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March 20th, 2011

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01:28 pm - Crappy US telecom news
So in the US, AT&T is buying T-Mobile, which means my phone service is likely to become both more expensive and worse. I also found this post about how much better mobile voice and data services are in Finland, where this sort of move would not be allowed. There are definitely times when living in the US feels like living in one of the more prosperous third world nations. The various claims about how life in the US was far superior to life in Northern Europe rang exceedingly hollow when I first started hearing them in the 1980s, and now they are utterly laughable on pretty much every front. I have no idea what it would take for the overall situation (on all fronts, not just telecom stuff) in the US to improve, but I don't expect it to happen anytime soon.
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed

(5 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:March 20th, 2011 08:54 pm (UTC)
I pay $40 mo for Virgin Mobile which uses AT&T's network. It's about as bad as any of the others as far as service area goes. I wouldn't worry too much. Though if T-mobile is raising prices under AT&T I'd just switch to Virgin and get the same thing for cheaper.
[User Picture]
Date:March 20th, 2011 09:06 pm (UTC)
Joy. T-Mobile was a lot cheaper than Verizon when I switched. So much for free market competition..
[User Picture]
Date:March 21st, 2011 05:50 am (UTC)
I'm from Finland, so take with a grain of salt. :)

Yeah, for some years I've just wondered how your bigger markets have much lousier and more expensive services. Of course, we are a small country (5 million people, about the size of Montana) so economics are probably different.

The post you link there is about right, can't be bothered to check properly, but the numbers are at least in the ballpark. Of course, the coverage outside of cities, towns and major roads can be spotty, and even in my vicinity there are places where I can't get good data connections. I don't think the operators are selling their connections at a loss, so it seems to me they're raking a profit in the US. I've been told workers are more expensive in Finland than in the US (as pretty much everything else...) so that only contributes more to it.

From what little I know of economics, your situation seems like a properly competed market: there will be a monopoly which will then maximize its profits as there can't be that many operators.
[User Picture]
Date:March 21st, 2011 06:08 am (UTC)
Well, crap. On the one hand, purely selfishly, I'm glad we went with Sprint. On the other hand, this is one of those days where I wonder if the "rich third world country" line has some legs.
[User Picture]
Date:March 23rd, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC)
Been getting more and more banana-republic-ish since Reagan, basically.

Hilarious side note: if you check Wikipedia's article for "Banana Republic," the edit wars and talk page are pretty much all focused on whether or not the US is a banana republic. Personally, I think that if you have to have the debate, that's a very bad sign.

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