Competition in the business broadband marketplace has flourished over the last 20 years, fulfilling the goals of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. With competition rising and prices that business customers pay falling, there is no need for new or additional regulation, according to the third of three USTelecom white papers examining the business broadband marketplace.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took a careful look at this marketplace a decade ago, during AT&T’s and Verizon’s acquisitions of the two largest high-capacity business services providers. The FCC concluded then that, outside a small number of buildings, the mergers would not be anticompetitive since numerous competitors served both the wholesale and retail segments of this marketplace, and ensured business customers had a choice of service providers. Today the marketplace is more dynamic than ever, and AT&T and Verizon, in particular, have seen their position in the marketplace steadily erode.
Despite evidence of healthy competition, one set of companies whose business model relies on access to other companies’ networks, want the FCC to lower prices to give them a further leg up. They seek regulation as a means to obtain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. This makes no sense, given the emergence of new competitors that are vigorously competing to provide businesses customers choice and attractive pricing.
The FCC’s mission is to protect competition, not individual competitors or particular business models. The fate of competition should not hinge on the fortunes of any particular group of competitors, much less the ones seeking regulatory action. To the contrary, other competitors in the marketplace have demonstrated the ability to succeed without the need for regulatory handouts.
See the white papers for a fuller discussion:
- The Broadband Internet Economy is Thriving
- The Competitive Business Broadband Marketplace
- The FCC Should Not Pick Winners and Losers