Internet Commons

Purposes of study

To design a collective property model to provide universal Internet access over fibre optics, as a viable alternative to rampant remonopolisation of access networks (pdf)

This study aims at showing, in reply to the problems exposed farther, that the realization of a FTTH based Internet access network, using what the Press and Media call "horizontal hierarchy" and a regime of collective property, that we will call "The Internet Commons", present for the targeted public in need of a suitable Internet access the following advantages:

The service quality offered is equivalent to that delivered by classical operators, at condition of course that those duties of technical, administrative and financial management as well as customer management are performed in a professional manner. This is not asking too much and can perfectly be provided by the private sector, independently of the construction as such of the access network. In addition, the paradigm change created by this model opens a whole range of new opportunities which otherwise would remain out of reach of firms which have neither the resources nor the ability to build barriers of the big operators.

This study is also aiming at showing the feasibility of this solution, which is offered in alternative to the laissez-faire consisting in accepting without fighting that the provisioning of Internet access and its value added services is left to a unique commercial operator. It is indeed finally admitted that the variant of realisation of rival FTTH networks on the same territory is completely unrealistic.

The regulator is aware of this fact but seems to rest in the hands of the big operators to imagine solutions. It is proposed, for instance, to add some additional fibres to every building introduction, which would be in principle accessible - for renting at a cost decided by we do not know who- to the competition. Running attempts in that direction in some localities, by means of their electrical services and in collaboration with the predominant operator, leave pensive when we know of experience the past prevailing attitude of the same operator facing the development of competition. Indeed, his efforts, in a very broad measure, were motivated by the constant research of the thin margin which exists between the public power, exercised by the regulation authorities, and the power of competition exercised by other operators, these last being generally unable to be obvious facing the historical incumbent operator.

This study could then lead to a Business Case report. One expects of such document that it offers the management of the targeted firm motivated opportunities to launch new products or services. One will object that the project introduced above aims rather at the public in general. Therefore, in order to answer this objection, let's make the link, in the following study, between this plan of general interest and the particular - private - interests of the firm which will recognize numerous business opportunities and would like to support this general development with the intention of creating a wide range of new niche markets.

Lets explain:

The incumbent operator got, as it entered the market, prodigious advantages which allowed it to sit a complete domination on its rivals in the fixed network market. But it also inherited a strongly hierarchical structure which still dictates its organisation. This vertically organised firm influenced notably in Switzerland the organisation almost all the telecommunications industry in a vertical mode so that it seems obvious today that this organisation model, in the form of a Tower of Pisa, is the only one that counts. Let us imagine that the bases of this structure are withdrawn from the hold of this firm to be entrusted to its users, who would become owners in a collective way. It is easy therefore to understand that the sum of the activities of the upper floors, which starts from the management of the different levels to the manufacturing, the packing and the distribution of various contents and services would go back on the competing market which would then find back its reason to be and its functioning. Indeed, the main obstacle to the unrestricted access to the market for the value added services providers – existent or potential – resides in their impossibility to access the network, today in the hands of a unique operator, this in spite of the pathetic attempts of the regulator to remedy it. Read more on topologies here >>> (pdf)

The firm which wants to support the development and realisation of the above project will see the opening, in case of success, of large opportunities to get involved in project management, in supervision and lead of its realisation, in organisation of its service and later in coordination and supervision of the supply of services. Do note that the list above is not exhaustive. Indeed, if the evolution of the operator's job is attentively noticed, one will note that this one left for a long time the field of telecommunications facilities to get involved more and more deeply in that of wrapping and of reselling of value added services, to the point where today one find in the panoply of services of one of them the organisation of football matches!
The philosophy which supports this document aims at restoring the workmanship and mastering of telecommunications facilities to the group, under an original form, to allow new actors to launch in producer's role, following the example of the private television channels for example. The paths of information have open again and become accessible to each so that the trade which borrows them finds its freedom, pledge for prosperity. We saw this: neither the State, nor the private sector proved so far to be capable of providing the necessary guarantees for this new freedom to undertake.

Targeted public

The study is designed, under a form or another, for the following public:


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©2010 Jacques Gamboni