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.
Harry Reid, Title II, and The Rashomon Effect
The problem of over-simplification and one-sided interpretation is persistent across many policy debates, but it has been particularly bad in the recent net neutrality fracas. This whole debate has been watered down to catch-phrases like “fast-lanes and slow-lanes” without any real commitment to how this complex technology actually works. Now Title II advocates have taken to reaching for political cover, pulling support for Title II out of vague statements about net neutrality.
ITIF Files Comments with FCC on Open Internet
ITIF filed comments Tuesday in the FCC's open Internet proceeding encouraging the Commission to move forward with its section 706 approach to protecting and promoting the open Internet while allowing the flexibility needed for innovation within the network itself. Section 706 should be preferred over Title II as a jurisdictional hook for open Internet guidelines for several reasons. It is unclear that Title II offers any real advantage over section 706 and would significantly delay the implementation of real rules, even if all went according to plan. ITIF explained why the fears over "fast lanes" are out of proportion and why appropriate, commercially reasonable prioritization arrangements will be good for consumers, competition, and innovation and should be encouraged.