Kristian Stout on subsidies for broadband rollout

Washington Examiner ICLE Director of Innovation Policy Kristian Stout was quoted by the Washington Examiner in a story about the Biden administration’s infrastructure proposal and its proposed broadband subsidies. The full story is available (behind a subscriber firewall) here.

“The norm for decades has been to rely on private providers for rolling out internet service,” said Kristian Stout of the International Center for Law and Economics. “Overwhelmingly, that system has worked well. Despite record usage surges, U.S. networks held up far beyond expectations and even exceeded the performance of some European counterparts. We have a very innovative broadband industry in the U.S., and most (but not all) of the U.S. has access to fast, reliable broadband.”

… Stout told the Washington Examiner that if the Biden administration wishes to make such an investment successful, it needs to focus on the “unserved in order to guarantee as much efficacy as possible.” That works best through public-private partnership solutions that strive to fill in the gaps until the private sector can take over. When asked for a comparative example, Stout mentioned the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as an example of a similar partnership.