The failed market for these broadband access services represents a $10 billion per year or more drag on the American economy. It severely compromises the availability of capital for competitive wireless and wireline broadband services and their customers. Every American feels the effects:
- The US Small Business Administration notes that small businesses depend on broadband as vital a tool as basic utilities like electricity. However, most of them have no choice in broadband providers and are forced to pay inflated overcharges and endure poor service and availability.
- ATM fees increase to make up for the hefty rates banks must pay to gain access to broadband lines. The same goes for credit card readers – every time you use a credit card, that cost is passed on to you.
- A third of the cost of operating a cellphone tower is the cost of access, although the cost of providing it has dropped dramatically. What this means is that two huge incumbents control the critical access point upon which their competitors depend. And that directly affects their ability to compete.
- Schools and libraries need broadband access as well, but with budgets always in a crunch, they are forced to forgo other services necessary for their students in order to afford broadband access.
- Public safety needs broadband access to support advanced, next-generation 911 capabilities, but the high cost of broadband access is slowing the deployment of these life-saving capabilities.
- Broadband access is critical for anyone doing business in the 21st Century.