by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Keeping Obama administration-era net neutrality rules would result in higher Internet prices for consumers and less innovation, according to a new report.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute released a report Tuesday providing a history of net neutrality regulations and arguing the Internet flourished precisely because it was free from federal government control.
The Federal Communications Commission will meet and vote Thursday on Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to reverse the Title II net neutrality rule that treated Internet service providers, or ISPs, as utilities rather than information services. Information services have historically been free from regulation, but the Obama administration’s FCC changed course by subjecting ISPs to broad regulation with the adoption of net neutrality in 2015.
“Consumers should be aware that net neutrality regulations will result in higher prices and less innovation for their broadband services. So, if it ain’t broke, don’t break it,” said Jessica Melugin, an adjunct fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and coauthor of the report. “Just look at Europe’s broadband market. It has long been regulated like a utility, and they now have half as much investment in wireline service as the United States, and their average mobile broadband speeds are 30 percent slower than what Americans enjoy.”