Not that I think this is a decisive argument in a policy context, but as people think about the broadband and cable market, I think a useful piece of background factual information is that major cable companies are paying large and growing dividends:
So good for those companies and good for their shareholders. But some folks are out there online painting a portrait of broadband as an industry that's in critical need of expensive new investment and badly at risk of inability to finance that new investment. What we see here is the opposite.
It's not that cable companies are furiously seeking to invest but are held back by a lack of funds. Rather, cable companies' level of investment is held back by a fundamental lack of competition. On the one hand, Time Warner feels sufficiently unthreatened by new entrants that it prefers raising its dividends to increasing the level of investment in its existing service area. On the other hand, Time Warner feels sufficiently bleak about the prospects for competing with other incumbents that it prefers raising its dividends to investing in breaking into new service areas.
TODAY IN SLATE
Meet the New Bosses
How the Republicans would run the Senate.
The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.
Why all cracker names sound alike.
Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom
This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059
- Protesters Take to the Streets to Sound Alarm on Climate Change in New York, Across the World
- Knife-Carrying White House Jumper is Vet who Feared “Atmosphere Was Collapsing”
- North Korea: American Sentenced to Hard Labor Wanted to Become “Second Snowden”
- Almost One in Four Americans Support Idea of Splitting From the Union
Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?
A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.