On Wednesday at AEI, experts discussed the rapid growth of the Internet and the implications of that growth for future policy and regulation. While presenting the key tenets of his new book, "The Dynamic Internet" (AEI Press, September 2012), Christopher Yoo described how the user base, technologies, devices, and business applications associated with the Internet are fundamentally different than they were when the Internet first entered the mainstream in the mid–1990s. Yoo emphasized that designing regulation based on a static view of the Internet would staunch the innovation that has made the network adaptable to ever-changing customer demands.
AEI's Jeff Eisenach also cautioned against predicting the Internet's future path, and stressed that broadband is characterized by dynamism, modularity, and network effects. He noted that though the broadband industry is similar to many other information technology (IT) industries, it is subject to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulation rather than anti-trust law. Given the similarities between the broadband and IT industries, Eisenach argued, FCC regulation discourages innovation.
Discussants Jonathan Nuechterlein of WilmerHale and Blair Levin of the Aspen Institute provided brief reactions to the presentations. Nuechterlein contended that the FCC frequently misses the key problem: that a one-size-fits-all approach to regulation will not work. Levin concluded that the FCC must make decisions, and described the FCC's theories of competition, public goods, and innovation that affect those decisions.
-- Brad Wassink
Today's Internet is a far cry from the world of simple browsers and web pages that burst into the public consciousness in the mid-1990s. As Christopher Yoo explains in his new book titled "The Dynamic Internet," these changes have fundamental implications for public policy, including both communications regulation and antitrust policy. The answer, as Yoo and AEI visiting scholar Jeffrey Eisenach will explain, is most definitely not to turn the Internet into a public utility, as some on the left are now recommending. Join us for a discussion of the policy implications of the dynamic Internet in 2013.
Books will be available for purchase.
If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.