Competition—Not Net Neutrality Regulations—Should Determine the Future of Broadband

The internet, once an open frontier, is again at the center of a contentious debate over regulatory approaches, thanks to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal to once again impose its Title II authority on broadband providers. The nearly 30 year debate has been marked by partisan contention and regulatory oscillations. From a hands-off strategy during the Clinton and Trump administrations to the Title II regulation under Obama and various light-handed policies in between, the regulatory landscape has seen considerable flux.

At issue is who determines the future of broadband in the US: Will it be consumers and internet content providers choosing the broadband services that best meet their needs or will it be the FCC? As with any regulatory issue, it is crucial to assess the economic implications of the decision. The lessons from scholarly research are clear: Title II regulation, which was designed for monopoly telephone companies, would damage the American broadband ecosystem that consumers and businesses have come to depend on.

Read Dr. Jamison’s complete blog post at AEI.