The FCC, under Chairman Ajit Pai, voted today to start the process of eliminating Title II rules on ISPs. We applaud his move. As we have said before, the Internet was thriving under the light-touch regulatory regime that preceded Title II. Indeed, government data shows that the telecom industry was one of the top contributors to US productivity growth from 2000 to 2014, before Title II was put in place. *
Our belief is that the economy could be entering into a renewed period of productivity growth, propelled by the application of digital technology to the physical industries (see The Coming Productivity Boom). That transition would have been much more difficult under the antiquated regulatory structure that comes with Title II.
But as we have also said before, smart regulations are essential for a well-functioning economy. There’s no doubt in our mind that open internet rules are needed to govern the Internet. We think now is the right time for Congress to codify the open internet principles into law–that’s the best way to get a consistent regulatory structure that will produce faster growth for us all.
*Contribution to multifactor productivity growth, as calculated from the BEA-BLS Integrated Production Accounts.