Thursday, September 4, 2014

Netflix Supports FCC Chairman's Call for Increased Broadband Competition

Nearly everything we do today requires an Internet connection. Its persistent, increasing presence in our lives makes today's comments by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler all the more important.  If the future of broadband competition is 'inexorably tied' to America's economic opportunity, how can we settle for a situation where nearly three-quarters of Americans lack a competitive choice for fast Internet service? 

Given today's broad array of Internet uses, 25 Mbps is 'table stakes' for consumers. These fast connections enable consumers to enjoy movies, games, online classes and more. Open Internet connections enable innovators to build the next-generation of Internet companies with the assurance their content or application can reach consumers without interference. Efficient businesses such as these make the U.S. more competitive with other countries that enjoy faster Internet speeds at lower costs. 

As is the case in most industries, improvements such as faster speeds or lower prices generally result from real competition. Without it, there are no market pressures to set appropriate pricing and no alternatives for consumers and businesses alike. As Chairman Wheeler rightly points out, “last-mile power cannot be a lever for gaining an unfair advantage.” 

In his speech and Agenda for Broadband Competition, the Chairman forcefully stated a hard truth - there simply is not enough competition to protect consumers and businesses who rely on the Internet. It takes real leadership for our country to chart a positive agenda for bigger, faster, cheaper broadband and all the innovation it brings. 

-Christopher 

Christopher Libertelli is Netflix's vice president of global public policy