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FAIR BROADBAND PRICING

The growth of the Internet is nothing short of remarkable. Innovation and investment are creating new online services, and the demand for higher capacity networks continues to escalate. According to Cisco, bandwidth demand will grow four-fold in the next three years alone.

From bringing the best experts in the world to our children’s classrooms, to providing home-bound patients with access to doctors many miles away, innovators are discovering new ways the Internet can make our lives better. But broadband capacity isn’t an infinite resource. Rather, it is a feat of human engineering that was and remains expensive to build, maintain and expand.

Since Americans are accustomed to paying for what they use, some broadband providers are developing usage plans that promote fairness by asking high capacity Internet users to shoulder a greater proportionate share of network costs. But instead of applauding increased consumer choice and common sense pricing, some critics want to force average users to pay a flat fee akin to a “universal” service, no matter if they are an occasional visitor or frequent “super user.”

 

LET'S WELCOME EVERYONE ONLINE

Demanding that all Americans pay for the same amount of broadband service utilized by only 1 percent of subscribers contradicts cable’s ability to welcome any user online. Allowing consumers to choose the best broadband plan to suit their needs promotes fairness, saves customers money and encourages adoption to a wider audience than more restrictive “universal” pricing plans. The continued expansion of broadband networks and usage-based tiers will provide consumers with significant benefits without asking that they subsidize the efforts of a select few.

 

ADDRESSING ANTICOMPETITIVE CLAIMS

Tiered or usage-based pricing (UBP) has drawn scrutiny from some groups believing universal one-size-fits-all pricing to be a more fair approach when accommodating the diverse range of broadband users. A further examination shows that the claims outlined by those opposed to fair broadband pricing don’t stand up. 

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