We should eliminate old policies and rules that are out of sync with today’s competitive Internet market and replace them with intelligent regulations that are based on market realities. The inevitable transition to Internet Protocol-based communications networks is a chance to do just that. This transition has two paths: one that clings to the past and maintains the status quo, or one that embraces this exciting, all-IP future.
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai recently endorsed moving forward with an all-IP pilot program that he believes would send a powerful message to the private sector that we intend to head down the second path. We would signal that we won’t force carriers to invest in old and new networks forever, and move closer to the day when “carriers will be able to focus exclusively on investing in the networks of tomorrow rather than maintaining the networks of yesterday.”
Encouraging sustained investment and competition will result in the continued rapid deployment of the next-generation communications networks that fuel economic growth and innovation while raising the standards of living for the entire country.
Investment powered by the private sector has brought to America, in record time, a wired and wireless Internet infrastructure second to none. Public policy that incentivizes, rather than impedes private investment in next-generation networks will serve as the backbone for economic growth, job creation, global competitiveness and a better way of life.
A future-focused communications policy has proven its merits in the United States. Maintaining this path is critical to reaching America’s potential.
Harold Ford Jr. and John Sununu are the honorary co-chairmen of Broadband for America, a group dedicated to ensuring every American citizen has high-quality access to the Internet.