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. 

"Broadband access and adoption can improve an individual's quality of life, but they can also bolster local economic and create change for generations to come. When we ensure that every community has choice in their broadband provider, and reliable access, we create a market that is serving customers and providing the best Internet access possible. When residents can access affordable broadband plans, they can acquire new skills, run a small business online, or connect with friends and colleagues around the world. The future of our economy and world are digital and we must ensure every person, regardless of background, can get online to join the movement."
Lukas Pietrzak
Program Manager, Partnerships and Campaigns

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