3 September 2017

Does Net Neutrality Spur Internet Innovation?

Key Points 
The 2015 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) declared that its Open Internet Order was necessary to support innovation, but it never conducted an empirical assessment or reviewed the experience of other countries with net neutrality rules. It is in the public interest that the FCC examine this policy empirically, as it directly affects consumers and innovators. 

Evidence from some 50 countries with net neutrality rules made over the past decade suggests that the FCC’s approach will not create more innovation at the edge of the network, at least as measured by new mobile applications. 

Denmark and the Netherlands, two similar socioeconomic countries with multiple advanced mobile networks, employed two different regimes for net neutrality over five years. During this period, Denmark, which employed voluntary self-regulation, experienced an increase in the number, rank, and performance of locally made mobile applications, whereas the Netherlands, which legislated the world’s toughest rules, experienced a decline for the same indicators. Results were statistically significant. 

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