Let's take the Internet back from the ISPs

The next great American infrastructure investment should be fiber to the home

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To get back to the point, you might look at a giant government-driven project to deploy fiber across America as the interstate project in a different form, 60 years later. It's a similar situation, with wars (hopefully) ending and returning veterans who might be available to fill vacancies for all manner of new jobs that would be created.

The Internet was started as a government project, and maybe the government should take it back or at least fund companies that actually deliver on their promises. That should automatically exclude the incumbent ISPs unless we drape regulators all over them. I dislike heavy government regulation as much as the next guy, but when you're talking about the big ISPs, there's sadly no other option. They've proven otherwise.

Try to imagine the United States today without interstate highways. With no way to get from one state to the next without driving local roads, interstate commerce would be slow, aggravating, and problematic, as it would be unfeasible to ship parts and equipment around the country quickly and easily. It would be a far cry from the United States of today, and I shudder to think of how it would work if we had regional monopolies building and controlling those roads.

Perhaps we should start to think about the future, much as Eisenhower did, and determine that a ubiquitous, extremely high-speed Internet is an absolute requirement to continue our economic and scientific growth. Based on recent history, we should determine that an interstate Internet system has to be funded by the taxpayers and built by private contractors.

Admit it: Bringing gigabit fiber to every doorstep would be far cheaper than a decade, or even a year of war -- and vastly more rewarding.

This story, "Let's take the Internet back from the ISPs," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Paul Venezia's The Deep End blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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