Broadband Briefings


Published by NetAction Issue No. 6 December 6, 1999
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IN THIS ISSUE:

Competition Is Working
About Broadband Briefings

Competition Is Working

NetAction issued the following statement today in response to AT&T's announcement regarding customer choice of Internet content providers:

THE AT&T/MINDSPRING ANNOUNCEMENT SHOWS THAT COMPETITION IS WORKING

The announcement by AT&T that its customers will have a choice of Internet content providers with its high-speed Internet service is a clear sign that the competitive market is working, NetAction said in a statement released in response to the company's action.

"The lesson here is obvious: If it isn't broke, don't fix it," said Audrie Krause, the organization's executive director.

NetAction believes this latest development should make it clear to local, state, and federal policy makers that there is no need to regulate access to high-speed cable Internet service.

"We've said all along, competition is driving the broadband market. Regulating the deployment of cable broadband will only slow it down," Krause said.

However, she noted that regulators do have an important role to play in promoting competition by enforcing rules that require local phone monopolies to open their telecommunications networks to competitors.

NetAction maintains that the effort to impose mandated access has been driven primarily by GTE and the Bell monopolies. These companies have sought to thwart local phone competition and delay broadband in order to build the market for their own digital subscribe line (DSL) service.

While AT&T's plans do not effect other cable companies, NetAction expects that the competitive pressure it generates will quickly motivate other cable broadband providers to make the same commitment to consumer choice.

"NetAction predicted months ago that the cable broadband 'open access' debate would be a short-lived controversy, and today's announcement by AT&T surely makes it a non-issue," said Krause.

AT&T's complete statement is on the web at: http://www.att.com/press/item/0,1354,2318,00.html

For more information on NetAction's position, see: http://www.netaction.org/broadband/


About Broadband Briefings

Broadband Briefings is a free electronic newsletter, published by NetAction to promote policies that encourage rapid and widespread deployment of high-speed Internet access. NetAction is a California-based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting use of the Internet for grassroots citizen action, and to educating the public, policycmakers, and the media about technology policy issues.

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