Out of Control Policy Blog

Everywhere broadband

Lots of people are fretting about those who don't have broadband, but, as Adrian Moore points out:

    Consumers now enjoy an expanding array of choices, and all indications are that those choices will grow rapidly.

    I should know: I live on a farm in the Sierra Nevada mountains, well outside of the nearest small town of 7,800 people and over 120 miles outside of Los Angeles. My property is not served by a cable company or by DSL broadband over the phone lines. Yet I have three companies competing to provide me with broadband Internet access–two satellite companies and a wireless company. My father lives even further from town and yet has five options for broadband access.

    In a world where rural mountain valleys two hours outside of L.A. have five options for high-speed Internet access, the idea that we have to create artificial competition though regulatory policies like open access is absurd. Time and technological changes have passed by the situation that once made open access seem like an attractive option.

    In fact, to the extent that we don't have as much broadband access in the U.S. as we want, open access policies are partly to blame. Open access regulations created a huge disincentive for companies to invest in more broadband infrastructure and slowed down the expansion of the technology.

Whole thing here.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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