What Others Are Saying: Groups Respond to FCC’s Wireless Competition Report

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this week released its 15th Wireless Competition Report. The following is a collection of responses from various organizations expressing concern that the report, once again, reached no conclusion about whether the wireless market is effectively competitive:

 

“Even though the FCC’s Wireless Competition Report clearly illustrates robust competition for consumers in wireless broadband technologies, the FCC is more concerned with imposing needless regulations on an industry that hasn’t yet begun to reach its full potential. To regulate a competitive industry in its infancy is bad for the economy, bad for business and even worse for consumers.” – Steve Pociask, The American Consumer Institute

 

“The FCC’s report shows clearly positive consumer and industry trends, especially considering the data lags from 2009. Wireless services and devices are growing and adjusting at an exceptional rate, and are being driven by consumer demand. This is especially so in the prepaid market, where the report notes a new ‘aggressive push by the nationwide network operators’ that has helped to lower already low prepaid prices. Given the report’s findings, it’s disconcerting that the FCC refuses to acknowledge whether there is effective competition in the wireless market. This creates a setting in which the FCC can use the top level finding of the report as a justification for regulatory action or to prevent future mergers.” – Kelly Cobb, Americans for Tax Reform, Digital Liberty Project

 

“The FCC continues to look at the mobile broadband market as if it were a competition between Coke and Pepsi. In fact, it’s a multi-dimensional cage match in which signal carriers, applications, devices, and other services are all competing to bring value to the consumer. Hence, better signal supports better devices which allow new and amazing applications, which forces the signal to improve in response to consumer demand. If competition didn’t create this burgeoning capability and this multi-billion dollar industry out of (literally) thin air, then what did? Perhaps the saddest commentary on the report is that the FCC staff who wrote it then went home and downloaded it with their friends while ordering dinner, playing on social media, and watching a movie on their Androids, Xooms, or iPads. And yet, they seem not to get it.” – Everett Ehrlich, former Under-Secretary of Commerce for President Clinton

 

“The FCC’s wireless report shows substantial evidence of a competitive, vibrant industry that is creating jobs and driving economic growth.  Yet the FCC still claims that the market is not competitive.  Obama’s FCC is another example of a government agency that continues to pursue a political agenda rather than draw conclusions based on facts.  This politicization hurts consumers and hurts job creation.” – Mario Lopez, Hispanic Leadership Fund

 

“In another blow to its competition policy credibility and objectivity, the FCC’s 308 page, 15th Wireless Competition Report, amazingly reached no conclusion about whether the wireless market was effectively competitive, despite overwhelming evidence of effective competition throughout the report and a dearth of evidence in the report of any discernible anti-competitive issues that would suggest the wireless market was somehow not effectively competitive.” – Scott Cleland, The Precursor Blog

 

“We believe that such an analysis should prevail over the unfounded fears of critics – fears made even less legitimate by the fact that the wireless industry in its entirety faces increasingly competitive pressures from technologies such as Skype and voice-chatting via Gmail. Granted, these services may not provide absolute alternatives to wireless but serve instead as third-party providers.  These developments may cause many headaches from telecom providers, but consumers and policymakers should take reassurance and comfort from them, in that they demonstrate a vibrant and constantly evolving market.” – Pete Sepp, National Taxpayers Union

 

 

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