The argument that we are given Internet access by only a few companies who cooperate and divide up the land among themselves is totally valid. But there may be a silver lining we’re not seeing that is staring us right in the face. The potential of the free market. Specifically, Google Fiber.
Google entered the scene in the 90s solely as a search engine and its assets and capital at the time were no where near what they have today. Google is a brand people trust and depend on and they decided to start introducing fiber optic Internet access simply because it grew to a size where it could afford to begin laying down its framework.
Google did this on its own, seeing potential in drawing/stealing consumers in from other ISPs (and the other ISPs definitely took notice). Granted, Google Fiber is only in a select number of cities right now, but it literally had zero cities at the time of its inception. Google is just one example of a powerhouse that started small and then entered new markets we never saw coming.
Amazon started off as an Internet retailer for books. It now has its own streaming service, 2-day delivery for the things we want, potential drone delivery, and Alexa. Walmart also had its humble start as a retailer. It now offers banking, cell phone plans, 2-day delivery, and sell groceries.
These services were not within the companies’ visions at inception. Netflix used to only sell physical media and competed with Blockbuster, eventually eliminating them from the picture altogether. Now Netflix’s capital is through the roof. These companies and potentially more (Apple, Microsoft, Cricket Wireless, T-Mobile, Uber, Disney) have the potential and the capital to enter the ISP market and undercut what the current big guys are offering.
Google Fiber is already doing this, and no one told them to. It saw an open market and decided to act because it wanted to make more money. That is just how the free market works and we are better off if we let that dictate who wins and loses.
We cannot predict how the Internet will evolve and prosper. We probably could never have imagined that a ton of people could be walking around with Internet connected devices in their pockets back in the day. The free market created these innovations without government intrusion. So why are people so adamant about using the government to stop the big guys from doing what they know how to do when they can just fight among themselves and offer lower prices and better services to undercut their competition or raise its profits?