Comcast announced yesterday that it will be giving out $1,000 employee bonuses in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality rules last week. Not just that, the company is also celebrating because of Republicans’ tax reform bill that passed in the Senate and House and gives wealthy Americans and corporations substantial benefits.
Comcast has been a long opponent of net neutrality rules and Title II classification, which gave the FCC authority to regulate telecommunications companies and ISPs like utility companies. The company pushed hard for the past two years to have net neutrality regulations stripped and kill off consumer protections. The company is now in full celebration mode by giving out bonuses to its employees.
After the repeal of net neutrality rules, Comcast is now unwilling to say it would never block or throttle content or offer paid fast lanes. Net neutrality rules prevented all of those actions from being carried out. Now that those rules are gone, they are now all possibilities since FCC Chairman Ajit Pai completely gutted Obama-era protections in order to return internet back to corporation-friendly regulatory system.
Comcast says it now plans to spend “in excess of $50 billion” over the next five years investing in infrastructure and building out physical broadband plants. The company also plans to invest and fund entertainment ventures in film and TV. This is a similar announcement to AT&T’s announced plans that it will give 200,000 employees $1,000 bonuses in response to the new tax reform. Unlike Comcast, AT&T did not mention net neutrality repeal or the FCC, but since AT&T is also an ISP, it equally benefits just like Comcast.
Here’s the full statement from Comcast:
Based on the passage of tax reform and the FCC’s action on broadband, Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast NBCUniversal, announced that the Company would award special $1,000 bonuses to more than one hundred thousand eligible frontline and non-executive employees. Roberts also announced that the Company expects to spend well in excess of $50 billion over the next five years investing in infrastructure to radically improve and extend our broadband plant and capacity, and our television, film and theme park offerings. With these investments, we expect to add thousands of new direct and indirect jobs. We will have more to say on capital at our upcoming January 24th earnings report.