Friday, May 7, 2010

FCC Sees Broadband As A Regulated Utility

Should broadband access be treated as a utility? It may provide equality of content on the web, but at what cost. "The Open Internet Coalition, which includes Inc., Google Inc., and EBay Inc. applauded the approach because it will “preserve a level playing field for all participants,” the group wrote in a letter addressed to Genachowski today. Reclassifying Internet services could subject the cable operators to regulations including 'fair and reasonable pricing' and the filing of 'tariffs' ahead of all pricing changes, Moffett (Craig Moffett, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York) said in a report. Moffett calls the action 'the nuclear option.'" But is it the answer.

I propose pushing more competition as a goal to assure equal access to content and fair pricing. Encourage and enable other companies to offer broadband access to the home, thus competing with cable and phone's grip. Lower the barriers of entry and turn the industry from oligopoly to a more open marketplace. Through both wire and wireless, broadband access should be easy to get and the choices of provider larger. Then you won't need to call it a utility and require more government regulation. An open economy is a stronger economy.

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