Thursday, May 05, 2016

Internet Innovation Alliance's oddly bearish view of Title II

Study Says: Broadband is $1 Trillion Econ Driver | Multichannel: The U.S. broadband and ICT sectors have generated over a trillion dollars in annual value to the U.S. economy, according to an economic analysis commissioned by the Internet Innovation Alliance. The study concludes that all that activity was generated thanks to an "environment of light federal regulation." And while the study authors say they don't know how the FCC's Title II reclassification of ISPs will affect economic growth and employment, they predict from former analysis and review of the literature and history that it could adversely affect broadband/ICT investment and have "significant secondary costs" for other industries.

This is where the study authors' analysis of light regulation gets awfully light itself. No explanation of how reclassification of Internet as a common carrier telecommunications utility under Title II of the Communications Act would adversely affect investment in telecom infrastructure.

In fact, one could also argue the opposite. By mandating universal service, Title II would spur investment and generate knock on effects for other industries served by expanded and upgraded telecom infrastructure to meet that requirement. According to the organization's website,"IIA seeks to promote public policies that support equal opportunity for universal broadband availability." That's certainly compatible with Title II. Finally, consider the oddity of a bearish projection like that coming from an organization called the Internet Innovation Alliance.

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