Wither U.S. Net Neutrality Regulation?
Michael L. Katz
Published online: 18 March 2017
Ó Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017
Abstract I examine the (lack of) economic logic that underlies the U.S. Federal
Communications Commission’s latest iteration of network neutrality regulations. I
explore potential unintended consequences and ﬁnd a substantial tension between
the regulations and the objective of promoting consumer choice and sovereignty. I
also identify market developments that could largely neutralize the regulations
unless they are expanded to constrain Internet access providers’ actions further.
Keywords Regulation Á Net neutrality Á Internet service providers Á Edge providers
In February 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission)
imposed its most recent round of regulations that govern the behavior of ﬁrms
that provide broadband Internet access services (BIAS).
Figure 1 illustrates how
the Commission conceptualizes BIAS provision. A BIAS provider is a platform that
connects edge providers and end users. According to the Commission, end user
‘‘refers to any individual or entity that uses a broadband Internet access service,’’
and edge provider ‘‘refer[s] to content, application, service, and device providers,
because they generally operate at the edge rather than the core of the network. These
terms are not mutually exclusive.’’
& Michael L. Katz
Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, #1900, Berkeley, CA 94720-1900,
Federal Communications Commission (2015). The ﬁrms that the Commission refers to as BIAS
providers are more commonly known as Internet Service Providers, or ISPs.
Federal Communications Commission (2010, footnote 2).
Rev Ind Organ (2017) 50:441–468