Net Neutrality Restoration Likely By US FCC

Z Patel

The battle for the “Internet’s soul” faces a pivotal decision as the United States’ Federal Communications Commission (FCC) weighs possibly reinstating Net Neutrality on April 25. This move could reshape the landscape of broadband internet usage in the United States. The FCC’s decision could restore principles that demand equality in web traffic management by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) regardless of the content or source.

What’s Happening & Why This Matters

Net Neutrality — the concept of treating all internet traffic equally —- has been a hot topic since its enforcement in 2015 and subsequent repeal in 2017. The FCC’s upcoming vote aims to restore these protections. The vote would ensure open, fair broadband access — a necessity underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic — as an essential service for all.

Credit: Web We Want/World Wide Web Foundation

FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel highlights the vote’s importance by emphasizing that broadband has a pivotal role in modern life necessitates (e.g., education, business, entertainment). She believes regulatory oversight is necessary to maintain its openness and fairness. This decision does not introduce new regulations but reinstates previously court-approved rules to ensure broadband remains an equitable resource.

The Fight So Far

The journey of net neutrality has been a rollercoaster that originated durin the Obama administration and was dismantled under the Trump presidency. The 2015 rules prevented “Internet fast lanes” to ensure no content provider was given preferential treatment over others. However, in 2017, under then-FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, these protections were withdrawn. The restrictions sparked a significant backlash from the public and companies (e.g., Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Twitter, eBay, Yahoo!, Open Society Foundation).

Credit: techtarget

Despite attempts to restore net neutrality through Congressional votes, state laws, and the “Save the Internet” bills, the Pai-led FCC bolstered by the Trump Administration, largely ignored public commentary on the repeal. Not until the Biden administration secured a Democratic majority in the FCC that a new vote on net neutrality became feasible.

TF Summary: What’s Next

As the FCC prepares for this important vote, the potential restoration of Net Neutrality stands as a testament to the enduring struggle for an open and equitable internet. This decision could be significant milestone in ensuring that broadband access remains a level playing field for all users, irrespective of geographic or socioeconomic status.

With the world more connected than ever, the importance of safeguarding the internet as an open space has never been more critical. The upcoming reflects the belief in a “fair” Internet, but also sets the stage for future regulatory and policy directions in the digital age.

Share This Article
Avatar photo
By Z Patel “TF AI Specialist”
Zara ‘Z’ Patel stands as a beacon of expertise in the field of digital innovation and Artificial Intelligence. Holding a Ph.D. in Computer Science with a specialization in Machine Learning, Z has worked extensively in AI research and development. Her career includes tenure at leading tech firms where she contributed to breakthrough innovations in AI applications. Z is passionate about the ethical and practical implications of AI in everyday life and is an advocate for responsible and innovative AI use.
Leave a comment