U.S. broadband investment is up after end of FCC’s so-called ‘Net Neutrality’ rules

“Despite many studies showing that consumers would be worse off under command-and-control internet regulations, the Obama administration and former FCC imposed restrictive regulations in early 2015, reclassifying the internet as a common carrier (think ‘public utility’) instead of an information service,” Liam Sigaud writes for InsideSources. “This decision was an unwarranted government intrusion into the market to control the internet and its providers with heavy, archaic rules. As early as 2009, when the Obama administration made initial moves toward tighter internet restrictions, the American Consumer Institute warned that onerous net neutrality regulations would hurt consumers, not protect them.”

“FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who led the effort to dismantle the net neutrality rules, has consistently argued that they dampened broadband investment and slowed innovation,” Sigaud writes. “Their repeal, he predicted, would reinvigorate private investment in the broadband sector.”

“According to U.S. Telecom’s analysis, capital expenditures made by broadband providers in the United States fell from $73.6 billion in 2014 to $73 billion in 2015. In 2016, after new net neutrality rules were introduced, investments slumped to $70.6 billion,” Sigaud writes. “However, preliminary data show that U.S. broadband companies invested somewhere between $72 billion and $74 billion in network infrastructure in 2017, showing an increase of at least $1.4 billion from the year before. While the overall growth in the economy is certainly a factor driving these trends, the imminent repeal of onerous net neutrality regulations played a key role.”

Broadband CapEx Investment Looking Up in 2017

“Importantly, increased investments in broadband technology will help bring affordable high-speed internet to millions of rural Americans and spur new innovations that will benefit us all. As the internet continues to develop rapidly and game-changing technologies — like 5G wireless networks and Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities — are brought within reach of the average consumer, the importance of a stable, fair and nimble federal regulatory framework will only grow,” Sigaud writes. “The FCC’s repeal of public utility-style regulations was a critical step toward building a better internet for everyone.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: USTelecom is the trade association representing the nation’s broadband industry. Its membership ranges from large publicly traded communications corporations to small companies and cooperatives which provide communications and broadband services.

USTelecom’s report, “Broadband CapEx Investment Looking Up in 2017,” is here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote a dozen years ago (!), back in August 2006:

We don’t presume to know the best way to get there, but we support the concept of “Net Neutrality” especially as it pertains to preventing the idea of ISP’s blocking or otherwise impeding sites that don’t pay the ISP to ensure equal access. That said, we usually prefer the government to be hands-off wherever possible, Laissez-faire, except in cases where the free market obviously cannot adequately self-regulate (antitrust, for example). Regulations are static and the marketplace is fluid, so such regulation can often have unintended, unforeseen results down the road. We sincerely hope that there are enough forces in place and/or that the balances adjust in such a manner as to keep the ‘Net as neutral as it is today.

And as we followed up in September 2009:

That we have the same Take over three years later should be telling. Government regulations are not a panacea, neither are the lack thereof. It’s all about striking a proper balance where innovation can thrive while abuses are prevented.

Make that “the same Take well over a decade later.”

Applying the Trump Doctrine to net neutrality – June 15, 2018
FCC’s repeal of so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules now official – June 11, 2018
U.S. Senate democrats stage a phony vote on so-called ‘net neutrality’ – May 16, 2018
U.S. FCC reversal of so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules expected to be published Thursday – February 20, 2018
NARUC regulators respond to scrapping of so-called ‘net neutrality’ regulations by U.S. FCC – December 15, 2017
Republican senator calls on U.S. Congress to pass ‘net neutrality’ legislation – December 12, 2017
Millions of people post ‘net neutrality’ comments on FCC docket; many are fake – December 12, 2017
U.S. FCC rejects calls to delay vote to repeal so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – December 5, 2017
Dear Aunt Sadie, please step back from the so-called ‘net neutrality’ ledge – November 27, 2017
U.S. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai: Killing Obama-era rules for so-called ‘net neutrality’ will set the internet free – November 22, 2017
U.S. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai: How the FCC can save the open internet – November 21, 2017
U.S. FCC plans total repeal of Obama-era rules for so-called ‘net neutrality’ – November 21, 2017
U.S. FCC plans December vote to kill so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – November 16, 2017
Apple’s call for ‘strong’ net neutrality rules is a hint about the future of its business – September 1, 2017
Apple breaks their silence on ‘net neutrality,’ remains open to alternative sources of legal authority – August 31, 2017
Trump administration gives thumbs up to overturning FCC’s rules for so-called ‘net neutrality’ – July 19, 2017
]Apple’s deafening silence on so-called ‘net neutrality’ – July 14, 2017
FCC kicks off effort to roll back so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – May 18, 2017
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai explains why he wants to scrap so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – April 28, 2017
FCC Chief Ajit Pai develops plans to roll back so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – April 7, 2017
U.S. FCC chairman wields weed whacker, takes first steps against so-called ‘net neutrality’ – February 3, 2017
How so-called ‘net neutrality’ will fare under President Trump – January 26, 2017
New FCC chairman Ajit Pai vows to take a ‘weed whacker’ to so-called ‘net neutrality’ – January 24, 2017
President Trump elevates Ajit Pai to FCC Chairman – January 23, 2017
Outgoing FCC chief Tom Wheeler offers final defense of so-called ‘net neutrality’ – January 13, 2017
Under President Trump, Obama ally Google may face policy setbacks, including roll back of so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – November 18, 2016
Jeb Bush on FCC and so-called ‘net neutrality’ regulation: ‘One of the craziest ideas I’ve ever heard’ – March 8, 2015
Who loves the FCC’s overreach on so-called ‘net neutrality?’ Telecom lawyers – March 5, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]


