Could internet prices be rising in the United States?

FCC Schooley MitchellAccording to CBS News, broadband service in the United States might be seeing a price increase in the near future. This is allegedly because major IPs such as AT&T and Verizon “want the Federal Communications Commission to scrap a key provision that some say helps keep broadband costs low for small businesses and consumers.”

The rule in question was added in part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The rule makes it so “large telecom companies must allow smaller rivals to piggy-back on their networks at rates set by the government.” There has been a formal request by USTelecom, a group that represents the larger ISPs to waive that rule, which industry experts suspect would result in a price hike for consumers.

Dane Jasper, the CEO of ISP Sonic, which benefits from the rule in question, told Wired in an interview that “without the threat of upstart rivals, incumbent players will invest less in their networks and charge more to consumers.”

On the other hand, USTelecom denies that waiving the requirement will drive up prices, “noting that only 11 percent of households access the internet through piggy-backed networks.” The group also estimated that telecoms would “spend as much as $1.8 billion and create more than 2,000 jobs if they didn’t have to share their lines.”

There is no immediate worry about this rule being waived. CBS assures that the FCC “isn’t expected to take action until 2019 at the earliest.” However, keep an eye out for progress on this decision as time passes. It may effect the telecom industry of the United States going forward.

Source: – High-speed internet service may be poised for a price hike
August 17, 2018