From the Austin Business Journal: A Call for Data Center Companies to Fight for Open Internet

Apr 5, 2018 | Policy

In this op-ed from the Austin Business Journal, Data Foundry co-founder Ron Yokubaitis and policy analyst Natalie Parra-Novosad discuss the benefits of Open Access and an Open Internet and call on all carrier-neutral data center companies to join the fight for an Open Internet:

For the sake of an open internet, it’s time for data centers to fight telecoms

After decades of political skirmishes, a truly open internet still seems to be an elusive dream for Americans who are doomed to exist under the status quo.

A true “open internet” means having all the benefits net neutrality attempted to ensure by compelling internet service providers to treat all traffic equally, as well as having choices when it comes to ISPs. One proven way to achieve this is through “Open Access.” Open Access involves opening the ‘last mile’ of infrastructure that brings internet service into your home. This has also been referred to as “local-loop unbundling.” Without Open Access or unbundling, any independent company that wants to offer internet service to your home is forced to build their own infrastructure.

This is just as problematic with internet as it would be with your gas and electricity. There is only one line coming into your house for energy, regardless of which provider you choose to supply that service. Economic efficiency tells us that the most rational approach is one that involves just one fiber connection running to your house for phone or cable. The alternative scenario of having each service provider laying their own infrastructure to your home is outrageously expensive and unnecessary.

Carrier-neutral data center companies understand the advantages of an open internet better than most because we’ve successfully instituted this very environment in our data centers. We’ve experienced the advantages of an open internet firsthand, and so have our customers. They have the power to negotiate prices and standards of service with providers. If they aren’t happy with one carrier, they have over a dozen others to choose from. We understand what a true open internet is like, and we understand that Open Access policy makes the internet more accessible for everyone.

Data centers support an open internet because our customers thrive under this kind of environment. That is why we’d like to see all Americans enjoy these same benefits, empowering them to switch providers on the premise of price, service, digital privacy, and whatever else they may want from an internet provider.

According to the FCC’s data, only 9 percent of Americans with access to high-speed broadband have two or more providers to choose from, and a mere 1 percent have access to three or more.

See the full article on the Austin Business Journal .