Reason says U.S. facitilities-based broadband competition is key to continued growth

Don’t miss the article from Reason on the United States’ expanding broadband access:

First, some plain and simple good news. The White House this month released a report on broadband growth finding that since 2009, the percentage of American homes reached by high-speed broadband have more than quadrupled, and that average broadband speeds have doubled. More remarkably, between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of American households with a home connection to broadband exploded from 4.4 percent to 67 percent.

Reason’s analysis highlights an significant distinction between U.S. infrastructure development compared with Europe:

Indeed, it’s the willingness of [U.S.] telecom companies to invest in new infrastructure that ensures broadband growth. In the U.S. we enjoy what’s known as “facilities-based competition,” which means that broadband providers own their network and compete with each other based on improvements to their facilities. In most of Europe, by contrast, broadband providers lease access to the network from the local phone company at fixed rates. That may mean a greater number of competitors, but also little incentive to improve the network facility.

 The article has numerous links to supporting analysis and is worth a full read.

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