Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast, said that the company is still moving "full steam ahead" with its proposal for the $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable, despite the uncertainties now prevalent in the industry of Internet service providers after President Barack Obama's proposal to the FCC to regulate such companies as public utility companies.
If Internet service providers are regulated similarly to public utility companies, the FCC will have more control over them with stricter regulations.
As part of the company's commitment to the completion of its acquisition of Time Warner, Roberts said that Comcast is still intending to push through with its planned investments of about $20 billion over the next two years for the improvement of its Internet services and other products.
Roberts' statements, which he made in a presentation in San Francisco to reporters, were in direct contrast with statements made by Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T.
In response to Obama's call, Stephenson said that it will be delaying the rollout of its planned fiber-optic network to 100 cities, stating that the company will not be pouring such investments into its network until the matters on net neutrality have been resolved by the FCC.
The FCC has been working on the issue for most of the year, as it re-examines its regulations after they were overturned by a federal appeals court.
The net neutrality regulations of the FCC seeks equal treatment for all Internet traffic. Without such regulations, consumer advocacy groups and Internet-based companies are concerned that Internet service providers would develop a two-tiered system that would allow the providers to charge higher fees for preferential treatment to the online content being delivered by Internet-based companies that will be able to afford the extra fees.
While the Internet service providers have all said that they are not planning to create such a system, President Obama showed that he did not trust the companies as he urged the FCC to impose regulations on the providers similar to what is being imposed on public utility companies.
The regulations for public utility companies were created 80 years ago to address issues such as the prevention of telephone companies from controlling the calls of its customers.
Internet service providers are claiming that if such regulations are imposed, they would have less incentives to make investments in upgrades, which would also eventually hamper innovation in the industry.
"We are trying to work with the FCC, with the Congress, with the administration to forge an outcome that everyone can live with and doesn't do harm to the investment cycle and innovation cycle," said Roberts.