Yes, we can all pack up and go home. Now that the most clueless post in history has been made, and it's simply not possible for anyone to beat it, there's no more point to the worldwide web.
Which got me to thinking about deregulation in the phone industry. Its been twelve years since the 1996 Telecom Act. I remember how it used to be when you wanted to get phone and internet service back in the day. I called the local phone company, got a two hour window, and someone showed up during that two hour window. Now, with deregulation, we have competition - now I can't get phone and internet service not just from one but rather from two companies that won't show up to provide me with that service. One company that provides the service, even if its a monopoly, beats two that do not in my book.
Now, before someone points out that the service is better now - internet is faster - well, technology advances. My guess is that the improvement in technology available to the consumer from 1984 to 1996 is more significant than the improvement from 1996 to 2008. (Anyone remember using a BBS?) And the improvements on the cell phone side of the business seem to come mostly on the manufactured hand-unit, which was never regulated because it isn't a natural monopoly. The rest comes from the switch, and that isn't manufactured by the former natural monopoly either.
Hat tip to Megan McArdle, who as usual posts an excellent rebuttal, though she forgets to mention that actually owning your own used to be illegal and that the phone company would occasionally send an electric signal through your line to see how many bells (remember phone bells?) were on the line, which would indicate that you were breaking the law.
Ah, for the good old days...
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