Communications and Technology

The Effect of Net Neutrality on America’s Technology Landscape: Jake Morabito on ALEC Breakdown

Historically, debates over net neutrality have fluctuated with changing administrations.

In a recent edition of the “Breakdown” podcast by the American Legislative Exchange Council, Lars Dalseide discusses net neutrality with Jake Morabito, the Task Force Director for the Communications and Technology Task Force. The conversation centers on a recent FCC ruling on net neutrality, which has sparked concerns within the industry regarding its potential impact on service delivery to consumers.

Principles of Net Neutrality

Jake Morabito explains that net neutrality revolves around three core principles: no blocking of content, no throttling of content, and no paid prioritization of content. These principles are designed to ensure fairness in how content is delivered over the internet. However, Morabito notes that the methods for achieving these goals can often lead to regulatory burdens that ultimately harm consumers.

Historically, debates over net neutrality have fluctuated with changing administrations. Under the Trump Administration, net neutrality regulations were repealed, leading to significant deregulation. According to Morabito, despite fears that this deregulation would lead to negative outcomes like blocking or throttling of content, such issues have not materialized in the six years since the repeal. Nevertheless, the Biden administration has reinstated Title II regulations under the Communications Act of 1934, which were originally designed to regulate telephone monopolies.

Congress should actually legislate on the internet itself… since the mid the early 2000s, we’ve kind of been ping pong and back and forth every administration… every single administration, the rules change how internet is governed, and it’s impossible for private sector businesses, again, who are trying to build infrastructure to make the United States the powerhouse economic powerhouse in the world.” – Jake Morabito

Broadband Investments

Morabito emphasizes that these outdated regulations are ill-suited for the modern digital economy and could hinder broadband investment. He highlights that broadband prices have decreased significantly, and internet speeds have increased since the deregulation in 2018, countering arguments that stringent regulations are necessary. The Biden administration’s push for these regulations, he argues, could stifle further innovation and connectivity, particularly in rural areas.

Legal challenges are already emerging from various industry groups against the FCC’s authority to impose these regulations. These groups argue that the FCC lacks the congressional authorization to make such sweeping changes. Morabito suggests that Congress should legislate on the internet itself, establishing clear, permanent rules rather than relying on fluctuating executive orders. This would provide stability for private sector businesses investing in infrastructure and ensure that innovation continues to thrive.

The Right Net Neutrality Approach

In conclusion, Morabito calls for Congress to step in and create a comprehensive legislative framework for net neutrality. This approach would end the back-and-forth regulatory changes with each administration, fostering a more stable environment for technological growth and ensuring that consumers continue to benefit from high-quality, affordable internet services.

You can watch the interview episode here.