What Does Business Broadband Competition Look Like?

Friday, October 16th, 2015
Competition is growing every day in the specialized market for business broadband services to enterprise and small and medium sized businesses. Cable companies invested $16 billion last year alone, and in just a few years have become successful competitors for business broadband customers throughout the country. What does this look like in a specific market? USTelecom examined the Atlanta metropolitan area to give a snapshot of this trend, according to a filing with the Federal Communications Commission.

A minimum of 78 percent of businesses in the Atlanta market were estimated to have access to services from a cable operator, the filing showed, based on an analysis of providers offering high-speed data services. The portion of businesses actually able to get data services from a cable operator is likely even higher than estimated because the methodology for identifying potential customers was conservative.

The analysis also examined cable business service availability in urban and rural areas. In the urban part of the market, at least 81 percent had access.

Just last month, Comcast announced a major interconnection deal with other cable companies across the nation that will allow it to provide nationwide business-class services. Given these choices, it makes little sense for the FCC to revisit policies that regulate one segment of this market – incumbent local exchange providers (ILECs). Instead, the commission should strive for policies that create a level playing field among all competitors in the business broadband marketplace.

For more information, see this fact sheet.


FACT SHEET: Accelerating Investment in America’s 21st Century Business Broadband Networks

Building Modern Business Broadband Networks:  Key to Global Competitiveness

  • Broadband drives economic growth, innovation and rapid job creation.
  • In today’s global economy, broadband is essential to global competitiveness and prosperity.

The Internet Economy Has Ignited Demand for Broadband Infrastructure

  • Businesses need new and faster broadband to connect to customers, employees, and the Internet and link offices with each other and with off-site data and services.
  • The Internet backbone and regional networks must be continually upgraded to carry huge amounts of traffic growing by the day.
  • Data centers and cloud storage facilities around the country must be connected with ultra-reliable and fast broadband.
  • Hundreds of thousands of wireless sites must also be connected with ultra-reliable and fast broadband as mobile usage grows exponentially.

New Broadband Investment Is Essential To Meet Growing Demand 

  • Telcos are leading the way, investing $22 billion last year in fixed broadband and are the top investors among American industry.
  • Cable companies invested $16 billion and in just a few years have become successful competitors for business broadband customers throughout the country.
  • Competitive fiber companies invested $6 billion last year and have been growing market share for decades.

The FCC’s Current Regulatory Framework Is Working

  • The broadband industry is investing in infrastructure at levels that outpace every other industry in the U.S.
  • Competitors are growing every year and according to FCC reports will soon have 50% of this segment of the market.
  • Massive infrastructure investment and competition to provide businesses with broadband have created broadband networks that allow American businesses to lead the world in using the Internet to innovate and create services and jobs.

Businesses, Consumers and the Economy Need Pro-Investment Policies

  • Rolling back today’s framework to increase subsidies to one set of companies would overturn more than a decade of bi-partisan FCC policies aimed at encouraging investment, innovation and competition.
  • Government protection of one set of companies at the expense of others skews competition and the market.
  • Forced sharing of newly built business broadband infrastructure at government mandated prices – as sought by some companies – will discourage investment across the broadband industry and ultimately harm American businesses.

Let’s Move Forward

  • Don’t rollback more than a decade of FCC policies that have ensured investment and competition for business customers.
  • The FCC should focus on removing red tape and local barriers to building broadband infrastructure.