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RE: What do we mean when we say "competition?" (was: Re: [Latest draft ofInternet regulation bill])

  • From: Michael.Dillon
  • Date: Wed Nov 16 09:29:43 2005

>    This separation model may turn out to be a very good one or a very 
bad one.
> But if we choose it and stick with it, what will happen in 50 or 100 
years
> when it's either broken or irrelevent? Remember, we got to where we are 
now
> by choosing models that made sense in the voice telco time and make no 
sense
> at all now.

This separation model has been proven in the UK with
electrical utilities, gas utilities and railroads.
Some serious mistakes were made in the railroad model
but they are being remedied over time and the model is
being adjusted.

In the UK, you can buy your electricity from your
gas company or your telephone company. Or you can get 
your home phone from your gas company. There is a regulated
utility that builds, repairs and operates the infrastructure
and last mile but they do not sell to consumers and business
users.

Go to the website http://www.uswitch.com and have a look
at the "suppliers" under the various categories. The separation
exists in its purest form with gas and electric suppliers but
you will notice that there is a "broadband" category because
from the consumer viewpoint, DSL internet access appears to
be structured in the same way.

I think that the UK model is the model of the future and I
suspect that the BT Openreach separation is an attempt by regulators
to move telecom into the same type of structure. You may find
the background documents at this site to be of interest
http://www.reform.co.uk/website/transport/thefutureofrail.aspx
because they show how the complexities of the rail industry are
adapted to this model. I can't imagine telecom to be any more
complex than rail.

--Michael Dillon

P.S. I have no personal knowledge of BT Openreach other than
what I can find via google.





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