Electronic Frontier Foundation
Even before it announced that it would seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Frontier had a well-deserved reputation for mismanagement and abusive conduct.
Broadband Monopolies Are Acting Like Old Phone Monopolies. Good Thing Solutions to That Problem Already Exist
The future of competition in high-speed broadband access looks bleak. A vast majority of homes only have their cable monopoly as their choice for speeds in excess of 100 mbps and small ISPs and local governments are carrying the heavy load of deploying fiber networks that surpass gigabit cable networks. Research now shows that these new monopolies have striking similarities to the telephone monopolies of old.
How did South Korea become a global broadband leader? Electronic Frontier Foundation did a deep dive into this question and has produced the following report. The key takeaway: government policies that focus on expanding access to telecommunications infrastructure were essential to success.
The California Advanced Services Fund (CASF), a program launched in 2008 to connect all Californians to high-speed Internet, was an early success. It helped build middle mile open access fiber to hard-to-serve communities and delivered high-speed access to areas that never had Internet. It funded fiber-to-the-home to public housing, ensuring low income users had the same high-speed access that wealthy neighborhoods had. And it was rapidly closing the digital divide that low income urban and rural Californians faced, due to years of neglect from incumbent Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has announced his plans to begin freeing up valuable airwaves within the C-Band, a part of the spectrum—the radio frequencies that our cell carriers, television stations, and others use to transmit services—historically used for satellite television. Once freed, the spectrum would be auctioned and used for 5G and other advanced wireless services. The FCC is making the right call here.
We are in dire need of universal fiber plans. Major telecom carriers such as AT&T and Verizon have discontinued their fiber-to-the-home efforts, leaving most people facing expensive cable monopolies for the future. While much of the Internet infrastructure has already transitioned to fiber, a supermajority of households and businesses across the country still have slow and outdated connections.