Back in December, we asked, “Is Internet a human right?” While an interesting debate, with perhaps no consensus coming any time soon, I think we can all agree that it’s pretty much a necessity for a modern household or business to keep up with the times. That’s why it’s a shame when something so vital and representative of the 21st century is so out of reach due to inflated pricing models developed by an internet duopoly.
The FCC recently proposed offering government assistance to help low-income families afford high-speed broadband services. While I agree that action is needed in addressing the lack of broadband in American households – almost a third don’t have it – this is unfortunately not tackling the real problem.
A real solution involves the creation of viable competition in the marketplace; an affordable alternative that can drive costs down, while increasing quality. The FCC’s proposal will only inflate prices further, much like what we saw with the U.S healthcare system. As long as demand is high, the major internet companies can get away with charging what they want. The demand for a singular service from one or two players must end in order to break from this cycle.