FCC chairman hates the idea of DSL monopoly

Today, the FCC decided to end the policy that guaranteed access to high-speed for competitors of the telcos. It was this policy that created competition and drove a modicum of customer service, competitive pricing, and different terms of service among DSL ISPs. This is an enormous, apocalyptic disaster, and as it turns out, FCC Chairman Michael Powell hated the idea too:

The first thing he objects to is the decision to get rid of line sharing. This issue hardly got any play in the run-up to the FCC decision, but it's a doozy. I didn't realize Powell was the one pushing to preserve it. Basically, line sharing is the reason we have a modicum of competition for DSL service. The supposedly deregulatory Powell wanted to keep it, and the supposedly pro-states and pro-competition majority killed it.

This matters more than it might appear. Since broadband is the foundation for many new services, including competitive VOIP, having broadband providers who don't control last-mile facilities is essential. The last-mile owners (phone and cable) will use regulatory and business tactics to hamstring what goes on top

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(via Werblog)