ON-Lion Letter
"There is little dispute that the Internet should continue as an open platform," notes the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Yet in a curious twist of logic, the FCC has moved to upend the rules yielding that outcome, imposing "network neutrality" regulations on broadband-access providers.  The new mandates purport to prevent Internet "gatekeepers" by prohibiting networks from favoring certain applications.

In his comprehensive new Encounter Broadside, The Fallacy of Network Neutrality, Thomas W. Hazlett explains the faulty economic logic behind the FCC's regulations.  The "open Internet" -- thriving without such mandates -- allows consumers, investors, and entrepreneurs to choose the best platforms and products, testing rival business models.  Networks are actively (and efficiently) involved in managing traffic and promoting popular applications, making the entire ecosystem more valuable.  This is a spontaneous market process, not a planned structure, and the commission's restrictions threaten to stifle innovation and economic growth.

Hazlett is a professor of law and economics at George Mason University.  He previously served as chief economist of the FCC.

Encounter Books is an activity of Encounter for Culture and Education, a nonprofit group that is substantially supported by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee.
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