Editor in Chief
- Dec 30, 2010
- Reaction score
- Austin, TX
Not too long ago, we shared a report detailing how hypocritical AT&T is regarding Title II classification. On the one hand, they argue against Title II, claiming they can't be regulated by the FTC because they are a common carrier under Title II. Yet, on the other hand, they have also been arguing that they will be harmed if the FCC classifies their Internet service under Title II.
Today's report clearly shows that AT&T isn't the only big carrier who likes to flip-flop on this issue. Big Red, aka Verizon, is currently performing the same song and dance. Verizon’s CFO, Fran Shammo, recently held a discussion at an investor conference. In that conference, he was asked the following by John Hodulik – Analyst for UBS North America,
“Obviously there’s a lot of commentary coming out of Washington about this move to Title II. Obviously Verizon has been one of the more of a stiffer opponents of any sort of increased regulation, especially on the Wireless side. What’s your view of that potential occurrence down in Washington and does it affect your view on the attractiveness of investing further in the United States?”
Shammo's response was,
"I mean to be real clear: I mean this does not influence the way we invest. I mean we're going to continue to invest in our networks and our platforms, both in wireless and wireline FiOS and where we need to. So nothing will influence that."
This seems to clearly indicate that Shammo believes Title II classification will NOT hurt Verizon, or really affect them much at all. Despite that, he has now completely backtracked from this statement in an article of the Washington Post. He is instead saying his comments were taken out of context, and this is what he actually believes,
"This will absolutely affect us and the industry on long-term investment in our networks."
He added that he believes strong net neutrality rules would "jeopardize our investment and the development of innovation in broadband Internet and related services." He elaborated, "So when I said before and misquoted on the fact that it would not hurt our investment, I was talking about 2015. But if this piece of [regulation] were to pass, I can absolutely assure you it would certainly change the way we then view our investment in our networks."
Hmmm... which one is it? You can't really have it both ways. Either an investor should reconsider investing in Verizon because Title II will hurt the company (which is highly unlikely), or an investor should not worry, because Title II will not have much of an impact on Verizon's future growth (as Shammo previously said himself).
For your reference, here is a link to the full transcript of the investor interview this story is referring to: Verizon Communications VZ Presents at UBS 42nd Annual Global Media and Communications Conference Transcript Seeking Alpha
Here's that Washington Post source link for his current comments: Did Congress the media and the FCC all misunderstand what Verizon said on net neutrality Verizon thinks so. - The Washington Post