In the News: ILSR’s Community Broadband Initiative
February 4, 2022
Media Outlet: Popular Science
However, while these new labels and competition will be beneficial for many consumers, Narechania says that they won’t unilaterally solve the problems created by broadband service providers in the US “This improves transparency for anyone who subscribes to broadband service – or who wants to subscribe,” he says. “But I should acknowledge that the new labeling rules are not going to create new competition in unserved or underserved markets.”
The limitation will particularly impact broadband users in rural parts of the country who already cannot access reliable broadband service or who only have one provider to choose from. According to a 2021 Pew Research Center survey, 28 percent of rural Americans do not have broadband service at their homes. Likewise, a 2020 report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance found that 83.3 million Americans have access to only one broadband service provider.
So while new labels could provide more transparency about this one provider’s rates, Narechania says it won’t necessarily provide users with better options. Nevertheless, he believes they’ll have a positive impact—at least to some degree.
Read more about ILSR’s Community Broadband initiative here.