Written by Ashton Snyder on
 April 26, 2024

FCC Democrats Reinstate Obama-Era Net Neutrality Regulations

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), now with a Democratic majority, has voted to bring back net neutrality rules discarded under the previous administration.

The restoration of these regulations has reignited a heated debate across the political spectrum, as Breitbart reports.

The rules in question aim to ensure that internet service providers (ISPs) treat all data on the internet equally, preventing them from blocking, slowing down, or engaging in paid prioritization of content. This principle was first repealed during the tenure of President Donald Trump, under the leadership of then-FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

Controversial Reinstatement Draws Sharp Criticism

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr has vocally opposed these measures, labeling them a "power grab" by leftist forces within the government. Carr argues that this is a classic case of administrative overreach.

During the pandemic, the internet's robust performance without net neutrality rules was highlighted by Adam Brandon, President of FreedomWorks. He stated that the network managed increased traffic volumes effectively, challenging the necessity of such regulations.

Views on Net Neutrality Polarize Public Opinion

On the other side of the debate, proponents of net neutrality argue that it prevents large ISPs from unfairly prioritizing traffic, which they say could harm free speech and innovation. They contend that without these rules, ISPs could influence what content users can access and at what speed.

James Czerniawski, a senior policy analyst at Americans for Prosperity, believes that reinstating net neutrality amounts to a costly government intervention. He likens it to a takeover that will likely stifle technological innovation and limit consumer choices in the digital marketplace.

Allum Bokhari, a former reporter for Breitbart News, notes that while Democrats push for these regulations on ISPs, there is little movement to apply similar principles to big tech platforms, which, according to him, have a more direct role in suppressing online discourse.

Net Neutrality: A Legal and Cultural Battleground

Legal perspectives, such as those from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, suggest that issues of tech censorship could potentially be addressed through common carriage laws. However, the current focus remains squarely on ISPs rather than tech platforms.

Despite the backlash, the FCC's current direction underlines a significant policy shift reflective of the Biden administration's approach to internet governance, contrasting sharply with the hands-off policies seen during the Trump era.

Carr’s dissenting remarks were poignant as he referenced data showing dramatic improvements in internet service provision since the rules were last repealed. "Internet speeds are up 430% since 2017 on the fixed broadband side, and they are up 647% on the mobile side," he noted, underscoring the technological strides made without stringent regulations.

Future Implications of Net Neutrality Reinstatement

As the FCC moves forward with these restored rules, the landscape of internet service provision may see significant changes. Supporters believe this will level the playing field, while detractors warn of increased government interference in a space that has thrived on minimal regulation.

The debate over net neutrality continues to evolve, reflecting broader disagreements over the role of government in regulating the internet. As this policy pendulum swings once again, the effects will likely resonate well beyond the term of the current FCC commission.

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About Ashton Snyder

Independent conservative news without a leftist agenda.
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