Can we all agree on this one at least? You don't have to socialize something if there's enough healthy competition. In fact, I would recommend against it because the social agency is under no pressure to provide anything better than basic service based on its funding. I wouldn't call the state of internet service in the US "under healthy competition." My particular area is out of the ordinary because we have Verizon, Cablevision and Time Warner Cable. Of course, let's not forget that the apartment complex I live in has a deal with Cablevision so they're the only choice I really have.
There's little competition with cell phone service. Why? The upstart cost is ridiculous because you have to put wires and towers all over the place and all the big companies bought up the little ones to have more coverage.
There's little competition with internet providers. Why? See above. Add on the fact that content delivery companies are merging with internet providers and now you have to compete with a company that has more money, more lawyers and more weight.
There's little competition with content delivery companies. Actually that's a lie but as ISPs merge with content companies and become bigger, they'll have more weight to push out content delivery startups. I can see Netflix being forced to buy up an ISP like Time Warner if the Comcast deal fails. TimeFlix Warner? (Comflixcast?)
In both the cell service and ISP cases, the trouble I see is lack of regulation and conflict of interest with the companies involved. One company should be the one to lay lines down and build towers for cell companies. AT&T should not be responsible for laying its lines down. Or else, Google could come to areas with Verizon and lease their fiber lines. Line-laying companies would be in competition with one another and want the business of the ISPs and cell companies. Also, I agree that content companies should not be able to merge with internet providers.
Split up line companies from delivery companies and you'll see costs go down because you only have to lease from a company that will have others leasing as well. Split up content companies from ISPs and you'll see Comcast playing nice with Netflix because it'll be one of many content companies its customers will demand access to -- or switch ISPs because they'll have a choice. You take out choice and you take out the only card customers have in determining what fails and what succeeds. If the company holds the cards, they only get bigger, which, as we can see, ultimately leads to regulatory capture. People are greedy and want money. I'm not against the fact that companies exist to make money but when they stop serving the public interests and only their stockholders' because they can then something has to change. If a company doesn't have to compete with anyone else for customers, then they're going to do all they can to raise prices and lower costs without losing too many customers to their non-existent competition.
Case in point: T-Mobile disrupting the cell industry, Apple disrupting the tablet industry and then Microsoft, and Google Fiber disrupting ISPs. (Time Warner increasing speeds to 300 Mbps near Google Fiber not because of Google but because customers [i]there[/i] are demanding higher speeds? Bullshit. I was talking to my ISP once for service and somehow Google Fiber came up. told the tech if they came here I would drop them so fast. He laughed.)