Trending on my twitter stream is Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) President Karen Kerrigan's op-ed in the Washington Post about net neutrality and the FCC's proposal to impose Internet "reclassification." Basically, she states: FCC Regulations Would Smother Growing Broadband Sector.
There is nothing I like better than FUD.
Not for nothing but the RBOC's have almost given up on DSL anyway. Most CAPEX goes to International backbone and cellular buildout. If they are spending money on DSL, I'd like to know where. Ma Bell is dropping some coin on U-Verse build out; but Pa Bell stopped building FiOS. Ma Bell wants to turn off the PSTN in 4 years. So what investment would stop exactly?
Other ILEC's like CenturyLink and Frontier HAVE to spend on broadband or go broke. Fairpoint is going to have to do something BIG to gain back all its losses in New England. Before VZ sold off its rural assets (Eastern KY to Alltel; Hawaii to Carlyle; New England to Fairpoint; everything else to Frontier), it had already stopped spending on build out (and maintenance).
So what exactly are we worried about?
BTW, with landline losses continuing and a flat cellular and TV market, without broadband the telcos will lose steadily to cable, which is already kicking their ass in the broadband arena. (That is a little subdued in fiber areas). So will telcos just throw their hands up and wait out BK? Unlikely. Those Bell-heads that run ILEC's like big fat bonuses. Can't get those with declining revenues. ILEC's must go all in with broadband to sustain revenues - even with regulations.
In his plea for the state PUC to consider the Qwest-Centurylink merger carefully, the CEO of Integra Telecom, Dudley Slater, states, "Seattle's entire economy depends on reliable and accessible telecommunications services." In other words, broadband is vital to business and the economy.
I would paint it as Un-American to deprive businesses of robust broadband networks. It steals our future. It stifles innovation. It diminishes our capacity to compete for jobs, patents, and more globally. I would suggest that any telco or cableco that wouldn't invest in broadband due to regulation be sued under eminent domain.