FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2009
The American Consumer Institute Releases New Book on the Consequences of Net Neutrality
Authors Express Concerns at a Capitol Hill Briefing
WASHINGTON – The American Consumer Institute today hosted a panel discussion and debate entitled, “The Evidence on Net Neutrality” and released a new book, “The Consequences of Net Neutrality Regulations on Broadband Investment and Consumer Welfare.”
The event featured remarks by Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), followed by a panel discussion on the effects net neutrality will have on American consumers.
“Over the last five years there has been extensive evidence demonstrating that Internet regulations would reduce consumer welfare and impede broadband deployment. Over the same time period, there has not been a single empirical study showing that Internet regulations would benefit consumers or increase broadband investment,” said Steve Pociask, president of The American Consumer Institute. “Let today’s event and the release of our book serve to refresh the public record that the evidence is solidly against net neutrality regulations.”
The book is a collection of 13 essays authored by 11 senior economists and public policy experts, both Republican and Democrat. The book provides insight about consequences Net Neutrality regulations have on two economic concepts that affect broadband consumers: “price and demand” and “cost and supply.” During the panel discussion nine of the book’s authors as well as John W. Mayo of Georgetown University, Michael Calabrese of the New America Foundation and Barbara Esbin of the Progress Freedom Foundation discussed their findings and views on net neutrality.
“Restrictions and obligations on broadband providers, including wireless operators, have adverse pricing implications. This phenomenon is not unique to the wireless industry,” said Hal J. Singer of Empiris and contributing author to ACI’s book, “If you tell a sports club that it must permit anyone to offer personal training on its premises (via a duty-to-deal), then the price of the basic gym membership will rise. If you tell an airline that it can’t charge higher fares for first-class seats (via a non-discrimination rule), then the price of coach tickets will rise. Net neutrality means lots of things, but at the end of the day, it means higher prices.”
Everett Ehrlich of ESC, also a contributing author to ACI’s book, concluded, “The harder you look at it, the more net ‘neutrality’ looks like a prescription for getting the Internet stuck in neutral. I hope this book helps people understand the risks associated with this slogan.”
The American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational and research institute. For more information visit www.theamericanconsumer.org or email us at [email protected]