You seem to think that everyone has a choice when it comes to broadband. Unfortunately, most do not. DSL does not reach every household, and cable companies do not always offer the quality of service thaat one would expect in a broadband connection, if the cable company even feels it is cost effective to provide such a service in a particular area.
And even in areas where both "last miles" are served, I still wouldn't call that a variety.
It is not getting special government protection. On the other hand, the duopolies are getting special government regulation, because they have demonstrated in the past (and are demonstrating again) that they fully intend to prevent other players from offering services.
No, because that store doesn't have an exclusive right-of-way or franchise agreement with the municipality. Cable and phone companies however, do have such agreements in place, and thus they are often the only two providers (again, assuming both serve your area) that can physically offer the service.
If Krogers, Costco, Food Lion, Path Mark, Wal-Mart or what-have-you, however, secured an exclusive agreement to be the ONLY store in your town, and they would ONLY carry certain brands of milk, you can bet that some sort of regulatory body would want to intervene.
Well sir, you believe wrong. :) A dialup ISP may not have such exclusive agreements, but then dial up and VoIP are often mutually exclusive. Vonage isn't really happy unless it's running over broadband, and for now, braodband choices are still quite limited.
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