A few Suggestions for Governor Doyle Regarding the AT&T “Video Competition” Bill

AT&T’s lobbying efforts to change Wisconsin’s cable TV regulations has generated a refreshing amount of commentary. 5 years ago, during Governor Doyle’s first Gubernatorial campaign, I had a chance to briefly talk with him after a debate with Scott McCallum. I mentioned Wisconsin’s poor broadband infrastructure (we continue to stand still, which means we’re falling further behind) and how AT&T had failed to invest in fiber networks. Doyle mentioned that he was aware of this, but could not do anything about it in a first term…..

Fast forward to 2007. This map, via broadbandreports.com displays the communities that have Verizon’s fiber to the home available. Fiber networks provide much higher speeds and more citizen choice than our aging and long since paid for copper networks (we continue to pay and pay and pay for the old stuff).

Perhaps, Governor Doyle might put citizen’s interests first and sign the bill only if:

  • Those who provide service via this bill must do so via symmetrical fiber to the home, and,
  • Customers may purchase the symmetrical fiber to the home service for internet use only (ie, without phone or video service). Such “naked” internet service shall be available at speeds equal or greater to those offered via phone/video bundles.. Cost and terms shall not penalize naked internet buyers vis a vis bundled phone/video purchases
  • Customers shall have complete access to all internet services. Vendors will not restrict any IP services.

What are the odds?
UPDATE: A friend emailed simply: “Lotsa luck”.
Interestingly, this type of an initiative would be quite a legacy for the Governor. The fiber will be connected to our homes for many, many years.