by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jun 16th 2009 6:19pm
Wired broadband is often compared to the highway system, in that both are "natural monopolies" in that it often doesn't make sense to build competing setups, since you really only want one massive infrastructure product. With highways, you don't want to rip up too many parts of the country, and with broadband you don't want to let every company get rights of way to dig up everyone's yard. However, some politicians are pushing a rather simple, and totally reasonable plan that says if someone is already building or modifying a highway with federal funds, then they should also run conduit for fiber optic cables (they don't have to run the fiber themselves, just install the conduit). The idea -- and this makes a surprising amount of sense -- is that if the road is already being dug up, why not put conduit for future fiber there, rather than having to redig up areas to run fiber in the future. Sensible thinking from government officials? How much do you want to bet this goes nowhere?
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