USATODAY reports on how the Bells are fighting the private expansion of fiber-optic communications across the country.
What it boils down to is that the Bells don’t want to foot the bill for fiber to the home unless the FCC says they don’t have to share it with the competition. Meanwhile, the Bells also don’t want anyone else to lay down fiber networks saying it is too much competition and would drive them out of business if consumers had another option.
Basically, they’re taking a page from Bill Gates’ playbook.
When looked at in a certain light, however, these fiber networks are really the Government’s perview. Take the Interstate Highway project: it was funded largely by the Fed to provide a means for moving troops quickly about the country in time of war. By the same token, the internet itself was fuunded by the Fed and private parties as a means of insuring communication in times of war.
We all know how much communication ‘horsepower’ is provided by fiber-optics, and it seems a natural conclusion that the Fed in general, and the Emergency Broadcast System in particular, could be considered to be the ultimate shareholder in these fiber networks. So my stance is that the Fed should mandate the construction of fiber-to-the-home networks within a given time frame, the same way they have mandated the States to maintain the highway system.
I am not unbiased in this opinion though. 56k dial-up sucks. The average 756k of DSL is better, but low. The 3gb I get with cable modem is tolerable, but the upwards of 30gb a fiber network would provide would be gettin’ somewhere, ya know? And I would certainly love to see the prices drop a bit. Japan pays the equivalent of $15 a month for 30gb speeds, where I pay $55 for 3gb.
Something stinks here…