Bob Frankston continues his exploration of alternative information infrastructure ownership. He wonders, with the media (copper wires, fiber optics and radio waves) essentially commodity, what do we get from services providers that we cannot more efficiently provide for ourselves? With absurdly high communications bills of late, I can’t help but agree that there is a more cost effective model:
The idea is very simple. Our connectivity infrastructure is made up of Copper, Fiber and Radios and is a fixed asset that requires a small amount of maintenance. In the days of telegraphy and telephony it was deployed as a means of selling services.
Today the Internet and the networks in our homes make it clear that given the CFR we can do our own networking. Yet we fund the CFR by letting the incumbent service providers maintain their privileged ownership.
Funding the infrastructure by selling services makes no more sense that having men with pikes charging for use of their personal highways.
Issues like network neutrality are symptoms of far deeper problems with this model.