Statement of Michael Powell, President & CEO, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, Regarding the White House Infrastructure Plan
“The White House has elected to go big on broadband infrastructure, but it risks taking a serious wrong turn in discarding decades of successful policy by suggesting that the government is better suited than private-sector technologists to build and operate the internet. This shift is encouraged by mistakenly lumping in our successful modern digital networks with our decaying roads, bridges, waterways and electric grids. While we have seen repeated examples of traditional infrastructure failures in recent years, America’s broadband has been a reliable workhorse as millions of Americans have worked, learned and stayed connected from home during the pandemic. Simply put, the high caliber of our broadband networks kept millions of Americans safe and will continue to revolutionize work, healthcare, education and more.
“The rapid innovation in internet technology and services that Americans have seen over the past two decades is the direct consequence of massive and continuing private investment in networks across the country. Government does have a critical role to play in getting networks to areas that lack service and helping low-income families afford it. However, those targeted, shared goals are not served by suggesting wrongly that the entire network is ailing and that the solution is either to prioritize government-owned networks or micromanage private networks, including the unfounded assertion that the government should be managing prices. As every doctor knows, the crucial step to prescribing the right remedy is to make the right diagnosis. We hope the coming weeks will bring greater focus to the specific ways that government action can complement private investment in building America’s broadband future.”