Shame on you, Washington Post
In an editorial today in one of this country's greatest newspapers, The Washington Post, the editors repeated the false statement that healthy competition exists in the market for consumer broadband services. In the editorial, entitled "The Internet's Future: Congress should stay out of cyberspace" the editors write:
The advocates of neutrality suggest, absurdly, that a non-neutral Internet would resemble cable TV: a medium through which only corporate content is delivered. This analogy misses the fact that the market for Internet connections, unlike that for cable television, is competitive: More than 60 percent of Zip codes in the United States are served by four or more broadband providers that compete to give consumers what they want -- fast access to the full range of Web sites, including those of their kids' soccer league, their cousins' photos, MoveOn.org and the Christian Coalition. If one broadband provider slowed access to fringe bloggers, the blogosphere would rise up in protest -- and the provider would lose customers.But this is entirely incorrect and misleading. There are just two pipes into the majority of consumer's homes -- a telephone wire and a cable TV wire. Every broadband provider in the country must connect to the consumer over one of those two wires. The only third party access deals that exist were created as partnerships with telephone companies back when there was an FCC enforcing access regulations. Those regulations are gone. Phone companies now have no obligation to allow other providers to offer service to consumers and as those agreements end, they will not be renewed. So there are at best TWO providers.
However, the situation is getting worse as we begin to look at "broadband" as 14 mbps or 40 mbps instead of 1.5 (or less) -- as we "need" and "want" real broadband speeds, fiber to the home will be the only wire capable of providing this speed. Then we will be reduced to a single option, the phone company.
Write to the Washington Post and let them know what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org