Neither are the cable companies.
Phone and cable companies deliver last-mile Internet service, and phone companies own most of what’s used for backbone Internet traffic in this country. But if they both disappeared tomorrow, would the Internet die with them?
The Internet is just a means of moving bits between networks. It is not the networks running the traffic.
If the phone and cable operators disappeared tomorrow, yes there would be an interruption in service. But there would also be huge new opportunities. For businesses that run their own networks. For municipally-owned networks. For new Wireless networks. For anyone willing to move the bits around.
What is happening, right now, is that phone and cable giants are holding the Internet hostage to their desires for a service-defined network. The Internet is just one service in their view, but they insist they must be the only folks who deliver it.
Buf if you have a home network, if you’re moving bits with wires or wirelessly around your home, then you have an Internet. All you need is a connection to the core — any connection — and you’re on "the Internet."
If the Bells and the cable operators disappeared tomorrow, there would
be lots and lots of people waiting, and willing, to compete for your
Remember that. Don’t be fooled by the Bells’ rhetoric, or the cable
company rhetoric. Don’t let them hold your Internet access hostage to
their corporate business plans.