Here’s a good smack-down from Mike Wendy of Media Freedom on claims of a broadband monopoly in the US:
Importantly, the upshot of this is that no one is dominant. No one has control. The ability to bend a market to ones liking is virtually impossible. For voice and for Internet services the incumbents are just one player among many in each market, offering their services to hungry consumers in the crowded, converged communications marketplace.
Its easy to see how one could draw this conclusion. Recent government and industry data show:
- There are 1,681 U.S. broadband providers;
- 99% of the U.S. can access at least one wireless broadband provider;
- 96% of the U.S. has access to at least one wired broadband provider;
- 88% of the U.S. has access to at least four mobile broadband providers;
- 87% of the U.S. can choose between at least two wired providers; and
- To access broadband, Americans can choose between an array of connection technologies, such as DSL, cable-coaxial, fiber, 3G and 4G mobile broadband, broadband over powerline, WISPs, satellite and Wi-Fi offload not to mention whats coming down the pike.
Contrary to the stagnation one would think would be evident in monopolistic markets, the U.S. broadband marketplace proliferates. It continues to bring higher average and peak broadband speeds, new ways to connect to those speeds, more broadband availability to more people, increased service options and offerings, and overall better dollar value to U.S. broadband consumers with each new year.