Wednesday, August 01, 2007

FCC Commissioner Copps: 700MHz spectrum auction rules stymie broadband competition

America’s broadband performance leaves a lot to be desired. To me, the culprit is clear: a stultifying lack of competition in the broadband market, which in the words of the
Congressional Research Service is a plain old “cable and telephone . . . duopoly.” A 22 MHz block of 700 MHz spectrum is uniquely suited to provide a broadband alternative, with speeds and prices that beat current DSL and cable modem offerings. Maybe this can happen yet in this spectrum, but by declining to impose a wholesale requirement on the 22 MHz C-block, the Commission misses an important opportunity to bring a robust and badly-needed third broadband pipe into American homes.

1 comment:

Carol Anne Ogdin said...

This is, indeed, exactly the issue. And, so long as AT&T and Verizon can keep promising Republicans campaign money, especially in a year when Republicans are doing badly at fund raising, the FCC will keep trying to prevent real competition from emerging.

This is exactly the strategy used by the pharmaceutical companies who wrote the legistlation to prohibit Medicare from negotiating prices for volume purchases of drugs.

If the FCC spectrum auction takes place for "White Spaces" before 2009, it will set the U.S. broadband initiative back a decade or more. If, however, the FCC gets a wholesale change in membership with a Democratic administration, expect the successful bidders for spectrum to be required to open their spectrum up for wholesale reselling.

Web Analytics