An article of faith among neoliberals is that monopolies are efficient because they are so profitable that they can offer better prices to their customers as well as better services.
Reality has a well-known left-wing bias, however.
A new Pcmag analysis of 356,925 broadband speed tests found that the super-concentrated communications giants -- universally loathed companies like Frontier, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Charter, etc -- underdelivered and overcharged, while independent and municipally owned ISPs (often small town operations, though Sonic has service in a few large cities, too) offered the fastest, cheapest broadband in America.
“You can rapidly see that nonprofit business models have an important role to play in improving Internet access,” Mitchell said.
A study last year out of Harvard showed that community-run ISPs tend to offer faster, cheaper broadband and superior customer service to private ISPs. Community ISPs also tend to offer clearer pricing with fewer hidden surcharges, the study found.
Threatened by the specter of actual competition, the telecom lobby has convinced more than two dozen states to pass laws restricting or simply banning communities from building their own broadband networks. These laws also frequently restrict a local town or city’s ability to strike public private partnerships, even if locals have voted for the option.
The Fastest ISPs of 2019 [Eric Griffith/Pcmag]
Locally Run ISPs Offer the Fastest Broadband in America [Karl Bode/Motherboard]
America's telcoms sector is hugely concentrated and corrupt, and systematically underinvests in maintenance and infrastructure even as it gouges customers, which it can get away with thanks to its monopoly power, leaving Americans with some of the world's worst, most expensive communications services.
The past two years have seen a tremendous shift in the public perception of capitalism and socialism, the character of philanthropy as reputation-laundry rather than generosity, and the nature of wealth as an indicator of sociopathy, not virtue or cleverness.
Elizabeth Warren has released a characteristically detailed campaign plan to counter white nationalist violence in the USA, whose multi-pronged approach includes directing the DoJ to be more vigorous in pursuing white nationalist groups (and to lay off the Cointelpro-style surveillance of groups that advocate for protections for racialized people); centralized data collection on white nationalist […]
Despite all of our most fervent hopes, it doesn’t appear the specter of COVID-19 will be leaving us anytime soon. If anything, the past few weeks seems to indicate the need for social distancing and other preventative measures will likely continue indefinitely from coast to coast for a very, very, very long time. Of course, […]
For all their amazing growth over the past 25 years, the most impressive thing about the monumental rise of Amazon might be the speed and sophistication of their lightning-fast delivery network. Sometimes it doesn’t even take 24 hours for the idea you ordered to be perched right on your front porch, ready for use. The […]
You could actually watch a Tyrannosaurus Rex walk down your street right now. And no, this isn’t the latest Jurassic Park sequel. Of course, it isn’t real either, just a Google recreation of some pretty realistic looking dinosaurs transplanted right into any environment around you courtesy of augmented reality. Yet it’s just another example of […]