A new book called The $200 Billion Broadband Scandal claims to detail the variety of tax breaks and compensations offered to the Bell-spawned phone companies to build out our nation’s fiber-optic network—a network designed to bring 45-megabit per second connections into every home. We don’t know about you, but we are sending this text via a rickety old copper line, using the best 1-megabitish DSL connection Verizon has to offer.
Muni Wireless has read an advance copy and offers up an overview. Most interesting is the per-household figure of $2,000—the amount we as citizens paid for through the various government-sanctioned breaks for the phone companies.
This news is especially enlightening as all the Baby Bells continue to merge back into Ma Bell 2.0.
From Muni Wireless’s report:
• The phone companies pulled a bait and switch. In order to offer DSL over copper, it was not necessary to have state regulation changed. Their plan was to get rid of regulations and enter long distance.
• The Bell mergers resulted in the death of the state plans for fiber optic broadband. Over 26 states had fiber optic projects closed when the mergers of SBC and Verizon were completed. That affected almost 80% of all phone customers in the US.