The Impact of Broadband Competition on Consumer Welfare, Innovation, and Productivity in the United States: A Policy Forum
On May 9, in the Rayburn House Office building, the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy hosted a Georgetown on the Hill policy forum on broadband competition. The discussion was introduced and moderated by John W. Mayo, Professor of Economics, Business, and Public Policy at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, and Executive Director, Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy. The panel of experts included:
- Michelle P. Connolly, Professor of the Practice of Economics, Duke University (remarks begin at 23:05)
- Larry Downes, Project Director and Senior Industry and Innovation Fellow, Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy (remarks begin at 33:20)
- Michael Mandel, Chief Economic Strategist, Progressive Policy Institute (remarks begin at 7:42)
- Michael Rollins, Managing Director, Telecom and Communication Infrastructure Services, Citi Research (remarks begin at 16:43)
In a dynamic forum including audience Q+A, the panel of experts offered context and insights. A theme that emerged was the importance of tracking and using the right measures to understand broadband competition and productivity. Mayo led with an analogy between productivity gains associated with the adoption of personal computers and the adoption of broadband. Mandel highlighted the stunning growth in the so-called app economy and related employment developments and issues. Rollins explained the dynamics influencing investment in broadband and infrastructure. Connolly described how drilling down in the data reveals more nuanced or even different understandings of broadband access and usage. Downes reminded that in the Internet ecosystem the forces that shape competition extend beyond Michael Porter’s five-forces model also to include digitization, globalization, and regulation.
This seminar is part of the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy's Georgetown on the Hill series at which we convene policymakers, academics, and industry experts to discuss important economic policy issues of the day.