…nothing in the legislation would address the key reason that the U.S. lags so far behind other countries. This is that there is an effective broadband duopoly in the U.S., with most communities able to choose only between one cable company and one telecom carrier. It’s this lack of competition, blessed by national, state and local politicians, that keeps prices up and services down…In contrast, most other advanced countries have numerous providers, using many technologies, competing for consumers…We’re told that we now live in an era of more regulation and more government spending, but neither approach is how problems get solved in technology. Government mandates on how networks should be operated and subsidies administered by USDA aren’t going to ensure broadband access, make connections faster, or lower prices. What we need to get the U.S. back into the top ranks of wired countries is more competition, not taxpayer handouts. That would be a real stimulus.
Adrian Moore, Ph.D., is vice president of policy at Reason Foundation, a non-profit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. Moore leads Reason's policy implementation efforts and conducts his own research on topics such as privatization, government and regulatory reform, air quality, transportation and urban growth, prisons and utilities.