Yet Another ISP Exec Admits Broadband Industry Lied About Net Neutrality Hurting Network Investment
from the network-investment-bogeyman dept
Time and time again over the last ten years of net neutrality debates we’ve been told that net neutrality rules are an absolute death knell for broadband network investment. We heard it again, repeatedly, ahead of the FCC’s February vote to approve the country’s first meaningful net neutrality rules. With factory precision, broadband ISPs (and their assortment of paid flacks, lobbyists, lawyers, fauxcademics and other mouthpieces) have breathlessly declared that net neutrality rules would absolutely destroy sector network upgrades, leaving us all crying over our congested, broken broadband connections should rules be passed.
Funny, then, that as the net neutrality rules take effect this week, all evidence continues to point to that claim being absolute and total bullshit.
While their lobbyists and lawyers were busy trying to pretend that net neutrality was the equivalent of investment napalm, executives from Frontier, Cablevision, Sprint, Sonic and even neutrality public enemy number one, Verizon, have been quietly acknowledging the rules won’t do anything of the sort. As the rules approach there’s no evidence of a slowdown at all; in fact fear of the rules actually has transit and last mile ISPs cooperating more than ever, and there’s no indications that the rules have remotely hurt gigabit deployments by the likes of rule opponents like Comcast.
As Charter looks to acquire Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in the industry’s latest mega deal, company CEO Tom Rutledge last week joined the chorus of broadband execs admitting on the record they’ve been participating in a giant, repetitive bluff:
“New U.S. net neutrality regulations have not affected how Charter Communications Inc invests in building its telecoms networks, Chief Executive Tom Rutledge told Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler this week…Rutledge, however, told Wheeler that “the commission?s decision to reclassify broadband Internet access under Title II has not altered Charter?s approach of investing significantly in its network to deliver cutting edge services,” according to the disclosure of the June 2 meeting.”
Yes, Charter’s looking to have a deal approved, but you can obviously see the pattern here. As we’ve noted all along, there’s one reason and one reason alone that broadband ISPs oppose net neutrality rules: it will cost them billions of dollars by limiting the “creative” ways in which they can abuse the lack of last-mile broadband competition. Of course they can’t just come out and admit that, so they need to lean on disingenuous arguments like the network investment bogeyman, and cling to them repeatedly even in the face of obvious contradiction by the industry itself.