Said no one ever — except for Susan Crawford on NPR:
Crawford: Well, just to respond to Adam, 83 percent of Americans who have a Smartphone also have a wire at home. People in South Korea, in Japan and in China are way ahead of us. They make us look like a backwater when it comes to connectivity.
Rehm: I don’t understand that. You’ve said that before. How can it be?
Crawford: This turns out to not happen by magic. It happened because of policy. You can call that overregulation. It’s the way we make innovation happen in America.
She was responding to Adam Thierer:
Crawford: Yeah, we’re subject to an enormous digital divide inside America where about a third of Americans don’t have a wired home. FCC says 50 percent – only 50 percent of Americans have access at home to 3 megabits per second. Netflix says that to watch a DVD-quality movie or an HD-quality movie, you’re going to need a better connection than that. So people relying on wireless are even a step back from the poor state of wired connections.
Thierer: But that’s just not true. I mean, the reality is that high-speed broadband wireless networks have developed more robust in this country than almost any other nationwide. And Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint – I sit down at my home with the Google Chromecast that I ordered two weeks ago, turn on my phone, started watching some Netflix show that I’ve been watching, “Orange is the New Black,” and streaming it to my television wirelessly through a Telco-provided 4G connection. And it was perfect, no problem.Thierer: Now I can downgrade that image if I need to, to watch my data plan, because obviously we do have to be careful about going over data caps. But the reason they’re there is because these are not unlimited resources. You can’t have everybody just utilizing them massively without having a lot of costs. So you have to pay for these things. There is no free lunch in the world of broadband. But the good news is, there are options and there are – I mean, when you talk about companies like Google and Apple and Netflix, these are big players that are involved in putting pressure on these broadband players. And that’s what keeps this market competitive.
Check out our Forbes piece, “10 Reasons To Be More Optimistic About Broadband Than Susan Crawford Is”:
there’s a lot of ground between “do nothing” and “regulate broadband like electricity—or railroads.” Crawford’s arguments simply don’t justify imposing 19th century common carriage regulation on the Internet. But that doesn’t leave us powerless to correct practices that truly harm consumers, should they actually arise.