At least 6800 people have signed a petition created a month ago by competitive carrier organization Broadband Coalition that asks policy makers to take steps to improve broadband competition. Broadband Coalition was formed in 2012, initially focusing largely on issues related to competition in the business broadband market, but now also referencing broadband competition for consumers.
“Broadband competition brings lower prices, better service and more innovation,” the on-line petition says. “Policy makers must make broadband competition a priority in Washington, D.C. Our leaders must encourage broadband competition across all technology platforms, and make access to more choices available to all.”
To support its position, Broadband Coalition has created a new acronym – BOB, for Big Old Broadband – which the organization uses to describe incumbent telcos and cablecos that provide broadband. “Broadband prices rise, no choice,” observes the coalition on its website. “Customer service fails, still no choice. That’s BOB’s world, and we want out. Tell the FCC and Congress to act on broadband competition NOW.”
The Broadband Coalition Petition
The petition does not include detailed policy recommendations. But the Broadband Coalition webpage outlines the key steps that the organization advocates – steps that are quite consistent with what the group recommended when it originally formed, including:
- Ensuring that consumers retain choices equivalent to those available today and requiring service providers to interconnect with one another in IP format as the telecom industry transitions to new technology
- Ensuring that wholesale last mile connections to businesses are available on a technology-neutral basis by reforming special access and completing an open business broadband proceeding
- Congress should amend the Clayton Act or take other action to provide a right of action against anti-competitive activities in the communications industry