[National-fiber-coalition] WH EO on broadband

Ernesto Falcon ernesto at eff.org
Fri Jul 9 07:03:49 PDT 2021


FYI

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/07/09/fact-sheet-executive-order-on-promoting-competition-in-the-american-economy/

Internet Service

The Order tackles four issues that limit competition, raise prices, and reduce choices for internet service.

Lack of competition among broadband providers: More than 200 million<https://broadbandmap.fcc.gov/#/area-summary?version=jun2020&type=nation&geoid=0&tech=acfw&speed=25_3&vlat=38.09830512359795&vlon=-97.57983008590088&vzoom=2.779496173169071> U.S. residents live in an area with only one or two reliable high-speed internet providers, leading to prices as much as five times higher<https://poseidon01.ssrn.com/delivery.php?ID=153105123123122096085069108028083069015084039027010010113122030072017096030080000111022041026045103029042116102105092074116105009011053002088124092068090068124020088055017094105076107024069120007103094103025106024007073088080121124071098084103125111021&EXT=pdf&INDEX=TRUE> in these markets than in markets with more options. A related problem is landlords and internet service providers entering exclusivity deals or collusive arrangements<https://www.newamerica.org/oti/reports/cost-connectivity-2020/us-policy-recommendations/> that leave tenants with only one option. This impacts low-income and marginalized neighborhoods, because landlord-ISP arrangements can effectively block out broadband infrastructure expansion by new providers.

In the Order, the President encourages the FCC to:


  *   Prevent ISPs from making deals with landlords that limit tenants' choices.

Lack of price transparency: Even where consumers have options, comparison shopping is hard. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), actual prices paid for broadband services can be 40<https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-338708A1.pdf>% higher than advertised. During the Obama-Biden Administration, the FCC began developing<https://www.newamerica.org/oti/press-releases/oti-applauds-bill-to-create-a-broadband-nutrition-label/> a "Broadband Nutrition Label"-a simple label that provides basic information about the internet service offered so people can compare options. The Trump Administration FCC abandoned those plans.

In the Order, the President encourages the FCC to:


  *   Revive the "Broadband Nutrition Label<https://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/6286175/BroadbandLabel.0.jpg>" and require providers to report prices and subscription rates to the FCC.

High termination fees: If a consumer does find a better internet service deal, they may be unable to actually switch because of high early termination fees-on average nearly $200<https://www.newamerica.org/oti/reports/cost-connectivity-2020/focus-on-the-fees/>-charged by internet providers.

In the Order, the President encourages the FCC to:


  *   Limit excessive early termination fees.

Companies discriminatorily slowing down internet access: Big providers can use their power to discriminatorily block or slow down online services. The Obama-Biden Administration's FCC adopted "Net Neutrality" rules that required these companies to treat all internet services equally, but this was undone<https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/11/technology/net-neutrality-repeal.html> in 2017.

In the Order, the President encourages the FCC to:


  *   Restore Net Neutrality rules undone by the prior administration.



--
Ernesto Omar Falcon
Senior Legislative Counsel
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Office: 415 436 9333 ext. 182
Cell: 202 716 0770

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