Net Neutrality is Essential to Competition, Streaming Revolution and Small Business Recovery
May 20, 2020
The Federal Communications Commission's Net Neutrality remand proceeding, INCOMPAS highlights several important points:
- Monopoly and duopoly do not equal competition: Over 75% of Americans are stuck in broadband markets controlled by two providers. Plus there is even LESS competition at faster speeds -- such as gigabit service that increases both upload and download times - and is imperative to help more families and small businesses work, learn and recover from COVID-19 economic disruption.
- Mobile is not a substitute for fixed: Duh.
- Large ISPs have the “means and the motive” to do harm: Merger mania, with large ISPs buying content providers, enables large ISPs to favor and discriminate against other broadband providers and competing streaming services.
- Interconnection threat: The streaming revolution is a result of smart interconnection policy. But the large ISPs’ ability to discriminate at the point of interconnection is very real. They have done so in the past, and are simply waiting for merger conditions rules to sunset.
- Investment by big ISPs is DOWN, not UP: The facts are stubborn here. The data shows that some large ISPs actually have decreased their broadband investment by billions of dollars. A recent study from George Washington University concludes that the passage and repeal of the net neutrality rules had no meaningful impact on broadband investment. Plus, at least half of the 5.6 million new fiber-connected homes in 2018 were the result of merger conditions.
INCOMPAS: Net Neutrality is Essential to Competition, Streaming Revolution and Small Biz Recovery