Op-Ed Chastises App Bill, Arizona Seeks Broadband Guidance, Verizon Expands 5G

American Enterprise Institute fellow says app bill could harm, Arizona looking at broadband speeds, Verizon 5G expansion.

Op-Ed Chastises App Bill, Arizona Seeks Broadband Guidance, Verizon Expands 5G
Mark Jamison, nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

August 16, 2021 – A Senate bill introduced Wednesday to ban app store operators from requiring third-party app providers to use their stores will damage the app economy and consumers, according to a Monday American Enterprise Institute op-ed.

Nonresident Senior Fellow Mark Jamison writes that lawmakers backing the Open App Markets Act legislation are under the illusion that Google and Apple harness tremendous market power by controlling the app ecosystem. But research at the AEI, according to Jamison, found that these app stores are encouraging competition, not suppressing it – and the ecosystem is flourishing to where these app store owners are competing for these apps, he said.

“Of the 47 business categories we studied, 16 were associated with firms that exhibited a strong preference for using mobile platforms. Most viewed iOS and Android as clear substitutes or at least complements, implying that Apple and Google are in competition for these startups’ business.

“Companies that had clear preferences between iOS and Android tended to be lukewarm on using mobile platforms altogether, also implying no market power,” which Jamison defines as “the ability to raise prices and suppress output without inviting more competition.”

He argued that the bill would force the app store owners to function in ways that will defeat what consumers already love about their functionality.

The legislation was introduced by Senators Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee.

Arizona considering broadband guidance for 2022

The Arizona Technology Council is soliciting opinions on updating its public policy guidance for next year, including what to do about broadband speeds.

Discussions are circulating around Washington about what to do about the federal standards for acceptable minimum speeds, including whether to create tiers of service that would categorize anything under 100 Megabits per second download as a low level of service.

In Arizona, the technology council wants to know whether symmetrical download and upload speeds is something that is “practical,” citing possible issues with a “number of technology architectures.”

It also noted that the infrastructure bill, which passed the Senate last week, “will present once in a generation opportunities to drive digital equity,” but that the bill could be disadvantaging anchor institutions like schools and libraries by not clearly defining them as priorities.

Verizon expands 5G home broadband and mobile wireless

In a press release on Wednesday, Verizon said it has expanded home and wireless 5G to more markets, including in Texas and Oregon for the former and New Mexico, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama for the latter.

That brings the company’s 5G home services to parts of 52 cities and its 5G mobility service to parts of 78 cities.

“We’re continuing our aggressive expansion of our 5G Ultra Wideband and 5G Home services,” said Kyle Malady, Verizon’s chief technology officer. “Customers in these six cities join a growing list who can now take advantage of game-changing technology that will power the future of wireless and home broadband applications and solutions.”

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