The Federalist Society

The Dangers of Mandating Network Neutrality

March 4, 2006

Bryan N. Tramont, J. Wade Lindsay

Some communications policymakers have recently become strong advocates of a government requirement to ensure the benign-sounding concept of “Network Neutrality.” Network Neutrality, as defined in a recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Policy Statement, holds that consumers are entitled to: (1) access lawful Internet content of their choice; (2) run applications, and use services of their choice; (3) connect devices of their choice to any broadband platform so long as they do not harm the network; and (4) benefit from competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers. While these are fitting aspirations for America’s broadband future, there are significant dangers at this stage of the market with reifying these principles into a new and complex ex ante regulatory structure or enforcement regime. Indeed, a robust broadband marketplace and the emergence of new broadband platforms may well depend on regulatory restraint—not regulatory action....

The Dangers of Mandating Network Neutrality  


The Federalist Society