Even today, IP telephony isn't used enough to warrant regulation.
Not sure I'd agree with that statement. You have 3 big players in the residential VoIP market right now: Vonage, Cable Vision and AT&T (I'm sure there are a few others). According to this
, there are at least 1 million VoIP subscribers in the US, and that article doesn't take into account Time Warner or Comcast numbers. Granted, VoIP hasn't achieved the pervasiveness of cellular but residential VoIP is arguably less than 5 years old, whereas cellular service has at least 4 times that maturity.
I really don't see why anyone would want to lease cable bandwidth. Why not go to the source, the Internet backbone providers? Or if a small outfit, why not do microwave wireless? I work with a guy who runs his own wireless ISP. I'd not go into that business myself (need redundancy and 24x7, not cheap startup costs), but right now it is possible to do this on a ma/pa basis.
Why lease DSL bandwidth? Because the bells own the infrastructure that get the lines into the houses. Same with cable. I can't answer on Wi-fi or Microwave as I don't know the cost margins vs. cable/dsl.
I found myself agreeing yet again with Scalia on this recent decision. Though I have to admit, Scalia, Breyer and Ginsburg make awfully strange bedfellows on a dissent
edit: missed CR's comments whilst I type
In the end, I think AM may have pointed out that this ruling is almost moot- there is competition and alternatives, thus there is a way around the ruling ( I think?) that wil not harm consumers in the end.
In the residential space, I would argue harm is still possible. Most consumers in the broadband space are still limited by cable vs. DSL, with a few satellite options in between. In the DSL space, you do have a bevy of choices, even though the bells still own the lines. In cable? 1 choice, that's it.
I think AM's analysis is correct in the commercial internet space, but residential still gains some harm from maintaining a monopoly on 1 of the 2 medium options for broadband internet.