CCIA straddles the two worlds of telecom and IT. Our association is committed to vigorous competition in every market and submarket of our industry. CCIA supports open IP interconnection, interoperability, roaming rights for independent carriers and non-discriminatory access to the Internet for consumers, small businesses and online applications. We support the FCC’s Open Internet rule. We believe that no company or pair of companies should dominate U.S. telecommunications network infrastructure, and that households need alternatives to regional cable Internet access monopolies.
Most homes in the United States have either a copper or fiber optic line provided by a telephone company or a coaxial cable connection for Internet access. Few can still afford both. Once confined to separate and limited functions like voice calling vs. one way video programming distribution, these wires are now capable of carrying a wide range of competing voice, data and video services, indeed everything available on the global Internet. The Telecom Act of 1996 and advances in fiber optic and cable technology promoted and facilitated competition between these two landline network platforms during the first decade of the 21st century. However, deregulation and snowballing industry consolidation has led to a lessening of competition and choices for residential and small business fixed Internet access. Nineteen million Americans lack access to any wired broadband connection, much less competing providers. The largest two wireless carriers are also the largest two providers of high speed data lines to American businesses (smaller wireless rivals included) and operate as virtual monopolies in their geographic home territory.
CCIA and its members support the dynamic innovation that characterizes the independent mobile broadband market and mobile app development. Unfortunately, the largest legacy monopoly carriers often resist business model disruptions made possible by new technology and the potential new competition it might bring. To realize the benefits of IP convergence, lawmakers and government agencies must update our nation’s policies to comport with today’s telecom infrastructure realities, including local access bottlenecks, both wired and wireless, while reducing barriers to entry and striving to foster competitive open markets.
CCIA supports the FCC’s transitioning of the Universal Service Fund (USF) to a Connect America Fund (CAF) in order to advance broadband deployment in rural and other unserved areas. Congress and federal agencies must work diligently to enact policies that will reinvigorate broadband access competition, increase broadband connectivity for all Americans, stimulate domestic economic growth and preserve U.S. competitiveness in a global digital economy.