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 […]
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to travel more, you owe it to yourself to learn the language of the place you’re visiting. If you’re not sure where to start, give these resources a look. From mobile apps to online courses, these products can get you conversant in a new language before you […]
Anyone who loves biking, skiing, or snowboarding in the great outdoors knows just how difficult it can be to safely transport your gear—especially during extended trips. These three accessories make it easier than ever to securely attach your gear to your car. So if you’re planning to embark on a outdoor adventure soon, you’d be […]
It seems like AI is everywhere these days, from the voice recognition software in our personal assistants to the ads that pop up seemingly at just the right time. But believe it or not, the field is still in its infancy. That means there’s no better time to get in on the ground floor. The […]