Friday, October 28, 2016
Tim Brennan, University of Maryland, Baltimore County - Department of Public Policy; Resources for the Future describes The Post-Internet Order Broadband Sector: Lessons from the Pre-Open Internet Order Experience.
ABSTRACT: A significant component of the contentious debate over the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 2015 Open Internet Order (OI 2015) has been its effects on future broadband investment and the development of Internet content and other applications. Although such debate can advance understanding of the potential consequences of the OI 2015, much of it, albeit informed by economics, is of necessity speculative. It may be useful to see how experience up to OI 2015 might be informative. That experience is notably thin, with the FCC citing two to four instances in ten years that would have violated OI 2015. After explaining why the OI 2015 order and its predecessor may be largely non-binding, we look at the four examples for lessons in what kinds of behavior OI 2015 might prevent. This experience suggests that non-economic concerns should have been more explicit in OI 2015.