Law and Regulations

Net neutrality won't hurt ISPs: Former FCC chair

Net neutrailty ruling sensible: Former FCC chair

Internet service providers shouldn't fret about losing business after Thursday's net neutrality vote, a former Federal Communications Commission chairman said.

"People are asking for more and more data, faster and faster speeds. The demand is getting better and better. The suppliers on the cable side or telephone side don't have anything to worry about," Reed Hundt, who was chairman from 1993-97, told CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Thursday.

Read MoreFCC votes to classify Internet as public utility

The FCC on Thursday approved measures that restrict broadband companies' ability to control download speeds, prioritize certain information or create paid Internet "fast lanes." Cable and Internet companies opposed the regulation, arguing that it would stifle innovation, increase consumer costs and ultimately hamper business.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler listens during the net neutrality hearing in Washington on Feb. 26, 2015.
Yuri Gripas | Reuters

Hundt contended that Internet service provider concerns about government overreach are unfounded. The FCC specifically said it wouldn't regulate pay rates, he said.

He said that consumer demand for data has only increased, and that will bode well for cable companies.

Some providers, though, have held that the regulation addresses a problem that doesn't exist. Cable company Mediacom previously agreed that it wouldn't charge for "fast lanes," its CEO Rocco Commisso said on "Closing Bell."

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He added that his and other companies may withhold future broadband investment because they may not see the returns they enjoyed before the regulation.

Commisso also noted that sites like YouTube and Netflix eat up considerable data. The regulations, he said, could push costs from Netflix enthusiasts to those who don't use the service.