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A Curious Tale of Economics and Common Carriage (Net Neutrality) at the FCC: A Reply to Faulhaber, Singer, and Urschel


  • Winseck, Dwayne
  • Pooley, Jefferson

    (Muhlenberg College)


This reply to “The Curious Absence of Economic Analysis at the Federal Communications Commission” by Faulhaber, Singer, and Urschel makes three claims. First, we document the paper’s undisclosed origins as a white paper commissioned by an advocacy group with deep ties to the telecommunications industry. Second, we describe two of the authors’ active participation, on behalf of clients, in a range of contested issues before the FCC in recent years. Finally, our review of FCC workshops, roundtables, seminars, dockets, and rulings—including during its landmark 2015 Open Internet Order and several blockbuster mergers and acquisitions—provides detailed evidence to refute the paper’s core “curious absence” charge. The stakes could not be higher, we conclude, as the new FCC chair, Ajit Pai, has repeatedly referenced the paper to justify his rollback of FCC regulations—including, crucially, the common carriage/net neutrality rules so vigorously opposed by the paper’s funders.

Suggested Citation

  • Winseck, Dwayne & Pooley, Jefferson, 2017. "A Curious Tale of Economics and Common Carriage (Net Neutrality) at the FCC: A Reply to Faulhaber, Singer, and Urschel," MediArXiv ymkx4, Center for Open Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:osf:mediar:ymkx4
    DOI: 10.31219/

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jonathan Baker & Mark Bykowsky & Patrick DeGraba & Paul LaFontaine & Eric Ralph & William Sharkey, 2011. "The Year in Economics at the FCC, 2010–11: Protecting Competition Online," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 39(4), pages 297-309, December.
    2. Alfred E. Kahn, 1988. "The Economics of Regulation: Principles and Institutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262610523, December.
    3. Karl Widerquist, 2012. "Reply to Comments," Exploring the Basic Income Guarantee, in: Karl Widerquist & Michael W. Howard (ed.), Exporting the Alaska Model, chapter 0, pages 233-240, Palgrave Macmillan.
    4. Jonathan Sallet, 2015. "The Federal Communications Commission and Lessons of Recent Mergers & Acquisitions Reviews," Antitrust Chronicle, Competition Policy International, vol. 11.
    5. Jonathan Baker, 2013. "Antitrust Enforcement And Sectoral Regulation: The Competition Policy Benefits Of Concurrent Enforcement In The Communications Sector," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 9.
    6. Amanda B. Delp & John W. Mayo, 2017. "The Evolution of “Competition”: Lessons for 21st Century Telecommunications Policy," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 50(4), pages 393-416, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hooton, Christopher Alex, 2020. "Testing the economics of the net neutrality debate," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(5).

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