A Closer Look at Net Neutrality

[Commentary] The Federal Communications Commission has become famous -- or infamous -- for its recent proposal to adopt network neutrality rules. Lost in the debate is the lack of a demonstrable need for such rules, as validated by a rigorous and factually sound cost-benefit analysis.

The Internet has flourished because of the government’s hands-off approach. All regulations carry costs, which are inevitably passed on to consumers in one form or another. We should therefore be very concerned when an agency plans to enact new rules, especially unnecessary ones.

In Executive Order 13563, President Barack Obama reaffirmed that executive agencies should “propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that its benefits justify its cost” and must “use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible.” He also called upon independent agencies like the FCC to follow the same principles.

If the Commission fully adheres to this directive, it should refrain from imposing net-neutrality regulations unless there’s evidence of an actual problem it would address, and unless the benefits of the regulations would clearly outweigh the costs.

A Closer Look at Net Neutrality FCC Republican says net neutrality rules too “onerous” for ISPs (ars technica)