Four Reasons So-Called Net Neutrality Regulations Should Be Scrapped

CEI applauds the anticipated Federal Communications Commission vote to roll back the harmful 2015 Open Internet Order and replace it with the pro-consumer Internet Freedom Order. The new order means a return to the light-touch regulatory regime the Internet thrived under for twenty years.  

Here are four reasons these so-called net neutrality regulations should be scrapped.

  1. Less regulation means more competition. 

Since the 2015 Open Internet Order was passed, there’s been an almost 6 percent drop in broadband investment. That’s an unprecedented downturn outside of a recession. My colleague, Research Fellow and Regulatory Counsel Ryan Radia, discusses in detail what really will lead to more investment, competition, and choice for broadband consumers in his new (and excellent) paper, Improving America’s Broadband Through Competition, Not Regulation. CEI has also been active with litigation on the issue.

  1. More varied business arrangements mean more options for consumers.

Scrapping bans on business arrangements commonly seen to benefit consumers in other industries is good news for consumers. Providers must be free to prioritize time-sensitive data on their networks, contract with web start-ups for special pricing, and everything in between in order to bring maximum innovations to customers. Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews, who has been writing on the issue of net neutrality for more than a decade, has written extensively on the subject in his blog series Before Net Neutrality Eats the World.

  1. Repeal of the 2015 order is a victory for free speech.

CEI has written and litigated extensively about the threat to free speech posed by net neutrality regulations. We’ve warned of the dangerous precedent they set for content providers, too. This rollback is a victory for everyone who values free speech online and in general.

  1. This is not the end of the Internet, it’s the Internet’s first twenty years. 

Despite some hysteria over the rollback, it is not actually the end of the online world. It’s simply a reaffirmation of the wisdom of how the Internet was regulated for its first twenty years—years that saw the birth of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon, and Uber, among others.  The Open Internet Order is regulatory overkill, not the status quo. The Internet will be there Friday morning.

CEI also released a new video on the myths and truths of net neutrality earlier this week, which praises the Internet Freedom Order as a reform that will benefit consumers and the secure the future of Internet innovation.