One of the main arguments against new net neutrality rules is the fear that new regulations would discourage investment in broadband networks. In the past week, about 90 U.S. lawmakers and several minority groups have questioned the need for net neutrality rules based on concerns about continued investment.
Some minority groups and African-American lawmakers, in particular, raised concerns that net neutrality rules would mean that broadband providers like AT&T would back away from new deployments in urban and other underserved areas.
In a letter to AT&T employees this week, Jim Cicconi, AT&T's senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs, suggested that new net neutrality rules would "halt private investment in broadband infrastructure."
Verizon Communications Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg, in a Thursday speech at the Supercomm trade show in Chicago, repeated those concerns.
"More broadly, if we can’t earn a return on the investments we make in broadband capacity, our progress toward a connected world will be delayed, if not halted altogether," he said, according to a text of the speech. "If this burdensome regime of net regulation is imposed on all parts of the Internet industry, it will inject an extraordinary amount of bureaucratic oversight into the economy’s main growth engine for the future."