Here’s to “robust competition.”

Us_dp One of the sad things about the state of the US telecom market is that the balance of power between business and politics is completely out of whack. A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to talk with the Mayor of Chattanooga, Ron Littlefield. He told me that when Chattanooga started looking into deploying FTTH to power their smart grid initiative, the city turned to the incumbent carrier and cable operator and told them that if they deployed FTTH in Chattanooga, the city wouldn't. They refused, and Chattanooga is the success story we all know.

Sadly, in many areas in the US, having insufficient infrastructure is not enough to justify municipal intervention in the eyes of telecom and cable operators. The duopoly is a comfortable position, that doesn't require much investment to be maintained, and they'd like to keep it that way, nothing new there. As the sad state of affairs in North Carolina earlier this year shows, they're willing to go to great lengths to get state governments to work in their favour.

One of the good things about the US though is that people often call a spade a spade. In Longmont, Colorado, the city wants to use a fiber ring it deployed a decade ago for management of their eletric services to offer service to local businesses, and it needs to have a referendum to do so. Sounds crazy. The incumbent and cableco lobbying machine is in full swing to try and get the referendum to fail. This is how the supporters of the referendum are framing the issue!

image from www.muninetworks.org