There is a growing conversation about investment in the internet during the Title II era. While proponents of Title II argue that investment increased under Title II, in evaluating the economic impact of Title II the question is not if investment increased or decreased through time. Rather, economists ask if projected investment would have been more or less if Title II was not imposed on ISPs. By comparing the projected investment levels to real investment that occurred, economists are able to find the true economic impact of Title II regulations.
Through this “but for regulations” approach, George Ford of Phoenix Center finds that between 2011 and 2015, fear of regulations on ISPs reduced telecommunications investment from projected investment levels by 20% to 30%, costing about $30 to $40 billion in investment. Other estimates produced by Ford find that since 2010, Obama Era policies on the internet--including uncertainty caused by Title II-- cost the US over $100 billion in investment.