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Call for "National Broadband Strategy" is "code" for a Government Industrial Policy

Senator Kerry's recent echoing of the call for a "National Broadband Strategy" by House Telecom Chairman Markey and FCC Commissioner Copps -- is really a slick coordinated bicameral campaign to reverse current national communications competition policy and replace it with a Government industrial policy.  

Calling for a "National Broadband Strategy"  implies we don't have one when we do -- and it is the law  of the land -- the 1996 Telecom Act -- and it was supported by over 95% of Democrats and Republicans when it passed during the Clinton administration -- and by the way it is working.

  • The purpose of the law is our "national communcations policy/strategy": "To promote competition and reduce regulation in order to secure lower choices and higher quality services...and encourage the rapid deployment of new technologies."
  • The part covering the Internet: ""To preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet..., unfettered by Federal or state regulation."
  • The part covering promoting new technologies, Section 706: "The Commission...shall encourage deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans..."

What's wrong with that national broadband strategy?

  • Nothing.

What's wrong with the progress and achievement of that strategy to date?

  • Nothing.

Lets review the facts, not the spin that those promoting a new industrial policy cannot support with facts.

  • Free market forces have delivered competitive broadband faster than any other service in US history, which would certainly make it "reasonable and timely".
  • The US has more broadband facilities competition, investment and consumer choice than any country in the world.
  • The price of broadband per bit is plummeting as speeds are rapidly increasing.
  • American wireless prices are among the lowest in the world (over 70% lower than Europe's) and Americans have more wireless choices.
  • America has more WiFi hotspots than any couuntry in the world.
  • America has at least five national wireless broadband providers, and has a sixth choice coming in next generation WiMax technology.
  • We have satellite broadband for hard to reach areas and the prices for that service are falling fast and speeds are increasing.
  • BPL is an encouraging additional long term technology.
  • Finally, the US leads the world in most everything Internet.

So what's wrong with this picture?

  • Nothing.

So what is this call for a new "National Broadband Strategy" all about?

  • It is a call from liberals to radically revamp our national bipartisan competition policy (which is the law of the land) and replace it with a "Government-knows-best, bureaucrat-centered, "Mother-may-I", FCC-picks-winners-and-losers, seventies-style-industrial policy.
  • Make no mistake. This is a grand philosophical debate that is being started here.
    • It's liberal adherents may have learned a thing or two of how to use better words and slogans, and learned to bite their tongues to not say all that they truly seek, but this is a classic free-market/government regulation philosophical debate and battle.

Never forget that cellphone technology was invented in 1960. It took government bureaucrats regulating a government-granted monopoly over TWENTY YEARS to allow wireless phones to come to market! over TWENTY YEARS!

  • Government has a long and pathetic history of trying to pick technologies and market winners and losers.
  • But it doesn't stop a new generation of bureaucrats from dreaming they can do better...

Bottomline: If it isn't broke, don't fix it. Free markets work!