Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Many Pipes Daniel seems pessimistic about many different types of (natural monopoly) internet service providers competing for consumers. I'm not sure why. Cable reaches about 95% of the population, and all of that will eventually be able to provide broadband service. I know you have to be within three miles of a switching station to get DSL, and I don't know how many folks are eligable, but let's guess 60%. Satellite, an expensive and lousy option, is available to everyone, although tellingly used only by people living in the middle of nowhere. I don't see why WiFi shouldn't ultimately be as ubiquitous as cable and DSL. And they all have to compete against the dialup access (available to everyone).

So I count 4.5 pipes available to at least 60% of the population, which doesn't sound terrible.

(BTW. Here's a Kalsey discussion thread on Apple+iChat vs Microsoft+IM that gets into tedious anti-trust economics.)

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