Choking Broadband

George Gilder and Bret Swanson
Forbes
September 16, 2002
Print ArticleFrom the "Other Comments" section

The most severe burden on the economy right now is the depression in high technology and telecommunications--our two biggest drivers of productivity growth and most important sources of national wealth and security.

The Clinton-Gore telecommunications policy, which is still in effect, has been an unmitigated disaster. The Clinton FCC's heavy-handed re-regulation of the industry is largely to blame for the slow rollout of last-mile broadband connections to homes and businesses and thus the telecommunications meltdown. Real broadband means video-capable, and while the technology exists, it has been minimally deployed.

Fortunately, there is much this Administration can do unilaterally to deregulate the telecom/Internet sector and unleash the capital investment that (1) feeds the entire semiconductor, computer, and fiber optics food chain and (2) will finally bring us a real broadband Internet, fulfilling the original hopes of a new global marketplace of products, services, ideas, and entertainment. Unleash[ing] broadband [will] create a sustainable economic expansion.