Fiber Optic Broadband Only Works When Your Big Monopoly Telco Delivers It
from the things-are-different-now.--we're-in-charge dept
While most of the stories about muni-broadband these days focus on incumbent telcos battling muni-WiFi, it wasn't that long ago that all the stories were about them battling muni-fiber installs -- like the kind that have helped bring big new businesses to various communities and which have been done in ways that let everyone (including companies) benefit without being a government operated utility. As in the case with WiFi, the telcos would complain about how the technology wasn't good enough. It won't surprise anyone, of course, to find out that what they really meant was that it wasn't good enough until they, and they alone, could offer it. Broadband Reports points out that AT&T (then SBC) was trash talking a muni-fiber project in Illinois less than a year and a half ago -- claiming that the technology was unproven and saying they had "serious concerns" about the technology (while also mocking the idea that anyone would need so much bandwidth: "What are you going to do with 20Mbps?"). So here it is, just a little while later, and AT&T is excited to introduce their own fiber optic offering in the same region. In fact, they're positive that fiber will become "standard." Funny how they become believers just as they're ready to offer it (even if their offering isn't even as good as the original muni-fiber that was being discussed).