Analysis: Consumer Bills Could Soar Under Title II

By: John Eggerton

Consumers’ broadband bills could go up close to $90 a year if the FCC reclassifies Internet access service under Title II common carrier regs, according to an analysis by the *Hal Singer of the Progressive Policy Institute and **Robert Litan of Brookings.

According to a paper being released today (Dec. 1), the average increase in state and local fees on wireline, and potentially wireless, broadband, would be $67 and $72 annually, plus an added $17 per year in federal fees.

Added together, they argue that reclassification could add up to $17 billion new fees on top of the $1.5 billion the FCC is planning to add to the E-rate Universal Service Fund to promote higher-speed broadband connections to schools and libraries.

The Singer and Litan argue that is on top of the reduced investment and slower innovation they say would result from Title II reclassification. Both are on the record arguing that reclassifying Internet access under Title II will not prevent the charging for priority delivery that the President and others have argued needs to be prevented to keep ISP’s from “shaking down” vulnerable Webs sites.

The FCC is currently contemplating Title II reclassification, some form of hybrid Title II and Sec. 706 authority, or a Sec. 706 approach to restoring no-blocking and no-unreasonable discrimination rules thrown out by a federal court. But there has been increased pressure to go the Title II route from network neutrality advocates, including the President of the United States.

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About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry’s first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

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