Comcast and ATT have as disgusting a history with our infrastructure as the government. Throwing our arms up in the air with "the government can't do it" while simultaneously saying "oh well I guess trust profit driven companies with our data transmission" doesn't sound at all sustainable to me.
"You can't fix all that," so I guess I'll die? I'm not going to roll over and let Comcast have its way with me.
Except that’s not true, right? Comcast’s top speed has gone from 12-20 mbps in 2008 (last time I had Comcast service in Atlanta) to 1 gbps today. That involved a ton of investment—each new versions of DOCSIS require you to split nodes and move fiber closer to each subscriber to hit the required performance on the analog side. Over that time period, Comcast cable has improved way faster than almost every other aspect of computing besides iPhones. My MacBook from then (2 GHz Core 2 Duo) would still make a pretty serviceable machine. But I’d be pretty salty about a 20 mbps internet connection. (And stuff like Facebook, Gmail, and Google Search arguably have regressed, rather than improved, over that time period.)
Over that exact same time period, Metro had to disable driverless train operation, which was built into the system when it opened in the 1970s, because it had let the signaling equipment deteriorate too much for it to be reliable. They had to decrease train spacing from 6 minutes to 8 minutes, and increase the scheduled time between stops because track conditions (and human drivers) didn’t permit maintaining the more aggressive schedule.
From my point of view, I’m looking for ways to have Comcast take over Metro, not have WMATA take over my broadband.
Comcast blocked peer to peer. ATT blocked Skype and Google Voice. MetroPCS tried to block everyone but YouTube.
Great, you found a time a local government did a stupid. One local government, one instance. I can provide for you a storied history of big Telecom's attempts to wrestle control over a consumer's choices. Again, and again, and again, they try to take from us. We have no say in any of their decisions - we can't even vote with our wallets because they have functional monopolies. At least we can elect our government representatives. At least portions of the government support net neutrality (when literally no Telecom company actually does in practice).
The WMATA example is not “one instance.” I use it as an example just because it’s local to me. (You want to hear about my water service? It cost $30,000 for the city to hook us up to public water/sewer in 2015. We just had the chlorine levels tested and they’re squarely in the middle of the range for pool water.). And frankly Maryland is a wealthy blue state, with better public services than say Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, or Georgia, other places I’ve lived.
Transit is also an example of infrastructure that, like broadband, requires expensive maintenance and continual upgrades to handle increased demand. The NYC MTA is also in dire straits. When there’s only a handful of cities in the US with “real” subway systems to begin with, the #1 and #3 systems being in a state of emergency is a pretty significant data point.
But the problem isn’t unique to subway systems. US infrastructure, which is almost entirely managed by state and local governments, is a disaster across the board: https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org (American Society of Civil Engineers Report Card giving US infrastructure a D+). Whether you’re talking about lead water pipes poisoning kids in Chicago, civil war era sewer systems dumping raw sewage into the Potomac, Baltimore’s subway that celebrates 75% on time performance, California HSR that ran out of money after construction barely started, etc., American state and local governments prove time and again that they cannot be trusted with infrastructure.
>Speed is the number one most important thing for broadband service
Safety and security take precedence over speed, for me. I don't trust corporate entities that I have no decision making power over with my data, especially because they have already demonstrated what their goal is - extract maximum capital from me by any and all means necessary.