The Bells claim privileges based on over 100 years of practice that may or may not coincide with the intent and limits of the original deals, but the resulting laws explicitly require a public purpose in exchange for the right-of-way concessions.I hadn't made the connection between net neutrality and rights of way, but clearly there is one. And that's not all!
The obligations established on a state by state basis sometimes include build-out requirements or other compensation, but they all specify that access to state right-of-way at largely no cost or limit requires common carrier status (aka net neutrality.) The loss of common carrier status invalidates the contracts. The Bell companies have no access to state right-of-way for deployment of private, closed, non-neutral, non-common carrier network deployments.
Why Even Bells Need Net Neutrality, By Daniel Berninger, Written by Om Malik, Posted Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 7:07 AM PT
The same article asks later:
Does anyone believe government should grant public assets to private entities for private purposes?Why yes, there are some old men in Washington who believe that! The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that eminent domain could be applied for private development purposes, rather than just for the public good?
I hadn't previously made the connection between abrogation of net neutrality and eminent domain, but it seems there is one.
Is granting a very few (fewer now that AT&T is cleared to buy Bellsouth) telephone companies monopoly rights over telephone and Internet and then letting them also control physical rights of way good risk management?