After reading the recent article “How We’re Holding Back Broadband”, by Holman W. Jenkins Jr., via The Wall Street Journal, it was evident that pompous rhetoric on the subject of broadband and mobile limitations can be stifling, if not self-serving by the author. As Jenkins points out, the problems with broadband and mobile in not being the idealized services which offer impeccable speed, connectivity, and coverage points directly at the FCC and legislators in being virtual czars of spectrum and broadband rules, which he extols is the menace of free enterprise.
The last time I checked, our economic system is based on the basic principle that competition should rule the marketplace, no matter the industry size or type, realizing that such competitive forces will weed out the underperforming and reward the best of class. For this principle to work there must be limited external forces which manipulate competition.
However, left to lobbyist and big business spending, this economic force can be up-ended creating huge dominate players, who then can raise prices at will while destroying the competitive concept intended. Unfortunately, this is what we have today; a few dominate companies wanting complete control of the market. As in previous posts on this subject, my theory is that a balance of competition and regulation must co-exist in order to support a healthy and robust competitive model.
We have created such an unregulated market policy over the last 10 – 15 years, that market competition, jobs, and rising prices have virtually destroyed the middle-class of America. Yet, there are those who continue to make assumptions that complete deregulation is the utopia in which we should live.
Mr. Jenkins lives in a world devoted to extoling the virtues of big business, knowing that supporting market dominate companies to deliver the perfect broadband, and mobile services at reasonable prices is as unrealistic as telling the FCC and legislators to lay down their regulatory powers. The editorial backing of anti-consumer policies such as the elimination of competition, (AT&T / T-Mobile), and touting it as good for the public is ridiculous. Spectrum deals that transfer valuable frequencies from one dominate player to another in hopes of more market control is another ridiculous assumption, which builds entrenchments rather than competitive forces.
Stop the Rhetoric
Let’s stop the pompous, self-serving rhetoric of doom and gloom if large and profitable companies do not always get their way. Broadband and Mobile services will survive without huge mergers, as in Sprint’s mobile resurgence in the light of daunting market metrics. If companies are encouraged and given the incentive to compete, that is exactly what they will do. They will create a competitive market with a high standard of service and innovation with competitive prices. Let us not forget what made this country great, unimpeded market competition.