Author Topic: I hate to say it, but ...  (Read 4815 times)

shuttleman58

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Re: I hate to say it, but ...
« Reply #15 on: 12:53:52 | 24 March, 2015 »
Yes, FilmOn is also a nice app, too.

I'm with Alan in sentiment. I've fought for years for access. I can live with modest, reasonable charges for access. It's the shut doors that bother along with the "mother knows best" attitudes of large media companies etc.
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Keenite

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Re: I hate to say it, but ...
« Reply #16 on: 02:22:33 | 25 March, 2015 »
I'm not sure of the exact law in Germany, but I belive anti-cartel legislation requires that consumers always have a choice of  phone and internet providers. The number and variety of such providers can vary according to the location. Deutsche Telekom maintains sovereignty over the telephone/internet lines and they have promised to cover the entire country with fiberglass cables within the next few years. By law they are required to lease their grid to other providers such as Vodafone, O2, Kabel Deutschland to name the most prominent. But there are numerous smaller providers available as well. I currently pay €35 for Telekom and could get a much faster connection for the same price (50 vs. 16 kbit/s), but have not yet done so as unblock-us would not work on the new router I would be required to purchase or rent.
Most consumers here choose a "flatrate", which includes all telephone calls within Germany and unlimited internet access. The average monthly cost is approx. €30, but most providers offer cheaper deals for the first one or two years.
Internet providers are now pushing internet TV in direct competition with cable providers, but this requires that one rent or buy their receiver, so it's mostly inner city folk who select this option. Otherwise, free direct satellite reception is the option of choice for those able to put up a  dish.

Dogmatix

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Re: I hate to say it, but ...
« Reply #17 on: 02:38:07 | 25 March, 2015 »
Most consumers here choose a "flatrate", which includes all telephone calls within Germany and unlimited internet access. The average monthly cost is approx. €30, but most providers offer cheaper deals for the first one or two years.

Most such contracts have a "Mindestvertragslaufzeit", meaning a minimum contractual period, usually one or two years. During this time you can only get out of the contract if the conditions are changed by the company, giving you a "Sonderkündigungsrecht" - a special cancellation right. Even if you move house to an area not covered by that company it can be difficult to get out of a contract.

The telephone flat rates often do not include international calls. I pay an extra €4 on my Telekom contract for a flat rate calls to European and USA/Canada landline numbers; it doesn't include mobile numbers, which is annoying because some people in some countries only have mobiles as they are no more expensive that mobile rates there, and also because Telekom have a high surcharge for foreign mobile numbers. Fortunately, they do allow call-by-call selection of other carriers; most cable companies do not allow this on their telephone flat rates.

Some companies require that you use their modem/router; others, like Telekom, do not, so you can choose your own. There is discussion in the government on this; the tendency at the moment is to require companies to allow user choice of modem/router.
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Solo2

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Re: I hate to say it, but ...
« Reply #18 on: 04:35:10 | 25 March, 2015 »
Just waiting for a couple more channels to go internet and we're off. Bye-bye Comcast Cable! At least, insofar as we can't get any other internet provider here other than Comcast - NJ state regulations demand we suffer a monopoly/cartel when it comes to provision here.

If you think there is no choice now, just wait until Comcast (red) merges with Time Warner (blue).

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Alan E Hill

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Re: I hate to say it, but ...
« Reply #19 on: 05:54:57 | 25 March, 2015 »
Yup!
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shuttleman58

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Re: I hate to say it, but ...
« Reply #20 on: 09:55:16 | 25 March, 2015 »
There is slowly building sentiment in Washington to block the merger. The longer it drags on, the more likely it is to be scuttled. One other factor, largely escaping notice before now, is the TWC ownership of SportsNet LA. Because of the on-going costs of the contract with the LA Dodgers the New York Post reported that TWC will have to write down over $1B of losses so far on or before merger close. That number will continue to rise with time. There is also the costs of dealing with TWC's dated cable technologies and hardware as compared to Comcast. If the merger doesn't get government approval within six months at most, I think it's dead.
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Solo2

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Re: I hate to say it, but ...
« Reply #21 on: 10:56:03 | 25 March, 2015 »
If the merger doesn't get government approval within six months at most, I think it's dead.

I was anticipating going from lousy service to lousier.
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shuttleman58

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Re: I hate to say it, but ...
« Reply #22 on: 16:45:50 | 25 March, 2015 »
If the merger doesn't get government approval within six months at most, I think it's dead.

I was anticipating going from lousy service to lousier.
Everyone I've met is expecting this. Even TWC employees I've spoken to expect issues.
- Rob the Shuttleman
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Solo2

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Re: I hate to say it, but ...
« Reply #23 on: 16:58:44 | 25 March, 2015 »
They've been lousy since they were Warner Qube.
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Alan E Hill

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Re: I hate to say it, but ...
« Reply #24 on: 02:53:56 | 26 March, 2015 »
Everyone I've met is expecting this. Even TWC employees I've spoken to expect issues.

What a dismal outlook  >:(
Alan | Oh! That British Bloke
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Keenite

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Re: I hate to say it, but ...
« Reply #25 on: 03:17:48 | 27 March, 2015 »
Returning to the original topic - things I miss about by-gone days.
I have hitchhiked for a total of at least 200,000 km, never having had a driver's license and being half Scots of course. Until recently, French numberplates were issued for the specifc département, e.g. Paris 75, Lyon 69 etc. This was handy when spotting or talking to car and truck drivers about where they were going. They have since introduced a new system of letters and numbers that have absolutely no geographical significance - I'm so depressed about this I'm thinking of taking a German Wings flight...
Germany still has the 1-3 letter code for cities and districts, e.g. B = Berlin, HH = Hamburg etc.
While living in Düsseldorf I was hitching back from Sagres (south-west tip of Portugal). After a few rides of only several km each, I saw a car with German numberplates DU (Duisburg) approach.  I remember the exhilerating feeling I had at that moment I saw the numberplate and the hope that he would stop and pick me up, which he did and telling me straight away "I can take you all the way to Germany". He eventually made a small detour and left me off in Düsseldorf. Despite the hours (and sometimes days) of waiting, I have had so many unforgettable experiences while hitchhiking - too bad that this once popular mode of transportation has now nearly all but dissappeared.
The Wall was still up when I moved to Berlin in the early 80s, hitching was still going strong and when a car stopped at the border crossing to pick you up you knew they had to at least take you through E. Germany. I would generally try to get a ride to the Garbsen rest area on the Autobahn near Hanover, which was a great place to pick up cars or trucks heading west.
« Last Edit: 03:56:04 | 28 March, 2015 by Keenite »

 

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