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It should go without saying that the very nature of the congressional directive requiring the Commission to undertake ongoing reviews of the broadband situation dictates that the Commission bring to the task a dynamic rather than a static analysis.[W]e recognize that as technologies evolve, the concept of broadband will evolve with it: we may consider todays broadband to be narrowband when tomorrows technologies are deployed and consumer demand for higher bandwidth appears on a large scale.For example, we may find in future reports that evolution in technologies, retail offerings, and demand among consumers has raised the minimum speed for broadband from 200 kbps to, for example, a certain number of megabits per second (Mbps).Most fundamentally, the Commission should acknowledge that broadband is evolving in unpredictable ways, with constantly changing business models and new value propositions for consumers.
As shown below, we now believe, three years after the Commission initiated the first Section 706 Inquiry, that the agencys failure to adopt an approach along the lines of our containment philosophy to prevent regulatory spillover has, in fact, impeded the development of a more robust broadband environment.
This recognition of the need for a dynamic approach during each of the periodic Section 706 reviews was not limited to consideration of the current and evolving state of the marketplace and technological developments.
Importantly, in the very first inquiry the Commission emphasized that its consideration of the most appropriate regulatory approach should be dynamic as well: Looking into the future we ask what, if any, system of regulation might best fit the market for advanced telecommunications capability.[W]e ask parties to consider the Internet industry as a model of what a maturing market for advanced telecommunications capability and advanced services might be.
We also set forth, at that early date, what we called our containment philosophy, whereby we recognized that, in the post-1996 Telecommunications Act environment, continued regulation of traditional narrowband services might be necessary for some transitional period, but the threat of regulatory spillover from the traditional telecommunications world into the digital broadband world represents a clear and present danger to investment in and deployment of digital broadband services.
Most recently, for example, we have published a book containing a comprehensive blueprint for reform, entitled Communications Deregulation and Reform, addressing a broad range of issues, including local competition and broadband matters.
Advanced telecommunications capability is defined by the statute without regard to any transmission media or technology, as high-speed, switched, broadband telecommunications capability that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology.