Public Option for Broadband is Illogical

Published August 23, 2010

Mark Sullivan’s editorial advocating a truly government-run Internet service was built on faulty logic (“A ‘Public Option’ for Broadband?” June 30). Creating a false analogue to SEC and EPA regulatory schemes, Sullivan rides on the back of current political trends instead of employing analysis or logic.

Higher prices in the U.S. are the result of a much larger infrastructure. The cost to redevelop and expand old telco networks is far greater in the U.S. than in a small country like Japan. The demographic and geographic reality of our country is being ignored as the free market is attacked.

No one, however, has stepped up to answer the big question: What makes us think the government could be more efficient? Municipal wi-fi has failed in almost every instance or been trumped by private firms like Starbucks, yet we prescribe government intervention as a way to improve service?

WLAN and satellite Internet providers are gaining market share and the broadband access market is becoming increasingly competitive through innovation. Price controls, regulations, access-speed floors, and the like would undoubtedly set America back years.