"Of all the monopolies, oligopolies and other arrangements that subvert progress merely to benefit the few, perhaps the most pernicious is the conspiracy by telephone and cable companies to exercise control over high-speed Internet access."Now that's strong stuff even by my standards. It's from a business column in the Los Angeles Times. (free registration required)
It goes on:
DSL and cable modem connections provided by these companies account for roughly 98% of all high-speed, or broadband, service in the country. But their success at discouraging competition has left them gorging on a pitifully small pie: In recent years, the U.S. has fallen from third place to 16th globally in the penetration rate of broadband service. (Chauvinists can take pride that we're still ahead of Portugal.)You see more of this sentitment all around the net. Most of it is oriented toward the currently "hot" wireless alternative (in response to call for proposals in San Francisco and Philadelphia) but the logic applies equally to more capable systems like the one planned for Lafayette.
It's unsurprising, therefore, that many local communities have taken matters into their own hands by building or contracting for their own municipal Internet systems.