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Broadband Cherry-Picking: Bennett Rebuts New America Foundation Report on Broadband Service

WASHINGTON - ITIF Senior Research Fellow Richard Bennett offered a sharp critique of the latest report from the New America Foundation (NAF) on the quality and cost of broadband service in the United States.

Bennett wrote on ITIF's blog 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.

"NAF's latest plea for strict regulation of broadband networks sweeps the progress we've made with advanced networking technologies in recent years under the rug. When we're moving in the right direction, it's best to acknowledge reality" said Bennett.

Read the complete post.