According to the FCC, these open policies have
helped other industrialized nations to develop competitive broadband
markets. The FCC released a draft
of a study that looked into broadband practices and plans this
week with the aim of improving the reach and use of broadband in
Reuters quotes the study saying, "The
lowest prices and highest speeds are almost always offered by firms
in markets where, in addition to an incumbent telephone company and a
cable company, there are also competitors who entered the market, and
built their presence, through use of open access facilities."
study is 232 pages long and was written by the Harvard University
Berkman Center for Internet and Society. The study also says that,
"an engaged regulator enforced open access obligations,
competitors using these open access facilities provided an important
catalyst for the development of robust competition."
reports that open access has been an issue not addressed by the FCC
since decisions in 2001 and 2002 moved away from open access
enforcement for broadband. The U.S. is not alone in earmarking
stimulus funds to improve broadband access according to the study;
several other countries are doing the same thing.
The FCC has
appointed a task force that has announced estimates for a wireless
and landline infrastructure for broadband in America. The task force
estimates that the infrastructure will cost between $20 billion and
$350 billion depending on the speeds offered. The FCC reports that
most Americans have internet access at home with one third having
access to broadband but not subscribing, and 4% having no access at
The FCC started discussing
the definition of broadband in August; this is a key step towards
defining the scope of the infrastructure needed in America.