Comcast Corp's top financial executive said on Wednesday that U.S. regulators' plans to tighten control over the broadband market could curb private investment in the sector.
Chief Financial Officer Michael Angelakis said the No. 1 U.S. cable operator had been disappointed by a plan by the Federal Communication Commission that would give the agency power to regulate pricing of broadband.
If the regulatory aspect becomes distressed it's clearly going to impact our appetite to invest, Angelakis said at an investor conference.
The FCC plan, which would classify broadband services with traditional phone lines, follows a court ruling last month that said the agency did not have the authority to stop Comcast from blocking online applications that distributed TV shows and movies.
The ruling could have jeopardized the FCC's plans to promote net neutrality, which would prevent Internet distributors from controlling traffic moves over the Internet.
But FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is also keen to promote the expansion of high-speed broadband access in the United States, an effort that has been aided by private investment by phone and cable companies.
Angelakis said Comcast's investment to date meant its super-fast broadband product is now available to more homes passed than all the telephone companies and other cable operators combined.
That is a meaningful investment we've made, he said.
Genachowski has said the FCC has no intention to apply the most burdensome price controls and competition mandates that are possible under the reclassification.
(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)