@JonB re monopoly vs competition
Wtf has competition ever brought the world that co-operation couldn't have done just as well? Competition has brought us the UK's worst broadband retailers... from the clueless but pioneering Bulldog, through to boring but incompetent ones like CPW and Tiscali. What's the point of choice when the market is reduced to BTR vs CPW vs Tiscali vs Orange vs CowboysRUs, and any real choice offered by the likes of AAISP, Zen, and all the others in between with a clue has gone forever, having been forced out of the market by suicidal pricing from the volume players and incompetent regulation from the clueless ones at Ofcon?
I know BTw haven't a technical or commercial clue because I've been watching their failures at every opportunity since Pipex invented mass market prices for broadband (2002? Twas a long time ago). From the "MTU problem" which led to the collapse of the national access network in autumn 2002(?) (Cisco Express Forwarding didn't work right over BTw datacentre LANs which were still using 10/100 Ethernet kit that didn't do jumbo frames, what a surprise), through VPs that didn't correctly prioritise 512k vs 1Mb vs 2Mb, through VPs that were semi-permanently on red and amber for capacity. And then there's the utterly ridiculous pricing for BT Centrals, based on an average usage of (wait for it) 20kbit/s per customer!... are you bored with the list yet, 'cos I am, but there's more if you want.
Competition doesn't fix any of those issues, competence in the technical department and in the regulatory oversight does.
In a properly regulated total monopoly a sensible price is an agreed (and realistic) cost plus an agreed and realistic margin. Same as you get in the cartels that dominate most capitalist markets, except that in a properly regulated monopoly the discussions are legal, above board, and on the record, and involve the democratic process, whereas in the usual illegal cartels the opposite applies.