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. icon
    clemahieu (profile), 13 Dec 2014 @ 5:46pm

    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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