Since the FCC proposed classifying telecom and cable services as Title II under the Telecommunications act, Comcast, and various other companies have been in up-in-arms at the proposal.
This is not surprising since if a company like Comcast was classified under Title II they would be required to have government oversight into their business dealings with consumers as well as ask permission to stop providing certain services.
The response to this proposal from the FCC has been interesting to say the least.
AT&T decided to freeze the development of fiber optic networks for its “Gigapower” branded gigabyte service.
Dave Cohen, executive vice president Comcast, chimed in on the classifications in a press release saying, “To attempt to impose a full-blown Title II regime now when the classification of cable broadband has always been as an information service, would reverse nearly a decade of precedent, including findings by the Supreme Court that this classification was proper,” Cohen said in a statement. “This would be a radical reversal that would harm investment and innovation, as today’s immediate stock market reaction demonstrates. And such a radical reversal of consistent contrary precedent should be taken up by the Congress.”
Google, however, sees Title II as a boon to Google Fiber their own internet service, which was announced in February of 2010 during their “Think Big With a Gig” challenge.
According to Google’s recent filing with the FCC, cable companies have always had free access to public utilities to facilitate their needs. These include utility poles, ducts conduits and others. The utilities themselves add impetus to the installation of fiber optic cables and networks, and since Google has never had access to these, this would give them an enormous advantage in expanding Google Fiber to areas that need it.
It would also help to alleviate Google’s financial investment in Google Fiber. The project so far has been considered to be an “expensive experiment.”
In the long run, this may seem advantageous to those who wish to see more competition in the area of cable offerings, but one could make the argument that switching a monopoly for a natural monopoly may not be a good idea.
What do you think? Would cable companies being classified under Title II be advantageous in the long run?