The Federal Communications Commission plans to reinstate net neutrality protections that were nixed in 2018 during the Trump administration. Restoring those Obama-era rules has been on President Joe Biden’s agenda for years, but a deadlocked FCC has prevented that from happening during his time in the White House so far. Now, one day after Anna Gomez was sworn in as the third Democratic member on the FCC’s five-person panel, the agency is pushing forward with an attempt to bring back net neutrality regulations.
When net neutrality rules are enforced, internet service providers are not allowed to block or give preference to any content. They can’t throttle access to specific websites or charge the likes of streaming services for faster service. They must provide users with access to every site, content and app at the same speeds and conditions. Advocates tout net neutrality protections as the foundation of an open and equitable internet.
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, a long-term supporter of net neutrality rules, announced a plan to restore the protections on Tuesday. “This afternoon, I’m sharing with my colleagues a rulemaking that proposes to reinstate net neutrality,” Rosenworcel said at an event at the National Press Club. “We will need to develop an updated record to identify the best way to restore these policies and have a uniform national open internet standard.”
The aim is to “largely return to the successful rules” that the FCC adopted in 2015 when President Barack Obama was in office. The proposal aims to reclassify both fixed and mobile broadband as an essential communications service under Title II of the Communications Act, akin to