Now That The FCC Is Doing Away With Title II For Broadband, Will Verizon Give Back The Taxpayer Subsidies It Got Under Title II?
from the questions,-questions dept
Now that the FCC has done as it said it was going to do and declared that broadband internet is properly classified under Title I of the Communications Act, rather than Title II, I’m left wondering if taxpayers will be getting back all the subsidies that we provided Verizon, AT&T and others when they claimed that their broadband networks should be classified under Title II in order to qualify for those subsidies. You may recall that we wrote about this three years ago, highlighting multiple examples where Verizon specifically begged for Title II classification of its fiber-to-the-premise networks in multiple cities to guarantee that it would get these subsidies.
See, for example, Verizon begging to be classified under Title II in New Jersey.
Or how about something similar in Washington DC: in DC.
Somehow, I imagine that Verizon has no intention of paying back taxpayers for those benefits. I mean, why would it? This is the very same company that has repeatedly promised massive broadband deployment in exchange for subsidies, and then repeatedly failed to deliver and, when called on it, gets local politicians to drop the promises (but not the subsidies).
The Title II shell game appears to be more of the same. Make sure that its networks get declared as Title II to get the subsidies and tax breaks, then avoid any of the requirements/regulations of Title II, but keep all the benefits. Somehow I don’t see FCC chair Ajit Pai being too concerned about all of this.