WIRED from 2013: Don’t Blame Big Cable. It’s Local Governments That Choke Broadband Competition



You can blame them for lots of other stuff, just not this.

(From Wired)

So the real bottleneck isn’t incumbent providers of broadband, but incumbent providers of rights-of-way. These incumbents — the real monopolists — also have the final say on whether an ISP can build a network. They determine what hoops an ISP must jump through to get approval.

This reduces the number of potential competitors who can profitably deploy service — such as AT&T’s U-Verse, Google Fiber, and Verizon FiOS. The lack of competition makes it easier for local governments and utilities to charge more for rights of way and pole attachments.

It’s a vicious circle. And it’s essentially a system of forced kickbacks. Other kickbacks arguably include municipal requirements for ISPs such as building out service where it isn’t demanded, donating equipment, and delivering free broadband to government buildings…

…The ‘open access’ term gets thrown around a lot as code for creating artificial competition among resellers of a monopoly service at government-controlled rates. There’s no better way to kill incentives for building out or upgrading new networks.

Click here for the article.