Blog

Some Simple Analytics of Vertically Linked Markets. Net Neutrality Blog Post #9

by

One of the most contentious aspects of net neutrality is the degree to which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should be able to vertically integrate with content providers. The concern is that a vertically integrated firm could prioritize delivery of its own content at the expense of its competitors absent net neutrality rules. The questions then arise: when would ISPs would actually face such incentives and how might they affect consumers? To unpack these questions, Joseph Farrell, Professor of Economics at University of California, Berkeley, in his article, “Some Simple Analytics of Vertically Linked Markets,” analyzes the case of a single, vertically integrated firm that sets prices for its initial product and also chooses a […]

READ MORE

The FCC’s Net Neutrality Decision and Stock Prices. Net Neutrality Special Issue Blog #8

by and

The net neutrality conversation has seen several twists and turns since the FCC’s non-binding “Internet Policy Statement” of the early 2000s. The first iteration of net neutrality regulations was overturned in court. The 2015 Open Internet Order (2015 OIO), which included prohibitions on blocking or throttling content and paid prioritization, were ushered in amidst both cheers and sneers. Most recently, a new FCC has begun the process of rolling back the 2015 OIO. The debate will continue, in part, because decisions are based on forecasts of what will happen – […]

READ MORE

The Digital Divide and Other Economic Considerations for Network Neutrality. Net Neutrality Special Issue Blog #7

by and

While the Internet seems ubiquitous, digital divides remain, particularly across incomes. In the U.S., adults making less than $30,000 per year are significantly less likely to use any type of digital device and to have broadband Internet access in their home[1]. The 2015 Open Internet Order (2015 OIO) was adopted, in part, to reduce the divide by expediting broadband deployment and removing obstacles to the market. In their recent work “The Digital Divide and Other Economic Considerations for Network Neutrality,” authors Michelle Connolly, Clement Lee, and Renhao Tan question whether […]

READ MORE

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Net Uniformity: Zero Rating and Nondiscrimination. Net Neutrality Special Issue Blog #6

by and

The current net neutrality regulations set forth in the 2015 Open Internet Order (2015 OIO) prohibit Internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or throttling lawful content or engaging in paid prioritization of Internet traffic. These three “bright line rules” cover a wide swath of ISP practices and are intended to promote competition and ensure quality service transmission for content providers and end users. At the same time, however, they fail to consider more nuanced issues that complicate achieving these outcomes. Christopher Yoo, Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer and Information […]

READ MORE

The Effect of Regulation on Broadband: Evaluating the Empirical Evidence in the FCC’s 2015 “Open Internet Order.” Net Neutrality Special Issue Blog #5

by and

When the FCC classified broadband Internet service providers as Title II common carriers in the 2015 Open Internet Order (2015 OIO), it argued that emerging industries had thrived under “light touch” variations of Title II regulations and that broadband would be no different. This argument does not hold up to scrutiny, write Thomas Hazlett, H.H. Macaulay Endowed Chair in Economics at Clemson University and former Chief Economist of the FCC, and Joshua Wright, Executive Director, Global Antitrust Institute at George Mason University and former FTC Commissioner, in their article “The […]

READ MORE

The Post-Internet Order Broadband — Lessons from the Pre-Open Internet Order Experience. Net Neutrality Special Issue Blog # 4

by and

To support the 2015 Open Internet Order (OIO), the FCC cited four potential violations of net neutrality over the previous ten years, only two of which it explicitly challenged. Why, then, did the FCC say a rule was desperately needed and Broadband Internet Access Service (BIAS) providers say the rule would be devastating given that their past behavior meant that the rule would not affect them much? To mix common sense with econspeak, why did anyone care about the Order if it was not binding?[1] Tim Brennan, professor in the […]

READ MORE

Wither Net Neutrality Regulation? Net Neutrality Special Issue Blog #3

by and

Net neutrality rules are not the way to maintain a free and open Internet, according to Michael Katz,  Sarin Professor Emeritus in Strategy and Leadership at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and Professor Emeritus at the Berkeley Department of Economics. This post is the third in a series highlighting the contents of a recent special issue of the Review of Industrial Organization, organized by the Technology Policy Institute and the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition. Katz’s contribution, “Wither, Net Neutrality?,” analyzes the relationship between […]

READ MORE

Does It Matter if Millions of People Send Comments to the FCC?

by

Like Jane Curtin and Chevy Chase might have said on Saturday Night Live, with a name like “https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?proceedings_name=17-108” it’s got to be good! That’s the address of the website the public can use to submit comments regarding the Net Neutrality/Title II rulemaking, and they have become almost as controversial as the underlying issue itself. Newsworthy incidents so far include an extended time period when the site was not available; racist comments targeting Indian-American chairman Ajit Pai; comments submitted under false names; and questions of how the agency should interpret millions […]

READ MORE

Net Neutrality Special Issue: Law, Social Welfare, and Net Neutrality

by and

Proponents argue that net neutrality enhances societal welfare, guards against anticompetitive behavior, and protects free speech. Keith Hylton, Boston University William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, explains why he believes net neutrality regulations are unlikely to achieve those goals. This post is the second in a series highlighting pieces from the most recent special issue of the Review of Industrial Organization. Devoted entirely to net neutrality and organized by the Technology Policy Institute and the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition, the issue brings together a variety of […]

READ MORE

Net Neutrality Special Issue: The Evolution of Competition

by and

They say that arguments in academia are so fierce because the stakes are so low. Occasionally, however, the stars align so that an academic journal hot-off-the-press informs a pressing and current policy debate. A just-released special issue of the Review of Industrial Organization devoted entirely to net neutrality and organized by the Technology Policy Institute and the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition, is one example. The issue features nine articles on net neutrality, plus an introduction, which will inform the current debate and rulemaking. This post […]

READ MORE