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Net Neutrality and Title II of the Communications Act

Jan 2015
Policy Brief
By  Bruce Owen
President Obama recently urged the Federal Communications Commission to impose common carrier regulation on the Internet access industry. The industry has been the focus of rapid technological change characterized by movement from analog to digital transmissions, from fixed to mobile service and from lower to higher speeds or bandwidths. One consequence has been to increase the number of alternative providers available to most households. While it is always possible that various threats to competition and economic efficiency may arise down the road, there is little current evidence to support a call for Title II regulation. Indeed, such regulation in the past has caused more consumer harm than good, partly by enhancing industry influence on politicians and regulators, and partly by distorting prices and discouraging investment and innovation.