Telecom broadband operators said the idea that Europe’s tougher broadband privacy regulations translate to a better consumer experience — and that the United States should follow that model — is a myth, and the European Union could actually go to school on the U.S. pro-investment strategy.
According to a new report, US vs EU Broadband Trends (2012-2020), the U.S. continues to top Europe in broadband adoption, deployment, investment and competition.
The report was prepared for USTelecom by business analytics firm BPI-Telcodata.
Acording to the report, U.S. consumers can now choose among twice as many facilities-based competitors as their EU counterparts.In rural areas, it‘s more than seven times that of Europe.
The report also said the U.S. leads in both deployment and adoption of high-speed broadband, defined as speeds of at least 30 Megabits per second to 100 Mbps downstream.
The U.S. lead in adoption is likely driven in part by the fact that prices are stable and even declining despite rising costs for most essential goods, the report said.
That was a theme among Republicans at an FCC oversight hearing, where numerous legislators said the price had been going down, countering the Biden administration‘s argument that broadband prices are too high and that that is the reason that price needs to be part of the definition of broadband availability.
But rather than needing to emulate Europe, USTelecom president and CEO Jonathan Spalter suggested the U.S. regulatory model — one that prizes “vigorous private investment” — “is a lesson for the world in spurring investment, advancing competition and accelerating broadband’s many benefits to people everywhere.” ■
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.