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.