[PLUG-TALK] Verizon willfully driving DSL users into the arms of cable

Russell Senior russell at personaltelco.net
Fri Jul 27 12:23:22 PDT 2012

>>>>> "Bill" == Bill Ensley <bill at bearprinting.com> writes:

Russell> Users need to speak up and demand this and be willing
Russell> cooperate to pay for it (less than they pay for a crappier
Russell> service now)

Bill> [...] While I don't disagree that it's retarded to build
Bill> overlapping infrastructure, I don't expect a Private (emphasis
Bill> Private) company to give away access to a competitor.

I have some sympathy for that point of view.  Unless, that private
company was give something of value by the public, the public really
doesn't have any leverage over them.  That's why the users (i.e. the
public) should just go ahead and build their own last-mile
infrastructure.  Pay for it, own it, use it, at cost.

Bill> Your analogy of different highways for cars only works for telco
Bill> if the government also built the telco infrastructure.  They
Bill> didn't, private money did.

The old copper telephone system was paid for by users' rates set by a
government guaranteeing that the private company that "owned it" made
a profit.  The risk was essentially removed for the private company.
It was a boring, low-risk investment vehicle for private investors,
not too dissimilar from government bonds.  Rates were set based on a
cost-plus arrangement.  In exchange for the monopoly and private
ownership, the public got a benefit of universal access and regulated
prices.  That era is over, and has been for almost 20 years.  Crappy
service and unregulated monopolies and abusive pricing is the result.

Bill> Have you spent much time back east?  If you want to get
Bill> somewhere fast, you use a Private Highway and you pay extra for
Bill> it.

As far as I can tell, most of the toll roads (turnpikes) in the East
are actually publicly owned roads that were financed by tolls, prior
to the Interstate Highway system funding.


I just got back from 4 weeks in Europe.  We drove on public toll roads
(auto routes) there.  In France, they have toll booths, where you are
billed by the mile and can drive 130 km/hr, usually.  In Switzerland,
you buy a vignette that you affix to your windshield, good for a year.
You don't have to if you don't want to use the auto routes.  In
Austria it works the same, but have shorter term vignette versions (we
got a 10-day for a 2-day visit).  On top of that, we drove through a
15km long tunnel in Austria, with a fee of 8.5 Euros, also public.

Even out west here we have public infrastructure (bridges usually, but
also ferries) with tolls that cover the cost of construction and
operation.  We have a public power system (BPA) that operates "at
cost", as well as public water and sewer utilities that operate "at
cost".  I think these are excellent models to use for last-mile
communications infrastructure.

Russell Senior, President
russell at personaltelco.net

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