The pace of technological innovation in communications is mindboggling; it’s almost impossible to keep up with the proliferation of better handsets, an increasing number of services, the multiplying apps on better networks, and all costing less—a lot less.
But apparently this blinding pace isn’t fast enough for the Federal Communications Commission, which can’t open a door without committee deliberation and concurrence, a memorandum of understanding, and maybe an executive order.
So the revelation that the FCC, with its trove of regulations that are irrelevant, fail to reflect reality or, even worse, slow or stop the pace of innovation, is going to ensure timely broadband deployment is a joke.
Only the joke isn’t funny.
The FCC recently issued its Seventh Broadband Progress Report, the so-called 706 report, the purpose of which is to have the FCC determine periodically whether broadband “is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion.” If not, then the commission can “take immediate action to accelerate deployment.”
And what a shock: regulators detected a need to regulate! The majority of commissioners found that the data implies that broadband is not being deployed in a “reasonable” or “timely” manner. Or stated more accurately, their previously held beliefs led them to say that the data did not meet their personal view of reasonable or timely, so they would have to intervene yet again in the vibrant communications market.
How could they possibly reach this conclusion? Simple, ignore the data that contravenes their fantastical beliefs.
- Ignore wireless broadband.
- Ignore the rapid proliferation of smart phones.
- Ignore that wireless-only households exceed 25 percent.
- Ignore wireless broadband network deployment and availability, such as 4G mobile broadband networks.
As history suggests, once authority is ceded to government it is rarely returned to the people. While one might support what one government does with that power, sooner or later the power is in the hands of some who may not “do the right thing.” And sometimes those who have accumulated the power ignore facts to pursue their bureaucratic dreams.