ITIF commented on the Communications Act Update whitepaper on universal service, recommending a technology neutral program focused on economically efficient subsidies for wireless, broadband, and voice. ITIF recommended against supporting duplicative overbuilds, and encouraged an expansion of low-income support to broadband.
ITIF Files Open Internet Reply Comments
ITIF filed open Internet reply comments Monday, urging the Federal Communications Commission to develop flexible regulation under section 706, allowing for innovation both at the edge and within the network itself. Many of the assumptions underlying arguments for Title II, utility-style regulation are ill-founded. Instead of giving in to over-blown fears, the Commission should allow for commercially reasonable prioritization that enables networks to support the ever-growing variety of Internet applications.
ITIF Files Comments Urging the FCC to Not Encourage Municipal Broadband Overbuilds
In Comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission today, ITIF urged the Commission to not encourage municipal broadband overbuilds. This high fixed-cost industry is driven by economics that cannot sustain increased competition through an injection of public money without imposing negative externalities on others. This fact, combined with the poor track record of attempted municipal networks as well as the availability of alternative opportunities to reduce the costs of deploying or upgrading networks means state laws restricting these networks are usually good policy and should not be preempted. Doug Brake, telecom policy analyst at ITIF, said, "when analyzing state restrictions on municipal networks you have to ask whether these networks benefit or harm the surrounding area. Where networks duplicate existing private infrastructure, it is likely they end up raising costs on others, justifying state restrictions."
ITIF Files Comments Supporting Proposed Comcast-TWC Merger
ITIF urged regulators to consider the dynamic and productive efficiencies that would come with a larger cable company. The proposed transaction will allow Comcast a larger footprint to recoup the large investments needed to maintain, improve, and operate its network as well as drive research and development and quickly scale innovations. These benefits come at virtually no cost to competition: with no reduction in horizontal competition and little reason to fear any effect on upstream markets, this acquisition is likely in the public interest.
Comments Advocating For a Flexible Interconnection Regime
ITIF filed comments in response to the House Energy and Commerce Committee's whitepaper on interconnection. We believe the successful growth and innovation in interconnection arrangements in the Internet space can be a good guide as we continue to move voice traffic onto IP networks. Recent interconnection disputes should best be seen as growing pains in the expansion of data-intensive use of the Internet and not distract from the success and innovation in a diversity of interconnection arrangements.