by Brenée Goforth
Communications Associate, John Locke Foundation
On April 17, The John Locke Foundation joined a coalition of nine nonprofit research organizations seeking to respond with free-market principles to an FCC bureau‘s call for comments on the case Mozilla Corp. v FCC. Specifically, the coalition letter comments on how the repeal of Title II impacted investment and improved digital connectivity.
The letter reads:
Regulating the internet under Title II threatened to slow this impressive investment which would ultimately leave consumers with slower speeds over the long term…
An internet free from heavy handed government regulation has seen impressive growth not only in the number of people who have been connected, but also the speeds that are available to users. Private firms have invested more than $660 billion in the past decade with $80 billion being invested in 2018 alone. These massive investments have increased connectivity which has allowed both the traditional web economy and the app economy to grow dramatically, adding billions of dollars in economic activity.
Now, of all times, has shown the value of repealing Title II regulations. The letter reads:
People being locked in their homes puts extra strain on the network infrastructure. While normal circumstances require that companies only need worry about peak usage, networks are currently being strained like never before. Both Netflix and YouTube and currently decreasing the quality of their videos in Europe, for example. However, U.S. providers are not as worried. In fact, they are opening up free access to the internet to ensure people acquire the digital connectivity they need.
The letter concludes:
The Restoring Internet Freedom Order has shown itself to be an asset in time of a public safety crisis, not a liability. The FCC should keep this order in place and continue to foster the innovation which has proven so important during this crisis.