Hearing #1 On Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century - Sept. 13-14 at Georgetown University Law Center #FTC-2018-0074-D-0017

Submission Number:
FTC-2018-0074-D-0017
Commenter:
Brian Kreck
State:
California
Initiative Name:
Hearing #1 On Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century - Sept. 13-14 at Georgetown University Law Center
To Whom It May Concern: I am writing to urge the continued requirement of major telcom providers to provide wholesale access to unbundled network elements (UNEs.) My family lives in what is considered a wealthy part of the United States, yet most members of my family do not have many choices for a broadband provider. My parents who live approximately 11 miles from a town of 8,000 and 9 miles from a town of 40,000 have no options at all and are forced to purchase extremely expensive connectivity from a satellite provider. I live about 1 mile from town and have only two options. My small company of 7 people is in the middle of a city and yet we only have two options the best of which already costs us almost $400/month. Of those two options at my home and my business, one is ATT and the other is a small, independent provider named Sonic.net. We have used ATT in the past, but they provided horrible speeds and even worse service. If the position offered by USTelcom is accepted, and the major telcoms are no longer need to provide service for the final leg to a customers home, this would eliminate all options of choice that I currently have. I am also greatly concerned that if this is happening in Sonoma County, CA, the heart of wine country, it will hit especially hard among rural America and other areas that do not have the same resources as our community. We have a friend in a more rural area that would lose access altogether as small independent providers are successfully supplying connectivity to an area that ATT wont. Our society decided that certain services, such as electricity, were core services to which the very poor and the very rural should still have access. Simply having access to a light bulb after dark can mean the difference between education and generations of poverty. Access to the Internet is another incredibly inexpensive method to help people to help themselves. There is not enough competition in the broadband market as it stands, please do not make it worse. Respectfully submitted, Brian Kreck