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When data does not follow its path, the American broadband industry tends to create data that. This was certainly the case during Trump’s tax cuts, when the industry claimed that a tax break would create thousands of new, well-paying jobs and boost investment in broadband (this never happened). This was also the case during the repeal of net neutrality, when the industry claimed that being freed from “heavy regulation” (read: minimum levels of FCC oversight) would also lead to a growth of employment and a significant increase in investment in broadband (this has never happened Either.
With the Biden administration planning a
$ 100 billion Investing $ 65 billion in broadband, major ISPs (AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Charter) fear that some of this money will be used to stimulate broadband competition. After all, real data shows very clearly that this lack of competition has the direct consequence of Americans paying some of the highest prices for broadband in the developed world. To do this, the Biden plan claims it will strongly support the local community’s broadband efforts, often among the only regional telecommunications monopolies in competition.
To fight the plan, the telecommunications policy and the pressure group US Telecom were circulate industry reports proclaiming that American broadband is …in fact super cheap, and less and less expensive:
“This second installment of the BPI reveals continued and substantial price reductions for the most popular and fastest broadband Internet services. These price cuts coincide with an unprecedented increase in demand for broadband linked to the pandemic and an increase in the overall cost of consumer goods.
Instead of directly measuring the average or median price that all Internet home customers pay, the lobbying organization cherry chose the prices of a few service levels, asserting that these are representative of American consumers in general. The group also conveniently ignored the millions of Americans still stranded on outdated, slow DSL lines in areas that experience little real competition (read: regional monopolization):
Separately, the cable lobby group NCTA says broadband prices have fallen 98% since 2000 – but only by measuring ‘price per megabit’ and ignoring that ‘fast’ internet speeds of 512 kbps in the year 2000 would provide a horrible internet experience in 2021. It also ignores that people in some rural areas still have to use DSL service with speeds below one megabit while paying almost as much as people with modern connections. networks, companies have not reduced the price of megabit. ”
A recent study by consumer group Free Press found that average broadband prices in the United States have jumped 19% in the past four years alone. When the broadband industry “studies” its own industry, it also selects pricing models that intentionally ignore the layers of fees and bullshit surcharges they hit consumers with, resulting in broadband bills that can go up to until 45% higher than their advertised rates.
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Filed Under: broadband, competition, price, us