While the debate rages over net neutrality and how heavily Internet service providers should be regulated, the bottom line is that as Web usage explodes, somebody will have to pay for the capacity it takes for that connectivity, Liberty Media Chairman John Malone told CNBC on Wednesday.
"It's either going to be the people who have a relationship with the consumer indirectly through the transport of the Internet or it's going to be the Internet companies themselves ... charging for volume usage at the consumer end," he said in an interview aired on "Squawk on the Street."
"The economics have to work because this capacity is not cheap."
Malone said it would be "unfortunate" if the government intervened too heavily.
"Letting this capital marketplace play out will see multiple terrestrial providers—at least two, since the telephone industry has pretty much committed to build out and upgrade their network."