On January 20th, Donald Trump will be sworn in as president of the United States. With a Republican controlled House and Senate behind him, things in this country are going to change... a lot. One of the things that might be on the chopping block early in his administration is Net Neutrality. This is obviously an issue near and dear to our hearts here at Engadget, and it's pretty safe to assume that the rules instituted by the FCC in 2015 will be gutted by a Trump administration. In 2014 he described the concept as "top down power grab" that "will target the conservative media," and compared it to the Fairness Doctrine -- referring to the FCC rule eliminated in 1987 that required broadcasters to present contrasting views on topics of public interest.
Cable and telecom industry groups want a federal appeals court to reconsider its ruling on net neutrality. The Wireless Association, an industry trade group also known as CTIA, and other groups are petitioning for the case to be reheard by all of the court's judges. Last month, a three-judge panel from the court upheld the government's'net neutrality' rules, preserving regulations that force internet providers to treat all online traffic equally. The rules treat broadband service like a public utility and prevent internet service providers from offering preferential treatment to sites that pay for faster service. Net neutrality is the principle that Internet providers treat all web traffic equally, and it's pretty much how the internet worked.
A U.S. appeals court Tuesday upheld the Federal Communications Commission's landmark net neutrality rules, a big boost to the Obama administration and a blow to internet service providers that could determine how consumers access content on the Internet. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled for the administration on a 2-1 vote. The decision came in the latest battle over administration rules requiring broadband providers to treat all data equally, rather than giving or selling access to a so-called Web fast lane. The ruling handed a major victory to the Obama administration, which had urged the FCC to approve sweeping rules in 2015, and boosts the FCC in its bid to complete action on several major rules before the end of the year. So-called net neutrality is a major issue for broadband providers like Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp., which fear the rules may make it harder to manage Internet traffic and make investment to provide additional capacity less likely.
People with low incomes are disproportionately dependent on smartphones for internet access, according to the Pew Research Center. As has been observed in other countries, when zero-rating schemes are banned, ISPs raise caps and lower the price of data for everyone. For many families, higher data caps make the difference between children being able to do their school homework or not.
When former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai left office on Jan. 20, 2021, his departure was greeted with hoots of derision. Now, President Joe Biden has named FCC member and net neutrality champion Jessica Rosenworcel to chair the Commission. This is a big step forward for net neutrality's return. Does net neutrality still matter in our post-web world? What we think the public Internet is has already been replaced with a vision of the digital marketplace that's more reflective of our society.