Sorry, I wasn't clear - I meant they were leasing airtime, not towers. They're still beholden to the price that the 'big ones' place on leasing out their own infrastructure to what could be called competitors. When you lease airtime, you're implicitly leasing the towers, too.
To a point it exists, but there is still separate and competing infrastructure out there. Until every tower has generic transceivers for each allocated band on it and no cellular provider owns their own infrastructure, the big companies still have a huge 'leg up' over the virtual ones that have to lease from one of the biggies.
I never once mentioned the government running the infrastructure COMPANY. My local power company, Dominion, has two separate sides - a power generation side and a power distribution side. Both are heavily regulated by the Va State Corp Commission, and both have to apply for rate increases that are not always approved. The distribution company has strict performance requirements and fixed profit caps in exchange for being the only power distribution company that gets to run lines to your house. You can buy your power from any number of generation providers (including the generation side of Dominion) that all use the same distribution provider. Their rates are separate on my bill.
I could start "Dave's Power and Light" and provide my 'Green power from horse turds' over the same distribution network for not a whole lot of up-front cash. I propose the same structure for all utilities, including cellular.
I can think of lots of things that I'd like to socialize long before telco.
You realize that the same distribution company/provider company situation already exists in the landline telco industry, right? I can get my dialtone from anyone over my local telco's wires to my house.
I suggest we regulate it like most power/water/sewage companies are regulated - there's a single (very profit- and performance-regulated) company that is responsible for the infrastructure - towers, transceivers, and backhaul in this case. Carriers would then be able to lease access to spectrum from that company with little/no barrier to entry.
Just because you can't see most of the infrastructure it doesn't mean that you shouldn't manage it wisely like any other infrastructure, be it water/sewer pipes or power distribution lines.
I'd love to see this model applied to telephone/fiber/CATV and cellular towers - imagine being able to actually select an internet provider from a wide array of competing companies instead of being locked in to the one that your municipality made the best $$$ deal with.
Excellent analysis, Mr. Pillow. Thanks!
There's a Secret of NiMH, you know. It'll cost you more than a nickel to get them to talk.
If you're not familiar with Tuvan throat singing, check out the documentary Genghis Blues that follows blind blues musician Paul Pena on his trip to Tuva to compete in their throat singing competition.
From his bio:
Paul first heard a fragment of harmonic singing on a shortwave Radio Moscow broadcast on December 29, 1984 and he was so struck by it, he spent almost eight years trying to track down its source. In 1991 he was finally able to locate a recording of Tuvan music and taught himself the vocal techniques known as 'Khoomei, Sygyt, and Kargyraa'. In addition, he learned a good bit of the Tuvan language using English-Russian and Russian-Tuvan dictionaries and an obsolete 'Opticon' scanning device which translates text into sensations. In 1993, Paul attended a concert sponsored by the Friends of Tuva organization and met Kongar-ol Ondar after the performance. Paul gave Kongar-ol an impromptu demonstration--and astonished him with his talent and mastery of traditional Tuvan singing. The two men formed a strong friendship along with their musical collaboration.
In 1995, Kongar-ol invited Paul to sing at the second international Khoomei Symposium and contest, held in Tuva's capital city, Kyzyl. Ralph Leighton and the "Friends of Tuva" sponsored his trip.
I know everyone hates armchair rocket scientists, but I'd like to leave this here:
A ~0.2 kg block of pure Gd148 (~1 inch^3) initially yields ~120 watts, sufficient in theory to meet the complete basal power needs of an entire human body for ~1 century
They could've had 120W of heat free for the asking with 200g of Gd148 (a pure alpha emitter). Use 50W of that to keep the wee beastie warm, and the other 50-ish Watts might've been enough to power the lander.
... no majorana fermions
Amateur radio folk have been doing this for years. There are only two countries that don't allow amateur radio for their citizens - Yemen and North Korea. There are no laws in the US that prohibit the exchange of ideas with those in other countries, apart from the standard profanity rules. There are, however, common sense guidelines to prevent the other operator form getting in trouble with their government (don't try to engage a person from Cuba in Castro bashing, for instance).
...we'd have to see a couple of squadrons of Gloucester Old Spots doing aerobatics at Farnborough
As an American, I've watched just enough UK television to know what that means - "When Pigs FLY!!!" I learned about Gloucester Old Spots from "The Two Fat Ladies" and Farnborough from some other show re: airplanes.
That's Boron, I'm pretty sure, not Barium.