The following statement can be attributed to Steve Pociask, President of the American Consumer Institute, regarding today’s decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on the Mozilla v. FCC case:
“Today, the D.C. Circuit Court upheld the FCC’s latest order to keep an open and free Internet, instead of reverting back to onerous 1930’s utility-style regulations. More than ever before, Congress should prioritize putting an end to the regulatory whipsaw of the digital economy and grant the FCC the authority to preempt parochial state regulations that undermine the global nature of Internet services.
The court’s decision is important in setting a climate for continued innovation and infrastructure investment. Prior to the FCC’s latest rules, the two years following the enactment of utility-style regulations led to a 5.6% drop in broadband network investment. Furthermore, 80% of network operators reported incurring additional expenses to comply with the outdated law, severely hindering small and rural providers. These regulations were clearly not costless, and consumers were made much worse off.
The FCC’s new 2017 order, conversely, provided a sounder regulatory approach centered on protecting consumers and leveling the playing field between service providers that encouraged market investment, innovation and competition. Under these new rules, U.S. broadband providers invested approximately $80.0 billion in network infrastructure, up more than $3.1 billion from $76.9 billion from the prior year. The current regulatory policies are working for consumers.”