Network Neutrality and Industry Structure

22 Pages Posted: 8 May 2007

See all articles by Thomas Randolph Beard

Thomas Randolph Beard

Auburn University - Department of Economics

George S. Ford

Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies

Thomas Koutsky

USAID Global Development Lab

Lawrence J. Spiwak

Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

One of the most heated debates in the current efforts to re-write the Communications Act has been whether the federal government should impose "Network Neutrality" requirements on broadband service providers. While we argue neither for nor against the need for Network Neutrality legislation in this article, our analysis shows that policymakers should avoid Network Neutrality mandates that have the intent or effect of "commoditizing" broadband access services since such a policy approach is likely to deter facilities-based competition, reduce the expansion and deployment of advanced communications networks, and increase prices. Given the economic characteristics of local communications networks, policies that promote commoditization of broadband access could lead to the monopoly provision of advanced broadband services in many markets. This outcome would harm consumers substantially.

Keywords: Network Neutrality, Industry Structure, John Sutton, commoditization

JEL Classification: K20, K23, L14, L22, L50, L51, L96, O31, O33, O38

Suggested Citation

Beard, Thomas Randolph and Ford, George S. and Koutsky, Thomas M. and Spiwak, Lawrence J., Network Neutrality and Industry Structure. Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 29, p. 149, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=985101

Thomas Randolph Beard

Auburn University - Department of Economics ( email )

415 W. Magnolia
Auburn, AL 36849-5242
United States

George S. Ford

Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies ( email )

5335 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Suite 440
Washington, DC 20015
United States

Thomas M. Koutsky

USAID Global Development Lab ( email )

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Lawrence J. Spiwak (Contact Author)

Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies ( email )

5335 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Suite 440
Washington, DC 20015
United States
202-274-0235 (Phone)
202-318-4909 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.phoenix-center.org

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