Only a week after President Obama’s newly-appointed FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski, announced his plans for government regulation of the internet, a study by the network planning consultancy AIRCOM International revealed the cost of an upgrade to LTE (or 4G) telecommunication technology could be as much as  $1.78 billion for a tier one US operator in the first year. When implemented, this technology will significant increase broadband speeds for consumers, and allow for significant improvements in speed and quality.

This clearly should not provide a problem for companies, who have invested over $850 billion in the last ten years to development viable broadband across the country, and are expected to invest an additional $300 billion through 2012 if they believe they can recoup their investments. Clearly the free market is working, and companies keep coming up with innovative, flexible approaches to recoup their costs and provide the best value services to customers.
Unfortunately, if Genachowski gets his way and is allowed to begin regulating the internet, and micro-managing telecommunication operators, network operators won’t be able to turn a profit from their investments in infrastructure because they can’t manage their own networks.  So they just won’t build the infrastructure. And Americans will miss out on the quality services they would have received had the government not intervened.
As Americans for Tax Reform stated in an earlier submission to the FCC: “In order for free-market models to provide for the further development of broadband access, it is absolutely critical that government intrusion not prevent private capital from recouping its investment. If private capital becomes convinced that its ability to recoup its investments is less likely, it will be less likely to make the significant investments in broadband that is the very goal of this FCC inquiry.”
The free market has allowed the internet to flourish and proper for the last 20 years. It is sheer folly now to crush it under the cold dead hand of government.

(photo via essgee licensed under Creative Commons)