Verizon Admits To Investors That Title II Won't Harm Broadband Investment At All

from the words-are-but-wind dept

As the company that sued to overturn the FCC’s wimpier net neutrality rules (to the chagrin of AT&T and Comcast, who liked the weaker rules), Verizon has of course been leading the charge against Title II, telling anyone who will listen that network investment will decline, innovation will stall, dogs and cats will live together, and mass hysteria will ensue if the FCC regulates ISPs under Title II. Of course you’re to ignore the fact that the voice component of wireless networks and parts of Verizon’s FiOS network (largely to get tax breaks) have been regulated for years under Title II without the slightest problem for the company.

Given Verizon’s repeated assertions that Title II will just crush investment, it was a little amusing to hear Verizon CFO Fran Shammo this week clearly tell attendees of the UBS Annual Global Media and Communications Conference that Title II won’t harm the company’s network investments in the slightest. Shammo was asked about whether Title II would sour Verizon’s interest in investing in United States broadband. Shammo’s reply:

“I mean to be real clear, I mean this does not influence the way we invest. I mean we’re going to continue to invest in our networks and our platforms, both in Wireless and Wireline FiOS and where we need to. So nothing will influence that. I mean if you think about it, look, I mean we were born out of a highly regulated company, so we know how this operates.”

Companies (especially CFOs) tend to forget that the public has ears when speaking at these sort of events, but apparently Shammo quickly realized what he had just admitted — so he then tries to backtrack:

“And I also think that if you look at other countries who have done this, it kind of leads you down to [a] path of total failure because it really, really slows down investment and slows down innovation.”

Right. Clear as mud. Title II won’t impact network investment whatsoever, but Title II will like totally impact network investment. Verizon pretty clearly wants to have its cake and eat it too, even if it makes absolutely no logical, coherent sense. Of course that’s because the mega-ISPs aren’t really that worried about Title II — they’re worried that the FCC will create enforceable rules that will prevent them from abusing the industry’s stranglehold on uncompetitive broadband markets with all manner of “creative” pricing and content/service discrimination.

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Companies: verizon

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Comments on “Verizon Admits To Investors That Title II Won't Harm Broadband Investment At All”

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13 Comments
umb231 (profile) says:

I want to say there really should be a law against this sort of thing. Either they’re blatantly lying to investors, which should be fraud, or they’re lying to a regulatory agency which should be perjury and/or fraud.
Then I remember who’s in charge of creating the laws, and who’s pocket they’re in and it all makes sad, twisted sense.

Anonymous Coward says:

the various main ISPs no full well what is going to hopefully happen. they know it wont have any detrimental effect on what they do or want to do. the impact will be on what they dont want to do and have managed to not do until now. the FCC needs to get it’s act together and definitely put out rules that have to be followed and sort out this area of non-competition, just like the entertainment industries and force competition to happen! this ridiculous 3 major ISPs creates competition crap needs kicking out and the lying fuckers who keep endorsing this brought to task over it! give the people something for a change instead of having everything taken from them!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Actually, I was first thinking of South Korea’s government regulation period in Internet access. They are now one of the cheapest and best countries to have internet service worldwide. Sure they have issues with censorship and other things, but $30/mo for 100Mbps current at KT is still a lot better than you can do in the US. (http://www.ktexpatblog.com/?page_id=50)

clemahieu (profile) says:

From http://transition.fcc.gov/Reports/1934new.pdf

It seems like there’s a fairly large barrier to expansion in SEC. 214. [47 U.S.C. 214] “No carrier shall undertake the construction of a new line or of an extension of any line, or shall acquire or operate any line, or extension thereof, or shall engage in transmission over or by means of such additional or extended line, unless and until there shall first have been obtained from the Commission a certificate that the present or future public convenience and necessity require or will require the construction”

I see nothing in the way of protecting from charging different rates for different classes of internet traffic specifically after reading SEC. 201. [47 U.S.C. 201] b “different charges may be made for the different classes of comunications:”

The act makes specific mention that common carries *must* turn over information for law enforcement SEC. 229. [47 U.S.C. 229] so any hope that your ISP might not not collect or log your traffic is gone.

It seems that placing ISPs under Title 2 of the FCA is incredibly short-sighted and anti-privacy.

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