A new survey shows just how fast the market for broadband is changing. Consumers no longer see mobile and fixed internet access alternatives as fundamentally different but use different types of broadband access in similar ways. In other words, mobile and fixed broadband are now functional substitutes.
Consumers are becoming more connected than ever, and that includes home automation, where almost a quarter of consumers now own at least one kind of smart device, such as a smart appliance, thermostat, or lights.
An increasing number of Americans are relying primarily on their smartphones or web-enabled mobile devices to access a broader number and type of activities, services, and overall information.
IIA believes that now is the right time for the FCC to update and modernize its approach to reporting to Congress on the deployment of advanced telecommunications capability. Because consumers perceive and use mobile and fixed broadband services in essentially the same way, the FCC should now consider mobile and fixed broadband services “functional substitutes” and report to Congress accordingly.
The door is open once again to large-scale broadband investment, but some in Congress are now urging a return of the heavy-handed regulatory treatment imposed on broadband in 2015. That would be a major mistake for the country at large and particularly punishing for broadband investment in our rural regions.