There is little doubt that our readers are aware of Chairman Wheeler's remarks on September 4th at 1776, a start-up incubator in D.C. His message echoed what policy leaders have repeated countless times - competition is lacking in the world of broadband.
Telecommunications has become a popular topic in the past few months as decision makers are discovering that constituents DO care about online access, economic development, and exessive consolidation. ILSR was pleased to see the Chairman address the issue of lack of competition and released the following statement:
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance applauds FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s Agenda for Broadband Competition. We feel it is a positive step coming from the nation’s top communications official.
“These gigabit developments are positive, but they are not yet pervasive,” Wheeler said. “Looking across the broadband landscape, we can only conclude that, while competition has driven broadband deployment, it has not yet done so a way that necessarily provides competitive choices for most Americans.”
Wheeler's recognition that Americans lack a true choice in fast, affordable, and reliable Internet access is an important development. If we want real options for next-generation connectivity, local governments must be free to build then own networks.
If there is one thing we have learned from the history of essential infrastructure, it is that local governments must have the option of building and owning it themselves.
“Hundreds of communities have already invested in their own fiber networks, keeping money in the local economy and spurring job growth.” says Community Broadband Networks director Chris Mitchell.