AMERICA'S UNIQUE INTERNET SUCCESS
March 1, 2007
A legislative priority of congressional Democrats, "net neutrality," threatens America's unique Internet success, because it would reverse America's 11-year, bipartisan policy to promote competition and not regulate the Internet, says Scott Cleland, chairman of NetCompetition.org, a forum of broadband companies.
America has achieved unique Internet success from promoting competition and reducing regulation. The United States has:
- Invested more than $100 billion in a national cable infrastructure over the last decade; the U.S. cable industry has built the world's fastest universally-available (94 percent), wire line broadband access network.
- Promoted facilities-based competition; while regulated reseller competition can produce short-term benefits, free-market, facilities-based competition is necessary to promote innovation, consumer choice and network redundancy long-term.
- Achieved extremely rapid deployment of multiple wireless broadband networks; fueled by plummeting microchip prices, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile have over the last three years invested billions of dollars to build out and improve their national wireless broadband networks.
Don't be fooled by critics of broadband competition and supporters of net regulation, says Cleland. Net neutrality is basically a debate between dueling visions for the Internet's future. Should the Internet continue like it is today, unregulated with a broad diversity of consumer choice? Or should the government pass a new net neutrality laws that would ration bandwidth to force one equal tier of Internet service, where average Americans would pay more to subsidize a free ride for online giants like Google?
Source: Scott Cleland, "America's unique Internet success," Washington Times, March 1, 2007.
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