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28th of May 2017


Net Neutrality Is a Smashing Success by FCC's Preferred Metric, Reports Free Press Researcher

"If investment is the FCC's preferred metric, then there's only one possible conclusion: Net Neutrality and Title II are smashing successes," says Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner, author of a new report released by the consumer advocacy group. The report titled, "It's Working: How the Internet Access and Online Video Markets Are Thriving in the Title II Era," examines internet-industry developments in the two years since the Federal Communications Commission's February 2015 Open Internet Order which resulted in the adoption of strong Net Neutrality rules and reclassification of broadband-internet access as a Title II telecommunications service.

— "The restoration of Title II for broadband-internet access was designed to preserve what the FCC rightly calls the internet's virtuous cycle of investment and innovation," says Turner. "All available data indicate that the 2015 decision to adopt strong rules on a sound legal footing is working as intended, benefiting internet users, broadband-access providers and the myriad businesses that distribute services over the open internet."

— The centerpiece of President Trump's FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, "is his demonstrably false claim that the mere existence of Title II authority has caused a reduction in broadband investment. ... This claim is both false on its face — aggregate investment by publicly traded ISPs is up since the FCC's vote — and completely illogical. –Turner

Other findings from the report:

— "Aggregate capital investments at publicly traded ISPs were 5 percent higher during the two-year period following the FCC’s Open Internet vote when compared to the two years prior to the vote. Claims of a decline are based on manipulated data, and in any event, do not support a causal impact from Title II."

— "Capital investments were higher at 16 of the 24 publicly traded ISP firms (or units) following the FCC’s vote. These increases are due primarily to continued core network expansion."

— "During the two years following the adoption of the Open Internet Order, cable-industry physical network investments increased 48 percent compared to the amount invested during the two prior years. Cable ISPs’ core network investments accelerated dramatically during 2016, representing the highest single-year jump since 1999."

— "Telecom-company spending on fiber-to-the-home network terminals and terminal ports rose nearly 50 percent during 2016."

Related topics: Access Providers, Broadband, Net Neutrality, Policy & Regulation

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