see when it comes to breaking up the monopolies, is to forcefully split apart the companies in one part that own the cables and another one that transport data through them. That's what happened in many European countries where the former state-run telephone companies "inherited" the tax-built cables and instead of allowing them to squelch any competition by becoming the only financially viable ISP, they were forced to rent out their cables to anyone. Didn't go without a hitch and there was a lot of stalling, but eventually it meant that even tiny countries have like 5 or more competing ISPs even in rural areas, leading to competition and prices that most other countries dream of and service hotline wait times in the single digit minutes (and even that only during the times when everyone's calling).

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Friday June 17, @12:29PM (1 child)

        by Thexalon (636) on Friday June 17, @12:29PM (#1253984)

        Where's the government's interest in faster internet connection?

        1. The "circuses" half of "bread and circuses".
        2. All the businesses that rely on it lobbying for it, from streaming services to banking to cloud providers.

        --
        Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
        • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Friday June 17, @08:04PM

          by Opportunist (5545) on Friday June 17, @08:04PM (#1254067)

          1. I don't know about yours, my government has better circuses at its disposal.
          2. Again, I can't see my government having ANY interest in streaming providers' benefits, especially considering that they run their very own TV network. If anything, their interest is that nobody can stream or watch foreign TV shows (which they can't really avoid) and everyone has to watch their crap.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @01:53PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @01:53PM (#1253998)

        The government used to regulate DSL where the telephone company provided the wire, but you could buy your Internet service from one of many providers. Somehow that got taken away and it killed competition. Prices went up, services went down. Now you have very limited choices for Internet, or almost no choices when you live in a rural area.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Friday June 17, @03:04PM (9 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday June 17, @03:04PM (#1254007)

        Did you forget that government provides the roads? Inefficient in both speed and price of construction, and still one of the best bargains ever for the populace and economy.

        I _feel_ that if the U.S. government established top-tier globally competitive targets for broadband quality of service and price, delivery would follow - much like the (overpriced, but) high quality phone service we had under AT&T and air transport when it was regulated.

        We don't need innovative or creative services, feature/content bundling and tiered pricing in our internet service; we need big low lag pipes that can deliver more data than we can utilize at a reasonable cost. If the internet infrastructure were subsidized by the amount that it reduces highway traffic, it probably could be 100% funded from that existing budget.

        --
        Україна не входить до складу Росії.
        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday June 17, @05:43PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 17, @05:43PM (#1254037) Homepage Journal

          We don't need innovative or creative services, feature/content bundling and tiered pricing in our internet service; we need big low lag pipes that can deliver more data than we can utilize at a reasonable cost.

          That exactly. In fact, I don't WANT any of the "innovative or creative services, feature/content bundling and tiered pricing". There's not a bundle in this country that I'm the least bit interested in. I just want that huge honking pipe, so that the entire family can watch videos, at the same time I'm doing whatever, and I can't tell that anyone is on the same connection. If I can do that with 100 meg, I'll be happy. If it requiers 200, I'll upgrade to that. Just turn the firehose on, is all I ask.

          --
          Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @05:43PM (7 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @05:43PM (#1254038)

          The roads as provided by the government in the US are nothing but a massive handout to the automotive industry. They are a massive burden on the population.
          Hear me out. The idea that you HAVE to own,maintain and operate a personal vehicle to live is a massive burden. AAA estimates costs of car ownership at $6k/year
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_costs [wikipedia.org]
          With lifetime costs hovering between half a million to a million dollars. The best part is, you don't have a choice because it's the only infrastructure available as there is almost no investment in public transportation, or even bike lanes for that matter.

          They also cost lives and create pollution, among other things. There are other ways to organize society.

          Back to ISP's. The government created the internet, then gave it away. The telcos proved incompetent at running it. Time to try something new. If the telcos are so great they can compete with municipal broadband.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Friday June 17, @08:04PM (6 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday June 17, @08:04PM (#1254068)

            >There are other ways to organize society.

            Yes, but for movement of goods and people for the past 80+ years, roads have been the top-tier solution globally.

            Rails work in some areas, water transport in others, and air transport has its place, but the fact that roads have taken over for so much rail and water transport is more than a handout to the auto industry, it's a testament to the fact that roads work.

            Do they also create suburbs, commuter's hell, etc.? Absolutely. We can do better, but the public subsidy of roads - and particularly the interstate highway system - was and still is a huge step forward over the patchwork of dirt paths that came before.

            Interestingly, the roads to fiber transition of worker bees daily contribution to society may bring about a rural utopia, where we all have enough space to scream "FUCK OFF" out the window and have nobody hear us, but also can bring up video conference with friends and family several times a day as desired, and once in a rare while use those roads to visit them in meatspace, while automated delivery vehicles become the majority users of the legacy road systems for delivery of grocery and goods to our Frank Lloyd Wright Broadacre-esque homes.

            --
            Україна не входить до складу Росії.
            • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Friday June 17, @08:17PM (1 child)

              by Opportunist (5545) on Friday June 17, @08:17PM (#1254070)

              As someone living in a country with a really good public transport system in most cities and a completely fucked up one pretty much anywhere else, I can tell you that this is actually a sensible solution: If you have to get from the countryside to the city, get with your car to a place on the outskirts where you can leave it, then take the public transport across town. They did that here and it works pretty well. Yes, it's HEAVILY subsidized, to the point where the annual ticket is in the lower 3 digits, including a guaranteed and guarded parking space, seriously, driving into town, with the cost of parking and everything, is more espensive (and much slower in most cases) than leaving your car at the "park and ride [wikipedia.org]" stations and switching to public transport across town.

