The market has spoken

Wall Street has passed its snap judgment on yesterday’s FCC decision, and the results aren’t good. The Bell Company stocks tanked. The stocks of competitors such as AT&T fell slightly along with the market. And competitive DSL providers such as Covad were absolutely crushed.

The message loud and clear is that investors don’t fully understand what the FCC did, but they don’t like it. If the rationale was to promote investment and broadband deployment, it’s hard to see how that will happen.

The majority’s notion was that eliminating sharing rules for broadband (both today’s DSL and tomorrow’s fiber networks) will spur the Bells to invest heavily. Yet those very companies are vocally denouncing the order and threatening more lawsuits. Having investors sell off your stock isn’t exactly a push toward new investment. And for consumers, the decision means higher broadband prices, when the clear lesson from countries such as Japan and Korea is that broadband penetration zooms when prices drop.