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Policy Issues

A Roundtable on the End of Scarcity, Open Architecture, and the Future of Broadband Competition Policy

June 29, 2009

There is increasing convergence on some broadband competition policy matters. In a wide ranging discussion, a roundtable jointly sponsored by ITIF and Silicon Flatirons focused in on some of those points as well as highlighted some continuing areas of disagreement among a group of thoughtful policy observers and key stakeholders.

On the areas of agreement, the participants highlighted the importance of using targeted subsidies to provide for ubiquitous broadband for a basic level of access, the multiple components of ensuring robust broadband access (including sufficient “middle mile” capability), and the potentially misleading nature of “peak” broadband speeds. As for areas of disagreement, the roundtable did not reach closure on—but endeavored to provide some level of analysis of—how to evaluate the nature and extent of broadband competition, how to think about the best way to engage in network management, and to what extent, if any, regulatory oversight will be necessary to ensure an adequately robust level of basic Internet access going forward.

The new ITIF-Silicon Flatirons report, A Roundtable on the End of Scarcity, Open Architecture, and the Future of Broadband Competition Policy, is a summary of that roundtable discussion.

Read the report.