So, the city of Milwaukee is suing AT&T because they DARE to offer television services in competition with the local cable monopoly! Never mind that AT&T is already regulated for access to rights of way, and that they are offering to pay equivalent fees. The city apears to just want control, pure and simple. The benefits to consumers of having competition are obvious to anyone–heck even my 7 year old daughter gets it–and well documented, as two reports Reason will release in January will show. Anytime a we can reasonably shift from monopoly to real competition we are going to be better off. But too bad for the residents of Milwaukee, their elected officials will stand firmly atwart technological and economic progress and make damn sure they don’t have to face any pesky choices in television service providers. The Grinch would be proud.
Adrian Moore, Ph.D., is vice president of policy at Reason Foundation, a non-profit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. Moore leads Reason's policy implementation efforts and conducts his own research on topics such as privatization, government and regulatory reform, air quality, transportation and urban growth, prisons and utilities.