The internet became a success because government had for decades chosen to let the web grow and thrive without burdensome regulation.
Prior to 2015, bipartisan federal internet policy unanimously supported a “light touch” regulatory model which provided the incentive to invest and build some of the most advanced networks in the world. Since the mid-1990s, $1.4 trillion in private investment was injected into building powerful networks available to most Americans, in urban and rural communities.
But the FCC in 2015 approved a massive regulatory regime called Title II (Net Neutrality) that had a detrimental impact on broadband investment and threatened to chill future deployment. In the two years after the FCC enacted Title II, broadband investment declined by $3.6 billion.
Net neutrality regulations were repealed by the FCC on June 11, 2018, returning the internet to the light-touch regulations that marked most of its history and gave rise to its tremendous growth.
The FTC, now empowered with the end of Title II, is committed to protecting consumers from unfair predatory business practices like unfair blocking and throttling by internet service providers (ISPs). And the FCC retained strong transparency rules that require ISPs to disclose their commitments to fair and open practices for all to see and confirm.
Cable companies that provide internet service have reaffirmed their strong commitment to an open internet and to delivering a fast and vibrant online experience to consumers.
They have stated that, to them, an open internet means:
- No blocking of legal content
- No throttling
- No unfair discrimination
- Transparency in customer practices
Consumers are best served by policies that encourage ongoing investment and innovation especially as technology changes, as network demands increase, and as stakeholders focus on closing the digital divide in every community across America.