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Removing Broadband Barriers will Protect the Free and Open Internet

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Should the federal government regulate the Internet like a public utility? A new paper from the Competitive Enterprise Institute argues no: Instead, policy makers should encourage competition and innovation in America’s broadband market by reforming spectrum allocation and preempting excessive state and local barriers to broadband deployment.

“Rather than burdening existing broadband providers with federal regulations, governments at every level in the United States should unleash potential and real broadband competition,” said the paper’s author Ryan Radia. “The FCC has interfered too much in the broadband market. Congress should ensure that state and local authorities aren’t placing barriers on competition. Congress also needs to increase spectrum availability. Government agencies should no longer be allowed to use spectrum without facing its market price.”

These solutions – greater access to spectrum, removing local government barriers to competition, and withdrawing the regulations recently imposed on broadband providers – would ensure better options and access for consumers while encouraging innovation. Often hailed under the banner of “net neutrality,” regulations on broadband providers from the FCC are not needed. One need look only as far back as 2014, before the FCC imposed its regulations, to see that a free and open internet is one that flourishes when government gets out of the way.

Additionally, the paper argues that the FCC is not the right government organization to determine these issues. Rather, Congress should remove barriers to interstate commerce that state and local authorities are putting on broadband companies.

See the paper, Improving America’s Broadband Through Competition, Not Regulation, here.