We Need A Broadband Competition Act, Not A Net Neutrality Act

from the get-out-the-wrecking-ball dept

Andy Kessler has put together a fantastic editorial for the Wall Street Journal explaining why Markey's attempt at legislating Net Neutrality won't do any good. As we pointed out when Markey first announced it, this plan seems to be focused on the symptoms, not the real problem (and, no, just having the FCC step in to slap the wrists of neutrality violators doesn't help either). The real problem, of course, is the lack of real competition in the broadband market. Kessler suggests that we shouldn't be focused on Net Neutrality, but should wipe out the bogus regulations that are currently restricting competition in the broadband market. That means not going through a painful localized franchising process or making it a pain to get the rights of way necessary to install equipment necessary for next generation broadband. It means actually opening up the market to competition, not creating subsidies and regulations that mean only the incumbents can play. Not that politicians are about to do anything like this, but it sure would be nice.

Filed Under: broadband, competition, ed markey, net neutrality, rights of way


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  1. identicon
    Whitehat, 27 Feb 2008 @ 10:17am

    Broadband Competition

    What not one of you seems to understand is that THERE ARE NO EXCLUSIVE CABLE FRANCHISES. Wire line providers all have to use the municipal right-of-way. Each local government has the obligation to make sure that anyone who wants to use the ROW is willing to compete on a level playing field and can prove that he/she has the financial resources necessary to protect the municipality and its residents from any damage or harm they may cause. Be able and willing to do so and even you can get a local cable franchise. There will NEVER be multiple direct competitors in a market. It costs too much to build plant and there aren't enough customers per mile in any area to make it financially feasible to have more than two providers in an area. Most areas can't support two wireline cable-type competitors. Many municipalities have granted multiple local cable franchises - and the 2nd company into the market couldn't make it financially. The so-called "pro-competition" (deregulation) legislation passed in some states has only strengthened the hold of the incumbent provider. In North Carolina more than 100 state franchises have been issued during the past year... ALL to the incumbent local franchise holder. NO competitors have come into the market. Most of you remind me of the fable about the blind men and the elephant. If you're not familiar with the story - look it up.

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