USTelecom: Broadband Capital Expenditures Down $1 Billion in 2015

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Broadband capital expenditures (capex) was down almost $1 billion—to $76 billion—in 2015 over the year before, according to USTelecom’s annual broadband investment report. Of that, wireless accounted for 43%, wireline 35% and cable at 22%. By contrast, from 1996 to 2015, cable's slice of the pie was 17%, wireless 33% and wireline 51%, so the landscape is changing as wireline's share of capex has declined and wireless and cable's have grown.

Internet service providers, including USTelecom, have argued that the imposition of Title II regulations would result in decreased investment, though Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has suggested that would not and has not been the case. USTelecom pointed to a Progressive Policy Institute report earlier in 2016 that showed sluggish growth and attributed it in part to regulatory uncertainty. The uncertainty now is just how long it will take either a Republican FCC or Congress to reverse the Title II decision. The report shows modest increases in capex between 2012 and 2014 before 2015's decline. Over the 20 years the report covers, broadband industry capex has totaled $1.5 trillion.

USTelecom: Broadband Capital Expenditures Down $1 Billion in 2015 Broadband Investment Ticked Down in 2015 (read the report)