The FCC is Lying When It Claims Net Neutrality Hurt Investment

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As internet service providers have poured millions of dollars into killing net neutrality protections, they have made one common refrain: that the Federal Communications Commission's fairly modest net neutrality rules somehow destroyed network investment in the United States. Never mind that any time a journalist fact checks these claims they find they're indisputably false. ISP lobbyists, lawyers, executives and hired mouthpieces continue to repeat the claim -- as if redundancy somehow creates truth itself. In fact there's nearly a half-dozen different ISP executives on public record admitting to investors that this claim net neutrality hurt sector investment is false. If that's not enough for you, you can check out any publicly available SEC filing or earnings report from the last two years (several journalists have, and found the industry's claim here to be utterly unsubstantiated). The fact that companies like Altice are still investing in massive fiber to the home projects, and wireless carriers are breaking spending records as they hoover up spectrum for 5G also clearly contradict this claim. If investment is stalling anywhere, it's in uncompetitive parts of the country -- an issue that won't be fixed by gutting regulatory oversight of one of the least liked, and least-competitive business sectors in American industry. And yet, the claim that net neutrality killed investment continues to play a starring role in Ajit Pai's quest to dismantle popular net neutrality protections, and countless media reports on the subject. That's in large part because large ISPs like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T hire economists, academics, and other policy parrots to actively cherry pick CAPEX data (by say, taking a dip in CAPEX tied to Charter ending its deployment of digital adapters and blaming it on net neutrality) until it supports this false assertion.


The FCC is Lying When It Claims Net Neutrality Hurt Investment