The Internet has transformed our way of life; and new "broadband" technologies promise even greater benefits through high-speed Internet access and communications. Unfortunately, because major cable companies currently have the capacity to provide this technology to their clients, other Internet service providers (ISPs) are crying foul. They are calling the cable companies' "head start" unfair and forming alliances to get the government to force cable companies to make their high-speed broadband lines available for use by all ISPs on equal terms. This study explains why this government intervention would be a terrible idea. It analyzes market trends and technological possibilities to show that "forced access" would significantly increase costs for consumers with no benefit to show for the added expense. The study concludes that "forced access" would stifle the innovation that naturally emerges from the free play of market forces. It shows why government should not only refrain from interfering with broadband technology, but should allow competition between local cable providers in order to maximize the potential of this exciting new technology.

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