Comcast or Comca$t?
July 5, 2008 10:51 AM Subscribe
What are the costs of doing business for a large ISP?
posted by awenner to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
All this talk about bandwidth throttling, downstream capping, and miscellaneous connection meddling among the major ISPs has made me wonder why the market isn't producing an alternative to the major internet providers. In the old days of dial-up, there were often dozens of small-scale ISPs per city, while today a few major companies - Verizon, Comcast, etc. - dominate the national market.
Here are my questions:
* What are the operating costs of a business that provides high-speed internet connections? What's the relationship between those costs and the fees charged to customers? Is the argument (made by ISPs) that rising costs will mean increased fees credible?
* What factors are preventing new competitors from entering the market? What's to stop an upstart ISP from renting Google's "dark" fiber optics?
*And finally, what are some potential solutions that a new company might employ to get around today's existing constraints?