Competition for internet access

June 6, 2014

Kim Schoenholtz passes on another piece about competition — or rather its absence: 

Even without Google, many cities are already wired with fiber—they just don’t let their residents use it. The reasons vary, but in many cases, the reason you can’t get gigabit internet speeds … is because companies like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, CenturyLink, and Verizon have signed agreements with cities that prohibit local governments from becoming internet service providers and prohibit municipalities from selling or leasing their fiber to local startups who would compete.

Ah, the best way to inhibit competition: get the government to kill it off! Here’s a more humorous version from John Oliver. It’s a little unfair though: the Comcast/Time Warner doesn’t affect the local monopoly problem, at least not in an obvious way. I’ll get more from Robin Lee some time and report back.

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