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Thursday, September 28, 2023

US return of the #netneutrality zombie - for Johannes Bauer's year as FCC Chief Economist!

FCC details plan to restore the net neutrality rules repealed by Ajit Pai

Democrats finally have 3-2 majority needed to regulate ISPs as common carriers.

 Rosenworcel's proposed rules will mostly mirror those approved under then-Chairman Tom Wheeler in 2015, senior FCC officials said in a call with reporters today. The proposal would classify broadband providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act, providing the legal authority to impose net neutrality rules and other regulations.

Broadband providers are likely to argue that rules aren't necessary because they've behaved themselves in the five years since the previous net neutrality order was repealed in 2018. To counter that argument, FCC officials today pointed out that ISPs are required to follow net neutrality rules in individual states even though the federal government doesn't have uniform rules for the whole country.

Then-Chairman Ajit Pai's attempt to preempt all state net neutrality rules was rejected in court. California enforces net neutrality rules that mirror what the FCC adopted in 2015 and beat industry attempts to get the state law overturned.

FCC officials said today that nearly a dozen states enforce net neutrality through state laws, government contracting policies, or executive orders.