Cable Competition Will Be Good For Us

When companies compete for customers, customers win: Competition invariably leads to lower prices, better service and more choices. The U.S. House of Representatives recognized this in approving HR 5252, the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act.

For years, a patchwork quilt of local franchising rules has quashed competition in cable television. By approving HR 5252, the House took a huge step toward eliminating this 1960s-era barrier to competition. Now it’s time for the Senate to do the same thing.

The House also deserves praise for resisting “net neutrality” amendments to this bill. There is nothing neutral about tying the hands of network operators. Doing so would only lead to Internet traffic jams and higher costs for consumers, fundamentally altering the lightly regulated Internet, where commerce and ideas move at nearly the speed of light. Network owners are poised to spend billions of dollars to expand broadband capacity, but they have to recoup their investment somehow. If they can’t pass on some of those costs to the largest bandwidth consumers, they will pass them on to Internet subscribers.

Hopefully, the Senate will act quickly to bring the benefits of cable competition to all of us.