North American Network Operators Group

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Re: What do we mean when we say "competition?"

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Wed Nov 16 03:12:57 2005

On Tue, 15 Nov 2005, Owen DeLong wrote:
> Most places have no fiber "last-mile".  Some do.  Of those
> that do, I know that many were installed by cable companies
> and that there are in many of those places utility taxes
> that are being collected and passed along to at least
> partially fund said buildout.  I know that Comcast
> signed a huge sweet-heart deal with the city of San Jose,
> for example before they started tearing up my neighborhood.
> They seem to have laid interduct to the curb and co-ax
> to the home.  I haven't seen them bring any fiber anywhere
> yet, but, I presume that's what the interduct is for at
> some point.

So I'm confused.  San Jose is doing exactly what you are advocating.  San
Jose has decided to use taxpayer funds to build a city-owned fiber optic
conduit system it will own and lease to telecommunication companies and
other users.  Palo Alto also spent a lot of its taxpayers funds to build
a city-owned fiber optic system.
See Fiber Optics Development Fund

But what does that have to do with funding ILEC facilities?

As I recall, despite spending a lot of taxpayer money, the cities couldn't
convince the ILEC to use the city-owned fiber optic facilities.  The ILECs
built and use its own facilities, without taxpayer funds.  Heck, until
1982, they wouldn't even sell you a phone.  The phones were stamped
property of the Bell System, not for sale.

I'm not sure if there is really a natural monopoly.  There are multiple
wires to most houses and through most public rights of way.  The fact that
there a damage between different provider facilities when they dig in
a right of way is evidence that right of ways contain multiple providers.