Thursday, June 12, 2014

Christopher Yoo: U.S. Fares Better than Europe in the Broadband Race

In a just-released Perspectives, Christopher Yoo, Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and member of the Free State Foundation’s Board of Academic Advisors, presented comprehensive data proving that the U.S. still leads Europe in broadband progress.
Professor Yoo reports that the U.S. led Europe in many broadband metrics in 2011 and 2012. Areas where the U.S. is ahead include high-speed access to service, fiber and LTE deployment, download speeds, and investment. Notably, Professor Yoo found that much of the success in the U.S. broadband market is attributable to the differing regulatory approaches applied in the U.S. versus Europe:
Europe has relied on regulations that treat broadband as a public utility and focus on promoting service-based competition, in which new entrants lease incumbents’ facilities at wholesale cost (also known as unbundling). The U.S. has generally left buildout, maintenance, and modernization of Internet infrastructure to private companies and focused on promoting facilities-based competition, in which new entrants are expected to construct their own networks. Regression analysis indicates that the U.S. approach has proven more effective in promoting NGA coverage than the European approach.
Free State Foundation scholars have also analyzed the data, and have been focused on debunking the negative rhetoric about U.S. broadband progress on the FSF blog and in other Perspectives. In order to remain a world leader in broadband build-out, speed, and quality, it is clear that the U.S. must not impose new regulations, but instead should continue to support innovation and growth by removing unnecessary regulatory barriers to network development.