Motherboard: AT&T and Verizon are lobbying for rule changes that will strangle smaller competitors, making US broadband competition even worse.
Like the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, expanding rural broadband should have been the next biggest thing. But Republicans have put telecom profits before American entrepreneurship. It numbs the mind that almost nothing is being done because it cost too much? This is the federal government's responsibility now, since "the marketplace" not just failed, but hasn't done squat.
Telecoms are seeking to repeal this:
A key part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act required that entrenched ISPs needed to sell access to their copper-line infrastructure—also known as unbundled network elements (UNEs)—to smaller competitors at regulated rates. The goal was to foster broadband competition by giving small ISPs a leg up in a market with often impossible barriers to entry (both political and financial).
But Big Telecom make it all difficult:
ILECs (incumbent local exchange carriers) like AT&T and Verizon traditionally made getting access to their networks as cumbersome and difficult as possible, then pointed to the resulting difficulties as evidence the plan wasn’t working. ILEC lobbyists also eroded many of the sharing requirements for telco fiber and cable networks with the help of the Supreme Court.What we're missing out on? Much lower prices like in France...
As the United States slowly discarded the line-sharing plan, other countries embraced it to great success. It’s a major reason why someone in Paris can now get 100 Mbps broadband, TV, and phone service for around $60 per month (or less), while Americans now pay some of the highest prices in the developed world for the same services.This is an in your face broadband plundering by Big Telecom, at least while Republicans in charge. Keep voting for Trump Party politicians if you want to pay a lot more for cable, or who knows, maybe price you out the internet completely:
But FCC data shows the US broadband competition at higher speeds is virtually nonexistent, something that’s only getting worse as telcos like AT&T and Verizon refuse to upgrade aging DSL lines, giving cable operators like Comcast and Charter a greater broadband monopoly in countless markets nationwide. That lack of competition in turn drives sky high prices, terrible customer service, and even net neutrality violations.
Dane Jasper, CEO of San Francisco-based Sonic:“When incumbents build fiber to the homes and businesses themselves, they can retire copper and eliminate the competitive unbundling obligations,” he notes, creating a “race to build.” “If incumbents can eliminate competitive access without themselves building fiber, that will set communities back, and slow deployment by both incumbents and competitors,” says the CEO.
In a June letter to US Senator John Thune, smaller providers warned that AT&T is seeking price hikes as high as 15% on broadband services should the petition be approved by the FCC.