A research study conducted by the Phoenix Center, a Washington DC think tank ,found that if the FCC succeeds in reclassifying Internet services, investment in Broadband will drop by 10 percent, costing $36B over five years, and an additional loss of $100B in other fields indirectly affected by Broadband investments. This represents over 130,000 information sector jobs, and another 200,000 indirect jobs in an economy already hard hit by large job losses.
"At a time when unemployment is high and the economy is faltering, anti-investment telecom and broadband policies are ill-advised," observed Phoenix Center President Lawrence J. Spiwak.
The FCC strongly disagreed with the report's findings, and in a blog post on the FCC website, Paul de Sa, Chief Of The FCC Office Of Strategic Planning, said:
"In its latest 'study,' the Phoenix Center appears to have reached its conclusions before conducting the research. The study goes to great lengths to prove the obvious: investment in communications creates jobs. But the report ignores the FCC's record with policies that both catalyze investment and create jobs."
He cited the FCC's approval of the White Spaces order, and approving the Harbinger and Verizon-Frontier transactions, as well as cutting costs around pole attachments.
The Phoenix Center is organized as a non-profit organization, but support has been traced back to the telephone industry, including large donations from AT&T, so there may be a bit of self-posturing to influence policy making. Nonetheless, the numbers quoted are significant, especially in light of the FCC's desire to promote policies contained in the National Broadband Plan, and the Obama Administration's effort to stimulate the economy and create jobs.
Read the press release regarding the report here.
The entire report can be read here.Image © Getty Images