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Argument: Insufficient broadband market choice to deter bad behavior

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Supporting quotations

"There Isn't Enough Broadband Market Choice to Prevent Bad Actors." Save the Internet on Opposing "The network owners have argued that Network Neutrality is unnecessary because there is sufficient competition in the broadband market to deter bad behavior. They argue that if Verizon degraded access to a site or discriminated against the use of one service in favor of another, they would anger customers who would move to another network operators in the area.

Consumers must have robust competition and multiple choices for this theory to work. But such competition does not exist, and it isn’t likely to exist in the foreseeable future.

Most Americans have access to two broadband providers — cable and DSL. That’s it. These two systems dominate, holding over 98 percent of the residential broadband market. The share of the market held by all the other broadband technologies combined — satellite, fixed wireless, mobile wireless, and broadband over power lines — has actually decreased over the last few years.

A significant chunk of the country has only one broadband provider, and 10 of millions of Americans have none at all. This is hardly a competitive market. There is insufficient competition between different technologies to produce any kind of deterrent should one operator block our access to the free flowing Internet.

And if both the local cable and telephone companies are using their networks to discriminate, the consumer is trapped. There is nowhere else to go.

That’s why nondiscrimination through Net Neutrality is so critical. Without Network Neutrality, America 's telephone and cable duopoly will leverage its market power over the network to gain control over the content and application markets, establishing a handful of wireline companies as the gatekeepers of the Internet."

"Consumers Deserve Protection." Open Internet Coalition on Opposing "In a more perfect network, the telephone and cable companies would be investing in more capacity in order to render these issues moot. In a more perfect marketplace, there would be 4 or 5 high-speed broadband competitors offering consumers ample choice and providing a market-based check on violations of Net Neutrality – so consumers could pick a provider that respected the open Internet and didn’t interfere with open access.

But we all live in an imperfect world with a gross lack of capacity and competition. As a result, we need a referee to ensure networks remain open and the incentives to innovate and invest will continue to exist. Ceding this role completely to the network operators to decide will result in a different, more closed, and less useful kind of Internet."

"Openness is a Fundamental Principle of the Internet." Open Internet Coalition: "The large phone and cable companies who provide access to the Internet have the incentive and ability to create a special fast lane for big companies that can afford to pay steep tolls, while everyone else is left in a digital dirt road. With a lack of choices in broadband providers, consumers lack the ability to check bad behavior."

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