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

See all articles by Joshua D. Wright

Joshua D. Wright

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Thomas W. Hazlett

Clemson University

Date Written: October 26, 2016

Abstract

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

Wright, Joshua D. and Hazlett, Thomas W., The Effect of Regulation on Broadband Markets: Evaluating the Empirical Evidence in the FCC's 2015 'Open Internet' Order (October 26, 2016). Review of Industrial Organization, V. 50, No. 4, 2017; George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 16-41. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2859570 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2859570

Joshua D. Wright (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Thomas W. Hazlett

Clemson University ( email )

Clemson, SC 29634
United States
8646563430 (Phone)
8646564192 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://hazlett.people.clemson.edu/

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
287
rank
102,051
Abstract Views
1,485
PlumX Metrics