The Best of Times or the Worst of Times: Which Will It Be?

Charles Dickens opened A Tale of Two Cities writing that “It was the best of times, it was worst of times”. Therein may lie some helpful context for understanding where our country finds itself today. I don’t propose to cover the entire issues waterfront in this brief piece, but will instead focus on a few of the things I see dragging our country and our government down today. For the purposes of this essay, I will include telecommunications and media, Congress, and the courts. To start off on the positive, there’s some really good news at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Altafiber is targeting 400,000 fiber passings outside its footprint

Altafiber, formerly known as Cincinnati Bell, has been busy in 2023 with its fiber buildout—both within its incumbent territory and in expansion markets.

Digital Equity and Justice in Maryland: Challenges and Opportunities

In “Digital and Equity and Justice in Maryland: Challenges and Opportunities” recently published by Economic Action Maryland, I present findings from a qualitative study that sought to answer the following research question: What is the landscape of issues related to universal broadband access, digital equity, and related community standards in Baltimore City and across the state of Maryland? My hope was that the findings would be useful for residents, policymakers, and other stakeholders interested in advancing broadband access and d

The Three Broadband Gaps

I think there are three distinct broadband gaps that together define the broadband availability gap – the rural broadband gap, the urban affordability gap, and what I call the competition gap. Nobody is talking about what I call the competition gap. Most places in the US have only one ISP that can deliver fast broadband of speeds greater than 100/20 Mbps. Why does this matter? It is becoming clear that the majority of people and businesses nationwide want relatively fast broadband.

Open Access Networks Poised to Turn up the Heat in the U.S. Broadband Market

The open access fiber network business model consists of a network operator who builds, manages and owns the fiber network and multiple ISPs who sell wholesale access to the network and resell it to residential and business customers. The ISPs are responsible for all the customer acquisition and support costs/activities, while the network operator is responsible for network operations. This type of shared network model is very popular in Europe largely because regulators have mandated it to level the competitive playing field.

Will Broadband Be Affordable? Highlights from an Expert Panel

On October 2, AEI hosted an expert panel to discuss how price controls might affect broadband affordability and ways to ensure broadband is affordable for all Americans. The panel featured New Street Research’s Jonathan Chaplin, Duke University’s Michelle P.

Brightspeed and Ziply CEOs unpack fiber deployment challenges

USTelecom hosted its annual Broadband Investment Forum, in which internet service providers (ISPs) and policymakers came together to discuss the most poignant issues in the industry. One of the sessions featured Brightspeed CEO Tom Maguire and Ziply Fiber CEO Harold Zeitz, who shared their respective approaches to fiber deployment and how they view the broader competitive landscape. When Brightspeed began operations last fall, its initial goal was to try and hit as many households as possible, said Maguire.

Is Broadband Essential?

There is an easy way to simplify the upcoming battle between the Federal Communications Commission and big internet service providers (ISPs) over Title II regulation and net neutrality. The public expects the government to regulate industries that are essential. That’s the reason we regulate electric companies and drinking water quality. It’s the reason we regulate meat and drug safety.

Measuring incumbent ISP response to municipal broadband opt-out referenda in Colorado

This paper examines how the quality of Internet service from existing providers is affected when voters in Colorado approve referenda eliminating a barrier to their local governments providing broadband service. Using a difference-in-differences framework, the research design exploits variation in the timing of a community’s approval of a referendum in order to examine whether incumbent private providers adjust their speed offerings in response to the signal that public entry is more likely.

Broadband, Social Justice, and the Future of Universal Connectivity

A discussion about why universal access to affordable, robust broadband is a matter of social justice and necessary for a thriving democracy. That might seem obvious to many of you—how can one fully participate in our society, our economy, our education, health care and financial systems or our democracy without a broadband connection?