COMMENT: ICLE Experts Available to Discuss Broadband Infrastructure

PORTLAND, Ore. (Sept. 27, 2021) — As Congress takes up bipartisan infrastructure legislation this week that would appropriate $65 billion for broadband infrastructure, as well as billions more in a $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, experts from the International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE) are available to discuss how best to address the nation’s broadband needs.

In a major ICLE white paper published in June, ICLE President Geoffrey Manne, Director of Innovation Policy Kristian Stout, and Associate Director of Legal Research Ben Sperry critiqued widespread claims that the broadband market is uncompetitive. The authors note that 95.6% of the population has access to at least 25/3 Mbps service and that, even where concentration can be observed in broadband markets, it has not been correlated with negative outcomes, such as decreased productivity or increased quality-adjusted prices.

Given Congress’ intent to spent tens of billions of dollars on broadband subsidies, the ICLE research counsels that such programs focus on the 4.4% of consumers who currently lack any access to broadband. Congress also could encourage greater broadband buildout by addressing costly local pole-attachment requirements and rules that a recipient of rural broadband subsidies must be deemed an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) by a relevant state regulator.

In addition to the white paper, ICLE has published several short-form explainers in recent months that each address major issues relevant to broadband buildout:

Media interested in interviewing or booking Geoffrey Manne to discuss broadband competition may reach him at [email protected] or (503) 780-8515. Kristian Stout is available at [email protected] or (732) 690-0375.