Broadband

What's on the Agenda for the New FCC?

April 25, 2013
A panel of experts and stakeholders examine the issues and offer their recommendations for the next Chairman's agenda.

With the departure of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and Commissioner Robert McDowell, the agency will be resetting its goals for this year and the next, settling open issues, and possibly opening new inquiries. Key issues that remain unresolved include the phase-out of the public switched telephone network and the transition to all-IP broadband networks, spectrum reassignment and interference, high speed broadband deployment and adoption, universal service for both wired and mobile broadband, content retransmission rules, and net neutrality.  Read more »

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America’s Broadband Is Not Broken

April 22, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

Critics of the American broadband system like to charge that our services are slower than those of most other countries, an oft-repeated fib. It certainly was the case that the average speeds of the most popular service plans in use in the U.S. during the economic collapse of 2008-2009 were not the world’s fastest: On average, American broadband speeds were 22nd in the world in late 2009. Tremendous attention was paid to America’s 2009 standing, but very little mention has been made about the fact that our position in the global ranking has since risen to 8th place thanks to steady increases year after year. 

Given that some of the large American broadband suppliers, such as Comcast, have doubled the speeds of most accounts without an increase in price, we can expect our rankings to continue improving. It’s unlikely that the U.S. will ever seize the title for the world’s fastest broadband from Hong Kong (essentially, a high-rise city), but there’s no reason to believe that American service levels are a barrier to innovation.

The argument for a massive reorganization of America’s broadband markets depends on a set of facts that don’t exist. Our system needs constant attention at the margins, to ensure full participation and development in the right direction, but the system is fundamentally sound and in no need of major repairs. I wish we could say as much for our utility networks.

ITIF Event: What's on the Agenda for the New FCC?

WASHINGTON (April 18, 2013) - With the departure of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski and Commissioner Robert McDowell, the agency will be resetting its goals for this year and the next, settling open issues, and possibly opening new inquiries. The new Chairperson will be tasked with shaping this agenda, while also dealing with the continued impact of mobile communication, new media and the Internet on traditional communications law and rulemaking.
Read more »

How Much Broadband Choice Do Americans Have?

April 16, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

How many Americans have meaningful broadband choice? The precise answer depends on how you define the terms, but more than people in other countries have.

Book Presentation: The Need for Speed

April 11, 2013
ITIF host "The Need for Speed: A New Framework for Telecommunications Policy for the 21st Century" book launch.

The twenty-first-century telecommunications landscape is radically different from the one that prevailed as recently as the last decade of the twentieth century.  In their new eBook, The Need for Speed: A New Framework for Telecommunications Policy for the 21st Century, Robert Litan and Hal Singer argue that the Federal Communications Commission’s outdated policies and rules are inhi Read more »

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BFA Hill Event The New National Past Time Highlights

April 10, 2013
Rob Atkinson presents on the state of American broadband rankings at a Broadband for America event.

ITIF president Rob Atkinson was a featured presenter, commenting on the state of American broadband rankings, at a Broadband for America event on Capitol Hill on April 10, 2013. 

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Springtime for Broadband

The Wall Street Journal
According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, 20 million miles of fiber were laid in America last year.

The United States ranks first in the world in cable modem deployment, with 96% of households having a cable modem capability.

The collection of statistics on deployment is a new wrinkle for OECD, which uses the term "coverage" rather than "deployment" to describe them. These new coverage data allow us to see the picture of how widely deployed broadband networks are, as well as the state of intermodal competition internationally. While the United States ranked 31st in terms of the extent of DSL deployment in 2008, it ranked first in terms of cable modem deployment (in 2009), with 96 percent coverage.

The FCC should carefully examine “network neutrality” complaints.

No formal complaints of the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet (“network neutrality”) rules have been lodged, although a number of firms complain about unfair conduct. In the event that an actual Open Internet complaint is made to the FCC, it should be carefully examined by an expert panel such as the Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group before the FCC takes action.