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Cable Technology Feature Article

May 26, 2010

FCC's Plans May Stifle Broadband Investment: Comcast Exec Speaks Out

By Kelly McGuire, TMCnet Editor

According to reports, plans to tighten control over the broadband market by U.S. regulators could curb private investment in the sector.

Michael Angelakis, Comcast's (News - Alert) chief financial officer, is reportedly speaking out on the issue, saying that the Federal Communication Commission's plans to power and regulate the movement of broadband reaching the homes of all U.S. individuals has been - for lack of a better work - disappointing.

"If the regulatory aspect becomes distressed it's clearly going to impact our appetite to invest," Angelakis said at an investor conference.

The Federal Communication Commission's plan to classify broadband services with traditional phone lines stems from a ruling last month saying that the agency did not have the authority to stop Comcast from blocking online applications that distributed TV shows and movies.

Comcast's investment - up until now - meant that its evolving broadband product offered homes in many areas; more, in fact, than telephone companies and other cable operators combined, Angelakis said, which ultimately solidifies that the cable provider's investment is money well spent - and a job well done.

The ruling could have jeopardized the FCC (News - Alert)'s plans to promote 'net neutrality,' which would prevent Internet distributors from controlling traffic moves over the Internet.

However, the Federal Communication Commission - according to Chairman Julius Genachowski (News - Alert) - has no plans to follow price controls and competition mandates.

Do I feel trouble brewing???

In other broadband news, Google recently filed a 65-page filing with the Federal Communications Commission regarding the organizations efforts to regulate broadband. And, in Vermont, 12 grants for the broadband movement were received in various towns within the state.

Kelly McGuire is a TMCnet Web editor, covering CRM and workforce technologies, and anchor of its daily TMC Newsroom video broadcast. Kelly also writes about eco-friendly "green" technologies and smart grids, compiling TMCnet's weekly e-Newsletters on those topics, as well as the cable industry. To read more of Kelly's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire