End of “Net Neutrality” Already Benefiting Vermonters

June 12, 2018

by Rob Roper

The 2015 “net neutrality” rules passed by the FCC in 2015 are now officially dead. When the Trump administration announced that it would eliminate the Obama-era policy there was much tearing of garments and gnashing of teeth here in Vermont. Our legislature even went so far as to pass a law creating a state version of net-neutrality that would punish Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that do not continue to operate under the repealed rules by disallowing the state to contract with such ISPs, although it’s not clear how the Vermont rules would be or could be enforced.

However, opponents of the 2015 rules argued that to regulate the internet under a 1934 law as if it were a telephone company was a ridiculous mistake that would deter innovation and discourage critical investment in building out and expanding broadband networks. It very quickly appears that these critics were correct, and Vermont is ground zero for evidence.

In a recent op-ed by FCC chairman Ajit Pai he cited an example from the Green Mountain State:

For instance, recently I heard from a rural broadband provider in Vermont called VTel. VTel wrote to say that “regulating broadband like legacy telephone service would not create any incentives for VTel to invest in its network. In fact, it would have precisely the opposite effect.” The company went on to say that it’s now “quite optimistic about the future, and the current FCC is a significant reason for our optimism.” Indeed, VTel just announced that it has committed $4 million to upgrade its 4G LTE service and to begin rolling out faster mobile broadband that will start its transition to 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity. (Our job is to protect a free and open internet)

Let’s hope our legislature is paying attention and that their actions don’t damage this kind of much needed investment in our future.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

About Us

The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.
Read more...

Latest News

VT Left Wing Media Bias Unmasks Itself

July 24, 2020 By Rob Roper Dave Gram was a long time reporter for the Associated Press, is currently the host of what’s billed on WDEV as a...

Using Guns for Self Defense – 3 Recent Examples

July 24, 2020 By John McClaughry  The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal last week published eleven news stories about citizens using a firearm to stop a crime. Here are...

FERC ruling on solar subsidies could help Vermont ratepayers

July 21, 2020 By John McClaughry Last Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission finalized its updates to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), in what the majority...

The Moderate Left’s Stand for Free Speech

July 17, 2020 By David Flemming Harper’s Magazine, a long-running monthly magazine of literature, politics, culture, finance, and the arts, is hardly what you would call a ‘politically...

Trump’s Regulatory Bill of Rights

July 16, 2020 by John McClaughry “President Trump [last May] issued an executive order entitled  ‘Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery.’ The executive order includes a regulatory bill...

Video