The Economic Standard: FTC Decision Makes Consumers the Big Losers

To retitle the familiar song by Prince, it now appears the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is going to “party like it’s 1914.” The well-known consumer welfare standard – the principle that has focused antitrust enforcement onto whether consumers are harmed – is getting shelved by the FTC (“FTC Votes to Broaden Enforcement Power, WSJ, July […]

Broadband Agreement Must Include What Consumers Demand

The Biden Administration and a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators recently reached an agreement on an infrastructure an plan worth $579 billion in new spending. Among other spending programs, the proposal contains a provision for $65 billion in federal spending to deploy fiber optic cables to “future proof” America’s digital infrastructure. This spending would largely […]

FCC Chairman Announces Consumer Advisory Committee Members

Today, the Federal Communications Commission released a Public Notice announcing the full membership of the Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC), and the group’s first meeting date. The American Consumer Institute will continue its participation on the CAC with Steve Pociask as Chair for the group. You can read the full notice here.

The Economic Standard: Public Spending Will Not Lower Broadband Prices

President Biden has focused his efforts on making broadband internet access more affordable to Americans. It is a part of the American Jobs Plan he announced late March, a wide-ranging stimulus plan that forms a key component of the Administration’s post-Covid recovery efforts. The plan, however, incorrectly asserts that Americans pay higher prices for internet access than […]

The BRIDGE Act to Nowhere

According to the most recent report from the Federal Communications Commission, 19 million Americans, or 6% of the total U.S. population, still lack access to broadband service. Without an internet connection, consumers in these unserved areas are unable to access important news stories, utilize services like telehealth, and shop for goods and services online, among […]

New Broadband Bill Could Close Digital Divide

On May 27, 2021 U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD) along with Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) re-introduced the bipartisan Rural Connectivity Advancement Program Act of 2021 (RCAP), a bill that, if passed, aims to “strengthen connectivity in rural communities throughout the country.” If enacted by Congress, the RCAP […]

Federal Broadband Investment Should Be on Access

Last month, the Republicans unveiled their own $928 billion infrastructure counteroffer to the Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan (AJP). The Republican proposal allocates $65 billion in federal spending for broadband investment to reach currently unserved areas, a figure significantly less than the $100 billion outlined under Biden’s proposal but still a large sum that would […]

Increasing Internet Regulations Will Hurt Consumers

The President Biden’s impending appointment of a new Democratic chair to the FCC will will undoubtedly rekindle an effort to reimpose public utility-style regulations on internet services. The return of these internet regulations, referred to as net neutrality, would be incredibly harmful to consumers and the broader economy. The passage of the Open Internet Order […]

A “Future Proof” Approach to Broadband Infrastructure: An Analysis – A Podcast with Doug Brake

While there has been progress to close the digital divide, it is clear that more needs to be done. To address this, some members of Congress and the current administration are advocating for building “future proof” broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas so that we reach 100 percent high-speed broadband coverage, which could suggest […]

The Economic Standard: Congress — Ensure Mid-Band is Part of 5G Future

While the Biden administration announced its plan to deliver high-speed internet access to every American in March, auctions for mid-band spectrum broke spending records, showing that mid-band needs to play a critical role in that effort. Spectrum refers to the invisible radio frequencies that wireless signals travel over. As the Cellular Telecommunications Internet Association (CTIA) states, these frequencies allow consumers to “make […]