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    but who ignore the fact that the only reason these companies are so big is 
    that they are state granted monopolies in the first place.
I disagree with that statement. Standard economics theory has long held that "natural monopolies" are possible, in markets with high barriers to entry [1]. Internet infrastructure, with the massive fixed costs of laying wires to every home, is one such natural monopoly. So it's not fair to say that the only reason these companies are so big is because of state granted monopolies. AT&T was a monopoly before it became a state sanctioned monopoly. Standard Oil, as well, became a monopoly without very much state aid. While state regulations may make natural monopolies worse, it's inaccurate to say that removing regulation (e.g. allowing anyone to run cable or put up cell towers) will automatically end the dominance of Comcast and Verizon.

[1] http://www.economicsonline.co.uk/Business_economics/Natural_...




Where I live we have a local telco that is rolling out fiber, neighborhood by neighborhood. They are successfully competing in this "natural monopoly". It is not infeasible for competing "last mile" providers to exist, just infeasible for any of them to immediately service any home in a given area. So you could imagine a situation where you have choice between the existing monopoly provider (Comcast, ATT, or Verizon who has their cable or copper everywhere) and a smaller provider who might just serve a couple of neighborhoods.


While it's not impossible to compete with natural monopolies (after all, there are upstart airlines), the amount of competition in a market with high barriers to entry is much lower than in a market with no barriers to entry. Imagine how many more choices you would have if companies didn't have to lay wires to your door in order to get your business.




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