A study, published in April of this year by The Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy, gives interesting details on what may actually happen if Net Neutrality is implemented by the FCC.

In the study, researchers concluded that plans promoted by the FCC would have the opposite intended effect on broadband household penetration. The FCC would like broadband providers to invest heavily in infrastructure that would allow greater access to all Americans across the board, but especially amongst the lower levels of penetration within Hispanic and other minority communities. However, the increased costs that broadband providers will incur will be passed onto consumers, which will result in decreased market penetration for Hispanics, African-Americans, and others, according to the research.

An excerpt from Jorge Bauermeister’s blog at www.LatinoInternetJustice.com provides the abbreviated details:

First, if there is no change in the regulatory scheme and if the price of the service did not have to increase to finance additional investment of $300 billion, Broadband uptake rates for all Americans will be at 99% in 2020.

RACE 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Non-Hispanic White 72.5 78.4 82.5 87.1 91 94.7 99 99 99 99
African American 59.1 65.5 69.9 75 80.3 85.6 91.1 96.5 99 99
All Hispanic 62.7 69.3 74 78.9 84.3 89 92.5 96.1 98.7 99

The net result of the data represented in this table indicates that if an individual, other than the consumer, needs to assume the cost of the expected $300 billion dollar network expansion – 99% of all Americans would have broadband access by 2020.

However, if the increase in monthly fees to cover additional investment is spread among all consumers (a by-product of the Net Neutrality argument), the results reflect a negative impact on the Hispanic community.

RACE 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Non-Hispanic White 72.5 73.7 75.1 76.9 79 81.2 83.2 84.8 84.9 84.7
African American 59.1 61.3 63.6 66.2 69.2 72.1 75.5 79.5 81.8 82.0
All Hispanic 62.7 65 67.4 70 72.9 76 78.9 81.6 83.2 83.2

As you can see, there would be a 9% reduction by 2014, and it would continue to increase until it reached 16.7% difference by 2020. A second scenario included in the study reflected Broadband Uptake rates if 20% of heavy bandwidth users carried the burden of 80% of the additional investment required to satisfy their needs. The scenarios are much more democratic.

RACE 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Non-Hispanic White 72.5 78.4 82.4 87.1 91 94.7 99 99 99 99
African American 59.1 65.5 69.8 74.9 80.1 85.3 90.8 96.1 98.6 98.6
All Hispanic 62.7 69.3 73.9 78.8 84.1 88.7 92.2 95.7 98.3 98.6

Finally, the study analyzes Broadband uptake if the cost of $300 billion in additional investment is divided 50-50 between heavy bandwidth users and all other subscribers.

RACE 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Non-Hispanic White 72.5 77.5 80.6 84.3 87.4 90.4 92.7 93.5 93.1 92.9
African American 59.1 64.6 68.2 72.4 76.8 81.3 86.0 90.5 92.5 92.2
All Hispanic 62.7 68.4 72.2 76.2 80.7 84.6 87.4 90.3 92.3 92.3

Again, this will slow down our goal as a Nation to have all Americans gain access to Internet services.

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