Policy Documents

The Joys of Oligopoly

Nick Schulz –
January 10, 2013

In this post at AEI on the freedom and innovation of the internet (that was also posted at the The Wall Street Journal), Nick Shutlz writes that,

 Complaining about the cable company is a hearty American pastime: the reliability of its service, the channels it has on offer, the inability of its repairmen to show up on time. Susan Crawford, a visiting professor at Harvard and a former assistant to President Barack Obama for technology policy, has a different sort of complaint. In "Captive Audience," she argues that the market for broadband in America is insufficiently competitive. Consumers are harmed, she says, because service is too expensive and insufficiently innovative. Most important, broadband is out of reach for too many Americans. Something has to be done, she believes—and regulation is the way to do it.

But, regulation and government involvement has not proven effective.  The way to extand advanced technologies to the public is by allowing the market to roam free.  Then, and only then, will the public, broadly speaking, have access, at low cost, to relaible services.