U.S. Internet Users Pay More For Worse Service

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Susan Crawford for Bloomberg:

The Internet has taken the place of the telephone as the world’s basic, general-purpose, two-way communication medium. All Americans need high-speed access, just as they need clean water, clean air and electricity. But they have allowed a naive belief in the power and beneficence of the free market to cloud their vision. As things stand, the U.S. has the worst of both worlds: no competition and no regulation.

The cost of building a fiber-to-the-home infrastructure serving every single American household has been estimated at $50-90 billion. That’s a crazy amount of money, but compared to the risk of America forever losing its competitive edge to other nations who take the public Internet as seriously as they ought to, it could be a helluva good deal.