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.

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  • icon
    sorrykb (profile), 10 Jun 2015 @ 8:49am

    This is a bit of an aside, but it seems kind of unfair to lump Sonic in with those others ISPs. Sonic has hardly been quiet about net neutrality.
    (Happy Sonic customer. Ending shameless promotion now.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ed Allen, 10 Jun 2015 @ 9:17am

    Sonic does not deserve this slam

    The headline of the Sonic link above...
    Internet Provider Sonic's CEO: Title II Is Only A Regulatory Burden If You're Doing Something Bad

    So I say they deserve an appology.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Karl Bode (profile), 10 Jun 2015 @ 9:31am

      Re: Sonic does not deserve this slam

      They weren't slammed? They were simply listed as one of several ISPs whose execs have publicly acknowledged net neutrality wouldn't hurt investment.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        PRMan, 10 Jun 2015 @ 10:15am

        Re: Re: Sonic does not deserve this slam

        Putting Sonic in the same sentence as Frontier, Cablevision, Sprint and Verizon is insulting enough.

        (Sorry about the insult Sonic...)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2015 @ 2:15am

          Re: Re: Re: Sonic does not deserve this slam

          > Putting Sonic in the same sentence as Frontier, Cablevision, Sprint and Verizon is insulting enough.


          LOL! I'm laughing because it's true. Bravo!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        sorrykb (profile), 10 Jun 2015 @ 11:45am

        Re: Re: Sonic does not deserve this slam

        It's more the first part of the sentence:
        While their lobbyists and lawyers were busy trying to pretend that net neutrality was the equivalent of investment napalm
        Sonic didn't do this. In fact, I seem to recall getting an email from Sonic urging me to support net neutrality.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2015 @ 9:56am

      Re: Sonic does not deserve this slam

      Agreed-- unless you can show that Sonic has made a statement that network neutrality would negatively impact telecommunication investment.

      I suppose that their CEO and staff blog would be a good place to look (don't have the link- sorry).

      For the record, I will state that I am a customer of Sonic,net.

      -cmh

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lord Binky, 10 Jun 2015 @ 10:15am

    We all knew it couldn't really hurt ISPs, they weren't planning to use any of the profits they got from using their customers to extort money from other companies in the first place.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Richard Bennett (profile), 11 Jun 2015 @ 12:52am

    Ha think?

    "Yes, Charter's looking to have a deal approved, but you can obviously see the pattern here...."

    The pattern that's emerging is fewer new entrants. City of Seattle just bowed out, there will be others. Careful what you wish for.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jim, 11 Jun 2015 @ 6:12am

    Net Neutrality Investment

    You have lumped Sprint in with those claiming NN would impact network investment. Actually, Sprint stated clearly before the FCC vote that it would not negatively impact its investment. Accuracy in reporting IS important.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    EC, 11 Jun 2015 @ 7:25am

    Sprint

    Sprint has never publically stated that Net Neutrality would hurt investment in their network. Sprint was one of the few major carriers to publically support Net Neutrality.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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