ISPs Threaten to Stop Building Infrastructure if New Net Neutrality Proposal Passes

May 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The top Internet service providers in the United States have told the Federal Communications Commission that if new revisions to the Open Internet Order are passed by the FCC commissioners on Thursday, they will stop building out infrastructure and give up on innovation.

The threat came on Tuesday in a letter (PDF) signed by the chief executives of AT&T, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Frontier, Suddenlink, Time Warner Cable, 15 other companies, and industry trade groups such as the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the Telecommunications Industry Association, and the CTIA Wireless Association.

The collective of ISP CEOs warned the FCC not to classify broadband as a telecommunications service, which would open Internet service up to stricter “common carrier” rules under Title II of the Communications Act.

Meanwhile, consumer and free speech advocates say common carrier status is required so that the FCC can impose stronger network neutrality rules on Internet service providers.

“Today’s regulatory framework helps support nearly 11 million jobs annually in the US and has unleashed over $1.2 trillion of investment in advanced wired and wireless broadband networks, as well as an entirely new apps economy,” the letter said. “We see an average of over $60 billion poured into cable, fiber, fixed and mobile wireless, phone, and satellite broadband networks each and every year. And broadband gets better every year: the average broadband speeds jumped 25 percent in 2013 alone, highlighting there are no 'slow lanes' in today’s Internet.”

The ISPs claim that "even the potential threat" of new common carrier rules resulted in a 10 percent market cap decrease for some ISPs the last two times the FCC considered Title II in 2009 and 2010.

“Today, Title II backers fail to explain where the next hundreds of billions of dollars of risk capital will come from to improve and expand today’s networks under a Title II regime,” the ISPs wrote. “They too soon forget that a decade ago we saw billions newly invested in the latest broadband networks and advancements once the Commission affirmed that Title II does not apply to broadband networks.”

“Under Title II, new service offerings, options, and features would be delayed or altogether foregone. Consumers would face less choice, and a less adaptive and responsive Internet,” they wrote. “An era of differentiation, innovation, and experimentation would be replaced with a series of ‘Government may I?’ requests from American entrepreneurs. That cannot be, and must not become, the US Internet of tomorrow.”

We will have more on this story as it develops.

Source: Ars Technica


Comments

Re: ISPs Threaten to Stop Building Infrastructure if New Net ...

Weren't they given the rights to pass lines on private property in exchange of not acting exactly as they are currently acting?

Re: ISPs Threaten to Stop Building Infrastructure if New Net ...

Take their lines,satellites and licenses away and give them to companies who are willing to do the work.


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: ISPs Threaten to Stop Building Infrastructure if New Net ...

I am reminded of the oil company shmucks standing before congress and claiming that without tax breaks, they would stop searching for new sources of oil.  Oh, really?  Without a tax incentive, you have no reason to go find money to pump out of the ground?  Suuuuuuuuuuuuure...

And these guys, holy crap...  They line their own pockets with our billions, provide access that is an embarassment in the developed world (where they even provide any at all), try to double- (if not triple-) charge for the data they do shuffle along, charge extortionary prices of everybody involved for the privilege of taking it up the rear from them, *and* are constantly searching for new ways to bilk us even more.  And they wonder why people want the government to step in?  What a bunch of assholes.

Re: ISPs Threaten to Stop Building Infrastructure if New Net ...

...and this differs from the status quo in what way?

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Papa Midnight

Re: ISPs Threaten to Stop Building Infrastructure if New Net ...

Guess that means that they can return all that money that was given to them to build the infrastructure like they were supposed to.

Re: ISPs Threaten to Stop Building Infrastructure if New Net ...

Yeah, but they decided their executives need bonuses instead.

Re: ISPs Threaten to Stop Building Infrastructure if New Net ...

"Consumers would face less choice..."

You mean less than none?  Wow.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: ISPs Threaten to Stop Building Infrastructure if New Net ...

What are you talking about? The choice between internet and no internet is still a choice.

Re: ISPs Threaten to Stop Building Infrastructure if New Net ...

According the UN, internet access is now a basic human right. So that's like saying "the choice between having a home and not having a home is still a choice."

Re: ISPs Threaten to Stop Building Infrastructure if New Net ...

Now consider the banks that went on a forclosure binge and then tell me what the "free market" thinks of the "basic human rights".

Re: ISPs Threaten to Stop Building Infrastructure if New Net ...

Ok. Enough. They don't want net-neutrality? Fine. I say fine. Then the DMCA no longer applies to them. They are responsible for EVERYTHING that passes on THEIR lines. Have fun in court.

Re: ISPs Threaten to Stop Building Infrastructure if New Net ...

Sounds like a great opening to pry open the doors to municipal run fiber networks. Create the network with tax payer money, allow any ISP that wants to set up shop to lease the lines, use those leasing fees to upgrade the lines as needed. 

Re: ISPs Threaten to Stop Building Infrastructure if New Net ...

You mean in the states (like South Carolina) where they haven't quite literally written and submitted laws to state Congressional bodies, and then provided "campaign contributions" to get the bills passed?

Reference: Ars Technica: South Carolina passes bill against municipal broadband

FWIW: This is not the only example of this happening, but it certainly was one of the most egregious.

 

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Papa Midnight

Re: ISPs Threaten to Stop Building Infrastructure if New Net ...

Yep. ISPs know what is a danger to them and they fight tooth and nail to stop it. It is unfortunate that so many politicians are so far in the pockets of the ISPs that they will not acknowledge that these sort of laws are the worst examples of cronyism.

Re: ISPs Threaten to Stop Building Infrastructure if New Net ...

Sounds like bullying tactics to me.  It honestly doesn't surprise me that they are doing this.

High Tech Redneck

 
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