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Verizon doubles down on absurd claims Title II reclassification will hurt broadband investment

Verizon kicked off the whole net neutrality debate when it decided Netflix should pay more for its bandwidth, alongside trying to set up fast-lanes for web developers.

This prompted a huge revolt against Verizon, Comcast and other internet service providers, pushing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to intervene and announce that new laws would be written to regulate broadband companies.

In the past six months, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast have all said Title II reclassification - one of the potential outcomes of the FCC decision - would hurt broadband investment.

Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said on the latest conference call "I would emphasise also that the approach in whole or in part on Title II is an extreme and risky path that will jeopardise our investment and the development of innovation in Broadband Internet and related services."

This is a bit of a backtrack for Shammo, who said in December that Title II reclassification would not harm Verizon's broadband investment.

It is even weirder since this is Verizon claiming 'common carrier' reclassification hurts investment, when its subsidiary Verizon Wireless invests over $5 billion (£3.3 billion) a year in wireless spectrum, and U.S. wireless carriers are already under regulation.

If Verizon Wireless is able to continue making high-profit margins and investments, why can Verizon not do the same with its FiOS broadband? The answer is simple - less potential income.

The only reason broadband companies fear Title II reclassification is because it stops them making money from content providers like Netflix, currently forking out millions to give U.S. customers high-quality performance.

The FCC will announce its decision on net neutrality next month and will push it into Congress to be finalised.

The Republican-dominant Congress might be a bit weary of the reclassification aspect, especially since some right-wing Republicans want no regulation on broadband providers.