Comcast Supports Fast Lanes That Don’t Harm Competition

July 17, 2017 - Written By Daniel Fuller

Comcast took to its company blog, Comcast Voices, to talk about its support for the spirit of Net Neutrality, but also to voice support for internet fast lanes or paid prioritization, so long as those practices don’t come at any consumer cost, such as offering consumers a lesser product or harming competition. Comcast named a few key examples where a given market segment being able to pay for prioritization on the network may actually serve the public, such as with self-driving cars, whose network needs include extremely high speeds and low latency, and hospitals, whose needs usually include moving massive volumes of data very quickly.

Comcast stated that it agreed with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai; the Title II rules that currently govern internet providers are an overreach, and the internet was working just fine before they were implemented. Though many Net Neutrality supporters decry both fast lanes and the practice of slowing down or blocking content at the ISP’s discretion, Comcast condemns only the latter. The company even prefaced its statement on the matter by saying so, and assuring consumers that it will never engage in such practices. According to Comcast, a free, open internet is entirely possible without Title II regulations, and included graphs showing the growth of the internet between 2005 and 2015 to show it. A few key figures include leaps in value for internet companies, growth in average broadband speed, the number of connections that can be considered high speed, and how much of internet traffic is attributable to video content.

Speaking on the harm that Title II regulation has caused, Comcast cited market analysts who have confirmed that Title II regulations are likely responsible for declines in network investment and other related metrics. Comcast says that this is due to the costs associated with staying in compliance with Title II regulations. The company also cited the research of Dr. Christian Dippon, which concludes that the US economy has lost somewhere around 700,000 jobs as a direct or indirect result of Title II regulation being applied to internet providers. Everything that Comcast mentioned, including the research that the company cited in its statement, is officially filed with the FCC as commentary on the Net Neutrality issue.