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.