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Wallsten Cites Network Improvements, Fewer Complaints, Public Safety in Remand Comments

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WASHINGTON (April 20, 2020) – The Technology Policy Institute’s Scott Wallsten sides with the new over the old FCC Network Neutrality regime in comments filed with the FCC today in response to the federal Mozilla Court’s remand to the agency.

Wallsten says “the economics and history of common carriage regulation under the previous, Title II regime “tends to be incompatible with rapid innovation and unsustainable over time.” He also argues that “network neutrality is inconsistent with high-performing public safety communications.”

The TPI president and senior fellow argues that “changes in how ISPs are regulated appear to be uncorrelated with changes in Lifeline participation” and that “Lifeline expenditures do not appear to have been affected by any net neutrality rules.”

Each of these policy questions was stipulated in the court’s recent remand to agency.

Wallsten, a data-driven economist, also issues a caveat many on each side of the debate may agree with: “The controversial nature of network neutrality means that the FCC cannot credibly commit to maintaining Title I or Title II beyond the tenure of a given administration…. As a result, it is generally not possible to make definitive claims about the effects of either the OIO or the RIF Order.

“Nevertheless, the evidence since the RIF Order was promulgated shows rapid network improvements, fewer consumer complaints to government agencies, innovation in public safety communications, and no effect on Lifeline trends.” he said in his FCC filing.