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Authors

Reed Hundt

Abstract

To encourage growth in the flagging information, communications, and technology sector, the FCC recently laid out a new broadband policy. This Essay argues that the current FCC plan is unlikely to create adequate scale and scope for broadband to offer stability to the industry. Instead of duplicating infrastructure by encouraging both telephony and cable firms to build broadband networks in the same communities, the FCC should favor shared use of access networks by competing service providers. Competition based on customer service and innovation will allow the industry to grow rapidly again; but the large capital investments required for redundant access networks might destroy value for many firms. A new national universal service plan for broadband that linked all homes to a big broadband network would ensure that customer demand grows. With such a network, all Americans could join the online community, and the increased number of users and consequent growth in potential demand for services would further encourage technological innovation.

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