Trump's FCC Chairman Ajit Pai rammed through an illegal Net Neutrality repeal by claiming that the Obama-era Net Neutrality rules slowed down investment in broadband, depriving Americans of fast internet.
After he killed Net Neutrality, Pai went on to claim that the ISPs had finally started investing in infrastructure build-out and maintenance.
He lied. About everything.
Under Obama's Net Neutrality rules, the ISPs did not make meaningful investments in upgrading their infrastructure. After Net Neutrality rules were abolished, they continued to underinvest, with no difference between the two states. In both cases, America's ISPs steadily raised prices while undermaintaining their networks, turning American broadband a global joke of high prices and bad service.
A peer reviewed study from George Washington University examined earnings reports and SEC filings of 8,577 unique companies from Q1 2009 through Q3 2018, and found that systematic underinvestment has been endemic to the US telcoms sector for more than a decade, unchanged by Net Neutrality or its repeal.
Many phone companies, for example, have refused to upgrade or even repair their aging DSL lines because they’re now focused on more profitable ventures like wireless advertising. Given huge swaths of America only have the choice of one ISP to choose from, there’s often little organic pressure for ISPs to put soaring profits back into the network or customer service.
Despite clear evidence disproving the “net neutrality killed broadband investment” theory, both Pai and the telecom industry have repeatedly made the claim the cornerstone of public relations efforts for years, apparently hoping that repetition would forge reality.
Last year, telecom lobbying group US Telecom released a study it claimed showed that broadband investment had spiked dramatically in 2017 thanks to “positive consumer and innovation policies” and a “pro-growth regulatory approach” at the FCC.
The problem? The FCC’s net neutrality rules weren’t formally repealed until June of 2018.
Study Proves The FCC's Core Justification for Killing Net Neutrality Was False [Karl Bode/Motherboard]