  1. “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” – President Ronald Reagan’s Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981

    1. And the biggest government problems are the consequences of the abomination administration.

      Best description I ever heard of him was the he was the Country’s sympathy f*ck. LOL

    2. talking points. For the record, the article comes from the American “Consumer” Institute. This organization is partially funded by the Koch Brothers and a host of telecommunication companies including Verizon. So much for an impartial article touting the benefits of killing Net Neutrality. Now enlighten me why you think it a good idea to let the fox guard the hen house?

      1. Of course anyone with 101 level statistics would immediately see that investment is essentially straightlinig +/-1.5%.
        Not significant at all, just fudge factor rhetoric.

      2. Pssst… The government is the fox.

        Your analogy is all wrong, the companies that build, and run the internet, are the hens so to speak, the internet is their eggs. Now tell me again why You think the fox telling the chickens, how to lay their eggs is a good idea.

  2. If you apply for a Title II funding to pay for your expansion, why are you surprised when you have to follow Title II rules? That was the deal.

    Why would you want to agree that your data can be throttled whenever the carrier wants to?

  3. During the 5 years as a Comcast customer my internet service went from 20 to 100 Mbps for roughly the same price.

    During the last year as a customer of Spectrum my internet service has gone from 50 Mbps to 200 Mbps for the same price.

    ‘Nuff said…

    1. Competition is an awesome thing, huh? Too bad Comcast has no competition in too many places. My internet varies from 1 to 50 depending on who knows what, and my bill rises regularly with no change in features.

      1. Apparently you’re in what’s called an “orphan” market that isn’t worth the cost of upgrading to compete with upcoming 5G because the ROI isn’t there.

        Don’t blame Comcast, the fact that new technology is around the corner means they are gearing up for a fight in their stronger markets while realizing they will lose in smaller ones and will only stay until their penetration rate falls below a given number of average subscribers per mile of plant, then it will be abandoned.

        You’ll soon be seeing many more headlines like this one-

        This is EXACTLY what competition does.
        (Hey, want to buy a cheap shopping mall…???)

  4. Bits and bytes are no different than gallons of water through a pipe or electrons flowing through a wire. The ISP’s *were* correctly regulated as a utility. Can you imagine if the electric company charged more for your electricity if you used it for a particular power tool, a non-Samsung TV, or your Hitachi magic wand? Of course not. Because they supply electrons and that’s it. ISP’s provide packets. They should not be permitted to assess or extort fees based on what the packets are for.

    As it stands now, thanks to the current administration, there is NOTHING that prevents Verizon, Comcast et. al. from say, requiring you to pay extra $$ to get your Netflix at a certain bit rate even though you have paid for however many Mb bandwidth. Or other abuses they’ve done in the past. They will try it again soon enough, rest assured. They are just waiting until they know if the Republicans will prevail in Congress and the presidency in 2020 so they don’t have to face the chance that public outcry will result in Congressional action.

    1. No, they weren’t CORRECTLY regulated.
      Nothing changed.

      You were sold a bill of goods to give a government agency more power over another part of the economy and it has been rescinded.

      Nothing has changed.

  5. American Consumer Institute is a heavily biased, Rightwing think tank bankrolled by cable companies, thus an example of an issuer of fake consumer news; propaganda and talking points for the wealthy and connected.

    The American Consumer Institute is as phony in intent to protect real ordinary consumers as Citizens United is whose main citizens are the very deep pocketed, anti-environmentalist Coch Brothers who paid off Congress of both parties to avoid legislating against the illogical and irrational idea that money is free speech and that the corporation is a person.

    1. Sure and the people with property are always in a royal sweat to protect it, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to weaken constitutional protections for people without it, and strengthen them for collectives like political action committees and corporations, whilst eliminating class-action lawsuits, diminishing the rights of actual persons by removing their main collective judicial resource. With public opinion, the electorate, and the voting system so easily manipulated, coupled with a newly crazed, petulant sense of entitlement of neo-aristocrats and their sock puppets, the famous guillotine could make a comeback.

    1. Californians are pissed about this. Verizon responded that fire districts should have upgraded to a premium service, which is appalling, but some districts reportedly had done so and still were throttled. After the finger-pointing is over, as it was in hurricane-ravaged Louisiana and Puerto Rico, there remains the problem of accountability — and of human compassion as a component of corporate, state, and federal policy.

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