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The competitive difference

Brough Turner has done some investigative work. Here’s the photo that summarizes it:

The following is an edited, paraphrased version of Brough’s comments on the mailing list I got this from (with Brough’s permission):

In the picture, the building on the right is 111 Huntington Avenue in Boston. It’s served by 7+ separate carriers each of which owns their own fiber into the building. The price quoted on the slide is Cogent’s list price for a 3 year contract (lower prices and/or shorter terms are available to those who can wait for an end-of-quarter special).

The building on the left is 170 Huntington Avenue in Boston. There is Verizon fiber into this building, but apparently no other carrier has their own fiber into this building. The price quoted is what a friend’s IT department signed up for less than 45 days ago.

In both cases we are comparing “dedicated” services, i.e. a supposedly committed information rate service. Yes, Verizon’s price per Mbps would be better if the customer had ordered 155 Mbps, but the disparity would still be outrageous.

Gotta love competition. Brough’s case study is one more data point confirming Yochai Benkler’s massive study of broadband around the world [pdf] that found the countries that surpass the US in price and penetration are generally ones with competitive markets for broadband.

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