Just a few weeks ago, we warned that, while the thought
of increasing broadband is a good idea, the details
of any sort of "broadband stimulus" plan was important -- especially if it just looked like giving money to the same old incumbent players who have a long, and rather disgusting, history of accepting tons of public money and then not delivering
. At other times, those incumbents have spent a lot of money trying to stop
the actual spread of broadband. Broadband Reports is warning the incoming administration that the incumbent players are going to be spinning all sorts of stories about how they'll provide all sorts of new broadband improvements
, while ignoring their history of fighting against broadband expansion. Unfortunately, Business Week points out that the broadband stimulus plan is almost certainly heading in that direction, meaning that it will almost certainly reward the incumbents
, despite the fact that they're a part of the problem.
For years, plenty of people have been pointing out that the real
problem with broadband in the US is the lack of competition
in the market -- and a big part of the reason there's so little competition is because of these sorts of government handouts that favor a single player in a market. It's difficult to see how continuing that tradition changes anything -- other than making a few legacy providers even wealthier. If we want to see more and better broadband in this country, we need to see more competition, not the strengthening of existing legacy players.