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September 15, 2014

Reclassifying Broadband as Telecoms Could Hurt Internet Industry, Prof Warns

Should the FCC reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service? It’s a key point to be resolved as the FCC contemplates its rewrite of net neutrality rules.

Christopher S. Yoo, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania,  who came out with a study this week on European versus  U.S. broadband deployment, said reclassification “could have adverse consequences for the U.S. Internet industry,” in an interview with Technocrat.

Basically, the European regulatory approach, which treats broadband like a utility, may have crimped broadband deployment there.

Yoo’s report says 82 percent of U.S. households in 2012 had access to networks of 25 megabytes per second compared to 54 percent of EU households.

And “disparities between European and U.S. broadband networks stemmed from differing regulatory approaches,” the report said:

Europe has relied on regulations that treat broadband as a public utility and focus on promoting service-based competition, in which new entrants lease incumbents’ facilities at wholesale cost (also known as unbundling). The U.S. has generally left buildout, maintenance, and modernization of Internet infrastructure to private companies and focused on promoting facilities-based competition, in which new entrants are expected to construct their own networks.

That all suggests that telephone-style regulation seems to defer investment in high-speed broadband while the U.S.’s light regulatory approach appears to be more effective in promoting it, Yoo said.

  • JLNHS

    This is painfully uninformed. Never leave an economic and technical analysis to a lawyer.

    That analysis aside, one only needs to ask any consumer how happy they are with their internet service:

    http://www.cnet.com/news/cable-providers-isps-rank-dead-last-for-customer-service/

    The only future for the internet is through the FCC reclassifying as it under Title II.

  • http://www.alfidicapital.com/ Anthony J. Alfidi

    Broadband definitely belongs under telecommunications. The convergence of social, mobile, and broadcasting mean the telecom umbrella must be big enough to accept them all. The advertising metrics are already evolving: http://goo.gl/5ZgUQL

  • George Kato

    If the same power is required for fair and unfair income redistribution, we have quite a conundrum on our hands — a conundrum Lenin recognized when he asked: Who, whom?

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