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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Filed Under: fran shammo, investment, net neutrality, title ii
Companies: verizon

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2014 @ 6:18am


    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. (

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