The Effect of Regulation on Broadband Markets: Evaluating the Empirical Evidence in the FCC's 2015 'Open Internet' Order
24 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2016 Last revised: 13 Sep 2017
Date Written: October 26, 2016
In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) imposed common carriage regulation -- so-called Title II requirements -- on previously unregulated broadband Internet service providers (ISPs). The regime shift was premised on the FCC’s findings that such rules had demonstrably yielded economic gains. This paper evaluates the FCC’s empirical arguments and finds them uncompelling. Adjustments for inflation or general economic trends eliminate the effects cited by the FCC. Moreover, contrary to the Commission’s assessment, mobile services and broadband markets have shown notable growth in response to deregulatory events that reduce Title II requirements.
Keywords: net neutrality, antitrust, discrimination, Federal Communications Commission, telecommunications, broadband regulation, Title II, vertical foreclosure
JEL Classification: K21, K23, L4, L96
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation