National Broadband Plan Must Promote Competition, Openness and Access

Contact Info: 
Moira Vahey, Free Press, (202) 265-1490 x31

WASHINGTON -- Today, Free Press filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission as part of the agency's "national broadband plan" to bring high-speed Internet to all Americans.

"The FCC's broadband plan must chart a new direction for technology policy in this country," said S. Derek Turner, research director of Free Press and author of the comments. "Success will depend on policies that promote robust broadband competition, guarantee strong Net Neutrality protections, and produce concrete data about the broadband market. The agency must set a high bar for broadband -- our digital future cannot rest on today's slow, expensive standards."

Free Press offered the following recommendations:

  • Conduct a thorough review of the current state of the broadband market and the impact of past policies. Over the last decade, the FCC has not evaluated the broadband market to assess the real impact of its decisions on consumers. The FCC should produce an honest assessment of broadband deployment, develop a data-driven standard to identify local areas where providers are abusing their market power, and evaluate the impact of all past policies.
  • Encourage broadband adoption through policies that increase competition. The FCC must move beyond availability. One of the main underlying barriers to broadband adoption is value -- the speeds are too slow and the prices are too high. The national broadband plan should focus on the policies that spur the deployment of high-capacity networks and drive down consumer costs.
  • Treat broadband as infrastructure. President Barack Obama recently said that America's digital infrastructure is "the backbone that underpins a prosperous economy and a strong military and an open and efficient government." The FCC should prioritize policies that promote next-generation networks, ensuring that commercial market failures do not result in weakening the nation's economic foundation.
  • Protect the open Internet through strong Net Neutrality rules. The economic and social value of broadband is derived from the content and services it delivers. The FCC should expand and codify the "Internet Policy Statement" into permanent Net Neutrality rules. The FCC should also reverse the decision to classify broadband Internet access service as a pure information service, which would allow the agency to reinstate open access rules where appropriate.

Read Free Press' broadband comments:


Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at

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