Net neutrality in the United States: a once and future history

December 11, 2017  | Subscribers Only

Seth Wallis-Jones Seth Wallis-Jones Principal Analyst, Telecommunications
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As the FCC looks set to remove net neutrality protections at their next meeting on December 14th, net neutrality proponents claim this to be a death knell for an open and innovative internet ecosystem, while counter arguments claim this will spur infrastructure investment. This in depth report examines the history of net neutrality and looks at the relevant data on the competitive situation that will likely define the outlook for those affected.

  • The net neutrality regulatory environment has been in constant flux as the administration and objectives of the FCC change
  • Broadband is available in 9.1 million of the 11.2 million census blocks of the United States, but in 10% of those blocks it does not reach advertised speeds of 10Mbps, and in 38% there is only one provider
  • While fixed broadband penetration of households reaches 81.8% in the United States, that is 9.4 percentage points lower than in Canada
  • With an Average Revenue Per User of $80 per month for cable TV services, the USA has high consumer costs for video services. Cable TV in western Europe generates an ARPU of just $19.49 per month
  • These revenues are threatened to some extent by lower cost Over The Top (OTT) providers
  • Despite the current strong net neutrality provisions, the mobile industry has tested the boundaries of network management
  • Network operators of both wired and wireless networks have been sanctioned for testing the regulatory environment
  • Those cases provide some insight into the outlook for a deregulated market and have been used to help generate strategic options that could be pursued by network operators
  • Possible scenarios identified by IHS Markit range from good through to dystopian, with many outcomes likely to be both local and transitory as competitive market dynamics develop

In this report:

  • Net neutrality and Title II classification
  • Key data and discussion
  • Subscriptions
  • Revenues and ARPU
  • Competitive coverage
  • Stakeholder segmentation
  • Regulatory environment timeline
  • Operators’ Strategic options available with net neutrality
  • Strategic options available to operators with net neutrality
  • Scenarios
  • The good
  • The bad
  • The ugly
  • Dystopian

List of tables and charts:

  • USA pay TV and online video revenue
  • USA pay TV and online video subscriptions
  • Average revenue per user USA
  • Average revenue per user Western Europe
  • Number of broadband providers per active US census block
  • USA fixed broadband households by technology
  • USA TV households by definition

Number of Pages: 14

Number  of Tables and Charts: 7

Seth Wallis-Jones

Principal Analyst, Telecommunications

Seth Wallis-Jones, a principal research analyst at Omdia, covers operator strategies for the Service Providers and Platforms team.

Research by Market
Mobile & Telecom
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