reply to Somnambul33t
Re: Finally I would argue that physical connections to the home through the public right-of-way *is* a natural monopoly, regardless of whether we "take the government out of it" at this point. The only reason we have a duopoly situation is that cable TV was originally given a government monopoly (usually at the local level) on that service, keeping the phone company out. Only after the cable companies had established themselves in most places was there a push for any openness in the process, but by then the natural monopoly barriers are too high for another entrant to lay their own infrastructure (in any meaningful way - I realize that there are small areas of overbuild scattered around.)
Unless there is a municipally owned power company (like LUS, Jackson Energy, Wilson, NC, etc...) with its own existing infrastructure, the monopoly/duopoly will stand unchallenged. Public power utilities with shareholders to appease will not generally enter that market (and the legal hornet's nest from the duopoly - See LUS for an example), content to remain with their guaranteed rates of return and predictable dividends.
If we want a truly national broadband policy, we have to recognize that the existing "private" infrastructure was largely created under a government monopoly umbrella, and treat it accordingly. IMO, the local loop needs to be separated (by forced divestiture, if necessary) from the service provisioned on the loop, regulated as a monopoly with fixed rate of return, and the national policy should to be to improve the loop with fiber everywhere - rural, urban, small islands in the Aleutians, etc...
Without captive loop subscribers and with common carriage rates for all competitors, the private marketplace for services should explode nearly everywhere.
Yay! Someone finally gets it. I've been saying this for years.
We need a separate heavily regulated last mile provider(s). Then you will see lots of ISPs offering service to those people over the same lines. At that point we can finally have a true vibrant capitalistic ISP market place.