Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Peter Bernstein: Telcos and cable companies should deprivatize local infrastructure

Peter Bernstein correctly notes the telco/cable duopoly doesn't want to invest in infrastructure, especially over the "last mile" or two before it reaches the subscriber. Instead, telcos and cable companies want to deliver -- and bill -- for broadband-based services -- TV, voice or Internet access. Bernstein proposes the telcos and cables companies sell off their local infrastructures to local governmental entities to be operated as public utilities:

Telcos and cable companies don't really want to install, manage and maintain “plumbing.” The days when customer control was asserted because access to all services came through a monopoly access network ended with the mass adoption of the Internet. Voice over IP and wireless are just the nails in the coffin.

Why not have the service providers divest their outside plant and local switches? Local or regional authorities could regulate them and, perish the thought, really do the job.

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