TDS reaction to proposed broadband regulations contained in the State of the Union
On Tuesday evening, President Obama proposed municipal governments be eligible to receive public funding and compete with private sector providers to build and construct competitive broadband networks. The President also called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to impose substantial — and costly — new regulations on broadband providers currently offering high-speed service across America.
The following statement can be attributed to Drew Petersen, vice president of External Affairs and Corporate Communications at TDS Telecom:
“TDS commends President Obama for highlighting the critical nature of promoting and expanding Internet connectivity for all. Our company has spent four decades bringing advanced communications services to the most remote areas of our nation. In fact, for 16 years, TDS has been investing millions of dollars to bring high-speed Internet services to virtually all of our customers.
“We part ways with the President’s suggested approach that will produce reversed results and leave taxpayers to absorb the cost while chilling future broadband investment from private businesses along the information superhighway.
“For our country to reach the goal of near ubiquitous broadband availability quickly, the President and his team should partner with and incentivize private communications providers to complete the job of constructing reliable, high-speed networks in the remaining pockets of this country where no competition or providers exist.
“Instead, the Obama administration has introduced a government-owned solution to drive innovation. The President’s municipal broadband initiative recommends repealing laws in 20 states that prohibit municipal governments from using taxpayer dollars to build government-owned communications networks. There are dozens of examples where government operated networks have failed, often at a catastrophic cost to the impacted community.
“In addition to the municipal broadband initiative, the administration also proposes imposing a series of legacy telephone regulations from the 1930s on the entire Internet Service Provider community in the name of protecting the Internet and ensuring network neutrality.
“TDS, both our wireline and our cable subsidiaries which include Baja Broadband and BendBroadband observe the principles of the existing net neutrality rules put in place by the FCC in 2010. Further, TDS continues to adhere to those guidelines, even though the rules have been struck down by a Federal court.
“At TDS, we are the first to admit our job is not complete. We stand ready to work with the President, his administration, the FCC and the entire communications ecosystem on developing sound broadband expansion solutions. These planned remedies, however, should leverage private sector expertise to design, build and maintain these vital networks. To do otherwise will be a missed opportunity to drive economic growth and community prosperity.”
# # #