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posted by mrpg on Friday November 18, @08:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the oops dept.

Cable company's accidental email to rival discusses plan to block competition

On October 17, Jonathan Chambers received an email that wasn't meant for him.

Chambers is one of the top executives at Conexon, a broadband company that has built and operates dozens of fiber networks in rural parts of America. Conexon recently won one of the Louisiana state government's GUMBO grants to deploy fiber-to-the-home service in East Carroll Parish, where the poverty rate of 37.6 percent is over three times the national average.

"This isn't our biggest project anywhere. But in many ways it's our most important," Chambers told Ars in a phone interview. Conexon primarily works with electric cooperatives, favoring a business model in which the local community owns the fiber network and Conexon operates it under a lease agreement.

But the East Carroll Parish grant—$4 million to serve over 2,500 households in an area that has been called one of the least connected in the state—is in limbo because of an eleventh-hour challenge from Cable One, a cable provider that offers services under its SparkLight brand name. Cable One plans to make similar challenges in other states; in fact, blocking government grants to other ISPs is one of Cable One's top priorities, according to the accidental email received by Chambers.

"Challenging publicly funded overbuilds is becoming one of the most important tasks we do as a company," Cable One Assistant General Counsel Patrick Caron wrote in the email.


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  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Ox0000 on Friday November 18, @08:19PM

    by Ox0000 (5111) on Friday November 18, @08:19PM (#1280401)

    I guess if you can't beat them on performance and quality of your own product, you just... beat them.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @01:56PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @01:56PM (#1280493)

    Australia had this 'excessive overbuild' for DSL/DSL2. It did wonders for the market place. ISPs competed for customers. It lowered prices and evened out the marketplace helping Australia move from dialup to DSL. Sadly, the NBN more or less killed this, but there are still dozens of ISPs. The biggest loser was the incumbent ISP Telstra which struggled to survive for a while.

    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday November 21, @08:33AM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Monday November 21, @08:33AM (#1280768)

      Australia had this 'excessive overbuild' for DSL/DSL2. It did wonders for the market place.

      I am very suspicious of this word "excessive"...aren't the U.S. ISPs known for overselling their capacity by like 3x or 4x? In which case "overbuilding" would have to be "excessive" just to actually cover what they claim to be providing.

      But no, let's just sell "unlimited" plans and then drop the handful of people who actually try to use it in an unlimited manner because fuck them, they actually believed our marketing, the idiots.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @02:29PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @02:29PM (#1280495)

    Trump says disinfectant works [nbcnews.com] so this must be fake news as a smokescreen for the real issues around polling irregularities</sarcasm>

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 21, @08:24AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 21, @08:24AM (#1280767)

      Trump says disinfectant works

      I am so done with that guy I just assume anything he says is a blatant lie

      so this must be fake news

      how does this have anything to do with Trump?

      as a smokescreen for the real issues around polling irregularities

      that have been thoroughly debunked

      </sarcasm>

      I've lost track of how many negations we've done in this comment whether you're actually being sarcastic, or being sarcastic about being sarcastic, like those young people with their "can't tell if I'm being sarcastic and if you ask I laugh at you because there's no correct answer"

  • (Score: 1) by Chromium_One on Sunday November 20, @06:20PM

    by Chromium_One (4574) on Sunday November 20, @06:20PM (#1280699)

    "overbuilds", heh. It needs to be recognized that network access is basic infrastructure anymore, so by definition expanding reasonable access cannot be overbuild. And, no, 20x5 mbit/s is no longer reasonable. Publicly funded also should not be a problem, but is because of regulatory capture that shouldn't be tolerated. Grar.

    --
    When you live in a sick society, everything you do is wrong.
  • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday November 21, @08:18AM

    by tangomargarine (667) on Monday November 21, @08:18AM (#1280766)

    Subject: Cable Company’s Accidental Email to Rival Discusses Plan to Block Competition

    On October 17, Jonathan Chambers received an email that wasn't meant for him.

    Chambers is one of the top executives at Conexon, a broadband company that has built and operates dozens of fiber networks in rural parts of America. Conexon recently won one of the Louisiana state government's GUMBO grants to deploy fiber-to-the-home service in East Carroll Parish, where the poverty rate of 37.6 percent is over three times the national average.

    "This isn't our biggest project anywhere. But in many ways it's our most important," Chambers told Ars in a phone interview. Conexon primarily works with electric cooperatives, favoring a business model in which the local community owns the fiber network and Conexon operates it under a lease agreement.

    But the East Carroll Parish grant—$4 million to serve over 2,500 households in an area that has been called one of the least connected in the state—is in limbo because of an eleventh-hour challenge from Cable One, a cable provider that offers services under its SparkLight brand name. Cable One plans to make similar challenges in other states; in fact, blocking government grants to other ISPs is one of Cable One's top priorities, according to the accidental email received by Chambers.

    "Challenging publicly funded overbuilds is becoming one of the most important tasks we do as a company," Cable One Assistant General Counsel Patrick Caron wrote in the email.

    Nowhere in this summary do we get to the actual "verb part" of this article. We've got the names of 2 ISPs, but we don't even know which one sent the email to the other? FFS.

    9 paragraphs in:

    The purpose of Caron's misdirected email was to set up a meeting to discuss similar challenges the company can make in other states. Besides Chambers, the email went to several Cable One executives.

    "We have to get together and determine strategy around Arkansas and Missouri challenges immediately," Caron wrote, noting an October 31 deadline for challenges in Arkansas. He added that "AR and MO are no exceptions" to Cable One's strategy of challenging grants awarded to other ISPs.

    Chambers told Ars he didn't respond but forwarded the message "to some friends saying, you know, 'get a load of this.'" The email was shared with Ars by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's Community Broadband Networks Initiative, which works to expand locally owned broadband options and has been covering the East Carroll Parish saga.

    "The only thing surprising about this is the Machiavellian thinking on display in the email has accidentally made its way out into the open," Sean Gonsalves, a reporter...

    One of the rules of journalism is "front-load all the relevant information so people can skim the first couple paragraphs and get all the relevant information."

    So A) "just quote the first 3-4 paragraphs of the article" is a crappy lazy practice for summaries, because also B) people don't know how to write proper "newspaper" articles anymore.

    --

    See also how when I look up recipes online, most of the time whoever wrote the article goes on blathering about their personal history with the recipe and other stuff I don't give a crap about before they get to the actual goddamn recipe in the last quarter of the page. Way to train me to scroll to the bottom and work my way back up until I find the list of ingredients, jerks!

    --
    "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
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