For decades, landline telephone companies dominated the nation’s telecommunications market as well as New Mexico’s. In fact, their dominance spurred federal and state agencies to regulate them as if they were monopolies.
With cellphone usage surpassing landlines in New Mexico in 2012, as well as the increase of voice-over-Internet services, it’s clear the array of competitors have busted any appearance of a monopoly in the traditional landline business.
But the regulations remain on landline services, and they cause the reverse effect of creating an uneven playing field for established telecom providers. When telecom companies can’t fairly compete in the marketplace, no one wins, especially consumers. Traditional telecom companies continue to play a major role in building the backbone of New Mexico’s broadband Internet, and antiquated regulations based on old technology hinder investment in innovative services we all deserve.
Until New Mexico’s information bandwidth improves, the state’s economy and educational institutions are sidelined, because the growth of every industry in the state, including hospitality, health care and high-tech, depends on it.