Clear Government Roadblocks to Broadband Competition

Clear Government Roadblocks to Broadband Competition

CEI Comments on FCC’s 'National Plan'
July 22, 2009

Washington, D.C., July 22, 2009—Contrary to many critics,
investment in broadband networks by U.S. telecommunications firms is booming,
and the biggest roadblocks to even more robust growth are primarily
governmental, rather than market, failures according to comments
filed with the Federal Communications Commission by the Competitive Enterprise
Institute.

“The vast majority of new regulations proposed for broadband
are simply price controls in one form or another,” said CEI Research Associate John O’Connor. “There
is no reason to believe that price controls will work better for broadband than
they have in any other industry. The same is true of subsidy proposals.
Wasteful and fraudulent programs are far more likely to continue in that mold
than to inexplicably change course.” 

CEI’s comments are in response to the FCC report “A National
Broadband Plan for our Future.” CEI, along with several other free market
advocacy groups, is urging policymakers not to adopt an interventionist policy
that would, even with the best of intentions, freeze a rapidly evolving market
into a single politically mandated structure.

“As some critics note, the government has failed broadband
consumers – but not because officials have been too averse to regulate and
legislate,” said Information Policy Analyst Ryan Radia. “In fact, the current
broadband marketplace is anything but free.
Distortions stemming from ill-conceived regulations at all levels
stifle the broadband market. The Commission can best serve the public interest
in broadband by relaxing outmoded regulations that distort efficient market
outcomes.”

CEI has long fought to liberate the competitive forces of
the market and keep technology policy focused on consumers rather than the
priorities of political elites. Read more about CEI’s technology and
telecommunications work here

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan
public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited
government.  For more information about
CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.