By and large, the half-dozen companies representing the overwhelming majority of cable Internet and wireless broadband customers in the country, are continuing to invest. But is that just puffed-up chest-thumping to cheer up investors?
Those most directly impacted by broadband investment don’t seem terribly concerned. In January, Multichannel News reported that the suppliers who make the stuff that the telecoms spend their money on aren’t losing sleep about a decrease in investment.
More precisely, analysts said they expect to see about a 3% increase in spending over last year, in total, with the wired and wireless phone companies spending 2% more and the cable companies spending 1% more.
Those are small gains, granted — but they are still growth, and not in any way a negative trend. In particular, the analysts said that Comcast is expected to be one of the bigger, earlier movers in spending on network improvements thanks to the arrival (finally) of DOCSIS 3.1 systems, which use existing cable lines to deliver speeds comparable to fiberoptic broadband.
Likewise, the big lobbying group that supports the cable and telecom industries is also happy to keep touting the growth of investments made by its member companies.
If you think that the best way to measure the success of the U.S. broadband market is by the amount of money its biggest private businesses spend on the task of getting people connected, then it looks like we’re still winners, despite Title II.
How about that. Maybe the E.U. can learn from those real life numbers. Net neutrality is, in fact, not killing broadband investments.