True, but there are cases where the diagnostic isn't correct, or the tech's lie to either get more money out of you, or because they are that dumb. Like if you went to a mechanic saying your car was running rough, and the mechanic said you needed a whole new engine, when all you really needed was an oil change.
It's one thing when people say they're overcharged for paying a $50 diagnostic fee to figure something out that they couldn't.
It's another when a technician says you need a new motherboard, when really all that's wrong is the hard drive cable was unplugged.
I deal with that all the time at my shop, where people bring their machines to Best Buy or wherever, and come to us for a second opinion.
From the techjournalsouth article-
"If the cable/phone companies really want a level playing field, they'd open their books just like we do in the spirit of open meetings and open records law. They don't want a level playing field. They want to be the only team on the field."
It seems the community internet operating books will be transparent, so people can see what costs are, and where the money is going. It's a public service, not a for-profit business like Time Warner is.
While it's true a monopoly is generally anti-consumer, a publicly open/owned monopoly is far less likely to be in a position to price gouge for crap service, where the larger, established private monopolies already are.
No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.