Web Site buy discount propecia Washington, D.C., January 14, 2015 – Fred Campbell, Director of the Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology, released the following statement with respect to President’s Obama’s broadband announcement today in Cedar Falls, Iowa:
“President Obama’s latest plan to turn the Internet into a public utility is bad economics and bad for our Constitutional right to a free press. The approach to broadband adopted by Cedar Falls, where the President is revealing his plan, repeats the economic errors of the past.
The Cedar Falls network is owned by the city’s rate-regulated power utility. The Federal Communications Commission has long recognized that combining rate-regulated services with other services leads to hidden price increases. This “cross-subsidization” concern — that power companies have incentives to raise consumer electric bills to pay for the deployment of broadband networks — is why the Department of Justice sued to break up the AT&T monopoly in the early 1980s.
Though this problem can be avoided by keeping municipal broadband networks separate from power companies, many independent, government-owned broadband networks have failed, leaving taxpayers to clean up the mess. Burlington Telecom in Vermont used $17 million in city funds before defaulting on its debt obligations. Similarly, the city of Provo, Utah was subsidizing its broadband network at the rate of $2 million per year until it decided to sell the network to Google for one dollar.
Turning broadband networks into public utilities would also put the freedom of the press at risk. The Founders knew through their own, living experience that governments can control ideas by controlling the means of their dissemination. That’s why the First Amendment protects the printing press — the mass media technology of their day — from government control. That protection is equally applicable to the Internet, which is rapidly becoming the primary mass media technology of the present day. Permitting government ownership of a monopoly broadband network would be every bit as dangerous as permitting government ownership of a monopoly newspaper.”