While the big carriers continue to scale back fiber deployment, the smaller independent telcos are pushing speeds higher over new fiber networks. How can this be done without the massive economies of scale? It’s never been cheaper, and costs continue to decline. Consider the case of a rural telco with 9000 subscribers delivering 60/30 MBPS connections. That’s something we can only dream about here in AT&T’s Dallas-Fort Worth DSL ghetto.
At the end of 2009, Canby had brought Fiber to the Home-based services to about 1,000 homes-a major milestone given the fact that the ILEC has only 11, 000 access lines and 9,000 customers.
I believe the small telco is the model for a better broadband future. With large protected territories, and laws written to squash competition, the large telcos and cable operators have no incentive to offer more bandwidth at a fair price. It’s not from lack of capital. It’s how the capital is used. The smaller independents tend to stay focused on their home markets instead of investing in acquisitions, wireless and pay TV. They also tend to employ locals and are more responsive to local market needs. I’m not suggesting that we divide cities into a patchwork of small monopolies, but rather open the infrastructure to allow for small providers to enter urban markets as competitors.