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Clearwire IPO is proof positive of increasing broadband competition

ClearWire's IPO today raised $600m to build out a nationwide broadband WiMax network. This is in addition to the $600m that Intel Capital invested in ClearWire last July. This is in addition to ClearWire's backing by billionaire Craig McCaw, the leading American wireless entrepreneur and pioneer.

  • Make no mistake, ClearWire is for real, and Broadband competition is increasing.

The point for net neuturality here is that there is yet another major wireless broadband provider in the marketplace that has no connections to the telephone, cable or wireless companies.

Moreover, broadband innovation is alive and well.

  • ClearWire is pushing the envelope with the first major nationwide rollout of WiMax.
    • Intel, which is the biggest financial backer of ClearWire, was the company that single-handedly created and enabled the whole WiFi phenomenon by embedding WiFi into all of their laptop chips creating a de facto new industry standard.
    • Intel is doing the same with WiMax, the progeny of the WiFi standard, by embedding that new upgraded capability in all its new chips.
  • Sprint-Nextel recently announced they are investing $2b to build an additional WiMax network.
  • Broadband is getting better and more competitive! 

This is also relevant to the whole issue of wireless net neutrality, the radical demand that Professor Wu made in his recent FCC filing.

  • Wireless NN is a radical and destructive proposal.
    • Forcing Carterfone device unbundling on wireless, would mean that competitive wireless companies, who have brought enormous value to the American consumer, would be punished for serving consumers wonderfully -- with the same punitive action that the government meted out for a monopoly that was ill-serving its consumers.
    • It would be like punishing an innocent person with the severe punishment of a law breaker, simply becuase the punishment of the law breaker had benefits, with no regard of whether it was fair.  
  • The innovation and risk capital investment in WiMax by ClearWire and Sprint-Nextel would effectively be knee capped, if the socialist appropriation proposal of Professor Wu was ever seriously contemplated by the FCC.  

Bottom line: Broadband competition and innovation are increasing and consumer welfare is rising with it. Net neutrality legislation or wireless net neutrality at the FCC would trash the consumer benefits competition and innovation bring.