America is set to change the balance of power between Internet companies like Netflix and Internet service providers (ISPs) like AT&T. On 14 December 2017, the FCC will vote on whether to eliminate net neutrality, the regulatory principle that ISPs should treat all Internet traffic equally. Supporters of net neutrality argue that an “open Internet” is essential in order to encourage innovation and free speech. Opponents of net neutrality argue that it discourages ISPs from investing in the high-speed broadband networks that the West badly needs if it is to stay ahead in the global “data revolution”.
The evidence points clearly to net neutrality rules being scrapped on 14 December 2017, because:
- President Trump and the Republican Party are both against regulatory over-reach;
- FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, a former Verizon lawyer, is vehemently against net neutrality; and
- The US is falling down the world league table of broadband speeds, so it needs to incentivise its ISPs to invest in high speed broadband infrastructure by allowing them to charge all economic parties that benefit from using their pipes at commercial rates.
- This report is part of the ecosystem of thematic investment research reports, supported by the “thematic engine”.
- About the Thematic Research Ecosystem
- The author has developed a unique thematic methodology for valuing technology, media and telecom companies based on their relative strength in the big investment themes that are impacting their industry. Whilst most investment research is underpinned by backwards looking company valuation models, the author’s thematic methodology identifies which companies are best placed to succeed in a future filled with multiple disruptive threats. To do this, the author tracks the performance of the top 600 technology, media and telecom stocks against the 50 most important themes driving their earnings, generating 30,000 thematic scores. The algorithms in the author’s “thematic engine” help to clearly identify the winners and losers within the TMT sector. The 600 TMT stocks are categorised into 18 sectors. Each sector scorecard has a thematic screen, a risk screen and a valuation screen. The thematic research ecosystem has a three-tiered reporting structure: single theme, multi-theme and sector scorecard. This report is a Single Theme report, offering in-depth research into a specific theme. It identifies winners and losers based on technology leadership, market position and other factors.
- The thematic investment research product, supported by the thematic engine, is aimed at senior (C-Suite) executives in the corporate world as well as institutional investors.
- Corporations: Helps CEOs in all industries understand the disruptive threats to their competitive landscape
- Investors: Helps fund managers focus their time on the most interesting investment opportunities in global TMT.
- The unique differentiator, compared to all rival thematic research houses, is that the thematic engine has a proven track record of predicting winners and losers.
The backdrop to the net neutrality story
Net neutrality was set up for good reasons
Regulatory policies always have unintended side effects
Both sides of the net neutrality debate have strong arguments
It now looks like net neutrality may fall in the US under President Trump
Implications if net neutrality falls
US telecom operators and cable operators may benefit
Large US Internet companies who use substantial bandwidth may lose
Global telecom equipment makers could benefit
European and Asian telecom operators may see some benefit in the medium term
If implemented sensibly, a world without net neutrality may not be so bad
TELECOM AND CABLE OPERATORS - SECTOR SCORECARD
TELECOM EQUIPMENT - SECTOR SCORECARD
APPENDIX: “THEMATIC” RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
- 21st Century Fox
- Charter Communication
- Deutsche Telekom
- Juniper Networks
- Time Warner
- T-Mobile USA
- Walt Disney