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reply to baineschile
Re: This is actually really interesting How can you make it possible to have a choice when it comes to electricity, gas, or water? Or are you suggesting we should just have multiple pipes/electrical lines running everywhere just so people have "choice"?
There's a good reason these are considered utilities and are run by regulated monopolies in an area. But we only have a physical limitation when it comes to broadband access. It is very possible to have multiple ISPs serve a neighborhood, even if there's only one physical line going to each house.
Let's put it this way: Do you have a choice of who builds and maintains the roads to your home? At the same time, are you limited to which company you can purchase vehicles to drive on this road?
Basically, treat the physical lines to each home as a utility; either the municipality or a regulated monopoly company will build and maintain these lines. Heck, treat the whole system as a giant local network, if you must. Then let users pick whatever company to be their "gateway" to the Internet. You monopolize the physical aspects of broadband access out of necessity, yet still allow consumer choice and fair competition for internet access. This is not possible to do with the current utilites (electricity, water, and gas).
said by zitch:I agree. We need a different model, where the "last mile" of infrastructure is treated like water, sewer, gas, electric. A city service, taxpayer-subsidized co-op, private company (like most gas and electric companies). Any of which governed by the state's corporation commission as a public utility to regulate expenses and rates.
Basically, treat the physical lines to each home as a utility; either the municipality or a regulated monopoly company will build and maintain these lines. Heck, treat the whole system as a giant local network, if you must. Then let users pick whatever company to be their "gateway" to the Internet.
Residents could then interconnect to a multitude of competing ISPs offering anything from bare-bones connectivity to teevee and telephone.
That still doesn't address how wireless service providers should be better regulated to operate in the public interest. They obtain a monopoly on finite public resources (airwaves). There's no way to demarcate access to that public resource like a city's "last mile." I think wireless providers should be treated as a public utility.
reply to zitch
primary carrier in an area but power/gas being charged by a second company. My electrical bill does NOT go to the provider in the area, so yes this is possible without having tons of lines going everywhere.