Reining In The Cost of Connectivity: Policies For Faster, Cheaper Broadband In 2014

Reining In The Cost of Connectivity:
Policies For Faster, Cheaper Broadband In 2014

Americans in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC, continue to pay higher prices for slower Internet service when compared to similar cities in other parts of the world. No single solution or magic bullet can solve all of America’s broadband challenges, but steps can be taken to improve the American broadband market.

A new policy paper from New America’s Open Technology Institute examines the reasons for these challenges, and analyzes some of the factors that impact speeds and prices. Reining in the Cost of Connectivity identifies areas for potential regulatory intervention at the federal and local levels, to promote robust competition and provide consumers with better service at more affordable prices.

The paper builds on the Open Technology Institute’s previous work on broadband pricing. In October 2013, OTI released The Cost of Connectivity 2013, a best-effort survey of consumer broadband pricing data from twenty-four cities around the world. The report found that although Internet speeds are increasing around the world, the United States’ collective broadband experience does not measure up to that of other countries.

The report highlights that “Americans often face higher prices, slower speeds, and a frequently frustrating consumer experience overall. A number of these problems persist because of failures to act by policymakers at all levels.”

The new paper lays out a series of strategies to improve the status quo. Some key recommendations include:

  • -Working to remove barriers on the development of local networks;
  • -Encouraging cooperation in broadband build-outs;
  • -Supporting pro-consumer and pro-competition policies.

Read the full report, Reining in the Cost of Connectivity.