Thursday, July 31, 2008

More bandwith competition

Previously, I had thought that we needed more competition since the main problem is that Verizon, AT&T, Comcast have a defacto monopoly because they own their lines. The situation sounds similar in wireless as well and thanks to a pointer by MT:

Americans today spend almost as much on bandwidth — the capacity to move information — as we do on energy. A family of four likely spends several hundred dollars a month on cellphones, cable television and Internet connections, which is about what we spend on gas and heating oil.

Just as the industrial revolution depended on oil and other energy sources, the information revolution is fueled by bandwidth. If we aren’t careful, we’re going to repeat the history of the oil industry by creating a bandwidth cartel. ... That’s why, as with energy, we need to develop alternative sources of bandwidth.

Wired connections to the home ... are the major way that Americans move information. In the United States and in most of the world, a monopoly or duopoly controls the pipes that supply homes with information. These companies [are] primarily phone and cable companies...
But just as with oil, there are alternatives. ... Encouraging competition...

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