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Related: if you want to read how the Telecoms have us over a barrel, and how they fleeced us all yet never delivered on what they promised, read http://www.amazon.com/Broadbandits-Inside-Billion-Telecom-He... (by Om Malik, of GigaOm fame)

The Master Switch by Tim Wu [0] goes into great detail about how AT&T invented this racket 120+ years ago and has been perfecting their fleecing tactics since. I particularly enjoy the opening of the book at a 1916 top hat banquet celebrating just how filthy rich their monopoly has become under Theodore Vail.

The Idea Factory by Jon Gertner [1] however asserts that the AT&T monopoly allowed Bell Labs to essentially invent the entire information age, but that without the official monopoly, we no longer see the huge investments in basic research, and commensurate major break throughs.

Damn if you do. Damned if you don't.

[0]: https://www.amazon.com/The-Master-Switch-Information-Empires...

[1]: https://www.amazon.com/The-Idea-Factory-American-Innovation/...

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