[OT] Google Fiber (probably) coming to Provo

Lonnie Olson lists at kittypee.com
Wed Apr 17 16:44:56 MDT 2013

On Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 4:11 PM, Nathan England <nathan at nmecs.com> wrote:
> I agree with most of what you say, but a point is missed. When a company has
> to make changes they must consider all options, and going out of business or
> massively cutting back to possibly a single service or product is a
> possibility. When Government gets involved in business, they raise taxes
> instead of possibily shutting down the company. This gives the Government
> "business" an unfair advantage because it has potentially unlimited tax
> revenue behind it which the regular business does not. Sure this may be the
> Microsoft vs Redhat example, but even Microsoft has limited resources, not to
> mention share-holders they are accountable to. Our government has proven time
> and time again they have *no* accountability. Therefore, it can only be seen
> as an anti-competitive advantage!

This is true.  This is why government shouldn't compete with private
businesses where possible.
Infrastructure, especially that infrastructure that government runs,
generally doesn't operate well in a competition based market.
1. Some is difficult or impossible to compete: Water, Sewer, Roads
2. Some requires extremely tight regulation and legal rules: Police, judicial
3. Some are minimums provided for everyone equally: School, Trash pickup
and possibly others.

The debate on whether network infrastructure should be provided by the
gov't is a good one.

This type of infrastructure fits partially in category 1 and category
3 depending on your views.
It is difficult for network providers to compete.  Most areas only
have 1 or 2 options, DSL or Cable.  Deploying your own Cable or DSL
network is legally restricted, and vastly expensive to deploy.
CenturyLink and Comcast have been granted legal monopolies on this due
to this historical difficulty, and the previous inabilities to share
this infrastructure with competitors.  Current technology, like fiber
to the premises, has enabled new capabilities that allow competition
on an existing network.  This should make us consider re-evaluating
the decision to grant monopolies in lieu of providing an open network
that supports competition.

This is where muni-fiber has come in.  There are different options to
explore in choosing how to make this shared network infrastructure
work.  Utopia is one (city financed, private owned).  Any transition
from the legal monopoly we have now to a shared network will be
difficult and cause short-term competition with government.  However,
I see this as the correct way forward.

Doing so now will cause competition with private companies in the short term.

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