Charter brags about big speed boost—after saying Title II stalled investment

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Charter Communications is really excited to tell you about all its new broadband network investments. "Increasing Flagship Broadband Speeds; Giving Customers More For Less," is the title of the company's latest announcement on this topic. The second-largest cable company in the US has increased its standard download speed from 60Mbps to 100Mbps—"at no extra cost to our customers"—while providing speeds of 200Mbps or 1Gbps in some markets. The amazing thing is that Charter is doing all this despite the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules and related Title II regulation of ISPs as common carriers. In July, Charter told the FCC that the "broad and vague prohibitions" in the rules "have caused broadband providers to reconsider innovations and investments out of concern that regulators could squelch, or force significant modifications to, those ventures after funds had been expended."

Under such troubling circumstances, how could any ISP invest more in its network? Title II's alleged impact on investment is the primary reason that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has cited for dismantling net neutrality rules, after all. But in reality, Charter's capital expenditures rose between 2015 and 2016, a period encompassing the first full year in which the rules were in effect. The company's network investments continued to rise in 2017 despite the rules remaining on the books. Charter told investors that net neutrality regulations "didn't really hurt us." 


Charter brags about big speed boost—after saying Title II stalled investment