Statement of Michael Powell, President & CEO, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association Regarding the FCC’s Net Neutrality Proceeding

"With today’s vote, the FCC unfortunately has placed politics over sound policy and fiction over facts, and we are now embarking on yet another unnecessary and distracting net neutrality proceeding. By introducing the most sweeping command and control framework ever imposed on broadband networks, the FCC’s proposal is a monumental change in how the internet will be regulated and will dramatically affect how it will work going forward. 

"Today, free markets determine the price ISPs charge for service. But under the proposed rules, the FCC would have the power to determine if rates are “just and reasonable” and to require companies to alter prices. There can be no clearer description of rate regulation.

"Today, a company can freely enter the market to offer a competitive service. But going forward it will need the FCC’s permission to enter and expand its service territory and will even need permission to exit the market. This makes the FCC the arbiter of broadband expansion, innovation, and marketplace competition. 

"The Commission has made clear it will insert itself into the marketplace, issuing mandates on a wide range of issues, including national security, broadband prices, and free speech. But as the people’s representative body, Congress is the only authority that can grant the FCC power to make such major changes in how the internet is regulated, not unelected agency officials. 

"Regrettably, the uncertainty of this seismic shift in regulation will damage our national effort to deliver high-speed internet to America’s hard-to-serve rural areas and citizens who have been promised they will be connected. The added cost and burden of this regulatory intervention will dissuade providers from taking the necessary risks that come with building and serving these remote areas. That is a shame."


U.S. Internet is Already Fast, Open and Fair
Marketplace Facts Tell the Real Story

The FCC rulemaking claims it is necessary to make the internet “fast, open, and fair.” But the objective facts are clear: American broadband networks are already fast, open, and fair – a success story accomplished without the heavy hand of Title II:

  • Fast: 
    • Average fixed broadband speeds in the U.S. have tripled since 2017. [Source: Ookla Speedtest Global Index]
    • 89% of U.S. homes and businesses now have access to gigabit speeds – compared to just 51% who had gigabit access in 2017. [Source: FCC National Broadband Map & Form 477 Data]
    • 31% of U.S. broadband customers now subscribe to gigabit (or faster) service plans – this share has doubled in the past year. [Source: OpenVault]
  • Open: 
    • Contrary to the apocalyptic predictions Title II advocates made in 2017, broadband providers continue to uphold Open Internet principles: no blocking, throttling, or discrimination against lawful traffic.
    • Every major broadband provider followed the 2017 repeal by making public, FTC-enforceable commitments to protect an Open Internet.  The FTC has not identified even one single instance of a provider violating these commitments.
  • Fair:
    • Real U.S. broadband prices (adjusted for inflation) have fallen 12% since 2017. [Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics]
    • Controlling for the exponential increase in speeds, the cost-per-megabit of broadband service has declined 80% since 2015. [Source: USTelecom]
    • Initiatives like the Affordable Connectivity Program offer free or steeply discounted service to approximately 50 million American families.