Bob Frankston has penned a thoughtful piece that encourages out of the box thinking when it comes to broadband Internet connectivity. He's dead on. We're at a transition point between yesterday's legacy single purpose, proprietary telco and cableco owned systems designed to dispense discrete services as billable events and the open architecture possibilities of the Internet that allow for customization according to need.
The two models are not compatible -- which Frankston says explains the artificial market scarcity of bandwidth delivered via the telcos (slow and costly 1970s-era T-1 lines that telcos are still selling, for example) and cablecos at a time where fiber to the end user is capable of delivering hundreds of megabits and even gigabits per second.
Instead of expecting telcos and cablecos to meet our Internet protocol-based telecommunications needs, Frankston suggests we view these entities as middle mile and long haul carriers. They would still have a critical role to play, serving locally owned and operated telecommunications entities such as municipal fiber systems and fiber cooperatives. Frankston has seen the future and I share his vision.