Nationalizing the 5G roll out will not help with any of these costs, the real estate costs are more and more coming from local municipalities or other local entities to place in the right of way which is probably the only realistic option with the densities needed for 5G. The Federal government does not have the power to take those rights of way. This constraint applied really to two of the big items, real estate costs for the cell sites and right of way for the fiber.
The reason countries like China or others like it can more easily deploy a nationalized network is because the central government has total dominion. We don't have that system here so a federal approach will not reduce costs, if anything it will cause them to spiral as local entities will see that as a cash register from the federal side.
And we all understand that a federal work force is not going to be a low cost option for the third component of the equation.
For these reasons I disagree with a federal approach. To my way of thinking, if local entities, cities and counties, want 5G wireless broadband, the best way is to make rights of way available to carriers in a fair and accessible way without trying to over play their hand and jack the costs up which inevitably will just price it out of reach of more and more people.
The capital outlay to deploy these networks is fairly significant and by making a reasonable accommodation for the carriers will help offset that.
The federal government is not a good answer here as much as it may seem like the quick and easy answer. All it takes is a quick review of recent performance of congress to realize how unrealistic that notion is.
This is a fairly obvious play at rebuilding the AT&T monopoly of yore. The Feds would just pay a carrier to run the thing, perhaps by using an existing contract vehicle (maybe first net?).
Interestingly, the former bell system was nationalized for a brief period in 1918 and run by the post office (an arrangement that some European countries have today) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_AT%26T
But it did not last and was a complete disaster. I am sure a redux of that would end in tears.
In the early 1980's the Bell System had something called ISDN which purported to be something like what we call the internet today. They had a plan to roll it out (64Kbps !) nationally over a 20 year time frame. Had not AT&T been broken up in 1984 I posit that the internet we know today would have never emerged, it was free enterprise and entrepreneurship that made it happen.
Controversial like illegally wiretapping every single citizen in the nation for years? Controversial like the current President? The bar is so low on controversy and legality that it practically doesn't exist.
> It is not clear that the federal gov could use eminent domain
That sounds like an opinion but even if it were true it doesn't mean that the threat of using eminent domain couldn't be used as leverage in negotiations.
It also depends on country and location, but from what I remember, most of it goes to lease.
1. Lease on the Cell Sites. And that is why in certain places, ( or all places ) property pricing has an very large effect on Mobile Network pricing.
2. Retail. Servicing the Customers.
3. Lease for Backhaul. Increasingly Mobile Carrier is either part of a subsidiary of local ISP.
4. Lease for carrier equipment. Well we are only left with a few, Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, and ZTE. Increasingly these equipment are not part of the carrier asset but services agreement.
All the four things above made up to 70% of the cost structure.
The reason countries like China or others like it can more easily deploy a nationalized network is because the central government has total dominion.
Yes, there are no issues ( well relatively little ) with placing cell tower where they want, rent etc. If it the party direction, no one would (dare to) refuse it. You have cost structure issues? They have China Tower which shares the rural area signals, so the three carrier dont have built each of their own.
Nationalizing the 5G roll out will not help with any of these costs, the real estate costs are more and more coming from local municipalities or
other local entities to place in the right of way
Doesn't this situation put a moral hazard on municipal broadband? If a city runs the broadband, why wouldn't they use their government power to keep out competitors and maintain a monopoly?
Huge federal overreach.
This wouldn't be a discussion if they didn't.
This is essentially the situation we have in many markets where there is only one or two ISP choice(s): mediocre (or worse) service and inflated prices.
The government put together a technical specification (e.g. minimum speeds, networking standards, API for service providers) and set a series of coverage targets; then they solicited bids from the private sector to build and operate the network in each region. Funding was in the form of an interest-free loan, and the network operators are required to offer wholesale access to any retail provider. The operators are also prohibited from offering their own retail services.
So in the end, once the loans are paid back, the net cost to the taxpayer is likely going to be less than NZ$1.5bn -- that's gigabit fibre to the home for every non-rural household at a cost of less than NZ$1,000 each!
If you think there is a systematic problem, where a disproportionate amount of money goes to urban centers, and a disproportionate amount of money comes from rural areas, then you have something to complain about; but you shouldn't complain about a single project just because it does not benefit 100% of the population.
$750 for installation to the premise is really, really cheap.
The benefit of an investment like that is incredible.
Yes, of course the net cost per household is low when you count 100% of households. Of course you can only do that if you have a military to force people to buy your product whether they want it or not. Other than that it is a perfectly wonderful business model.
"Between here and the satellite, there are a very large number of nanoseconds"
The situation where capitalism is not the best tool for the job we should abandon it for that job. That will not only mean we have a better standard of living, but will also mean the idea of capitalism gets stronger because it doesn’t suffer from negative backlash when it fails because it is used in situations where it isn’t the right tool because of ideology.
There is possibly an analogy here to programmers who insist a certain technology be used everywhere, even where it isn’t a good fit, instead of opting for the best tool for the specific application.
There are certain markets (telecom, healthcare, mass transportation) where completely “free markets” don’t exist, because they can’t exist, because the nature of the products and consumers are such that one or both violate the criteria for which a free market can exist (lack of perfect information, no competition, etc.)
The free market can not create a national telecom network because it can not force all people to pay into it, which is necessary in order to have it built in the first place. The only reason we have the internet as we do is because AT&T was mandated by the government to install phone lines to everyone, everywhere, and charge everyone a fee for decades to pay for it. By its very nature there is no competition and no choice. The old Bell System was a government sanctioned and funded monopoly and no free market would have ever created such a network by itself because that’s not what free markets do. They simply allocate capital effectively in markets which are compatible with the criteria necessary for that kind of allocation to be possible.
If we are dumb enough to do it this way again (paying the wolves to secure the hen house), we better have good checks and balances on it.
Deregulation of the Texas energy market should be the model. In Texas, I get an electricity plan that is 100% wind power at a third of the cost of electricity in California. They even gave me a free digital thermostat and installed it for free. The service is reliable and gets restored quickly if there's a natural disaster.
If only telephone service and internet access worked this well.
But I agree, if you give billions of dollars to customer-facing companies to improve the infrastructure, they'll squander it.
In order to prepare for the future of the digital economy at large, bandwidth shouldn't be an artificial limitation of it. Once all the associated RFCs for 5G are standardized, a rollout of this scale would most definitely pay for itself and more over the network's useful lifetime.
I'd be afraid if my car required cell service to function.
Edit: The cost of putting in a lidar system for your car won't be too expensive (probably <$1000 when done across a manufacturer's whole fleet); but think about having to pay for another cellular line on your phone bill at current telecom prices. It would be prohibitively expensive to the end users for mass deployment.
The tech will eventually do things like communicate road conditions, allow lane prioritization, speed limits, etc, even for human driven cars.