beyond net neutrality: promoting broadband abundance

SouthWestern ON Map

While the new net neutrality rules established by the FCC protect the openness of the Internet, consumers are still limited by an underlying core problem of broadband scarcity, according to Google Fiber’s VP of Access Services Milo Medin.

In an article at FierceTelecom.com, Medin points to the problems with current models that have yet to give consumers more choices in terms of pricing, speeds, or alternative broadband service providers.

“No consumers are seeing higher speeds than before the order was passed; no consumers are paying less for their Internet services than what they were paying for; no consumers are seeing higher volume caps that they had before; and no consumers have additional choice of providers than they had before,” Medin said. “The openness of the Internet may have been preserved, which is really important, but the Internet options consumers can choose from have not changed and will not change because of what was passed in that order.”

Medin argued that “If a service provider is not going to lose customers to another because they are not delivering good service, why should the shareholders of that company want the management team of that company to spend a nickel more on better systems or better training… Without a real choice, there’s no economic incentive to invest in a better service.”

However, regulations alone aren’t enough to solve the broadband availability problem. “Some would argue that regulation is the answer, but I have never seen a company deliver better service because a federal rule existed that said they must,” Medin said. “What we do need to do is build new networks and deliver better and faster services while offering consumers new choice that replaces bandwidth scarcity with bandwidth abundance.”

Medin’s comments, though rooted in American examples, speak to the core of SWIFT’s goals: competitive, affordable, and accessible fibre-based broadband delivered through an integrated and holistically planned network. Competition drives more affordable prices – and delivering services across open-access infrastructure means more choice, and greater abundance of broadband services available for users. SWIFT will be open access for all providers and users, and rates will be published for all to see. Ongoing competition and full transparency generates more selection, better services, more choices and lower prices.

To read the full article with more from Medin about the critical importance of holistic infrastructure investment and competition between service providers, visit FierceTelecom.com