When the FCC reclassified broadband services, they stated that they were not going to get into price regulation. As expected, they did not keep their word and are now manipulating the prices in a free market. What Ross mentions below are the unintended consequences of price regulation.
By Ross Racine
When it comes to internet access, Native American and Alaskan tribes are among the least connected in our country. An analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisers found that along with the rural South, portions of the Southwest, predominately home to Indian communities, are amongst the lowest connected regions.
In today’s connected world, it is crucial that the federal government promote internet connectivity across the nation. But the Federal Communications Commission is considering a regulation that would have the opposite effect.
THE FCC PROPOSAL, WHICH WOULD REDUCE RATES THAT PROVIDERS OF BROADBAND SERVICES CAN CHARGE, IS AIMED AT STIMULATING COMPETITION. IN REALITY, IT WOULD HAVE THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE OF DRIVING AWAY INVESTMENT IN BROADBAND – ESPECIALLY IN RURAL AND TRIBAL REGIONS. THIS WOULD ONLY INCREASE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE BETWEEN THOSE WITH AND WITHOUT INTERNET ACCESS.
We were heartened when President Obama, in the heart of Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma, announced ConnectHome, his plan to connect thousands of people living in public housing to the internet. The President recognized that the U.S. has “a special obligation to make sure that tribal youth have every opportunity to achieve their potential not just for the benefit of themselves and their communities, but for our entire nation.”