09-13-07 - 3

How American could get ahead and also fix a lot of IT monopolies :

The government should run super-fat broadband pipes to every home. This could be started by using emininent domain to seize the existing broadband networks (and rent them back to their previous owners), but the goal would be to rapidly replace with with super-fat pipes. These pipes would then be open to all - there would be no more monopolies controlling internet or TV or phone or any other IT service since nobody owns the pipes. You would still need to sign up with a provider, but it would be a wide open truly competitive market. This is where capitalism actually works well, when you have a truly liquid open market with a standardized structure for everyone to operate on interchangeably. It would also blow the cable TV broadcast market wide open since cable just comes over the same pipe and anybody can put a channel out there.

Of course you'd like to have the same thing for cell networks; there should be a nationwide fast wireless network, and providers just lease access to it from the government.

A standardized pipe for power companies would be a massive benefit. The whole country is already on a grid, so you just have the government own the grid and the lines to people's houses. Private power companies supply power to the grid. People pay based on their usage and that goes out to the power companies in a sort of automated eBay-like bidding system. Each provider picks how much power they will provide at various fees, and the system automatically contracts out to the lowest bidder and then keeps moving up until all the demand is met. We finally get true competition for power providers, anybody can build a plant and stick it on the grid and start providing power to the system. Furthermore, customers could have real choice, they could choose to favor producers from green or renewable sources or whatever. Again, this is where capitalism actually works, when you have a standardized fluid framework, consumers can make instantaneous choices between interchangeable providers.

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old rants