FCC: New Networks, More Competition

Broadband Coalition Praises FCC Tech Transition Vote as “Pro Customer”

WASHINGTON, DC (Friday, November 21, 2014) – Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took an important step forward in protecting competition policy for consumers and business customers who want more choices for broadband service.

By passing their proposed rulemaking to facilitate technology transitions, the FCC is seeking comment on proposals to promote and preserve network values including public safety, consumer protection and competition for future networks.

In response to the FCC vote, Jeff Sharp, a spokesperson for the Broadband Coalition, released the following statement:

“The FCC sent a clear message today: New networks, more competition.

“By seeking to enshrine competition policy during the tech transition, the FCC is standing up for broadband customers’ ability to choose their provider based on price, service and innovation.

“Customers are calling for more competition, and the FCC has said the customer is always right. Today’s vote is a win for schools, small businesses and local government agencies that have chosen a competitive broadband provider. By ensuring last mile access is not used as a bottleneck to choke out competition, the FCC will speed the creation of new networks and new competition.

“In a perfect world, the existing network value of competition would not require protection.  Unfortunately, large incumbent telecom providers have demonstrated a desire to use the technology transition as an excuse for blocking competition and raising prices. Last week, in a brazen display of market power abuse, one large provider even threated to hold fiber deployment hostage over a separate technology issue.

“The Broadband Coalition applauds the work and vision the FCC commissioners, and staff, have dedicated to ensuring competition policy will continue to drive technology transitions moving forward.  Whether IP travels over copper, fiber or any technology, competition must remain the gold standard.”


Customers and Competition Get Halloween Treat from FCC

Broadband Coalition Statement on FCC Competition Action

WASHINGTON DC (October 31, 2014) -- Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launched a proceeding to facilitate tech transitions in line with the commission’s stated core values of preserving competition, protecting customers and securing public safety.

In response to the FCC announcement, Jeff Sharp, a spokesperson for the Broadband Coalition released the following statement:

“After years of Bell tricks designed to thwart competition, the Chairman’s announcement today gives a Halloween treat to consumers and business customers who want access to more choices, more networks, and more competition for broadband service.

“Landmark, bi-partisan competition rules have helped create an American-made innovation revolution for broadband services. Competition helped bring services like VoIP, the cloud and other IP services to market. We are pleased that the proposal recognizes the enduring importance of core values—including competition and public safety—for how our networks work.

“For months, our customers—large and small, from national chain stores to local non-profits—have spoken up for preservation of the services and choices their competitive providers offer. Addressing preservation of last mile access and ensuring a smooth copper transition, the proposal signals the FCC stands ready to scare off misguided attempts to limit choice and competition.”


DON’T MISS: Yesterday, on the Broadband Coalition Blog, Chip Pickering, the CEO of COMPTEL, detailed how the FCC and Chairman Wheeler’s words have been laying the groundwork for action on competition policy. CLICK HERE to READ.


Competition in Good Hands with FCC’s Wheeler, New Fighter

Broadband Coalition Statement on FCC Chairman’s Remarks, New COMPTEL Membership

DALLAS, TEXAS (October 6, 2014) – Today, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler delivered remarks in Dallas, Texas on the future of competition before the COMPTEL Plus show.

During the show, COMPTEL CEO, Chip Pickering, announced that COMPTEL has added new members in the fight for competitive policy including, Netflix, Amazon, Google Fiber, SoftBank, Vodafone, AngelList.

In response to the Chairman’s remarks and the news at COMPTEL, Jeff Sharp, a spokesperson for the Broadband Coalition, released the following statement:

"Tom Wheeler is a man rooted in history, but firmly focused on the future. And in his hands, the future of competition is bright. Today he made it clear that both last mile and interconnection must be preserved as we transition to future networks.

"Stating that the transition to an IP future will not be a license to eliminate competition, Wheeler stressed the importance of interconnection. He argued that the loss of interconnection would lead to a crisis for consumers and a crisis for workers. On behalf of our customers who have chosen a competitive provider, we applaud his commitment to preserving future competition.

"Under Chip Pickering’s leadership, COMPTEL has transformed itself into the fighter competition policy needs. Adding Netflix, Amazon Prime, Google Fiber, SoftBank, Vodafone and AngelList brings cutting edge voices and feisty start-ups to the table.  We welcome these innovators to COMPTEL and look forward to including their voices in the growing conversation over the future of competition policy."

Photos from the Event



Broadband Coalition Praise Chairman Wheeler for Competition, Last Mile Vision

Customers Benefit from Broadband Choice and Future Network Access

WASHINGTON DC (Thursday, September 4th 2014) – Today Federal Communications Chairman (FCC) Tom Wheeler lauded the value of broadband competition and detailed the complex hurdles monopoly-minded providers have erected to block competition.

Speaking from tech start up incubator 1776 in Washington DC, Chairman Wheeler stressed that Americans demand more broadband, and competition is the most effective tool for driving investment and economic benefit.

In response to Chairman Wheeler’s remarks, Jeff Sharp, a spokesperson for the Broadband Coalition, released the following comment:

The words competition and Wheeler go hand in hand. Today, the FCC Chairman made it very clear: Americans must have more broadband competition to drive investment and innovation, and the FCC should act to eliminate barriers to competition for the networks of today and tomorrow.

Wheeler’s speech made it clear that competition policy will not be abandoned as we move into the IP future. He clarified two important policy areas:

First, monopoly-minded incumbents should not be allowed to use their hold on last mile access to block competition, including by preventing customers from switching providers.  Second, by setting the rules of the road for broadband competition we will ensure innovation and investment continue to drive our economy.

History has proven that competition produces innovation. The members of the Broadband Coalition, and the competitive telecom community, have helped bring innovations like Ethernet and the cloud to the business market.

We applaud Chairman Wheeler for his dedication to competition and for highlighting specific key constraints, like last mile access, that could limit competition. Broadband customers who want a choice in service providers were given a signal today from the Chairman that the future of broadband and the future of competition go hand in hand. 


Broadband Coalition Statement on OMB Approval of FCC Special Access Data Collection

Washington DC (Monday August 18, 2014) – Today, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) special access data collection request. This decision clears the way for the FCC to conduct a comprehensive review of incumbent telecom providers’ market power in the provision of business broadband services.

This data will provide the FCC with information on the extent to which incumbent telecom providers are able to charge monopoly prices for business broadband, while locking up demand to prevent competitive alternatives from expanding their presence in the marketplace.

In response, Jeff Sharp, a spokesperson for the Broadband Coalition, released the following statement:

“Special access data is competition data. More competition drives better prices and better customer service in the business services marketplace. We applaud the OMB and FCC for taking this important step forward in collecting data that will measure the level of competition in this marketplace.  This data collection will help empower the FCC as it ensures that small businesses, schools, libraries and governments are able to obtain broadband service at affordable prices. 

“Making policy in the dark is a bad idea. Collecting competition data will help the FCC and the policymakers on Capitol Hill bring more competition and choices to business customers. The limits in choices and higher prices available today are the result of market manipulation by incumbents who have exploited their market power to block competition.

“Deployment of IP technologies, innovation and job growth have all fallen victim to this market power abuse. The data the FCC will now be able to collect will help them identify and stop the anticompetitive practices of the incumbent telecom providers.  The ultimate result will be more competition, investment and innovation in broadband for American businesses and consumers.”


New video on Customers, Competition and the 1996 Telecom Act