The FCC will vote to restore net neutrality later this month

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans vote later this month to restore net neutrality. In the final year of President Biden’s first term, the agency could finally be done with Democrats holding an FCC majority 2021 executive order From the President and return Obama-era rules that the Trump administration’s FCC It was destroyed in 2017.

The FCC plans to hold a vote at its April 25 meeting. Net neutrality treats broadband services as an essential resource Under Title II of the Communications Act, it gives the FCC more power to regulate the industry. It allows the agency to prevent ISPs from engaging in anti-consumer behavior such as unfair pricing, blocking or restricting content, and providing paid “fast lanes” for Internet access.

Democrats had to wait three years to enact Biden’s 2021 executive order to restore President Obama’s 2015 net neutrality rules passed by the FCC. Biden’s confirmation process for FCC nominee Gigi Sohn for telecom regulator played no small role. He withdrew After calling his candidacy in March 2023 “relentless, dishonest and brutal attacks”.

Republicans (and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin) fought his confirmation through a lengthy 16-month process. Telecom lobbying dollars flowed freely during that period, and Republicans cited Sohn’s past tweets criticizing Fox News, along with vocal opposition from law enforcement, as grounds to block confirmation. Democrats finally won again FCC majority with Anna Gomez sworn in at the end of September, near the end of Biden’s third year in office.

“The pandemic has proven once and for all that broadband is essential,” FCC Chairman Rosenworcel said in a press release. “Since the previous administration deregulated broadband services, the FCC has been handcuffed from acting to fully secure broadband networks, protect consumer data, and keep the internet fast, open and fair. A return to the FCC’s well-known and court-approved net neutrality standard will allow the agency to once again serve as a strong consumer advocate for an open Internet.”

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