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Free Press / Consumers Union / Consumer Federation of America

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 13, 2006
11:01 AM

CONTACT: Free Press / Consumers Union / Consumer Federation of America
Mark Cooper, Consumer Federation, (301) 807-1623
Trevor Roycroft, Roycroft Consulting, (508) 896-0151

 
New Report Dismantles Industry Claims about Net Neutrality
Economic analysis separates empirical facts from theoretical fiction
 

WASHINGTON - June 13 - The likely harm to consumers and the Internet economy if Congress abandons "Network Neutrality" will be substantial, according to a new economic analysis released today by Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America and Free Press.

The report rebuts the claims of Net Neutrality opponents such as Vanderbilt University Law Professor Christopher S. Yoo and the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies, finding that the benefits claimed for abandoning the principle of standardized, open communications network are small or non-existent.

"Since network neutrality has succeeded so dramatically in producing the vibrant Internet economy and sustaining competitive communications services," said Trevor Roycroft, the economist who authored the report, "critics must show very tangible benefits from changing that policy. These analyses do not even come close to meeting that burden."

The report argues that Yoo and the Phoenix Center have reached erroneous conclusions based on biased theoretical perspectives and faulty assumptions that do not fit the economic reality of Internet-related markets. The three groups submitted the report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in advance of its latest hearing on major telecommunications legislation.

"The proponents of network discrimination get the policy problem exactly backward," said Mark Cooper, director of research for the Consumer Federation of America. "They say we should not risk imposing Network Neutrality for fear of stifling competition and innovation. Yet it is Network Neutrality that has given us vibrant competition and innovation. The question Congress should be asking is why abandon network neutrality and risk destroying the Internet?"

To read the full report, click here.

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