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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Surprise, Markets Work!
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In response to Comcast's recent announcement regarding its new traffic management technique, which involves limited capping to prevent excessive bandwidth use, Verizon has countered that it does not employ bandwidth caps. Now I have no view as to whether Comcast's prior traffic management "throttling" or the newer "capping" (for lack of better shorthand terms) provides superior service from a consumer perspective. And I don't know what precise traffic management protocols Verizon uses or how those protocols will evolve over time as applications become more sophisticated and more bandwith intensive.

It is clear, however, that the cable and telecommunications companies are engaged in ferocious competition to gain market share in the broadband market. Both industries are rapidly working to upgrade and improve their networks, both are trying to differentiate their service offerings to the public, both are striving to improve service quality and enhance the consumer experience. Most importantly from a policy perspective is that the billions of dollars invested in this effort has not resulted from government mandates or intrusive regulation, but from vibrant marketplace competition. Want more and better broadband in the U.S.? The best thing the government can do is stay out of the way and allow competition to flourish.

posted by W. Kenneth Ferree @ 2:08 PM | Broadband , Communications

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