EU Says No To Muni-Fiber Effort

from the not-allowed dept

Despite massive telco lobbying efforts in the US, it looks like the US Senate at least recognizes that states shouldn't ban cities from offering muni broadband networks (the question of city vs. state vs. federal regulatory arguments is a discussion for a different post). However, in Europe, it looks like they might be going in the other direction. The EU has told a Dutch town that it cannot move forward on a muni-fiber network, because it represents unfair competition to private companies. We tend to agree that muni networks don't always make the most sense, but if the people want it, it seems a bit silly to have a non-local government tell them they can't have it. From the description in the article, it actually sounds like the plans for this muni-fiber offering were done like other smart deployments. That is, it's not a "government run utility," but rather a fiber network that any provider could then offer service over. In other words, it's not what most people immediately think of when they hear "muni-broadband." This isn't about the city offering service -- but about them offering infrastructure to private service providers. For fiber networks, this remains a smart plan -- as it involves creating real competition without overbuilding infrastructure. Instead, the town will have fewer competitors and more infrastructure -- even though they wanted it the other way around. It's a recipe for much more limited, but still more expensive, service.
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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2006 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re: Re: DoxAvg

    "" . . . your right to steal outweighed everyone elses right to a fast internet connection"

    Nothing illegal about a linux iso."

    This is true, but if there were nothing illegal about BT then noone would think of blocking the protocol, and his situation would not come to pass.

    His argument sure sounds to me (and remember, I already admitted I may be an idiot) like a smokescreen. Bit Torrent has very few valid purposes. However, the more vocal the few (that are using it legitimately), the stronger the illusion that the masses are using it for good.

    Society as a whole does not stand to gain anything from the bit torrent protocol. Even for corporations using it to distribute things like iso images, it is merely a way for them to subtract the cost of distribution and pass it on to consumers. Meanwhile upload bandwidth is actually MORE expensive for consumers than it is for corporations who get the benefit of buying it in bulk.

    So... whats the benefit? consumers get an intangible cost as a replacement for a tangible download fee? The infrastructure providers themselves suddenly find themselves facing enormous costs compared to what they should have? It doesn't matter WHO the infrastructure provider is, BT is costing them alot of money, and that cost IS going to get passed on to the consumers of said infrastructure.

    There is no net positive in BitTorrent. There is only a false pretense of free.

    The point I'm trying to make (and doing a absolutely terrible job of) isn't that BT is illegal, it is that its not a good idea to try to justify ones own desires with something that is used PRIMARILY for illegal purposes. Its just bad association. Even if the OP was trying to do something perfectly legal, he lost all sympathy (from me) because of association.

    To me, its alot like the situation in Iran. They want to enrich fuel. WE DON'T BELIEVE THEM. ok, maybe thats a bit of an extreme analogy.

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