Changes in the broadband Internet market are affecting industry players, consumers and the policymakers who oversee this space. Innovation and technology policy thought leader Robert D. Atkinson will engage Jonathan Sallet and Jeff Eisenach in an interactive discussion of their views on the dynamics of broadband competition: Sallet's "Broadband Value Circle" and Eisenach's "Theories of Broadband Competition."
Full Speed Ahead for Verizon and Cable
The Justice Department has given the go-ahead to a very interesting transaction between Verizon Wireless and the cable companies, with certain conditions. The government’s review followed the template ITIF suggested in the comments we filed with the FCC in February, where the spectrum transaction and the other arrangements were evaluated separately. While the FCC is tasked with reviewing the spectrum transaction, the commercial arrangement was examined by Justice. Commentary by left interest groups focuses on the resale agreements between Verizon Wireless and the cable companies and ignores the much more interesting joint venture to develop intellectual property. So what we have here is a very thorough analysis by the Justice Department that comes to a very sound conclusion and a lot of poorly-reasoned objections from groups that aren’t even willing to admit that broadband in the United States is moving in the right direction.
The NAF's Open Technology Institute report "The Cost of Connectivity" offers a misleading and inaccurate critique of U.S. broadband service for a variety of reasons:
- NAF claims the United States is declining internationally when we've actually improved dramatically in the last two years on both wired and wireless speed rankings.
- The report compares the costs of triple-play bundles of TV, phone, and Internet service which go considerably beyond simple connectivity, ignoring the fact that a significant part of U.S. consumers' broadband bills covers the cost of the content. Sports, network television series, and movies tend to have higher contract and production costs in the U. S. than in most other countries.
- It wrongly compares rates charged by boutique ISPs with under 1,000 customers in urban areas to those charged by companies that serve millions of people in suburban and rural areas.
- It ignores the fact that customers in many other countries enjoy hidden subsidies.
Van Schewick’s View of Net Neutrality and Quality of Service
Richard Bennett compares and contrasts three influential reports (Van Schewick, Wu, Atkinson and Weiser) on the Internet and Quality of Service, as well as examining what their findings and conclusions will mean for future study for the issues.