snydeq writes "Robert X. Cringely investigates recent claims that passing net neutrality regulations will result in nearly 1.5 million lost jobs by 2020, finding the report at the center of these claims suspect. The report, put forward by The Brattle Group, conjectures that net neutrality adoption would curtail broadband growth by 16 percent, costing 342,065 jobs in that sector alone. The 'total economy-wide impact,' however, of such a policy would result in five times as many job losses by 2020, they say. The study is the latest of several weighing the economic impact of net neutrality, including those by law schools (PDF) and free-market think tanks alike. The Brattle Group report (PDF), however, should be met with skepticism, Cringely argues, in large part because the lobbying firm who paid for the report, Mobile Future, is anchored most notably by AT&T. Moreover, the report is 'based entirely on a single assumption: Regulating US telecoms in the late 1990s and early 2000s hurt them to the tune of about 15 percent per quarter, relative to the cable companies.' Yet, as he points out, regulation was not alone in causing this sector shrinkage. In fact, the Baby Bells' own bureaucratic intransigence was much to blame."
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