Michael Powell A Bit Quick To Claim Google Broadband Is Viable Competition
from the slow-down-there,-partner dept
Now he's claiming that Google's latest decision to offer high speed broadband in very limited trials, shows that the market is generating competition just fine without unnecessary interference from the government via any sort of broadband stimulus plan.
Of course, there are a few problems with this. First, Google has only announced stuff, it hasn't done anything yet, and even if it does, it appears the trials will be quite limited. But the bigger issue is this myth that the current market is this free and open market unencumbered by bad gov't regulation. The history of the broadband market is the history of government's subsidizing and favoring large incumbent telcos. The idea that suddenly everyone wants to "protect the free market" for internet access, when the market has never been a free market is pretty silly. What they mean is actually to protect the market for incumbents. Unless, of course, the incumbents are willing to pay back all the subsidies and preferential treatment they've received from the government over the years?
On the whole, I do agree with Powell's position that we should be careful how we implement any national broadband plan, and that the focus should be on more competition -- but I wouldn't take Google's announcement alone to be any sort of "evidence" of a free market in internet access.