When Trump FCC Chairman Ajit Pai used fraud and skullduggery to kill net neutrality, he promised that clearing away the allegedly burdensome regulation of delivering the data your customers request would finally spur investment in America's worst-of-bread, ancient network infrastructure.
Comcast was one of the great beneficiaries of Pai's regulatory welfare check, and then got billions courtesy of Trump's #TaxScam. Other network operators used the tax money for buybacks while slashing jobs (Verizon killed 10,000 jobs, AT&T cut 23,000 jobs).
Comcast, befitting its stature as America's most hated company, thanked Uncle Sugar for the handouts by slashing cable infrastructure investment by 10.5% in 2019, while its revenues rose by 3.7%, to $58.1b. It was the second year in a row for cuts to Comcast's infrastructure investment.
But Comcast isn't the only major ISP cutting investment, as AT&T projects that it will reduce capital spending from $23 billion in 2019 to $20 billion in 2020. Charter Communications said in October that its capital expenditures excluding mobile services would total $7 billion in 2019, down from $8.9 billion in 2018. Verizon also reported a capital-expenditure decline in the first nine months of 2019.
Comcast slashed capital spending in cable division by 10.5% in 2019 [Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica]
(Image: Joe Ross, CC BY-SA, modified)
Frontier is the bottom-rung of the top-tier of US ISPs, serving customers in 29 states. Despite enjoying monopoly control over its customers' online lives, and despite massive government handouts and a lackadaisical approach to maintenance, and despite out-and-out theft from customers, the company is filing for bankruptcy, having accumulated $16.3b in debt through mismanagement.
Comments filed with the FCC by AT&T, Frontier, Windstream and Ustelcom (an industry group representing telcoms companies) have asked the FCC to change the rules for its next, $20.4 billion/10 year rural broadband subsidy fund to allow them to offer slower service than the (already low) speeds the FCC has proposed.
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