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The Economics of Net Neutrality

9 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2006  

Robert W. Hahn

University of Oxford, Smith School; Georgetown University

Scott Wallsten

Technology Policy Institute

Date Written: April 2006


This essay examines the economics of "net neutrality" and broadband Internet access. We argue that mandating net neutrality would be likely to reduce economic welfare. Instead, the government should focus on creating competition in the broadband market by liberalizing more spectrum and reducing entry barriers created by certain local regulations. In cases where a broadband provider can exercise market power the government should use its antitrust enforcement authority to police anticompetitive behavior.

Keywords: net neutrality, broadband, government

JEL Classification: H00

Suggested Citation

Hahn, Robert mname and Wallsten, Scott mname, The Economics of Net Neutrality (April 2006). AEI-Brookings Joint Center Working Paper No. RP06-13. Available at SSRN: or

Robert Hahn (Contact Author)

University of Oxford, Smith School ( email )

United Kingdom

Georgetown University

Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy
Washington, DC 20057
United States

Scott Wallsten

Technology Policy Institute ( email )

1099 New York Ave., NW
Suite 520
Washington, DC 20001
United States


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