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Don't rely on market forces to deploy broadband

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re: Don't rely on market forces to deploy broadband
chuckster123   3/24/2010 4:51:19 PM
Matt, When discussing the inadequacies of the free market, please keep in mind that it is the free market in the USA that has given us the highest quality of life in the history of mankind. Profit is the engine of our economy and it is crucial to remember that we enjoy this tremendous quality of life because of profit. When a person starts a business, they do so to make a profit and hopefully become rich. That is the goal and our founders created a framework that encourages the entrepreneurial spirit in the hope of making a profit. I say all this because we are bombarded daily with the idea that government must do this or do that because the free market will not venture into a particular area. Of course, this way of thinking is wrong for two reasons. The first being that no on can predict the actions of individuals and their ability to see a market opportunity that will transform our lives. Individuals see solutions to problems that government workers will never see because an individual is driven by the ability to make incredible profits at the cost of taking incredible risk. No such corollary exists on the government side. Second, if there is an opportunity to make a profit, then I assure you that businesses will fill the void. If the large players will not fill the void then an enterprising individual will step in. History proves it so. If we start to believe that government has the obligation to level the playing field and step in when we know something is unprofitable, then we have created another entitlement adding to the deficit because it loses money. Finally, where do we stop. Do we decide that software companies are under-serving certain segments of the population thereby making it governmentâ??s responsibility to develop apps for these segments? This is a never ending road. Finally, I would like to propose a real solution. Letâ??s offer financial incentives to companies that take risk by offering broadband to under-served markets. Letâ??s make it worth their effort to move into these markets. If they decide that providing services is not economically feasible and no on steps in to fill the void, then we have identified a market that government has no business going into because it is not self sustaining. Remember, where there is opportunity, people will rise to the occasion.

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