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Wireless Broadband substitution is real

One of the comments my able debate opponent, Gigi Sohn, President of Public Knowledge, made last Friday stuck with me over the weekend as very much an "ostrich-head-in-the-sand" point of view.

After I pointed out that prices were falling, consumer choice and speed were increasing, broadband investment and deployment are healthy, and that there was an explosion of innovation and new products... Gigi replied that ~98% of people access the Internet through their phone or cable company. (she ignored my comment that 8 sort years ago we had a monopoly) Then she sarcastically dismissed the possibility that wireless or other technologies could ever compete with phone or cable -- or that it would be a long time coming.

Gigi is suffering from naysayers disease, if I don't see it today it cannot ever happen. The future will always be like the present or the past. (That certainly has not been true of the Internet)

About one out of ten americans now have left their formerly monopoly phone service and now just have a wireless phone; its called wireless substitution Gigi, and the percentage is even higher among young people -- who are the future.

  • If people can replace their voice service with wireless substitution, why won't people replace their DSL or cable service with wireless broadband?
  • And why won't millions of Amercans subscribe to both, landline broadband and wireless broadband like they already do in subscribing to both cable and DBS?

The problem with Gigi's view of the state of competition, is that the facts on the ground are only accumulating that competition is increasing and that consumers are increasingly getting more choices, faster speeds and lower prices.

  • Net neutrality proponents must think people are stupid and will only listen to their version "of the facts" as they see them and ignore what they see in the marketplace everyday.
  • The facts supporting that competition is increasing is overwhelming and only getting stronger by the day.
  • Time is not on the side of Net neutrality proponents...every day that goes by...their world view gets harder and harder to justify.