Letters to the Editor

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JOBS: Encourage more broadband investment

Letter by Patricia Ford, Laurel, Md. on Oct. 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm with No Comments »
October 4, 2012 10:22 am

Re: “Jobs differ by sector; construction down, energy up” (TNT, 9-28)

Your article on employment in various economic sectors mentioned formal education as an important factor in getting a job, but neglected to mention another building block that has become critical: access to high-speed broadband Internet. Whoever wins in November, the next president’s job-growth policies should include encouraging investments in broadband infrastructure.

To do so, government should maintain the common-sense regulatory approach begun in 1996, when Congress deregulated the telecom industry. That move set the stage for explosive growth in private-sector investment: $1.2 trillion since 1996, which created America’s world-leading broadband networks and enabled the revolution in broadband apps that has created 500,000 jobs in recent years and improved quality of life for millions of Americans.

Given this success, the next president would be crazy to impose government control over pricing and delivery of broadband services, as some argue is needed. That approach has resulted in slower broadband speeds in countries that have tried it and likely would extinguish the private-sector investments that everyone agrees is needed to keep America on the broadband cutting edge.

On broadband the old adage applies: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

(Ford is past executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union.)

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