Reply to post: Joined up thinking..

Biden's $2tn infrastructure plan includes massive broadband rollout, equates internet access with water and power as essential utilities

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Joined up thinking..

The wording suggests that the federal government will seek to pay companies to lay fiber networks that internet service providers can then offer their services on top of, similar to the municipal networks that have been growing across the US. If that is the intent, the Biden Administration can expect a vast lobbying effort from the likes of AT&T and Comcast that would be strongly opposed to not having control of the physical lines; an approach that defines their entire business model.

I'm less convinced. Owning infrastructure can be a major PITA and money pit. If physical lines were available on favorable rates and SLAs, they may not object and I've sold dark & lit fibre networks to both in the past. As long as the usual suspects can keep some form of chokehold over the customer, the money keeps on coming and the costs reduce.

The plan also foresees “price transparency and competition among internet providers, including by lifting barriers that prevent municipally-owned or affiliated providers and rural electric co-ops from competing on an even playing field with private providers, and requiring internet providers to clearly disclose the prices they charge.”

That'll be the fun one. Muni nets have theoretical advantages over competitors, ie owning existing infrastructure. But this is where there really needs to be the joined-up thinking. So there are huge amounts of dosh being dangled for road & utility infrastructure upgrades. It would be sensible to make that conditional on laying some fibre ducts as that work gets done, and then making that fibre available on an LRIC basis. If you're upgrading (or just fixing) roads, it's a small incremental cost to throw in some ducts vs coming along and digging up those roads later to lay fibre.. Especially when those roads are bridges. Digging those up is FUN!.

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