Google Says Net Neutrality Won’t Curb Expansion Of Google Fiber

Opponents of the net neutrality rules pending before the Federal Communications Commission claim that they would be an impediment to investment and slow the expansion and improvement of broadband networks around the country. But the folks at Google, who just added four new major markets for its Google Fiber service, aren’t terribly worried.

“The sort of open Internet rules that the [Federal Communications Commission] is currently discussing aren’t an impediment to those plans,” Google recently told the Washington Post, “and they didn’t impact our decision to invest in Fiber.”

What those opposed to neutrality rules gloss over is that the guidelines under consideration by the FCC existed from 2010 until early 2014, when Verizon convinced a federal appeals court to gut them, claiming that the Commission lacked the statutory authority to enforce the rules.

During the years it was in place, net neutrality had no discernible impact on investment or innovation, as new technologies were developed and deployed. Perhaps even more money and time could have been invested if Verizon hadn’t spent so much of both trying to scuttle the 2010 rules?

What’s being considered now is nearly identical to what the FCC had in place during those years, but may include an attempt to reclassify broadband as the vital piece of telecommunications infrastructure that it has become.

As points out, reclassification may actually aid the deployment of competing new services like Google Fiber by clarifying when and how these companies could have access to utility poles, rather than forcing newcomers to dig trenches or pay extortionate fees to get their lines up.

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