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You don't even need a wholly public-only solution. Licensing out state-owned towers to third parties, in addition to providing baseline public service, would be adequate to allow third party companies to compete too.

You don't need to try to artificially restrict spectrum use, just make intentional obstruction illegal just like blocking a road is. Then if state technology calls too far behind due to budget cuts people move back to private solutions until the state can get its act together again.

Of course, the problems with US infrastructure run a lot deeper than that. I imagine in a more democratic country you would see the maintenance and upkeep of such infrastructure much easier to maintain.

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