New Report Says Net Neutrality Regulations Could Cost up to 500,000 Jobs and $80 Billion per Year in Lost GDP

I agree with the premise of the report that net neutrality as it is currently defined will stifle competition.  AT&T has publicly stated that it will halt U-verse deployments if net neutrality is passed.  Verizon has already capped its FiOS project.  The warning signs are already there.  The Internet is a vital component to the U.S. economy as it transitions from a manufacturing-based to knowledge-based economy.  Any potential threat to its vitality must be stopped.  There are several assumptions in this study that I believe are overstated or flawed.  Even if they are corrected, the result will be that as the FCC has defined net neutrality, jobs will be lost in our economy.  The Internet must remain open and accessible for all users despite methods of access.  On the other hand, the FCC must not be heavy-handed in regulating it as not to impede innovation.  All of these points bring me back to my assertion that open-access municipal networks will go a long way to continue the freedom and innovation of the Internet.

Broadband experts warn of depressed network investment, limits on new business models, and deterred rollout of broadband-enabled services

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– According to research released today from Charles M. Davidson, director of The Advanced Communications Law & Policy Institute at New York Law School, and Bret Swanson, president of technology research firm Entropy Economics, new regulations for providers of broadband Internet service could result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. The new Internet regulations, the report estimates, could also reduce U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by tens of billions of dollars per year. The report, “Net Neutrality, Investment & Jobs: Assessing the Potential Impacts of the FCC’s Proposed Net Neutrality Rules on the Broadband Ecosystem,” examines the extent of likely damages to investment, jobs, and U.S. GDP resulting from the implementation of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed net neutrality regulations.

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US broadband: still expensive, underwhelming

Last week the OECD released its update on broadband metrics and the United States lags most developing countries in broadband speeds and price.  It is interesting to note that the cost per bit for Internet access is about 4 times higher than in countries that have more than two competitors in the market.  These figures once again validate the need for local access competition.  Our broadband penetration is respectable considering the population density, but we still lag countries with true competition.

The OECD this week released an update to its much-watched set of broadband metrics. The data set now extends through December 2009, and the US continues to look anemic on most OECD measures.

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FCC Chairman Genachowski expected to leave broadband services deregulated

Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 3, 2010

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has indicated he wants to keep broadband services deregulated, according to sources, even as a federal court decision has exposed weaknesses in the agency’s ability to be a strong watchdog over the companies that provide access to the Web.

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