Confusing Essential Service and Public Utilities Through Net Neutrality

In June, a federal court upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to reclassify broadband internet access as a public utility to enforce “net neutrality.”

Writing for The Washington Post, Larry Downes argues that this decision will stifle innovation and deliver worse service to consumers.

Downes contends that proponents of classifying broadband internet on the basis of its necessity are conflating essential services and public utilities. Food, clothing, and shelter are essential, yet none are regulated as public utilities such as electricity, gas, and water.

According to Downes, public utilities don’t compete, innovate, or actually serve consumers. By regulating broadband internet access as a public utility, the negative side-effects of public utilities will also plague internet access and result in less competition, less innovation, and anti-consumer behavior.

More Blog Posts

01-11-2019 10:01am

Polling Shows Americans Support the Removal of Troops from Both Syria and Afghanistan

Americans remain unconvinced that the United States has a clear purpose in Afghanistan and would support a presidential decision to remove troops from both Afghanistan and Syria within the year.

Read more

10-16-2018 02:10pm

Sensitizing Stories: Rob Wallace

Rob Wallace, an award-winning producer and senior producer for ABC News and CBS News and an adjunct faculty member for the Media and Journalism Fellowship, recounts his career in film and television.

Read more

10-08-2018 08:10am

Occupational Licensing Reforms Remove Roadblocks

New Mexico’s occupational licensing reform shows how making changes at the state level removes barriers to opportunity, especially for low- and moderate income Americans.

Read more

Sign up for updates