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Comcast-Clearwire 4G Rollout Spotlights Vibrant U.S. Facilities-Based Broadband Competition

Comcast-Clearwire's 4G WiMax rollout starting in Portland today, as part of broader national launch this year, is powerful evidence of the vibrancy and dynamism of the facilities-based broadband competition trajectory in the U.S.

  • This latest announcement provides an excellent opportunity to take stock of both the current state of broadband competition in the U.S. and the competitive trajectory of how the U.S. broadband market is getting increasingly more competitive.

Contrary to the parade of imperfection horribles claimed by anti-competition groups to try and justify a wide variety of new net neutrality-related regulations, the U.S. has more real and growing facilities-based broadband competition than any nation in the world.

The Comcast announcement provides powerful proof points of all the good aspects of vibrant facilities-based competition.

  • Proves that the marketplace can and will fund the building, launching and operating of the equivalent of a seventh national broadband offering (in addition to: cable modem, telco DSL/fiber, Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, Sprint, and T-Mobile/Deutsche-Telecom facilities).
  • Proves that a new competitive entrant must offer a compelling value proposition to succeed; i.e. Comcast is offering a faster speed at a lower price than the current market in Portland.
  • Proves that there is facilities-based innovation competition; Comcast-Clearwire has adopted WiMax which is a fundamentally different technology than current wireless 3G or 4G LTE technology provided or planned to be provided by the four national wireless broadband competitors, and its substantially different from WiFi technology, a wireless technology that has been deployed more broadly in the U.S. than in any other nation.
  • Proves that people increasingly demand "broadband to the person" mobility, not just broadband to the home or building.
  • Proves that this market is dynamic and ever-changing -- requiring an up-to-date and forward-looking view in order to get an accurate assessment of the market.

    To the extent that one is open-minded and interested in the competitive facts, the benefits to consumers, and the real competitive trajectory of the communications marketplace, the evidence is powerful that American-style facilities-based broadband competition is both working today for consumers, and increasingly will be going forward.

    • Competition works!