Heartland Daily Podcast: Verizon vs. FCC and the Future of Net Neutrality

Published January 18, 2014

The D.C. Circuit Court this week struck down the Federal Communication Commission’s 2010 “net neutrality” rule requiring Internet service providers to treat all traffic across their networks the same – discriminating against none and favoring none. The court also, however, ruled the FCC may impose its net neutrality rule if it reclassifies broadband as a “common carrier” as it does telephone service.

On this edition of the Heartland Daily Podcast, Jim Lakely, co-director of Heartland’s Center on the Digital Economy, and Ryan Radia of the Competitive Enterprise Institute discuss the ramifications of this decision. It’s the second time in three years the D.C. Circuit has declared illegal the FCC’s attempts to impose binding net neutrality regulations.

As Lakely said in Heartland’s group press release about the decision:

It is fortunate the Circuit Court did not endorse the FCC’s imposition of net neutrality rules under its ‘general authority.’ That is an improper FCC power grab not delegated to it by Congress via the Communications Act. However, the ruling all but urges the FCC to reclassify broadband under ‘Title II’ as a telecommunications common carrier. Such a designation does not fit the character and purpose of broadband services and would distort the digital marketplace in a way that would discourage innovation and arbitrarily pick winners and losers in the digital economy.

Government-dictated net neutrality is a heavy-handed solution to a non-existent market failure. Supporters of a vibrant and innovative digital economy dodged a bullet today, but one gets the feeling it won’t be for long.

Listen to Lakely and Radia talk about this monumental decision in the player above. And to keep tabs on the latest smart takes on the news from a free-market perspective, be sure to …

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