A group of industry trade organizations and service providers, including COMPTEL, Sprint (NYSE: S), XO and BT (NYSE: BT), have launched the “Competify” campaign to encourage the FCC to drive further competition in the broadband market.
The group said that the information economy is suffering from a “chronic disease” caused by a lack of competition and consumer choice.
Since the large cable operators and ILECs control nearly all of the available broadband lines, three out of four American consumers have zero to one choice for broadband.
“We all know the broadband economy is sick,” said the group in a joint statement. “Competify has the cure.”
The somewhat tongue-in-cheek campaign’s “partners for the cure” members include the Ad Hoc Telecommunications Users Committee, Broadband Coalition, BT, Competitive Carriers Association (CCA), COMPTEL, Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), Engine, Level 3, Public Knowledge, Sprint and XO.
Competify estimates that the broadband economy pays nearly $10 billion each year “in overcharges to a few huge companies” that control access to much of the nation’s broadband networks.
These profits have a number of drawbacks for consumers: higher prices, stifled innovation, and lower speeds and deployment of wireless and wireline broadband services. Any consumer and business that uses a smartphone, tablet or a telephone and other technologies has no other choice than to use an incumbent-controlled network to get Internet access.
This group has emerged ahead of the FCC’s Aug. 6 meeting. The agenda includes a discussion of how to protect both businesses and consumers as ILECs migrate more of their networks from copper to fiber and to IP. This includes addressing copper retirement and providing equivalently priced IP services to wholesale CLEC customers so they can continue to serve their small business customers.
– see the release