[Ed. – In any case, “net neutrality” is a solution in search of a problem, and one that will kill off small blogs by treating them as if they’re the same as Time-Warner AOL. Conservatives can’t be conservative and also be in favor of “net neutrality.”]
Roughly three years after Google Fiber’s introduction, broadband access has grown, even in areas where Google does not operate. The company did not need to be forced into providing access to every corner of Kansas City for the market to respond with citywide improvements. As for Google Fiber itself, a May 2014 survey by Sanford Bernstein found that 75 percent of households in Kansas City’s medium- to high-income neighborhoods had signed on as customers, and the company had achieved 30 percent penetration in low-income neighborhoods, which enjoy access to Google’s free (albeit slower) broadband plan.
The introduction of a disruptive new competitor—even when it started on a very small scale—spurred customer demand for better broadband. True to form, Comcast and Time Warner recently announced much faster Internet speeds at no additional cost in Kansas City. Even cities that are not in the running for Google Fiber are seeing broadband investments increase. AT&T recently announced the expansion of its ambitiously named “U-verse with GigaPower” fiber service in 21 major metropolitan areas. Incumbent firms have long been staring down a regulatory buzz saw and are now finding ways around it.
And it is not just established telecom companies that are in the fray. Regional startups such as Sonic.net in California, Falcon Broadband in Colorado Springs, MINET Fiber in Oregon, and many others are using a mix of new fiber and old copper cables to deliver faster broadband.