We’re excited today to release the Copia Institute’s latest report, written by Karl Bode, on the benefits of an open access fiber model to enable much more widespread competition in the broadband space. As I’m sure you know, for huge parts of the US, there is no real broadband competition. This lack of competition allows legacy players to get away with all sorts of questionable behavior — from artificially restricting your broadband to adding ever increasing hidden fees to your bill. If there were actual competition, including low switching costs, these companies wouldn’t be able to get away with this nonsense. Users would flee in droves.
Imagine if you had a choice of a dozen Internet service providers (ISPs), all competing to provide next-generation fiber broadband at affordable rates. Imagine if these ISPs cared about customer service and the communities they serve. Then imagine if you could switch between these providers in a matter of seconds with only a few online clicks. This is the unrealized potential of the open access wholesale fiber model, whose benefits have been documented for years—yet routinely disregarded by U.S. telecom policymakers in favor of consolidation, powerful gatekeepers, and limited competition.
This report examines data from the US and around the world to explore the current state of broadband in America, and the potential for an open access fiber model to create robust competition and bring about more widespread access, better service, and lower prices.