TE-17-1-Broadband is Competitive and Vitally Important to Economic Development

WHEREAS the availability and affordability of broadband service is of utmost importance to the current economic wellbeing of consumers and communities and the future of economic development;

WHEREAS the deployment of broadband service is complex, capital-intensive and full of inherent financial risks;

WHEREAS the cost of providing broadband service is driven by the distance, density, and terrain where customers are located;

WHEREAS there are more than 200 private broadband providers in Colorado;

WHEREAS unlike municipal electric, water, sewer gas utility monopolies, broadband is a competitive enterprise benefiting from new and emerging cost-effective technologies which are improving availability, bandwidth speeds and capabilities;

WHEREAS broadband has none of the factual characteristics that public utilities like water, sewer, gas, and electricity do.

Only broadband enables interoperability.

(Voice, data, video, and text can operate simultaneously over the same infrastructure while water, sewage, and electricity cannot.)

Only broadband enables different delivery speeds.

(Consumers have choice of differentiated broadband speeds while utilities are designed to deliver a uniform delivery speed to everyone.)

Only broadband enables rapid and continuous innovation.

(Broadband is characterized by continuous change, diversity, and differentiation by growing consumer uses and applications. By contrast, public utilities are subject to strictly enforced uniformity and slow rates of change.)

Only broadband physics enable competitive facilities.

(The physics of broadband delivery facilitate competition while the physics of water, sewer, electricity, and gas facilitate monopoly.  Water, sewer, electricity can only be delivered in physical manner unique to that utility or service.  Broadband can be delivered electronically over many kinds of metal wires optically over fiber optic cables and wirelessly in a variety of ways and means.)

Only broadband economics are competitive.

(Being digital, broadband economics are dramatically better because of multi-use facilities, service bundles, rapidly declining digital equipment costs and lower capital cost intensity via wireless.  Public utilities are based on single-use, high-capital intensity, “natural monopoly” utility economics, where scale and scope preclude the possibility of competitive facilities and services being feasible or economically sustainable.)

Only broadband enables consumer choice of technology, speed, price, and provider.

(Consumers have a variety of choices of broadband technologies, providers, services and features i.e. wireline or wireless broadband, fiber vs. copper, wifi or satellite, mobile vs. fixed; diversity of bandwidth speeds based on need; single or bundled pricing: and local or national broadband providers.)

 Only competitive broadband maximizes investment.

(Private providers have invested over a trillion dollars of long-term risk capital in broadband facilities in the U.S. over the past decade under the assumptions that broadband is a competitive service with growth potential and no prospect of utility regulation.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Club 20 strongly supports local, state and federal policies that attract additional private broadband provider investment to improve availability and affordability access to high-speed internet to rural and urban consumers;

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Club 20 strongly supports the use of Private-Public Partnerships (P3s) when private broadband investment is limited for high-cost rural areas of Colorado and where a greater public good will be achieved; (See Club 20’s P3 resolution adopted in March 2015)

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Club 20 strongly supports local, state and federal government agencies give primary consideration to P3 solutions, especially where the private sector has already made significant investment to address broadband infrastructure and citizen’s needs;

FURTHERMORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Club 20 considers broadband a competitive market enterprise, not a “natural monopoly” or likely to become one, and should not be subject to monopoly utility price or service regulation and for a municipality to force a government subsidized broadband network on a competitive marketplace without parity and equal treatment.

Adopted April 7,2017