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Government Regulation Would Hurt, Not Help, Broadband Investment

By John F. Jones, Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Government Relations

Despite impressive and ever-increasing gains in broadband availability and speeds in the majority of the communities in our country, we apparently still have occasional pundits suggesting that the government should regulate broadband networks the way it regulates landline phone service and public utilities.

They suggest that the marketplace competition is not working, yet most Americans have more than one choice when it comes to selecting a broadband provider. It is interesting to note that today’s consumers are much more focused on faster speeds, bundled pricing and additional broadband services that result from a competitive market rather than on more government interference.

It’s also worth noting that unlike public utilities, broadband is not a uniform product and broadband providers are not all the same. For example, broadband can carry many different types of products—from voice to data to video—and can also use different types of technologies—from copper to fiber to WiFi—to deliver these products to homes and businesses.

CenturyLink invests hundreds of millions of dollars every year to bring broadband to more consumers and businesses across the country.  But the reality is that additional government regulation of broadband networks would stifle private investment in broadband technologies and infrastructure instead of encourage it.

Several recent opinion pieces make some good arguments in favor of leaving broadband alone.  I encourage you to read them here:

http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/11/professor-crawfords-obsolete-public-utility-thinking-for-broadband/

http://phoenix-center.org/blog/archives/1075

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/technology/276609-the-broadband-economy-a-square-deal-all-around#ixzz2Hxq5HYas

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