Re: Reg said that States cannot be pushed around by a federal regulator...
<quote>As to wired communications, that is a mix of private/regional/state/federal authorization. Almost nobody owns all the property that their wires traverse. Those right-of-ways can be revoked in many ways.</quote>
Which is why there are regional monopolies/oligopolies - that is called franchise rights.
Local governments (be they state, county or municipal) gave many 'cable companies' exclusive or virtually exclusive franchise rights in exchange for the investment in building out the systems. The point the lobbyists made was that investment will not be made if there is little potential for return on that investment. Often, the 'virtually exclusive' component was achieved by allowing an incumbent telco to offer cable TV service. Thus leading to a duopoly. And, in markets with such duopolies, competition often was a case of one never seriously undercutting the other, price increases often in lock step.
There are some core services for which the duplication of investment needed in order to provide a service is ridiculous. Can you imagine duplicate sets of roads, with drivers of Ford manufactured vehicles restricted from accessing 'Chevy' or 'Dodge' roads? Can you imagine the clusterfuck that would result if you had multiple sets of sanitary sewers going down a street? Or water lines?? Or electric lines??? Or telephone lines????
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the skylines of large cities were a rats nest of wires and cables; not unlike some I have seen of what can be found in India. Local officials determined that duplication of investment is a waste of investment, and thus the concept of a regulated monopoly was born. To some extent that needs to be extended down to the provision of wired communications services.
It will be necessary to separate the internet, video and voice services provider from the communication services provider (i.e. separate the 'service' from the infrastructure providing the service). It is time that provisions of the Communications Act of 1996 that forced incumbent telco operators (ILECs) to open up their wired networks to competitors (CLECs) be applied to the provision of cable and fiber optic communications services. Telcos made a lot of promises while that bill was going through Congress; most of them are still not fulfilled. One of the more shitty aspects of that bill was that "opening up to competition" was applied to wired copper networks only, fiber and cable networks were exempt. ISPs had 20 years to recoup those investments, so what excuse are they going to pull out of their asses this time.