300,000 Telecom Layoffs If FCC Regulations Take Effect Report

The Phoenix Center, a free-market think tank in Washington, D.C., has issued a new analysis that pins the potential for up to 300,000 job losses on pending FCC regulations.

Report authors George S. Ford and T. Randolph Beard say network operators could cut capital expenditures by as much as 10 percent if the FCC enacts laws such as Net neutrality. Translated into dollars, lost earnings could total $36 billion over five years, for the IT sector alone, and $100 billion for all affected jobs, Ford and Beard reported.

“If expanding employment is now a key policy objective, then public policy must carefully consider how regulations alter the attractiveness of the sector to investment capital,” said Ford, the Phoenix Centers chief economist, in a prepared statement on Tuesday. Given already below-average financial returns, the flow of capital to the communications sector is likely to be highly sensitive to further regulatory intrusion.”

To be sure, such studies seem to proliferate when Democratic administrations, in particular, are in control. Earlier this year, for instance, another study this one from the New York Law School and Entropy Economics threatened layoffs if Net neutrality takes effect. At the same time, service providers tend to trot their senior-level executives to Capitol Hill to predict job losses should new regulations be put in place.

But perhaps the Phoenix Center neednt worry. The chances of the government implementing Net neutrality rules any time soon seem to dwindle each week. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski appears to be waffling on the matter so much that left-leaning group Free Press recently dubbed him toothless” this after spending much time vaunting the entrepreneur-turned-public-official. And Congress late last month scrapped a Net neutrality bill it had been tackling.

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