A world-changing product of American ingenuity, the internet is a transformational technology that has revolutionized education, commerce, healthcare and communications. The cable industry has consistently endorsed and fostered the development of an open Internet. The cable industry does not and would not block our customers’ ability to access lawful internet content, applications or services.
The rapid growth in the development of broadband networks are changing the way we live and allowing consumers to enjoy an amazing array of applications, content and services. Even without net neutrality rules, broadband providers retain a strong incentive to ensure that consumers have the high-speed connections they need to access these offerings. Also, Federal regulators like the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice have the necessary authority to police it.
Consistent light regulatory touch since the introduction of broadband has worked. Only that continued freedom is likely to spur the investment and innovation that consumers have come to expect.
Putting every network management strategy up for scrutiny before regulators would severely hamper the ability of network providers to ensure high-quality and reliable internet access for their subscribers. Depriving network operators of certain bandwidth management tools only makes the network less efficient for everyone. Network optimization techniques are fundamental to creating and preserving a stable environment for online service providers that ensures an optimal customer experience.
Misplaced concerns over legitimate and reasonable network management practices do not justify the enactment of open-ended regulation of the Internet, particularly where the costs of such regulation are foreseeable and substantial. Given the growth of broadband competition and the breathtaking pace of technological change, government intervention is not necessary. As the Federal Trade Commission has warned, regulation of Internet access at this stage of market development could have “potentially adverse and unintended effects,” including reduced product and service innovation.
Legislators and regulators should resist calls to interfere with broadband providers’ freedom to manage their respective networks in order to satisfy the evolving needs of consumers. The internet is booming without regulation. There are no problems requiring a government solution. Proposals for “net neutrality” amount to regulation of the internet that would undermine, not promote, consumer choice and welfare.