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WSJ: How Bells lost to cable in broadband

About ten years ago, it became apparent that cable systems could be used to provide excellent broadband Internet access. A number of companies were launched to pursue that market opportunity.

In parallel, other suppliers emerged focused on using the twisted pair copper cables of incumbent telephone companies to provide the same kinds of services.

Naturally, the cable companies won. But a lot of emotion and energy was spent on this debate.

How did phone companies muff a chance to dominate a game that was so close to their home turf? One factor is that their technology has glitches that cable’s doesn’t. But just as important were the differing competitive threats that the cable and phone companies faced, and how they responded.

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