Patrick Brogan

Utility Regulation and Broadband Network Investment: The EU and US Divide


Released April 25, 2017

If America’s broadband internet services continue to be regulated by the federal government under a Title II regime, U.S. broadband investment per capita could decline toward much lower European levels over time. U.S. broadband investment could decline as much as 50% if it fell to European levels, a reduction in infrastructure investment of roughly $44 billion dollars yearly, according to our analysis of OECD data below. The precise timing and impact of imposing a Title II regulatory framework on broadband investment will play out over the long term and will be affected by many factors. However, the gap between per capita investment in the two regions is enormous, and any substantial decline toward European levels could pull the rug out from the U.S. position as the leader of the internet ecosystem, and further disincent investment.