So why don't US citizens get this?

Joe Greco jgreco at
Sun Jul 27 14:29:38 UTC 2008

> On Jul 27, 2008, at 5:37 AM, Joe Greco wrote:
> > Yes, I do.  The free market is a system where corporations like to  
> > take
> > the easiest road to do the least work to maximize profits, while  
> > everyone
> > else is doing the same thing.
> Recognizing your biases here, I think an economist might define it a  
> little differently. For example, see 
> ..
> The key thing in that definition is the lack of government  
> intervention in its various forms. That's D'Arcy's point. Where there  
> is government subsidy, regulation, or other intervention, it cannot be  
> described as a free market.

Actually, it could...  but you have to understand the situation better.

The main problem is that it isn't economically feasible for dozens of
providers to each build their own last mile infrastructure.  In what has
got to be an unusual turn of events, we ended up with multiple last mile
infrastructures (cable, DSL, maybe wireless).  The goal of the National
Information Infrastructure was to have a single fiber entering the home,
providing net, tone, tele, etc.  As a practical matter, it was always
assumed that the most likely way that this would happen would be for the
telcos to do it, replacing copper plant in the process.  To that end, a
lot of changes and concessions were granted to the telcos, to pay them
for building this thing.

This part was certainly always pictured to be a government subsidy or
government granted "monopoly", because it makes as little sense to have
multiple players here as it does for there to be multiple power companies
delivering power, or multiple water utilities, etc.

However, what happens at the upstream node was very much intended to be a
free market system, with the LM-telco providing equal access to everyone.
Including themselves.

And that's the problem, there.  The incentive to provide nonequal access
to themselves is quite high, and without any meaningful regulation of the 
last mile portion of their business, lack of regulation being what they
fought tooth and nail for, that's how it ended up.

So now you have ILEC's not doing fiber-to-the-home because it "isn't
economical or needed," which many feel is a rip-off, since the ILEC's
were compensated for their trouble and they took the funds and 
translated it to profit.

Then you had the ILEC's trying to block CLEC access to the facilities.
This ranged from "our CO is full, we have no space for them" to denying
access for failure to comply with ever-changing rules that they don't
notify anybody about in a reasonable fashion 

When it became clear that the CLEC's were still going to try to do
business, you then saw a move towards deployment of things like FIOS and
Lightspeed, combined with lobbying, that allowed CLEC-lockout on the
new, faster DSL networks.

I'm not going to go further, or into more detail, because this is pretty
much nonoperational in nature, except that it's a sin that most people in
the networking business think that what has happened is equitable, or is
fair, or makes any sense.

We wanted a fast, neutral last mile network.  Had we regulated the last
mile provider properly, we could have had it.  That would have left us
with a network where true free market forces could have allowed all
players, including the company providing the last mile, to provide services
on top of that last mile.  That so clearly didn't happen.

You can probably find worthwhile reading (somewhat slanted, my guess, but
still likely better than the understanding most people seem to have about
all this) at

This will be my last post along this thread, due to thread drift.

... JG
Joe Greco - Network Services - Milwaukee, WI -
"We call it the 'one bite at the apple' rule. Give me one chance [and] then I
won't contact you again." - Direct Marketing Ass'n position on e-mail spam(CNN)
With 24 million small businesses in the US alone, that's way too many apples.

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