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We Need A Broadband Competition Act, Not A Net Neutrality Act

from the get-out-the-wrecking-ball dept

Andy Kessler has put together a fantastic editorial for the Wall Street Journal explaining why Markey's attempt at legislating Net Neutrality won't do any good. As we pointed out when Markey first announced it, this plan seems to be focused on the symptoms, not the real problem (and, no, just having the FCC step in to slap the wrists of neutrality violators doesn't help either). The real problem, of course, is the lack of real competition in the broadband market. Kessler suggests that we shouldn't be focused on Net Neutrality, but should wipe out the bogus regulations that are currently restricting competition in the broadband market. That means not going through a painful localized franchising process or making it a pain to get the rights of way necessary to install equipment necessary for next generation broadband. It means actually opening up the market to competition, not creating subsidies and regulations that mean only the incumbents can play. Not that politicians are about to do anything like this, but it sure would be nice.

Filed Under: broadband, competition, ed markey, net neutrality, rights of way

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  1. identicon
    Bob, 26 Feb 2008 @ 11:36am

    Central Offices Wholesale - Not an Assumption

    Sorry, but this is not an assumption. Where I live Verizon controls/owns all the COs. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires the RBOCs to allow competing companies to purchase space and access to fiber and copper going to customers. But it's a big joke. Most competitors still find it extremely difficult to get into the COs and the fines the RBOCs like Verizon have to pay are small compared to the money they would lose if they complied with the law, not to mention the fact that they have so many Congressmen and FCC people in their pockets. I live within 1/2 mile from the CO I get phone service from, Verizon is now moving on to FIOS, but I still can't get even DSL, and probably never will. Since I live in a more rural area, the density does not justify to Verizon the cost of install the needed equipment to supply DSL or FIOS, even though they get money every year from the FCC to compensate for just this type of cost, the cost of supplying services to rural areas. So my only option is comcast cable, and they know it. For just Internet access I am paying $57.95/month. Although I live in a more rural area, I'm not talking about everyone having 10 acres or more, most people have one or two acres, mixed with people who have from 10 to 20 acres. There are plently of homes to make it worth someones investment to install the equipment, but first they have to get into the COs, and Verizon makes sure that doesn't happen.

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