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The Rule Of Three

January 31st, 2006 - 6:02 am

If this story pans out, it will be very, very good news for everybody who isn’t working for a cable or telco monopoly:

Seeking to keep pace with peers in the telecom and cable TV industries, DirecTV is building a network to offer its own wireless broadband services to consumers, according to two people familiar with the deal. These people say that DirecTV is working with EchoStar and seeking final bids from tower companies in a push to put the network together.

I’d love to see this happen. The more players in the broadband market, the better. Right now, most Americans are stuck with the no-choice of high-priced cable modem service from their local cable TV monopoly, or high-priced DSL service from one of the Bell monopolies. As a result, broadband pricing and service in the US has scarcely changed since it was first introduced in the late ’90′s; I’m paying the same monthly rate now that I paid in 1999, even as other telecommunications rates have plummeted. Two matched monopolies don’t have any incentive to cut prices, but add another independent player, and the rule of three kicks in.

Widely availabe high-speed wireless service would throw a monkey wrench into that comfortable (for the duopoly) setup, giving broadband from cable and the Bells the same deserved kick in the teeth that satellite television delivered to cable TV in the 1990′s.

I cut off BellSouth’s overpriced landline service over two years ago, which thanks to BS’s monopolist no-dry-line policy, means I’m stuck with cable modem “service” for broadband. Give me an excuse to cut that last cord, and I’ll be gone like a shot.

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