Leasing fiber to service providers is the right idea, but most cities that have fiber in the ground have it in limited areas. The big cost of building broadband networks that tends to be overlooked is running the fiber down every residential street to every home. I know cities with about 100,000 residents that have as much fiber as San Francisco, and they are a long way off from offering it to anyone.
All of the supposed throngs of people chanting for government control of the Internet don’t remember the Bell System days when they only had one dial telephone in the house. When you let the government control and regulate and industry, you get the lowest common denominator of service. We are seeing that with the ACA.
Posted By Rachel Swan @rachelswan on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 at 7:09 AM
President Obama created a seismic wave in the blogosphere after taking a bullish stance on net neutrality Monday, urging the FCC to adopt a strict set of rules for cable service providers. Companies shouldn’t be allowed to wantonly block off websites, Obama argued, and they shouldn’t be allowed to charge fees for priority access (what’s known in the business as “an Internet fast lane”).
It seemed like a huge blow to the four major carriers that currently control our Internet portals (Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, and Charter Communications), and a victory for consumers. Finally, the FCC had political cover to serve the public interest.
But there’s still no telling which way the commission might rule. Shortly after Obama issued his two-minute statement championing an open and free Internet, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler replied with a noncommittal statement of his own, in which he stressed that his agency doesn’t operate at the president’s behest. (That said, he promised to take Obama’s opinion into consideration, along with thousands of other public comments.)
So, there’s a glimmering possibility that the agency might not rule in favor of an open Internet. And even if it does side with Obama, consumers are still left with the fundamental problem of a small group of companies controlling a critical resource.