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Incumbents Blocking Broadband Stimulus Efforts Because They Don't Like Competition

from the leave-us-alone dept

Back when the $7.2 billion broadband stimulus plan was announced, we were a bit worried that it was really just a bailout plan for incumbent broadband providers. The focus of the plan was on "shovel ready" projects in an attempt to create jobs, and that generally meant incumbent providers who could hire a lot of people. The last thing the government wanted to do in the middle of a recession was help fund an innovative startup that would disrupt a big employer. But there was one interesting aspect of the stimulus package: it suggested that anyone taking the government money would have to share access to infrastructure -- something that makes a lot of sense, if you're encouraging competition.

But, of course, the incumbents don't want competition at all. They've based their entire business models on the very lack of competition in the marketplace. So, it quickly became clear that they would not only resist taking any of the money, but they would actively seek to block upstarts from taking it as well. And... that's exactly what appears to be happening. lavi d points us to the news that lots of smaller companies are applying for the federal funds, and (surprise, surprise) the incumbents are not applying for the funds at all, but are drafting legislation in various local governments to prevent any upstart competitors from getting those funds. So, not only is it not stimulating the creation of jobs, it's not really providing much more broadband or competition.

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  1. identicon
    Michial Thompson, 15 Feb 2010 @ 8:58am

    Succession isn't an option

    First off NONE of the 50 states have the right of succession, NOT EVEN Texas. And even if they had the right NONE of the 50 states have the ability to survive on their own.

    Texas signed away it's right of succession in exchange for something a number of years back. I'd need to do research to find out what it was that they did this for. And Texas was the ONLY state with that as an option.

    Economically Texas is the only state with the resources to survive on it's own, and even that is marginal at best, and depends on the population as a whole staying in Texas. If Texas did manage to succeed from the Union a huge amount of it's residence would leave. Most of us aren't born Texans, and while we live here we aren't willing to suffer for a few die hard rednecks.

    There are actually something like 13 states that have succession proceedings going on, and in all cases it's nothing more than a political statement to the US Government that is absolutely toothless.

    These proceedings are about as affective as putting a "Vote for XYZZY" sign in your front yard and adding "or else" to the bottom of the sign.

    The only way that a state is going to withdraw from the Union successfully is going to be through a Civil War, and Americans have been bred to be week and cowardly when it comes to our own Government which works in their favor. And If a state was to grow enough of a backbone to even attempt, no state in the Union has the military resources to fight the US Military even after the small minority of the soldiers willing to stand against orders on principal were removed.

    BUT THERE is hope sorta. I read an article a few years ago that spoke of world powers, and how power is always a balance. In that article it talked about how right now the US is the dominant power, and can sustain that power through military force for about 50-75 years before we develop enough "resistance" to balance the world against us. Once enough countries unite against us the US will be overthrown and a new leader will take it's place.

    It's some cycle that somehow repeats it's self over history and one of the recent examples used was Hitler, and how the world united to overthrow him....

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