Friday, May 07, 2021

Latest FSF Critique of Biden Broadband Plan Disproves Claim That Service Is "Too Expensive"

The Free State Foundation today published the third piece in an ongoing series exposing flaws in the broadband-specific elements of President Biden's American Jobs Plan.

In "Biden Broadband Plan: Claims That Broadband Is 'Too Expensive' Are Unfounded," FSF President Randolph May and I tackle head-on the factually incorrect assertion that "Americans pay too much for the Internet." Citing multiple data sources, we demonstrate convincingly that the efficient operation of the competitive marketplace for high-speed Internet access is producing greater consumer choice, lower prices, and higher speeds. Make no mistake, time-tested trends prove that market forces are doing their job.

In "Biden Broadband Plan: Misdirected Broadband Subsidies Hurt Competition and Consumers," published on April 28, 2021, we described the harm that necessarily would result from the use of taxpayer dollars to overbuild existing, privately funded broadband networks: private investment would decrease, competition would suffer, and consumers ultimately would be worse off, not better.

And the first in the series, "'Future Proofing' Subsidized Broadband Would Inflate Consumer Prices," an April 13 post to the FSF Blog, explained how the Biden Administration's stated preference for "gold-plated" funding-eligible networks – that is, infrastructure capable of providing far more capacity than consumers demand, particularly in the upstream direction – inevitably would incentivize subsidy recipients to target areas already served and, more broadly, lead to higher, not lower, prices.