What I mean by nationalization - Government aquires the physical infrastructure through eminent domain (especially the last mile, which is where these monopolies form), and either rents access back to companies who act as resellers, or just manages it all themselves in a similar fashion to the TVA.

There aren't a lot of examples in US history, but it's clearly been done before (nationalization of the Tennessee Electric Power Company the most relevant example in my opinion). Normally I'd expect such an idea to experience backlash from the more conservative side of the political spectrum, but given the near universal hatred of telecommunications monopolies like Comcast, Time Warner, ect., wouldn't this be really low hanging fruit politically? Especially given the current fervor over net neutrality.

  • 3
    Where do telecommunications monopolies exist? (I'm assuming USA from context, but I see no evidence of monopoly where I live.) And where is the evidence for the near universal hatred you cite?
    – jamesqf
    Nov 25, 2017 at 3:34
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    @jamesqf because it is very expensive to extend to rural areas, and even more so to extend to rural areas that other corps already have extended to
    – Stephen S
    Nov 26, 2017 at 2:49
  • You could call it "re-nationalization" in quite a few countries.
    – jjack
    Dec 25, 2017 at 21:59
  • If you thought dealing with Comcast was awful now, just wait until it becomes a government agency! ;-) Joking aside, you forgot Amtrak; the gov't nationalization of passenger rail. Also, in 2010 the gov't nationalized student loans. Both programs have been working out splendidly.
    – Wes Sayeed
    Dec 26, 2017 at 18:07

2 Answers 2


The preferred approach in Europe, where often former government telecommunication authorities have turned into private de-facto monopolists, seems to be forced regulation, allowing only a limited access fee, and preventing them from abusing their last mile monopoly.

However, privatization of network providers, telecommunications, roads, rail, wires and any kind of pipelines, has been a big problem, because the prevalent privatization ideology of the 1980s to 2000s simply demanded to get rid of government enterprises, usually by turning them into private companies. Of course, these would become monopolies, and it took many years for government to enforce regulation, granting a fair market access for competitors.

The privatization ideology is now a bit in decline, and, I think in Berlin, there was an attempt to re-communalize the water grid after former privatization. But there are few attempts to restore the former government enterprises.


Neither Democratic Party (including the Democrat-Farm-Labor party), nor the Republican Party, nor the Libertarian Party support this idea in the U.S. at the national level, and if the Green Party does, it is not a prominent policy that this party frequently touts.

All other political parties in the United States are so irrelevant politically it really isn't meaningful to consider what they advocate, although even very few smaller minor parties advocate for this position.

It isn't uncommon, however, for Democrats and the Green Party to favor government owned Internet Service Providers or cable TV providers at the local government level, which the more common practice is to have a local government grant some private company provider a monopoly for a limited time period subject to regulatory terms in their local government's jurisdiction.

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