Webpass Blog

The Cure for Our Internet Heartburn

Posted February 10, 2016 by Webpass

It’s common knowledge that Internet service in the US is far behind that of other countries— clearly something needs to be done to improve our Internet infrastructure.

The city of San Francisco has attempted to address this in the past, to little avail. For a city like San Francisco, the epicenter of technology and innovation— this causes a particularly acute heartache.

When providers come forward with solutions, they face countless roadblocks. They end up packing up and with their sights set on other cities, or they fold before they can become profitable and compete.

Some of the roadblocks in San Francisco are:

  • Landlords who create exclusive agreements for large cable and phone Internet providers in return for revenue share, effectively preventing better options for to their residents
  • Service providers who impose contracts on customers, locking them in to poor service, and creating no incentive for improvement
  • Established players who are stagnant, using antiquated infrastructure and repurposing it to provide Internet service
  • A 2-year process for getting certified for right-of-way access, the pace of which prevents small companies from penetrating the market and competing
  • Competitive ISPs being blocked from equal access to poles and conduit
  • An unfair advantage given to providers who enjoy cable and phone franchise rights bestowed upon them to provide Cable and Phone, not Internet

If Internet service is so important, why are there so many roadblocks? The existing regulatory environment is not designed for providing Internet access. It was inherited from other services, and prevents ISPs with better approaches and better service from competing with those that simply got there first. Competition is essential— it levels the playing field, it puts the consumer first, and it ensures that providers deliver great service, or they do not last. The cure for our Internet heartburn, in San Francisco (and beyond) is to create a legal landscape designed for Internet, effectively lifting roadblocks and ensuring competition. This is done by adopting an Internet Franchise. This means the city of San Francisco declares Internet service a public utility, and offers franchise status to approved ISPs, effectively eliminating current regulatory and incumbent roadblocks.

Highlights of an Internet Franchise:

  • Internet service provider franchisees would be granted the right to access utility poles and conduit to build their infrastructure.
  • Landlords would be required to provide access to any franchised internet service provider requested by tenants.
  • Landlords and developers of new buildings, or those undergoing major renovations, would be required to include internet-grade cable in their building plans.

At Webpass we have been able to overcome many of the current roadblocks, expanding beyond San Francisco, to five cities and counting.

We continue to be proponents for competition and putting the consumer first, whether it be our early stance in favor of Net Neutrality, the simple mission that we were founded on, or our current call to action for effective regulatory change granted through Internet Franchise.

About Webpass, Inc.

Founded in San Francisco in 2003, Webpass is revolutionizing what customers can expect from their ISP. We are now part of Google Fiber thanks to our leading-edge approach. We pride ourselves on delivering simple Internet service designed around the needs of our customers. Unlike our competitors, we own and operate our Ethernet network, eliminating dependence on phone and cable companies. This successful formula has helped us quickly become one of the fastest Internet providers around. We offer business Internet connections from 10 - 1000 Mbps and residential Internet connections from 100 Mbps - 1 Gig. Webpass currently operates in the major urban markets of San Francisco, Oakland, San Diego, Miami, Chicago, and Boston. You can sign up for residential services, or contact our sales team for business service.