White House: Net Neutrality Repeal Raises Annual Incomes by $50 Billion

Ajit Pai
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

A White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) report released this week found that the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) repeal of the agency’s 2015 net neutrality regulation raised annual incomes by $50 billion.

According to the CEA’s February “Economic Report of the President,” the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality regulation raised real annual incomes by more than $50 billion per year and consumer welfare by nearly $40 billion per year.

Net neutrality passed under former Democrat FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in 2015. The rule, known as the Open Internet Order, reclassified the Internet as a public utility. Critics criticized the rule, stating that it would diminish the freedom of the Internet. Proponents argue that the regulations prevent Internet service providers (ISPs) from discriminating against content providers.

The Restoring Internet Freedom Order reclassified the Internet as an “information service” and requires Internet service providers (ISPs) such as Comcast or Verizon to release transparency reports detailing their practices on blocking, throttling, and data prioritization for consumers and businesses.

The FCC’s net neutrality repeal order restored the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) traditional authority and expertise to regulate and litigate unfair, deceptive, and anti-competitive telecommunications practices without onerous regulations and increased cost.

The CEA said that FCC’s regulations against blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization as well classification of ISPs as public utilities “restricted the vertical pricing arrangements of ISPs—that is, monetary transactions between ISPs and the providers of Internet content such as Netflix and Yahoo.” The council added that the rule “imposed government oversight on communication services, making it difficult for these companies to quickly respond to competition and provide new goods and services on the market.”

The CEA also found that Congress’ repeal of the Wheeler broadband privacy rule would raise incomes by $22 billion every year. The council found that Congress’ repeal of the rule led to lower broadband prices.

“Wireless service prices fell at the same time that Congress was considering the resolution of disapproval, and wired Internet prices fell a couple of months later,” the CEA wrote.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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