Our mobile broadband success, in particular, is even more striking. On his way out, former FCC chairman Julius Genachowski bragged: "The U.S. is now the envy of the world in advanced wireless networks, devices, applications, among other areas."
He went on to recite the key facts. We're in the only country deploying LTW technology on a wide-scale, with as many LTE subscribers as the rest of the world combined. Wireless network investment grew more than 40 percent from 2009 to 2012, from $21 billion to $30 billion -- while investment in Europe has been flat. And the boom in wireless broadband investment has created 1.6 million jobs since 2007, the brightest spot in our dim economy.
Europe knows we're beating them. Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, said earlier this year: "Once, Europe led the world in wireless communication: now we have fallen behind. Europe needs to regain that lead."
We shouldn't give them the chance. The policy formula that has driven U.S. broadband dominance has been based on facilities-based competition with a light regulatory touch. It allowed U.S. broadband providers to make investment decisions based on market realities and provided consumers with a range of choices few other countries enjoy.
Nonetheless, left-wing special interests continue to agitate for imposing old-fashioned monopoly-style regulation on broadband Internet. But heavy-handed regulations would depress private investment and make broadband infrastructure largely dependent on subsidies from taxpayers -- the same tapped out taxpayers already straining to maintain transportation and water infrastructure. Congress and the FCC should ignore the left-wing ideologues and continue the free-market approach that is working so well.
Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment, a columnist on Fox News Opinion, chairman of the Internet Freedom Coalition, and author of the 2011 book Democracy Denied.
American Commitment is dedicated to restoring and protecting America’s core commitment to free markets, economic growth, Constitutionally-limited government, property rights, and individual freedom.
Washingtonian magazine named Mr. Kerpen to their "Guest List" in 2008 and The Hill newspaper named Mr. Kerpen a "Top Grassroots Lobbyist" in 2011.
Mr. Kerpen's op-eds have run in newspapers across the country and he is a frequent radio and television commentator on economic growth issues.
Prior to joining American Commitment, Mr. Kerpen served as vice president for policy at Americans for Prosperity. Mr. Kerpen has also previously worked as an analyst and researcher for the Free Enterprise Fund, the Club for Growth, and the Cato Institute.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Mr. Kerpen currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife Joanna and their daughter Lilly.