There is consensus among consumers and internet service providers that modern net neutrality safeguards are good for America’s digital democracy and the information economy. There is some disagreement, however, about the legal authority behind the enforcement of net neutrality and whether it demands utility-style regulations. The FCC’s current regressive Title II approach to net neutrality threatens to have a chilling effect on further network advancements in the broadband ecosystem.
A recent report released by the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies suggests the growth of higher broadband speeds are below expectations since the FCC adopted utility-style net neutrality regulations. The study found that “but for” the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order, U.S. broadband speeds would have been about 10% higher (or about 1.5 Mbps faster) on average.
Consumers’ choices and entrepreneurs’ visions should shape the future evolution, growth and expansion of the internet ecosystem, not archaic government policies that deter innovation, investment and evolution. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is working to secure modern net neutrality safeguards, and Congress should step in and make these consumer protections permanent.