Biden wants the FCC to fix net neutrality – but he can’t yet



The FCC could also use its authority over conventional carriers protect consumers in other ways. For example, at the same time, the net neutrality of former FCC president Ajit Pai is being abolished deleted the Obama-era price transparency rules that Biden wants to bring back.

Senator Ed Markey (D – Massachusetts) welcomed Biden ‘s call to restore the rules of net neutrality. “As soon as there are three Democratic commissioners, the FCC must act without delay to reclassify broadband as a Title II service and re-establish its authority over broadband,” Markey said. “I also plan to introduce laws soon that will do so by law. We can’t and won’t stop working until net neutrality becomes the law of the land.” The pandemic “highlighted what we already knew: broadband is not a luxury. Like running water and electricity, it’s a basic service that everyone needs,” Markey said.

The cable industry criticizes the Biden Order

The primary group of the cable industry lobby, NCTA – the Internet and Television Association, broke Biden’s order.

“We are disappointed that the executive order is reconsidering misleading claims about the broadband market, including the tired and refuted claim that ISPs will block or disable consumers from accessing Internet content of their choice,” the NCTA said. on Friday. “U.S. broadband was the most resilient and important infrastructure in the country during the pandemic, keeping our economy moving and enabling our citizens to learn, work, and stay connected from the security of their homes. How policymakers and industry share the goal of connecting every American to a robust and reliable broadband service, we hope the administration will put rhetoric aside and focus on constructive solutions. “

NCTA and the USTelecom lobby group have repeatedly claimed that broadband prices are falling. But their claims rely on a “price per megabit” calculation that does not reflect total consumer bills and a “broadband access price index” that includes prices of only a few service levels instead of the average or average price. The actual monthly price that consumers pay to internet service providers was it grows far faster than inflation years.

The municipal broadband plan has apparently stalled

Biden first announced plans to take over the broadband industry in at the end of March when he said he would cut prices, abolish hidden fees and provide funding for municipal broadband networks. Publicly owned networks have “less pressure to make a profit and … a commitment to serving entire communities,” Biden noted at the time.

Biden originally proposed $ 100 billion in funding, with priority access to publicly owned networks, which set the stage for lobbying by AT&T i other ISPs which aim to prevent competition and want broadband money to go only to private companies. Biden eventually made a $ 65 billion dealt with Republicans, apparently without any preference for public networks, but this is still being negotiated in Congress.

FCC needs fifth member to ‘fully function’

Biden will be less directly involved in implementing the measures he has asked the FCC to address, as the FCC is an independent agency that doesn’t just do what the president asks. The president can still appoint commissioners and elect a chairman, so he can choose people who agree with his priorities. But he must actually pick someone before the FCC Democrats can start working on anything that involves a partisan battle, such as retraining broadband providers as regular operators, imposing network neutrality rules, and forcing ISPs to cut prices and eliminate hidden fees.

“The executive order is important, but the processes and staff for real progress on these priorities have not yet been established … The agency needs a fifth commissioner to function fully,” Matt Wood, vice president of policy and chief adviser to Free Press, he said Friday.


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