Broadband is a key engine of economic opportunity, one that leverages America’s comparative advantages in innovation and entrepreneurship. Intelligent use of high-speed Internet connectivity makes businesses stronger and more productive, manufacturers leaner and government more efficient. In health care, information technologies save lives and save money, allowing individuals to have greater freedom and superior care. Educational broadband advances learning and achievement. Multiple analyses show broadband making us more energy efficient, expanding social opportunities and helping bring families and communities closer together.
This technology matters, and government has a role to advance and implement solutions that foster private-sector commitments and investment in high-speed mobile broadband for the benefit of consumers and America’s economy.
We should pause upon hearing that a government agency is asking to tinker with market forces by giving certain companies a leg up and others a ball and chain. A free market has the fortitude to meet the needs of consumers and our nation’s economy over the long haul. In this instance, practicing a little humility would clearly be a good thing.
Former Rep. Rick Boucher was a 14-term Member of the House who chaired the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet and co-founded the Congressional Internet Caucus. He’s currently honorary chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance and head of the government strategies practice at Sidley Austin in Washington.