VoIP blocking will kill economic development

What I and others have been predicting for years is starting to come to pass. As the number of broadband providers has narrowed to a duopoly of the cable and phone company in most regions, these firms are starting to muscle out third party service providers. VoIP startups are the first target because both the phone and cable company want VoIP customers of their own, and the simplest way to do that is to simply block all VoIP data packets except their own. Evidence of this is clearly visible as hardware manufacturers begin to sell VoIP blocking appliances.

This is the strongest argument of all for community broadband infrastructure, which is offered as a level playing field for all service providers. Community leaders that simply hand over the economic development keys to a monopoloy broadband provider by doing nothing are consigning their communities to a slow death. Businesses will avoid regions where there is monopoly control of services (that is, all telecom costs will be higher there). New businesses will have a harder time starting, and entrepreneurs will pick up their families and move elsewhere.

The opening shots are being fired. The goal is to kill competition and create monopoloy markets where a private company decides what services your community and businesses get, and at what price. How will your region respond?

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