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FCC: What Broadband Problem?
McDowell editorial...
by Karl Bode 03:47PM Wednesday Jul 25 2007
Freshly appointed FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell writes an editorial for the Wall Street Journal (non-reg. version here), and breaks the news to us (and rural America) that the country doesn't really have a broadband problem. According to the Commissioner, reports saying so are flawed, and those calling for policy change are "alarmists":
"When it comes to broadband policy, let’s put aside flawed studies and rankings, and reject the road of regulatory stagnation. In the next few years, we will witness a tremendous explosion of entrepreneurial brilliance in the broadband market, if the government doesn’t micromanage. Belief in entrepreneurs and a light regulatory touch is the right broadband policy for America."
Consumer advocacy group Free Press recently penned a report (pdf) from the other side of the spectrum (aka reality):
"Incumbents argue that the marketplace will save our sinking ship, even as the water level rises. This blind faith in the market would be reasonable if the U.S. telecommunications market was perfectly competitive. But it simply is not, and it’s high time to face reality. We rely on the market forces of a duopoly to produce robust cross-platform competition at our peril."
Of course McDowell fails to mention he wouldn't be able to tell if there's a problem one way or the other, considering the FCC's own data on broadband has long been discredited as completely inaccurate.

The FCC has repeatedly failed to correct their shortcomings on this front, because rosy broadband data pleases the FCC's incumbent lobbyist friends, justifies their current "hands off" philosophical position, and makes it appear the agency is actually doing its job -- as opposed to bowing mindlessly to the industry's largest ISPs, who don't want profit margins eroded by progressive, consumer-centric policies.

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