Competition and Local Economies
Promoting Robust Competition. NCC is made up of local officials who believe that a robust, competitive marketplace helps to maintain lower prices and drive innovation. However, the vast majority of Americans only have the choice between one or two providers for high-quality internet access. Even in areas with relatively high levels of competition, federal and state subsidy programs such as Lifeline and E-Rate are a critical means for low-income populations to obtain minimum access to broadband.
While barriers to entry impose natural limits on the marketplace (even more so when broadband providers continue to consolidate), NCC helps to illuminate local governments’ role in encouraging competition. Our work explains how municipalities can create policies that encourage new entrants and accelerate deployment. Our members have demonstrated the ways in which municipal networks drive prices and improve service options. Municipal networks and electric coops are often willing to expand into rural areas that large providers find too expensive to serve. Additionally, NCC helps to educate policymakers on the local impact from mergers that reduce competition and consolidate market power.