hmm that reminds, me what ever happened to internet over electric cables? The elect company's are not saving and replacing old infrastructure as they should be. I've seen plenty of news stories about how bad our grids are and how everything needs to be replaced but is not. Who owns the cables??
The neighborhood grid is owned by a single delivery company (AEP in most of central Ohio), while the generation is provided by "competitors".
The U.S. generally does not have broadband over power lines for two reasons:
- We have more transformers, each with a smaller step-down ratio, than other countries (Europe, Japan, etc.) since our grid started earlier. BPL needs a repeater over each transformer.
- Ham operators put up a pretty major stink about delivering high bandwidth over power lines due to an expectation of (and possibly experimental data showing) interference.
On the original article topic, I would totally vote to have an entity that is (at least lightly) accountable to citizens/voters in order to put a little competitive pressure on the current crop of duopolists. Digital/internet communication has transformed the way most of us work, and has become non-optional. I believe it's informative to note that many times that localities have tried to provide comms services, the entrenched players usually sue. I'm thinking it's a pretty good gravy train or they wouldn't be so protective of the turf.