The end of the 115th Congress meant the end of using the Congressional Review Act to void the Federal Communication Commission’s repeal of Obama-era net neutrality regulation. Sadly, advocates of more government control over the Internet will almost surely try to pass new net neutrality legislation in the new Congress. And just as the old regulations were bad for innovation, news ones legislators may dream up in 2019 will likely be a detriment to consumers if enacted.
A free economy is the best incubator for progress and broadband is no exception. In the year since the net neutrality regulations were voted out, broadband speeds in the U.S. increased by nearly 40 percent and fiber was made available to more new homes in 2018 than in any other year. All of this real improvement is a far cry from the imagined Internet apocalypse predicted by net neutrality advocates while the rules were being repealed in December of 2017.
New net neutrality regulations proposed by legislators will likely suffer from the same policy pitfalls as the old regulations. They will threaten innovation and investment all in the name of solving a problem that doesn’t exist. The net neutrality-free broadband market of 2018 is proof that government should stay out of the way and let the market keep working.