Just last month Horney used data from the annual reports of thirteen large broadband providers to demonstrate that broadband capital investment increased 14 percent from the end of 2016 to the end of 2017, as broadband providers anticipated repeal of the order.
In an emailed statement, an FCC spokesman pointed to a number of steps the Trump administration has taken to help all Americans, not just those living in densely-populated areas, gain high-speed internet access.
To date, regulations have performed only a bit part in the staging of new telecommunications technologies and the net neutrality rule wasn’t one of them, said Blair Levin, a veteran FCC official who now consults Wall Street on telecom issues.
“Nobody on Wall Street actually looks at the net neutrality battle as having much to do with anything related to investment,” said Levin, who oversaw the Obama administration’s 2010 National Broadband Plan.
Today, more than 30 percent of Americans in rural areas still lack access to high-speed wireline broadband versus 2 percent of urban dwellers, according to the February 2018 FCC deployment report.
John Horrigan, a researcher who studied Internet adoption while working on the 2010 National Broadband Plan, says the net neutrality issue is an important question, but it has had an unwanted side effect.
5G wireless pits cities against telecoms and their friends in the FCC. FCC says small cells will close the digital divide.