Verizon Doubles Down On Bogus Claim Title II Will Kill Broadband Investment
from the Title-II-hurts-puppies dept
We’ve noted repeatedly that the broadband industry’s claims that Title II reclassification will hurt broadband network investment just aren’t supported by the facts. Title II, which governs the vocal components of wireless networks, certainly didn’t hurt Verizon’s effort to become the biggest, most profitable wireless carrier in the country, nor did it stop wireless carriers from spending $45 billion on spectrum at the latest FCC auction. It also certainly didn’t hurt Verizon when it asked to have FiOS classified under Title II to nab tax breaks. Apparently forgetting there were other people around, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo was even quoted last December as stating Title II won’t impact investment patterns in the slightest.
However, as anybody knows, when you’re proven wrong time and time and time again, the only sensible thing to do is to dig a deeper hole and double down on your bluff. With billions in potential revenue thwarted by real net neutrality rules, Verizon appears to be doing just that.
Shammo apparently got the memo that admitting the truth is a big no no, so the CFO came out firing during the company’s latest earnings conference call. Shammo now insists that everything he’s said previously before Congress and in the media has been “misquoted,” and Title II will most definitely hurt Verizon’s network investment strategy:
“I would emphasize also that the approach in whole or in part on Title II is an extreme and risky path that will jeopardize our investment and the development of innovation in Broadband Internet and related services.”
Except as Verizon’s own history shows, there’s really nothing risky about Title II with forbearance from heavier regulations, unless you’re a company looking to use gatekeeper power to make an extra buck. Still, Shammo just can’t help himself, and raises the ante further by insisting that this lack of investment will “trickle down” and hurt jobs:
“If we could curtail the investment of this industry, it will definitely trickle down to what we would consider middle-class jobs. And it?s because most of at least, for Verizon Wireless, a lot of our build are done by thousands of contractors across the United States, that will impact those small business and impact their employees.”
Except again, if the “trickle down” claim didn’t tip you off, that’s a bluff. Verizon’s not going to simply stop investing in its network with T-Mobile (and maybe even Google wireless) nipping at the company’s heels, though I’m sure those companies wish it would. Shammo proceeded to proclaim that Title II-based neutrality rules would most certainly lead to lawsuits, which if you think about it is a truly Nostradamus-grade prediction when you’re the one doing the suing. In short, Verizon’s going to stick to its lie that Title II hurts puppies, causes tears in the time/space continuum, and is horribly unpatriotic — whether we all like it or not.