Dr. Timothy Tardiff filed Reply Comments with the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), demonstrating the number of firms offering broadband Internet has grown substantially since the previous FCC Broadband Progress Report. These comments also responded to allegations of insufficient competition by a party that cited previous FCC measures of broadband availability. Due to significant changes in how the FCC has measured broadband over time, comparing current and previous measures underestimate the growth in competition among broadband providers. The rate of growth in the number of broadband providers is a key measure used by Internet policy makers, legislators and regulators to assess the extent of broadband competition. Attempts to use the FCC’s inconsistent measures to reflect this growth misinforms policy-makers and damages regulations affecting both the economy as a whole and segments of consumers.
AACG economist, Dr. Timothy Tardiff, provided these findings in response to the Notice of Inquiry in the proceeding in which the FCC is assessing whether advanced telecommunications capability is being provided to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. Dr. Tardiff updated previously published articles by AACG to include the FCC’s most recent (June 2016) fixed broadband deployment data. The updated analysis corroborates his previous conclusion that the apparent insufficiencies in the number of firms providing broadband are ameliorated in short order by broadband providers. The FCC cited the lack of competing broadband providers to justify increased regulations which are superfluous at best, and counterproductive to competition and innovation, at worst. Dr. Tardiff’s Reply Comments can be found at aacg.com/net-neutrality/.
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