              This of course requires a very dense and reliable public transport system so people accept it. If you have to wait for your bus for half an hour and then still walk for another 20 minutes, nobody is going to do that.

              • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Friday June 17, @08:44PM

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday June 17, @08:44PM (#1254075)

                Key: This of course requires a very dense and reliable public transport system so people accept it.

                In Miami, I spent a summer commuting in from ~30 miles south of downtown to an office just over a small bridge from the downtown peoplemover. 15+ miles of that commute actually drove parallel to the MetroRail, but... to take the rail I would have to park in a big lot, walk 5+ minutes exposed to the weather, which was a torrential downpour about 10% of afternoons, ride the rail, transfer to the peoplemover, then walk another 5 minutes exposed across the bridge to work. The cost (1998) was $2.50 per day for the train, parking at my office was free - that was rare, but right there: $12.50 per week to park, walk, ride and walk, or just drive? The rainstorms pretty much clenched that decision.

                But then, let's compare commute times in the two options: to drive and arrive at 8am, I would have to leave around 7:10, but... if I left home at 7:00 I would arrive around 7:40, leaving at 6:45, I would arrive around 7:15, and these shorter drive times were also considerably more enjoyable than the crush of traffic. To (reliably) make it to work at 8am using the train, I would have to leave home around 6:45, and be exposed to "the public" at close range all the way in and out from the station. Laying abed at 6:30am, thinking about options for the morning: get up now and take the train for $2.50 - possibly get soaking wet - and get to work just in time, or: lay abed another 20 minutes and drive in? Yeah, train lost that decision just about every single time.

                Of course, the population of Miami continues to explode, and a quick google maps check of that commute today at 4:45pm tells me it will take 1hr 6min or more to travel the 30 miles. Trains look better and better, the worse the roads get.

                --
                Україна не входить до складу Росії.
            • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @10:13PM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @10:13PM (#1254086)

              Roads being the primary solution for past 80ish years is essentially the point. It's a new invention with many serious problems. People are slowly awakening. It's certainly not the best way to organize society. It's obvious that paved roads are better than dirt roads, for moving goods and people. That is besides the point. Rail, bike paths, walking are better still. Car centrist infrastructure is the CHEAPEST solution that's a massive hand out to the auto industry, and a massive burden on the population. Are there instances where it's the best solution? Sure. But just like electric cars, building roads out to the middle of nowhere is a handout to those who need it least.

              As you pointed out with your anecdote living in Miami, Road infrastructure centered around also cars does not scale well (due to induced demand).

              The government can do things well, or they can do them poorly (just like corporations). Roads were done poorly. USA spent $500 Billion (todays money) on the highway system, only to spend $20 to $40 TRILLION bombing third world countries to secure oil for cars. We certainly have the best and the brightest running things.

              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday June 18, @12:26AM (1 child)

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday June 18, @12:26AM (#1254114)

                Gulf War II was the biggest embarrassment of my life (having been born too late to remember Vietnam).
                  Roads weren't the motivation for GW2, it was money pure and simple. Roads have focused the money in oil, but if the money were focused elsewhere I don't doubt that some aw shucksey fratboy President would have found another lame pretext for 10+ years of military adventure enriching his backers.

                Maybe 20 more years of internet will provide enough transparency to abort the next generation's embarrassing war for enrichment of the select few... We can hope, but so far we still can't get away from monopoly for profit last mile service providers, and that has been a known structural defect of infrastructure providers for well over a century.

                --
                Україна не входить до складу Росії.
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @03:28PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, @03:28PM (#1255600)

                  Y'know I've been wondering if the US just bombed those countries with trillions of dollars of cash and goodies would the results have actually been worse?

                  e.g. instead spending trillions to bomb weddings and kill people you send those bombers to actually drop cash and goodies (e.g. smartphones loaded up with US propaganda and maybe some actual useful stuff - agriculture, hygiene etc).

                  Would this really make terrorists more likely to attack the USA?

              • (Score: 2) by ChrisMaple on Sunday June 19, @02:58AM

                by ChrisMaple (6964) on Sunday June 19, @02:58AM (#1254321)

                You're telling me that Robert Moses was a tool of the auto industry. It is to laugh.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @06:22PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @06:22PM (#1254048)

        A health population that can work and pay taxes and doesn't need disability services.

        Yes, this doesn't overlap with my interests. See I don't need healthcare when I am healthy. I need it when I am not. The government wants you dead by 60.

        • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Friday June 17, @08:06PM

          by Opportunist (5545) on Friday June 17, @08:06PM (#1254069)

          What? No way! Senior citizens have money and they tend to spend domestic and local rather than traveling abroad and buying from online services. They don't work anymore, allright, but they have a ton of money they need to spend before they croak!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @06:56PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, @06:56PM (#1254057)

      We really should consider giving the government its turn to try being more involved in running things...

      Accept nothing less than common carrier. You may even have to make it an election issue

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