Net neutrality regulation could cost jobs, argues study

Just in time for today's net neutrality meeting, a new joint report issued by the Advanced Communications Law & Policy Institute at New York Law School and Entropy Economics theorizes that net neutrality regulations could unintentionally cause widespread job losses.

Written by Charles Davidson, director of The Advanced Communications Law & Policy Institute at New York Law School, and Bret Swanson, president of technology research firm Entropy Economics, the "Net Neutrality, Investment & Jobs: Assessing the Potential Impacts of the FCC's Proposed Net Neutrality Rules on the Broadband Ecosystem" report estimates that net neutrality regulations could also reduce the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by tens of billions of dollars per year.

By analyzing the various broadband network expansion projects over the last decade, the research illustrated that major investments and innovation throughout the broadband ecosystem were boosted by the FCC's light-touch regulatory approach.

"With the U.S. economy still in a fragile state, imposing restrictive regulation on one of the country's most dynamic sectors is misguided," said Davidson in a release. "The FCC's proposed net neutrality rules would reverse the many organic gains realized under the current regulatory framework--one that has allowed the broadband sector to flourish."

The FCC has put three options on the table for net neutrality: no action, regulate access for Internet providers with rules applied to traditional telephone service providers, or apply FCC chairman Julius Genachowski's "third way" that applies only a portion of the telephone company rules. Thus far, Congress has been less than supportive of Genachowski's "third way" regulation proposal. At a time when the economy is just starting to recover, the new study should at least give both supporters and detractors something to think about what influence regulations have on future broadband deployments.

Net Neutrality Possible Impact
Wireline/ Wireless Broadband Investments Jobs Lost or Foregone Resulting GDP Losses per Year
10 percent decrease 502,000 $62 billion
20 percent decrease 553,000 $71 billion
30 percent decrease 604,000 $80 billion

For more:
- see the release here
- here's a link to the report

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