FCC Commissioner Kevin Martin in a speech today at the NCTA show made it pretty clear to one and all – he is going to let the markets decide the outcome of the broadband free for all.
“I think that, from my personal vantage point, the market is much more important than regulation, as far as driving innovation and trying to provide choices for consumers,” Martin says. “But that doesn’t mean the government doesn’t have an important role to play; we have to lay down the rules of the road to make sure there is fair competition out there,” he says.
Unlike his predecessor, Michael Powell, Martin’s comments indicate that no one should expect any special consideration from this man, especially the upstarts. He was pretty clear in what he saw as the right thing to do – level the playing field for all competitors.
On President Bush’s desire for broadband ability to reach the whole population by 2007, Martin says “we are already far along that road, but there is still work to be done.” But then he added that 90 percent of U.S. households have access to broadband if they want it.