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« Constraints and Lifestyles | Main | Funny As a $2 Bill »


John Top

If I ever finish and get real job I may find myself in a situation akin to yours. And I used to get dismayed, because I don't see a need for a landline (so no DSL), I want sattelite TV for the Eagles ( and baseball packages so to heck with the cable companies, I figured as well.

I now have hope: Broadband over power lines. I was amazed to read about it and it will probably be available by the time I get a job.

BTW, there are a couple of other interesting stories in this edition of the Economists "Technology Quarterly", with the links to them available on the page with the broadband story.

Dave Tufte

I am intrigued by the powerline concept, but I have gotten mixed messages about whether the technology will work.

I am certain that the regulators will screw this one up too though.


I have heard the Prisoner's Dilemma being used to justify intervention, but I'm not sure that it fairly represents the real world. Doesn't the whole exercise rely on participants not knowing what the other will do because they are isolated? In the real world, people can talk to each other and arrive at coordinated solutions. The prisoners in the dilemma seem to be put in that dilemma by the intervention of the officers. If they were allowed to coordinate freely, they would arrive at the rational solution. Of course, in the age of antitrust, if there's too much cooperation, then companies are conspiring to monopolize and government needs to stop the coordination "for the public interest." But if they are not cooperating enough, then government needs to force them to start cooperating "for the public interest."

Dave Tufte

The government criminalizes some communication between firms, but the regulators are probably a bigger problem because they can set a tone about what communications they will pursue through the judicial system. I'm tacking the other way - I'd like them to encourage some conversations between telecom firms.

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