Net Neutrality Facts

Preliminary Net Neutrality Investment Findings

Internet Association research finds ISPs continue to invest and innovate at similar or greater levels in the current regulatory environment, including after the 2015 Open Internet Order. IA will release its full research paper on internet service provider (ISP) investment in the coming months. A preview of key takeaways from the research:


ISP investment is up over time, and shows no decline as a result of the implementation of strong, enforceable net neutrality rules in 2015.

By multiple, independent metrics, ISP claims of depressed investment don’t mesh with reality. From actual capital expenditure numbers, to patents, to prices, the 2015 Order has not had the effects that ISPs claim.


IA research pulls from the same data sets as ISPs.

This report relies on public data available directly from ISPs or used by ISP trade groups.


ISPs have failed to prove the 2015 Order has had a negative impact on investment.

Efforts to replace the 2015 Open Internet Order are not based on economic fact. ISPs have failed to prove that the Order specifically necessitates reversal of FCC policy.

WATCH Net Neutrality And Your Internet Service Provider: An Investment Story

ISP CLAIM: Infrastructure investment among leading ISPs has decreased 5.6% because of net neutrality

IA research shows telecom investment increased following net neutrality. There’s no evidence that net neutrality caused infrastructure investment to decline

$7.3 Billion

Increase in telecom investment among Publicly traded companies from 2013-2014 to 2015-2016

Source: Company SEC Filings via Free Press
$4.7 Billion

Telecom investment 2014-2015 (based on projections)

Source: OECD & USTelecom
$89.9 Billion

Cable investment 2009-2016

Source: SNL Kagen via NCTA
$87.8 Billion

Telecom investment 2010-2016 (based on projections)

Source: OECD & USTelecom
Cable & Broadband Infrastructure Investment Source: SNL Kagan via NCTA $ 250 BILLION 173 BILLION $ Period of Net Neutrality Discussion & Enforcement 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

ISP CLAIM: Net neutrality is a regulatory framework hampering competition

ISPs and their consumers are enjoying historically low production costs


Reduction in prices for wireless telecom sector from 2000 to 2016

Source: World Bank

Reduction in Prices for wired telecom sector from 1997-2016

Source: World Bank

ISP CLAIM: Net neutrality has hurt innovation in the telecom sector

Innovation has increased consistently and rapidly since net neutrality implementation


Increase in telecom Patent applications from 2010 to 2012

T e l e c o m P a t e n t A p p l i c a t i o n s 2010 6491 2012 8669
Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office

ISP CLAIM: Net neutrality has hurt free speech and expression

Content and data production continues to increase exponentially


Increase in online data and content from 2009-2016

Source: Computer Science Corporation
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Internet Association’s mission is to foster innovation, promote economic growth, and empower people through the free and open internet. The internet creates unprecedented benefits for society, and as the voice of the world’s leading internet companies, Internet Association ensures stakeholders understand these benefits.

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Internet Association's Position

Internet Association supports strong, enforceable net neutrality rules – as we’ve done since our founding in 2012. The entire online ecosystem benefits when consumers can access to the entire internet, regardless of how they connect.

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Net Neutrality Day Of Action

On July 12th, the internet is banding together to show the FCC that we, the internet community, care about preserving strong, enforceable net neutrality rules. Consumers – not internet service providers – should pick which websites and apps are best.

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