I’m suing New York City to loosen Verizon’s iron grip

“A couple of months ago, I interviewed a woman in public housing in the small town of Wilson, North Carolina. She told me that the best thing that ever happened to her family was getting internet access over the city’s municipal fiber network,” Susan Crawford writes for Wired. “Included in her monthly rent bill is a $10 fee for 50 Mbps symmetric access (equal uploads and downloads). Why is this so wonderful? Because her sons are getting better grades, now that they don’t have to go to the library to use the internet.”

“Sadly, New York City is far behind Wilson, NC when it comes to ensuring ubiquitous, reasonably priced fiber optic internet access for every resident,” Crawford writes. “As far as anyone can tell, the digital divide in the city is stunning: A September 2015 audit by City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office found that more than a quarter of city households lacked “broadband” internet access (defined as any wired connection other than dial-up, meaning that monthly subscriptions to totally antiquated DSL connections over copper lines qualified).”

“In our flagship city, prices for second-rate (non-fiber) access are artificially sky-high and out of reach for many families. And what’s so remarkable is that the city actually does have the regulatory authority to do something about inadequate competitive fiber access in Manhattan and the Bronx,” Crawford writes. “The problem is that, as far as I can tell, the city that never sleeps is, in fact, asleep: It is not taking advantage of its powers. That is why I sued the city five years ago seeking information about its regulatory efforts.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The lack of competition in the ISP market results in overpricing and under-investment by the ISP monopolies.

Competition is the keen cutting edge of business, always shaving away at costs. — Henry Ford

Competition is not only the basis of protection to the consumer, but is the incentive to progress. — Herbert Hoover


  1. Extreme competition produces unbridled Capitalism and works only on the consumer level in that consumes consume products whose companies consume natural resources to no end.

    Competition is destructive in the skies as it pollutes my air. It’s also destructive in oceans and waterways because it depletes fisheries and pollutes drinking waters.

    Solution? Egalitarian Socialism whose stewardship assures that no one or several oligarchs are able to pollute and destroy the environment to please Wall St. investors. This would be the end of unbridled Capitalism which would be healthy for my children.

  2. I won’t argue with the lack of competition… but if there was any “underinvestment” going on, there wouldn’t be any such thing as dark fiber.

    And there is… loads of it. So much so they can sell access to telcom competitors.

    They just don’t want it treated as the utility commodity that it is. They want pricing tiers… and a piece of all the action that comes across their pipes.

    They publicly said over a decade ago that they think they deserve a piece of the financial pie that content providers (Netflix, iTunes, etc., etc.) generate, simply because it’s delivered via their infrastructure.

    They want all the benefits of a utility (limited/no competition), but none of the obligations.

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