Expert Says Sector Increased Choice and Expanded Broadband
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today’s GAO report on its investigation into competition and subscriber rate-related issues in the cable industry is “commendably thorough” and “correct,” according to policy and legal expert Randolph J. May of The Progress & Freedom Foundation. In fact, May believes the report proves that the sector’s actions have been beneficial to consumers.
“The GAO report appears to be a commendably thorough examination of the issues related to competition and subscriber rates,” said May upon reading the GAO report. “Importantly, the investigation led to the correct conclusions: the factors that have contributed most to increasing cable rates are the huge sums invested, around $75 billion since 1996, to upgrade cable infrastructure and increasing program costs.
“Of course, these investments have led to more consumer choice and the availability of widespread broadband Internet service,” he said. “In this light, GAO appropriately recognized that what the government most needs to do to benefit consumers is to promote more competition.”
In general, May, who is senior fellow and director of communications policy studies at the Foundation, maintains the way to increase competition and consumer well-being in the digital world “is for the government to ensure that all broadband technology platforms, whether cable, telephone, satellite, wireless are not subject to public utility-type rate or other regulation.”
The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.