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Why not ask GAO to settle debate over validity of OECD broadband rankings?

Listening to the House and Senate Democrats in yesterday's congressional hearings say "there can be no debate" "or dispute" that the U.S. is falling behind in broadband, when House and Senate Republicans, expert witnesses and the Administration were debating the validity of that very point directly before them, indicates that this "debatable point" is the exact type of "assessment of the facts" for which the Congress created the GAO to sort out.

Congressional Democrats appear to be embracing the findings of the OECD on broadband as gospel when the OECD has obvious competitive motive to put EU countries in the best light and the U.S. in the worst light.

  • There is sufficient debate on whether the OECD methodology accurately captures the full range of reality that the GAO should sort it out the facts in a non-partisan manner.

Some important questions for Congress:

  • Since broadband is a key to American competitiveness and American innovation, why wouldn't it be wise to have an objective American perspective on the state of broadband in America rather than relying solely on the potentially-biased assessment our international competitors?
  • Why would it be in America's interests to delegate the critical policymaking function of fact-finding and assessment to our international competitors?
  • Why would it be to America's competitiveness advantage, to unilaterally concede the redrawing the broadband/Internet playing field for the Europeans benefit? 

If the goal for broadband is truly development of good policy and not just political advantage, why would it not be better to work towards consensus on the facts through the well-established GAO process so that consensus could develop on the actual problem that needs to be addressed?